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.

What is it? Revealed!

I promised to tell you what the funny contraption does.

I really enjoyed everyone's guesses and although the guesses all suggested an extendable / foldable device for everything from sheet music to use in the bathroom none of them were correct.

Perhaps putting it together will help.

wool winder arms placed on top of the stand

Here it is with it's box that tells the whole story.

wool winder with original box

 I'm certain that snazzy jazz pattern on the box is the clue to how old this wool winder is. I'm guessing 1920's art deco.

Woolwinder - possibly 1920's art deco

It doesn't look like it will fit does it? I assure you it does. Just.

wool winder with original notice inside box lid

The label reads:
Each Woolwinder is tested and examined before leaving the factory and the manufacturers will not replace machines broken through rough treatment or carelessness.
When opening the apparatus, ease one pair of arms an inch or two, repeat the operation on the opposite pair of arms. Tugging on the one pair of arms will result in straining the machine, so they must be gently eased all around. 
original manufacturers notice to purchasers of the woolwinder

The legs are a bit stiff and only 2 of them extend fully. 

wool winder stand

The patent information seems to have been poorly stamped into the foot of the stand. So poorly in fact that it makes me wonder if the idea was to make it appear to be an original with the patent information but was actually a rip-off of the original. At least we can tell it is British.

patent stamp

 The arms rotate on their post and can be extend quite some distance.  

woolwinder arms extended to maximum

Quite the nifty little contraption don't you think? When do you think it was made?


  1. I would never have guessed that! How does it work?

    1. 'm not entirely sure. I always thought that it was used to take yarn off the spinning wheel spindle and turn it into a skein. However it seems that you would use a 'niddy noddy' to do that.

      Once your yarn is in a skein it is easily washed or dyed.

      This contraption is more commonly referred to as a 'swift' today. The skein of yarn is placed so it goes around the outside of each arm and then the arms are extended to provide tension and keep the yarn in place. The yarn can then easily be unwound from it's skein and into a ball.

      This 4min youtube video probably explains better then I do. http://youtu.be/4CZBnsvDNBI

  2. Alright..seriously its difficult to guess! thanks for sharing & revealing :)

    1. I didn't realise it would be such a tough one :o)

  3. This is really cool! I love finding strange things like this in thrift stores. I just bought a little box that looks like an old post office box, but I can't crack the alpha combo lock on it! I love the mystery. :)

    1. I think I found it at an antique fair. It hit my cool meter too. It would drive me nuts not being able to open your box!


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