I’m constantly surprised to find that many knitters aren’t familiar with this kind of marker and some of the wonderful things it can help you with when counting stitches and rows. These markers are especially useful when working on dpns, as they do not fall off when they happen to be at the junction between two needles.
A running yarn marker is simply a modest length of fine contrasting yarn, ideally about 8 – 12” in length, which is placed between stitches at the position to be marked.
Method: To establish the marker, take an 8 – 12″ length of contrasting marker yarn and place it 50/50 across the fabric between the needles. Continue to work stitches, ignoring the marker. On reaching the marker on the subsequent round, flip the top of the thread to the opposite side of the work. Initially flip the marker yarn every row/round to anchor it, once established the marker need only be flipped every few rows/rounds or when you wish to mark a special row/round, such as one with short rows or shapings.
NOTE: Left-hand yarn operators (or Continental) yarn operators must ensure that the marker is placed under the working yarn.
The marker yarn can be pulled up the work as you work or, if you wish to leave the marker in the work as a temporary record, more yarn can be tied on to the marker as necessary.
See my You Tube video for a demonstration.
Other ways to use Running Yarn Markers:
- Use colour coded markers. Mark the beginning of a round with a specific colour and use another colour to mark each pattern repeat. Mark either side of steeks with a particular colour and mark the side ‘seam’ positions with a red port (left) and green starboard (right) yarns.
- On a complex chart (intarsia, for example) make a major grid. Mark every group of 20 sts with a different colour marker yarn and draw the colour coded markers onto your chart. You will always know where you are. This is demonstrated on my Intarsia Untangled 1 DVD.
- Mark a reference position after a k2t decrease.
- Mark a reference position before an ssk decrease.
- Use a double ended marker placed on either side of a center double increase or decrease position to save you having to count the whole row.
- Keep track of a migrating start of round position.
- Keep a record of your rows/rounds worked. Flip the marker yarn every 10 rounds up a project, extending the marker yarn as needed. You can then count the number of rows any time and compare different parts of a garment later.
- Use the marker to count increase/decrease rounds, short row spacing, cable repeats.
A chapter demonstrating these techniques (and more besides) may be found on my Knitting Venus 1 DVD.
I love beautiful beaded fancy markers, but feel they are best used as earrings!
The pictures show my Air Conditioned Gloves with a migrating start of round marker. The pattern may be found in my new book A Little Book of BIG Holes for Hand-knitters!