A really nice stitch marker is a good thing.
Sure, you can use a paper clip or a piece of string, but a hand-crafted beaded stitch marker makes the whole process of creating crochet even more pleasant.
Crochet markers can do lots of things: mark the beginning of a round, increases or decreases, certain points in a pattern. I also use them to secure my working loop so it doesn't unravel in my crochet bag. And, since I'm always starting new projects, I can't have too many of these little markers.
Plenty of crafters, on Etsy and elsewhere, make markers for knitting with a metal loop that slides onto the needle. It can be tougher to find hand-crafted markers for crochet, with the little clip-on connector. Why not make your own? With just minimal beading skills, you can make a slew of markers.
Here's what you need to get started:
All you need are a lobster claw closure, a head pin, and a bead or two that makes you smile, as well as round-nose pliers and cutting pliers.
If you can't tell the difference between a lobster claw and a jump ring or a head pin and wire, that's OK. All those things will be labeled at your local bead shop or craft store. The round-nose pliers and cutting pliers are jewelry tools, in case you were thinking of raiding your household tool chest. Quite possibly, your local bead shop will let you sit down and make these at the shop with their tools. But trust me, you'll soon want some of your own.
Here's how you make a stitch marker.
Slide bead onto head pin:
Make a simple loop.
For details on how to make this loop, check out this video at Beading Daily.
Nip off the extra wire with the wire cutters. Twist the loop to open, and slide on the lobster claw.
And if you get hooked on the whole beading thing (it happens), another final addition to your toolbox is Step-by-Step Beads. This magazine does just what its name says: Every project has detailed step-by-step instructions— with pictures!—for how to turn a pile of beads and wire into a woven bracelet or dangly earrings or a swingy necklace. In just a few steps, you'll be as pretty as your crochet projects!
And when you whip up a few of those stitch markers, share pictures on CrochetMe.com.