Knitting Blog

Make Your Own Knitting Stitch Markers

If you’re an experienced knitter, you probably already have stitch markers in your knitting kit. But what if you’re working on a huge project and you run out of knitting markers? What if you’re traveling or knitting in public and suddenly need a knitting marker? It’s time to get resourceful.

From markers that are as fancy as your favorite earrings to markers made from household items, there’s a way to make a knitting marker in almost any situation.

Here a few ideas to help you out when you’re stuck without a marker.

Bead stitch Marker
Photo via DesiLoopbySSK 

Snag-free stitch markers

These snag-free stitch markers are so pretty that they look like jewelry. It’s no surprise that they’re actually made using jewelry supplies like beading wire, crimping beads, and a crimping tool.

How to make the stitch markers
Twisted Stitch Markers
Photo via Monika Sirna

Twisted stitch markers

This collection of knitting markers isn’t just for marking your stitches. They also hold important information like directions (right, left, back, front) or specific instructions (slip, slip, knit) so that you can remember why you marked the stitch. Alphabet beads, sold in any craft store, help you out. You can customize the markers to say anything depending on the project you’re working on. When you’re finished, just untie the markers and reuse the beads for your next project.

How to make the twisted stitch markers

Household items

You can grab a lot of items from around your home or even your local coffee house if you’re knitting in public. Try a few of these as stitch markers.

1. Paper clips:

Bend and shape paper clips to slide over the needle. Try to choose smoother clips, as ridged clips can get stuck on your yarn.

2. Yarn:

Make a slip knot on a small piece of scrap yarn, leaving an opening big enough for your needle to slide through. This is especially handy if you knit while traveling. You can also cut this little piece from the opposite end of the skein you’re working with.

3. Straws:

Cut up the straw into tiny fragments and slide them onto the needle as markers.

4. Floss:

Floss might be difficult to see depending on the color and type you use, but it still gets the job done.

5. Safety pins:

Most of us have safety pins hanging around. (I even keep them in my wallet for clothing emergencies.) Be careful when using them as a knitting marker, as yarn can sometimes get caught in the closure and snag.

6. Old jewelry:

Put old jewelry to use as the most beautiful knitting markers you’ll ever see. Clip-on earrings and rings work especially well.

10. Embroidery floss:

This is already in most crafters’ supply stashes. Choose a color that contrasts your yarn so the marker will be more visible.

11. Jewelry findings:

Closures like toggles and jump rings can be slid onto your work just like a store-bought stitch marker.

Caught in a bind and don’t have anything on this list? Look around you for any object that’s small and round. If that’s not an option, just find some type of string or thread that will tie right onto your work.

Tomorrow on the Craftsy Blog, we’ll share a tutorial on how to knit the half brioche stitch.

What do you use for homemade knitting markers?


Linda Graff

Nice post. It’s the simple things that sometimes trip us up!


Old fashioned bobby pins work very well when doing Japanese short rows.


Small rubber bands sold for tiny braids or for rubber band looms.

Sandy Fitch

I use small covered hair elastics. They come in a variety of colors. They are big enough for size 17 needles but not too bulky for size 5. They don’t snag. They are easier to find if you drop one. And they are cheap enough that I don’t stress if I lose a few.

Cathy Lowe

They all sound really good things to use. I also keep a small crochet hook to hand in case I drop a stitch, makes it easier to pick it up and also if the row comes undone I can easily redo it.

Barb Clorite

I use markers for counting stitches when casting on more than 20 stitches. If you lose count, you can just count from the last marker. You can also make a free marker by tying a short scrap of yarn into a circle and use that.


Great idea. Thanks?


that’s what i do! Keeping count for long cast ons can be such a challenge!


I lose track all the time, I mark my cast on at 50


I’ve taken to saving the tabs from drink cans which can be upcycled into stitch markers for projects that aren’t too delicate (works well with tweed)


I use twist ties.

Michelle Ryan

Sleepers – my earrings any that clip together

Carrie I

I just started using them, and since I make scissor fobs and such, I decided to start making my own. Thank you for the ideas! 🙂


If you’re knitting on a circular needle and can’t therefore easily put the row tally onto the needle as you’d have to take it off every row….thread a length of string/yarn through a row tally stitch counter and tie the ends. That way, you have a stitch marker and a row counter at hand at all times!


The colored plastic circles which come on electric toothbrush replacement heads are perfect.

Mary Ann

Great idea, thanks! 👍


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