Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Stitch markers tutorial (photo heavy)

It's been a tremendously long time since I did a tutorial, hasn't it?

I've been using some lovely stitch markers for my knitting, ones that I bought at Hide and Sheep. Today, as I was dozing off, I had a brainwave of how I could make stitch markers myself...I've been missing my big round nose pliers for several months, so have not taken a plunge into doing this, thinking I'd try once I found them again.

I just couldn't wait...and it turned out, there was no reason to.

You can see the basic supplies in the picture at right:
silver wire (half hard, 18 gauge)
Various beads, bead caps and spacers
wire cutters
chain nose pliers
round nose pliers (in this case, mini ones)

Start out by making a teeny, tiny loop in one end of your wire with your round nose pliers.

Next, string on your beads. Remember that the first bead you put on will be at the bottom of the stitch marker....

Using your chain nose pliers, make a right angle bend in the wire above the beads. Notice in the photo that I'm just holding the wire with the pliers and making the bend ABOVE the jaws of the pliers. This is important, as you want to have room to work later, and this builds in a little space.

Next, still holding the right angle above the beads in your pliers, wind the wire around your mandrel. This will give you the round top that your knitting needle will go through later, so make sure it's big enough to accommodate your favorite needle size. You'll notice in the picture that I'm holding the mini chain-nose pliers in my right hand underneath the mandrel. I want the loop to be as close to the right angle as I can get it.

Now, hold the loop in your chain nose pliers. wind the tail of the wire around that space you made below the right angle (trust me, doing it is so much easier than trying to explain it). Wind it around and around, keeping the wraps tight, until you run out of space. Use your wire cutters to cut off any excess wire flush with the wraps. If you leave anything sticking out here, it will get hooked up in your knitting! You can always use those chain nose pliers to force any 'stick-out'y bits into submission.

Et Voila! You have a stitch marker!

And you know me, I can never make just one....

Or just one variation, for that matter. The next set were done using a blown glass bead, bead cap, end, barrel spacer and wire with the same method. I think that's 20 gauge silver though, as I ran out of the 18 gauge.

Oh..and a quick credit to my oldest, who helped take photos of the 'in process' tricky bits above.

Oh, and who are these happy, happy people?

Me and my DH....happy landowners, leaving the lawyer's office. I had to get a snap of us in the first couple of minutes after we signed the final property transfer...after trying to take 3 pictures myself, DH took the picture. Like many things, I should just leave it to him. Really.




Suzanne Earley said...

your stitch markers are very cool!

you look a little dazed or something in your photo. congratulations on your land ownership!!

Lisa said...

'Deer in the headlights' is what I call this of my supermodel poses. Really. I only get to do it a few times in a lifetime. I'm soooo glad we caught it on film!

Kim said...