Besides the obvious qualities desired in any tool (that it fulfil its function, not break, etc) the ideal stitch marker, it seems to me, should easily slide from one needle to another; be light weight; be thin enough not to interfere with the knitting; not snag the yarn; not "jump" from between one stitch to another or fall off; and, oh yes, be just as attractive as the yarns that, after all, entice us to knit the first place.
I'd seen some quite attractive stitch markers, make with gallery wrapped austrian crystals on sterling split rings, that provided a reasonable first approximation. Substituting soldered copper rings and mini-hollows gave me quite usable sitch markers for making socks, but the copper rings seemed rigid. So I did some research and discovered that people were using tigertail and other multi-stranded cable, which struck me as eminently sensible.
The simplest, and, to my eye, most attractive designs featured a loop with its ends threaded thru a bead and finished at the bottom with a crimp. This would be fine for personal use, or if the bead were epoxied onto the tigertail, but I wanted something secure that didn't require glue, not least because my beads are transparent, and the glue would show (besides the typical bead stringer's horror at ruining a bead by filling it with glop.)
Shown with needles...not really sure of the size, at this point. I think the knitting is roughly 4–5 rows per inch, though.
I solved the problem by cross stringing beadalon thru a small "stopper" bead above mini-hollow. This serves to lock the focal bead in place, and the whole business is crimped at the bottom. I made these in a couple of sizes, wrapping the loops around 1/4 and 3/8" mandrels. But it would be particularly nice to have a 3-row counter for cat bordhi sock designs, which is what I needed stitch markers for. So I tried a three loop version, using liquid silver and it was pretty ugly. So ugly, in fact, that I a) never bothered, evidently, to photograph it, or b) or finish this post.
Ultimately, I came to prefer the copper soldered ring version of stitch markers: those tiny 5mm rings work better with the small, sock-yarn needles I tend to use. But these would be great for bigger needles and coarser yarn, and the silver plated beadalon is pretty.
It doesn't really matter, nobody wanted these, so I kept ’em all for me, those that I haven't lost over the intervening decade or so...
This post was definitely not shown, it leaves off in the middle of a sentence, here...
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