I’m designing a knitting pattern at the moment that uses static markers. Unlike the “place marker for start of round” that most knitters are familiar with, a static marker does not move around in the knitting, it stays in one place. A static marker is often used to show where seams will be sewn, or where stitches will be picked up later in the pattern.
My Natty Knits patterns always suggest using scrap yarn as stitch markers. It’s my own personal preference and one I know that not everyone shares. I find the metal or plastic stitch markers very beguiling, they are often shiny or fun and there are so many kinds to choose from. But, whenever I’ve tried to use them, I’ve messed up the yarn, or the tension in the stitches or I don’t have the right size for my needles. Now I just use scrap yarn because it’s dependable, so that’s what I’ll be using to demonstrate with today.
There are two ways to place a static marker in your knitting. Mark the stitch or mark between stitches.
“pm on st” or mark the stitch
Thread some scrap yarn onto a tapestry needle and sew through the stitch loop on the left needle. Then remove the tapestry needle and knot the scrap yarn ends together. Make sure you leave at least an inch between the stitch and the knot (as shown below), so that the stitch marker will hang loosely and not pull at the stitch. Also, be extra careful to knit the stitch and not the stitch marker.
“pm between sts” or mark between the stitches
I use this kind of static marker a lot. It’s really good for marking where to pick up stitches later in the pattern. Pick ups can be made on either side of this maker or on both sides, as necessary.
Cut a long piece of scrap yarn and place it loosely between your needles (as shown below), then just knit right over it. It’s that simple.
The scrap yarn is held in place by the yarn you are knitting with. But if you want to tie the ends of the scrap yarn together for stability, that can be done at the end of the row. If the static markers are marking where stitches will be picked up, there will probably be a second static marker indicating where to stop picking up stitches. I often use the same piece of scrap yarn for the second marker and then tie the ends together. Once again, tie the ends loosely, so that the markers don’t pull on the fabric and so that you have room to pick up those stitches later.