For most of my crochet life, I didn’t use locking stitch markers. If a pattern called for a stitch marker, I used scrap yarn instead. Once I started knitting, more patterns called for stitch markers and scrap yarn was a bit harder to substitute. I decided to buy locking stitch markers, which could be used for both knitting and crochet. And this is how I learned about many great uses for these cute little notions! I’m going to share 5 reasons to use locking stitch markers for crochet in this post, and maybe I can make you a convert, too!
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. Materials for this post were generously provided by Clover USA.
But first, let me tell you about my favorite locking stitch markers. Over the years, I’ve tried many different brands and I’ve even made my own (get the DIY locking stitch markers tutorial here). Hands down, my favorite locking stitch markers for crochet are the Clover Quick Locking Stitch Marker Set. The set has several different size stitch markers, comes in a portable storage case (with a closure that actually works), and, best of all, the markers are thin enough that they don’t stretch out your stitches.
Now that you know which stitch markers I recommend, read on for my 5 reasons for using locking stitch markers for crochet.
Reason 1: To mark stitches
This is the most obvious reason to use locking stitch markers for crochet! You can use the markers as called for in a pattern, or when designing your own projects. I find locking stitch markers to be especially helpful when I’m crocheting in the round in spirals without joining. Mark the first or last stitch of a round, mark corners, or mark the start or end of a special stitch pattern.
Reason 2: To make measuring easier
If you don’t have pets, you might just lay your project out and measure it every so often. But with two black cats, I try to avoid placing my projects down on any measuring surface unless absolutely necessary!
If my finished project needs to be 36″ long, I place a locking stitch marker on the side of a row halfway to that length (so, at 18″ in this example). Then I can just fold my project over periodically. Once both sides are the same length, I know it’s ready to finish up. This is a great trick to make measuring length for scarves and blankets and other long projects easier.
Similarly, you can also place a locking stitch marker periodically every certain number of rows. This is best for patterns where the length is measured by the number of repeats, rather than in inches or cm. It’s much easier to accurately count a smaller number of rows than a larger number of rows. So, for example, I might place a locking stitch marker at the edge of every 10th row if I’m supposed to crochet 50 rows. Once I have 5 markers placed, I know I have the right number of rows.
In the photo below, I’ve divided a long blanket in quarters and then I’ve marked off the sections so I can crochet an even number of stitches along the edge for the border.
Reason 3: To make seaming projects easier
Locking stitch markers are great tools for lining up stitches in motifs, garments, amigurumi, bags, and more before seaming.
I prefer using locking stitch markers to pins because there’s no need to worry about pricking my finger. You can lock the marker to chain spaces or to specific stitches – being sure to push it through both pieces – as you line up pieces for seaming.
Reason 4: To keep crochet from unraveling during travel
I crochet a lot while commuting. It’s really no fun to open your project bag to discover that a few rows or rounds have unraveled during transport.
Before putting a work in progress in my travel bag, I lock the loop that’s on my hook with a locking stitch marker. That way, if the hook loses its place in my bag, the loop (and my project) won’t unravel. You can also use this method to prevent unraveling while you’re seaming, or if you need to “borrow” your crochet hook from one project to use on another.
Reason 5: To mark the location for pieces to attach
Locking stitch markers can be used to mark the right location for attaching pieces. If your pattern mentions that a flower should be joined at round 3, for example, you can place the locking stitch marker as you finish that row so you don’t have to count later.
You can also use a locking stitch marker to pin appliques, pockets, and amigurumi pieces to the main project before joining. This will allow you to easily test out different positions, and to line up stitches before you make your final join.