Which Stitch Markers Are Best

When I first took up crochet I didn't have any stitch markers, I didn't even know stitch markers existed. It wasn't long before I knew about them and I learnt the value of using stitch markers, aka stitch savers. That first frustrating experience of when a project accidentally unravels because there's nothing holding onto the stitch to stop it coming undone or your crochet circle grows in ways it isn't supposed to and the worth of this tiny tool became obvious very quickly. But there are so many styles of stitch marker to choose from, locking, circle, coil-less, plastic, safety pins, thread, 3D printed... does it really make a difference which one you use? Is it just how pretty they are? I walk you through a dozen different stitch markers from items you have lying around your home to the fancy artisan styles. I share with you what features to look for and those that don't really hold up to the task.

Embroidery or Lace?

Le Pompe Lace 16thC lace renaissance bobbin lace
Marguerite de Valois, ca. 1563
Francois Clouet
 Musée Condé, Chantilly

I have always loved the trim on Margurite's gown and always assumed it was
embroidered.

Then I discovered Le Pompe's lace design book first published in 1559, and the trim is the same design as in his book.

Le Pompe Lace 16thC lace renaissance bobbin lace
Le Pompe 1559 pg 2
Le Pompe's books are well known within the lace making community and International Organization of Lace  even use his designs in their beginner lace tutorials.

I now think it's very likely that the beautiful trim on Marguerite's gown is lace, which means so many designs we see in portraits could be lace!

The design on Mary Stuart's gown is almost identical accept for some minor differences - straight lines instead of curved and the filled in centres.

Le Pompe Lace 16thC lace renaissance bobbin lace
Mary Stuart Queen Mary of Scotland age 13
 circa 1555–1559
François Clouet

As Mary was born in 1542 and this portrait is of her at age 13 then it would date to 1555, however Le Pompe was published in 1559.

This raises a few questions in my  mind.
  • Was Mary's trim inspired by Le Pompe or the other way around? 
  • Did her trim design come from Le Pompe's book? 
  • Did it take 4 years before the portrait of her at age 13 was completed and the trim painted late in the process? 
  • What was the reasoning behind the dating of this portrait? 
  • Or was this simply a common and popular design? 
  • Perhaps François had Le Pompe's book and he used the designs in his portraits?
  • How long did it take for Le Pompe to write his book and who were his collaborators?


Le Pompe Lace 16thC lace renaissance bobbin lace
Mary Stuart Queen Mary of Scotland age 13
 circa 1555–1559
François Clouet
Le Pompe Lace 16thC lace renaissance bobbin lace
Marguerite de Valois, ca. 1563
Francois Clouet
 Musée Condé, Chantilly
Marguerite's portrait on the other hand is dated as 4 years after the lace design book was published so could definitely be based off Le Pompe's design. What do you think?

Le Pompe Lace 16thC lace renaissance bobbin lace
Here is my first attempt at my version of the Le Pompe design.






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