Forgot Your Stitch Markers? MacGyver those Knitting Notions!

Imagine you’re out for coffee, traveling, or on your daily commute, happily knitting away on your current WIP. Suddenly, your fingers stop knitting and you’re overwhelmed with embarrassment and dread: you’ve reached a new portion of your pattern and don’t have the necessary notions to continue. If you’re like me, you spend a few minutes berating yourself for not reading ahead, but you’re determined to keep knitting. It’s time to think teach your old brain new tricks, finding new ways to use familiar objects. Emergency knitting notions are everywhere—you just have to get creative.

Because I’m rather forgetful, I’ve used many of these MacGyvered notions myself, though some are ideas I made up for this article (and plan to test in the future). So when you find yourself in a no-notion situation try some of these replacements.


• Nail clippers
• Keys
• The cutter from a floss container
• Teeth
• Hands (if it’s soft enough, rip it apart)
• Sharp table edge (saw the yarn)

Stitch Markers

• Rubber band
• Hair tie
• Paperclip
• Extra yarn tied into a loop
• Keychain
• Key ring
• Soda can tab
• Floss tied in a loop
• Ring

Measuring Tape

• Piece of paper (8.5” x 11″)
• U.S. dollar bill (7 cm x 16 cm)
• Swatch (if you knit and blocked it to 4″)
Interweave Knits, knitscene, or knit.wear (all 21 cm x 28 cm)
Your phone or laptop (search online for the dimensions)

Knitting Needles

• Pencils
• Sticks (clean ones, please)
• Crochet hooks (wrap tape around the hook to create a smooth surface)

Cable Needle

• A regular knitting needle from an interchangeable set
• Pencil

Stitch Holder

• Yarn
• Necklace
• Bracelet
• Paperclip
• Pen
• Tweezers (also great for picking up dropped stitches)
• Crochet hook

Do you have any stories or ideas on how to MacGyver your knitting notions? Tell us about them in the comments!


Speaking of notions, check out the tools available at Interweave.


  1. Lorien S at 12:05 pm December 21, 2017

    The colored bands that come with Braun electric toothbrush heads make excellent stitch markers if you don’t need the kind that open like a safety pin.

  2. Barbara J R at 9:37 am December 22, 2017

    Crochet hooks are the best cable needles – better than cable needles because the hook keeps the yarn from slipping off.

  3. Kris P at 6:04 pm December 23, 2017

    When knitting needles were banned on airlines, I regularly knit with multiple styluses. Round marker was my wedding ring. Cable needle was the plastic drink stirrer. Stitch holder was a bobby pin with yarn tied on (still is!)

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