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.

How To Start A New Crochet Row

How To Start a A New Crochet Row 5 Ways

Did you know that there's more then one way to start a new crochet row?

Check out these 5 different methods for starting a new row when working in double crochet stitches and boost your crochet skills to the next level. 

Each of these methods can easily be adapted for other crochet stitches.

Stitches - US terms

Ch - Chain Stitch
SC- Single Crochet
DC - Double Crochet
SDC - Standing Double Crochet
Ch-lessSDC - Chainless Starting Double Crochet

How To Start a A New Crochet Row 5 Ways

1. Chain Three

Chain 3 - counts as a stitch
Starting Double Crochet Chain 3 Method

Chaining three stitches is the traditional method for starting a new crochet row and also the easiest. Most patterns will use the chain 3 method and expect you to substitute a more advanced technique if that is your preference.

The drawback with using the chain 3 method is it leaves gaps in your work as the chains are skinnier then a double crochet. Also vexing is the difficulty of working a stitch into the third chain when coming back along the next row. Method 2 mitigates these problems.

2. Chain Two, Double Crochet In First Stitch

Chain 2 stitches - these chain stitches do not count as a stitch for this row - then DC into the first stitch of the previous row. The DC is counted as a stitch.

Starting Double Crochet Chain Two, Double Crochet In First Stitch Method
This method is also easy to work however if you're not very good at counting stitches or differentiating between the chain stitches and double crochet you can quickly end up in a pickle by working into the chain stitches and the double crochet adding unwanted stitches into your project.

This method can also create quite a wobble along the edges of your project, however it does eliminate that chain 3 gap.

3. Single Crochet, Chain Two

SC, Ch 2 - counts as a stitch.
Starting Double Crochet Single Crochet, Chain Two Method
To overcome the dangers of miscounting or adding in unwanted stitches another way to minimise the chain 3 gap is to single crochet into the first stitch of the previous row and chain 2. This lessens the gap considerably but it's not a perfect solution.

This method is ideal for the intermediate level crocheter. Working into the first stitch of a row with a single crochet without the aid of a turning chain requires the ability to easily manipulate your work and maintain tension.

4. Standing Double Crochet

Standing Double Crochet when joining a new colour - counts as a stitch.

Starting Double Crochet Using Standing Double Crochet Method
When searching for a better solution this is the method that commonly shows up, however it is really only useful if you're joining a new colour.

To work the Standing Double Crochet stitch you need to be quite dexterous and hold onto that loop so it doesn't twist away from you and slide around your hook. Once you have mastered this stitch you will be all set to learn the next method.

There are other methods of joining a new colour which could also be used but we will delve into those another time.

5. Chainless Starting Double Crochet

Chainless Starting DC - counts as a stitch.

Chainless Starting Double Crochet Method
This row starting technique is the most advanced of the five. The Chainless Starting DC is suitable for those with intermediate to advanced crochet skills. It's also my favourite way to start a new row and once I'd learnt how to work this stitch I never looked back.

Chainless Starting DC is slightly bulkier then a normal double crochet stitch however it is the closest you can get to a normal DC when working continuously. As you work the following row the shape of the stitch improves and really disappears into the rest of the stitches.

Again you need to be able to hold onto the loop on the hook while you work the rest of the stitch so it doesn't just untwist and fall apart. With a little practice I'm sure you'll love this stitch as much as I do. 

How To Start A New Crochet Row 5 Ways