Monday, June 15, 2015

String markers

Sleeve with marker
Recently a knitting friend asked the group if anyone had a row counter handy, because hers wasn't.  I realized I don't use a row counter.  There are a lot of really fun tools out there for counting rows and otherwise keeping track of shaping when instructions indicate to do something or other on a regular basis.  I have tried using row counters and pencil-and-paper to keep track of where I am and what I need to do next.  I end up keeping a couple of pieces of string in my kit, instead.

Here's a sleeve where I decreased 1 stitch at each end of every 6th row >>>

The sleeve is stitched from the armhole down to the wrist, with the armhole at the bottom of the photo and the wrist at the top of the photo.  It is stitched in rows, joining the end of the row to the beginning, then turning the piece to do the next row.  The marker is a yellow piece of thin string, which came at a very reasonable price from a tube of some incredible yardage from the hardware store.  Don't know the fiber content- it's not relevant.  It is smooth and thin and contrasts with the yarn of the project, which are the bits that matter.

Attaching and using the string marker
When I started working the sleeve, I attached the marker in the first decrease.  At the end of the same row, I remembered to decrease again, because what I am doing is decreasing 1 stitch at each end of the row.  The string is just hanging there, waiting for the next time I need it.

Since I am decreasing every 6th row (that's an even number), I know that I will always do a decrease row with the same side of the fabric facing me (in this case, the RS).

So at the end of that first row, I decrease.  Then I worked 5 more rows without doing anything with the marker.  But I do look at my piece to keep an eye on where I am in the process.  It is easy to read the rows.

When there have been 5 rows worked even, and I'm starting the next row, I catch the string as I make the decrease, enclosing it in the stitch.  At the end of the row, I decrease again.  If I were afraid of forgetting that decrease, I could have enclosed the marker string in that decrease, too, or used another thin string to mark those decreases, too, but that seemed redundant.

No pieces of paper.  No row counter.  It's just the piece of string.

Another good thing is that if the decreases are done correctly, the string in the piece shows how nicely the decreases line up over each other.

Once the shaping is done, I untie the knot securing the beginning of the marker and just pull it out.

It would have worked just as well to use a shorter piece of string, without securing it at the beginning.  Then, as the sleeve grew, I would pull the string to mark the current decrease, having it just long enough to mark the previous couple of decreases.

String is good.


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