If you tend to knit on the go like I do, you’ve probably encountered this scenario before: you are out and about, and you reach a point in your project where you need stitch markers. You fish around in your bag, and come up short. Maybe you have none. Maybe you have one or two, but you need more than that. You find yourself scratching your head and wondering, what can I use for stitch markers?
It happens to the best of us, especially if we also tend to be a little bit disorganized. That’s okay. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, right?
And to make up for my constant state of chaos, I have come up with all sorts of solutions to use for stitch markers when I was in a pinch and needed a stitch marker fast. Here are some creative ideas you can try.
Paper Clips: the Squiggly Stitch Markers
If you are knitting in an office environment, paper clips tend to be pretty abundant. Paper clips also come in different sizes, so you can use larger or smaller clips depending on what you’re making. While a paper clip probably won’t be a good fit for a super bulky-weight project, just about anything else should work.
If you decide to use a paper clip as a stitch marker, I’d suggest using it in its original shape. Don’t try to unbend it and make a circle. Doing that will just leave you with some poky ends that are more likely to snag in your yarn.
Hair Ties: for When Your Knitting Needs a Ponytail
If you have long hair, you’ve probably got a hair tie or two stashed away in your purse, worn on your wrist, shoved in a wallet or makeup bag, or randomly floating around somewhere. I tend to leave hair ties behind me like breadcrumbs.
While they’re useful for keeping your hair out of your face, they are also great stitch markers. They come in different thicknesses and different circumferences, so some will be better than others for certain projects, but just about all of them will do in a pinch.
Rings You’re Wearing: Basically Just Giant Stitch Markers
If you don’t wear jewelry, this one probably won’t be super helpful, but otherwise, hear me out. A ring is a ring. A stitch marker is essentially a ring. It’s just a very small ring.
If you’re wearing one that you feel comfortable taking off and putting on your knitting, that can serve as a great temporary stitch marker. While my wedding and engagement rings never leave my fingers, I have definitely taken off costume jewelry from my right hand and used it as a stitch marker when I needed it.
A Loop of Yarn Tied Off Nice and Tightly: For Truly Desperate Times
If you happen to have scrap yarn in your bag, you can break off a short length of the scrap yarn, tie it into a loop nice and snug, and pop it onto your needles.
Then again, if you don’t have scrap yarn and you’re really desperate, you can take a look at the tail left over after you cast on your work. If that tail is long enough, you can snip a little bit off and make a loop out of it.
Either way, that loop of yarn will be visible enough on your needles that you can use it as a stitch marker. Ta da! Easy peasy solution.
Getting things done on the go sometimes requires a little creativity and ingenuity. If you’re just willing to look a little bit silly for a short period of time, you don’t have to stop knitting. You just have to be a little creative. Have fun and happy stitching.
In case you want to stock up on stitch markers so you don’t have to use these creative solutions, here are links to some of my favorites. Some of these are affiliate links, which means if you choose to buy something through those links, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I will always identify affiliate links for you. Thanks for supporting my work!
Knit Picks stitch markers (great for using in large quantities) (affiliate link)
Twice Sheared Sheep stitch markers (affiliate link)