Interweave Yarn Hacks: DIY Stitch Markers
Before I got serious about knitting, my mom and I took beading classes together at a local shop and sold the jewelry we made at craft fairs. We never made much money, but we loved that we were learning a new craft, shopping for supplies, and spending time together.
One of my favorite beading projects is making earrings. It takes just a few beads, ear wires, and head pins, and you have a great gift for a friend or a new accessory for yourself. They’re quick, easy, inexpensive, and look very professional when you learn to make a secure wrapped loop using your pliers.
It didn’t take long before I figured out you could make beautiful stitch markers for knitting and crochet by using the same easy technique we used for earrings. What a great way to use leftover single beads that don’t make a matching pair! If you have several identical beads, you can make a matching set for a friend. Bonus points if you have a tiny organza bag to keep them in.
You can make these stitch markers without a ton of beading expertise, but I do have a few tips. I like to use the ring part of a toggle clasp because it already has a little hole on the bottom for attaching the wire and beads to the ring. You could probably also use a solid jump ring with a little finesse. For a removable stitch marker that is great for crochet, use a small to medium lobster clasp in place of the toggle piece.
There are many ways to make a wrapped loop, but this is my favorite: Start by loading your beads onto a head pin. Make sure the hole in your bottom bead is the right size so your pin doesn’t slip through. (If it is too big, maybe put a smaller bead on the bottom.) Don’t overload your head pin—you will need a lot of extra room up top to make the loop. With flat jewelry pliers, hold the head pin a few millimeters below where you would like the loop to be. Bend the wire over round pliers and wrap the wire two times below the loop. Carefully trim off excess wire with wire cutters. Tuck in any sharp ends with a light squeeze of your pliers. Ta-da!
It might take a few tries to get your wrapped loop technique down pat. Check out this short video if you’d like another look at making wrapped loops!
Happy knitting (and beading!),