There are two basic types of stitch markers: ring stitch markers, and removable stitch markers. There are a lot of variations of both, so you can find what works best for you. This is also a great place to find fun things to look at while you’re knitting! There are many handmade stitch markers available.
Solid ring stitch markers
These may not be actual rings, but they are all closed shapes with a hole in the middle so you can slip them on a knitting needle. They can be soft and flexible, or they can be rigid. Occasionally one will be better to use than the other, but mostly it is personal preference whether to use flexible or rigid ring markers.
○ Soft markers are made of a variety of materials:
- Flexible plastic
- Elastic loop
- Cord loop
- Beading wire loop – Most wire loop stitch markers have a charm of some kind. Most of these are just for fun, but sometimes they may have charms that can give knitting instructions, like YO.
- Rubber – rubber o-rings, bracelet making loops, and tiny hair ties can be used as stitch markers
○ Rigid stitch markers may be made of a hard plastic and may be die cut, molded, or even 3d printed. They can also be made of metal and can be cast or made from jump rings.
Jump ring markers usually have a bead glued over the join to prevent the ring from opening and to keep it from snagging your yarn. Some metal ring markers are hand formed from wire, may have hammered details
Ring stitch markers are the one you need in bulk. These can be soft/flexible or rigid. They come in many materials: plastic, rubber, cord, wire, elastic. You can even improvise these as needed with small loops of yarn. (In fact, someone posted a photo on Reddit of using a leaf to improvise a stitch marker! I would stick with the yarn loop in a pinch though.)
Locking stitch markers
Locking stitch markers can be opened and removed from your knitting. They can be used in a similar way as ring stitch markers, but they can also be clipped to particular stitches.
○ Clasp type stitch markers may have a lobster type clasp or be made from a closing earring finding. These are the most common kinds of handmade locking stitch markers.
○ Plastic safety pin type stitch markers are made of a slightly soft plastic and work much like a safety pin. They may look like little locks, or they can come in fun shapes, like sheep.
○ Bulb pins are very similar to safety pins, but they don’t have the spring coil. This makes them less likely to get snagged on the yarn
○ Even actual safety pins will work here, though you should be careful of the sharp point so it doesn’t split your yarn, and be careful of the spring coil too.
Split Stitch Markers
Split stitch markers are sort of a cross between locking stitch markers and ring stitch markers. A split stitch marker is a flat ring that is open, so you can use it both on a needle or to mark a specific stitch – most of these are plastic, but there are some metal options as well.
Charms for Stitch Markers
Charms attached to handmade stitch markers come in a lot of styles. There are a lot of options for dangly stitch markers with charms. Beads and charms like those that might be used in jewelry are often used as charms on stitch markers. Some people are talented at small polymer clay sculptures, which can be very cute and make great stitch markers. And plastic charms are common as well, such as those made from shrink plastic.