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.

Victorian Cuffs

Victorian cuffs
Have you ever wondered what Victorian cuffs were really like? These men's and ladies cuffs are
an interesting study.

Victorian gentleman's cuff
Gentleman's' cuff - back.

I don't know if it was common practice for cuffs to come in sets of three so you would always have a spare, but my cuffs certainly did.  

Victorian gentleman's cuff and buttons Gentleman's cuffs - front.   The pressed pattern is quite visible in this photo. All three cuffs have the same two stripes pressed into them, evenly spaced from top and bottom.

It's not that clear in the photos however one cuff is whiter then the others. Perhaps it didn't see as much wear or perhaps it was cleaned.

Victorian gentleman's cuff button savers
The edges have been bound with self fabric bias strips. 

The buttons are held in place with these little thingamabobs which probably have a proper name but I can't think of it right now. You can see the stitching is tiny and done by machine.

Here's a close up on the button hole, its not stitched perfectly but you can see there are even tinier re-enforcing stitches around the buttonhole.

Detail of the pressed pattern on the reverse of the cuffs, you can see the bias binding stitching is not perfect. (us perfectionists like to know these things)

The ladies cuffs are constructed in a similar fashion however have some definite differences.

Lace at the corners for starters. The lace appears to have been hand stitched with precise little stitches.

Victorain ladies cuff with cutwork lace front
Ladies cuff - front.

The lace is machine stitched in place. You can see around the edges of the cuff where the fabric has been trimmed away after the purfylling (embellishing) has been completed.

How do you think that little cut got into the corner? Trimming the threads, trimming the excess fabric, or later by something else entirely? I guess we'll never know.

Victorain ladies cuff with cutwork lace back
Ladies cuff - back.

The ladies cuffs have the seams folded and stitched down without any bias binding.

The corners are neatly trimmed and the button holes simply cut through without edging.

Victorain ladies cuff with cutwork lace sets
The ladies cuffs also came in sets of three based on the two different lace patterns for these six cuffs.

All nine cuffs are surprisingly thin, fine and stiff. They appear to be made of linen, but I'm no expert. It seems to me there is a stiffening layer sandwiched between the outer-layers and all glued together so they behave as a single layer.

I don't think they would have been terribly comfortable, but I imagine they always looked great!


  1. Thanks for sharing this amazing post. I have read about the cuffs but have never seen them. May I ask where you got them? BTW, I have a small collections of ladies' handkerchiefs.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had never seen them before either, They were listed on ebay a few years ago. The listing said they were found in a closet of an old farm house in Michigan. I'd love to see your handkerchiefs.

  2. I'm curious as to where you got these? Very interesting! :) Are you going to try to duplicate these?

    1. They were a great ebay find, just sheer luck I think. When I can find the right linen I would love to dry to make replicas. I should get practising on that lace design I suppose.


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