Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not just another stitch marker…

I HAVE THIS NEED TO BE DIFFERENT. I really cannot tolerate sameness in myself. It’s OK for others, but if life doesn’t have extravagant variety, then why do another day? So, in seeking the more unusual, creative, and colorfully unique, I have taken roads less traveled by others. Blame it on my inner gypsy. I call her Shalimar. Shalimar has the quality of a multi-faceted crystalline jewel. She appears to be different from every angle. Sometimes she’s raw and uncut by nature, often childlike and playful, and other times polished and classy, …but always unique. At times, she can be very demanding, and make me do things “the hard way,” and sometimes she gets me into trouble. …Consider the time she had had enough of a painful and confining marriage and ran off to California and learned how to do acupressure massage and play with energy. …Or the times she just had to go to China. …And how many other brides have Chinese Lion dancing at their weddings? …Especially when they aren’t even Chinese? (She said that a wedding ceremony should be meaningful and fun for the groom too, and when one marries a devoted Kung Fu man, that’s the sort of thing to do.) One thing for certain, following my inner gypsy has made life very interesting. She is responsible for these stitch markers: I absolutely advocate making your own stitch markers. They are so much fun and easy to do, and allow you the opportunity and freedom to express your own inner desires for creativity.

What you need:
beads of your choice, size 18 gauge wire, and a set of inexpensive beading tools (round-nose pliers, wire cutters (an old scissors may do), a small hammer, and an old metal knitting needle larger than the size you will be knitting with. I have two different sized sets of markers. One is for larger needles, and the other I use on needles up to size 8).

What to do:

  1. Determine how long you will need to cut your wire by doing a demo. I cut mine about 8 inches long.
  2. Start by winding the wire around the round-nose pliers to create the center of the spiral. Then, hold the center between you thumb and fingers, and begin turning to wrap the wire around the center. Deviate as you wish. However, do keep in mind that by keeping the twists and turns as compact (less open) as possible, will minimize the stitch marker getting caught in your knitting. I have learned NOT to use these with any lacey knitting. The combination is impossible. Hammer this part gentle to flatten it slightly. This will help keep it in shape.
  3. Add your beads as you wish. It is best not to have a dangle that is long or heavy.
  4. Hold the top of your dangle with the needle-nose pliers so that it is snug. Then, bend the wire at a 90-degree angle. Hold the top of the bent wire close to the bend. Wrap the wire around the pliers near to the size of your knitting needle. Insert the knitting needle, adjusting the size of the circle.
  5. Holding the circle firmly, begin to wrap the wire around its stem. Wrap closely, and snip it close with the wire cutter. Smooth the end into the stem so that it will not catch, feeling even to the touch.

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