Yarn Markers

Yarn markers are just what their name says they are--markers made out of strongly contrasting yarn. They are temporary, and are removed when the garment is completed. Hand knitters and crocheters frequently use commercially-manufactured plastic ones, or sometimes safety pins that do not have a coil on the end. These can also be used with knitting machines, but yarn markers are the traditional method. Since we use waste yarn anyway, these little bits of yarn are virtually free, and can simply be snipped and discarded when no longer needed.


yarn marker 1

Method 1
There are three main ways to make a yarn marker. This is the simplest one. Cut a piece of yarn approximately 6" long. Drape it over the hook of the appropriate needle. Do not knit it through the stitch; just lay it in the hook. It will knit together with the main color stitch on the next row, but is easy to pull out later. If the yarn ends interfere with the carriage, put a clothes pin or clamp on the ends to hold them down out of the way.

yarn marker 2

Method 2
Cut a length of yarn about 6" long. Fold in half and tie a simple overhand knot close to the ends. Place the loop over the stitch to be marked. This method is used most often on an edge, to mark the beginning of the armhole, for example. It is also very useful to use in long items, such as an afghan panel, placing a marker every 20 rows, or whatever you personally prefer; this makes it easier to keep seams even later when assembling the completed item.

Using this loop-style marker, with knotted ends, prevents the marker from accidentally being pulled out. When you no longer need it, simply snip it and remove.

yarn marker 3

Method 3
When you need to mark an interior point, such as the division between shoulder and neck, you can use either of the above markers. However, many people find this method works better. The yarn goes between the stitches (in this case, the last shoulder stitch and the first neck stitch).

Cut a piece of yarn approximately 6" long. Do not knot the ends. At the point where you wish a marker, insert the latch tool under the bar between stitches. Catch the fold of yarn, pull it through, then catch both ends of the marker yarn and pull them through the loop. Tighten just enough to hold the marker in place. When you no longer need the marker, pull on the fold of the loop to loosen it, and either snip it or enlarge the loop and pull the ends free.

Tutorial Index

This tutorial was copyrighted and uploaded to the original Clearwater Knits website in 1997. This page was added July 29, 2016.