I confess: I get bored knitting simple repetitive patterns. If a project is mostly stockinette or garter stitch, I won’t stick with it long enough to finish! But knitting complicated patterns keeps my brain occupied (as well as producing beautiful knitted creations!)
I knit almost exclusively from charts like this:
And I’m often knitting while my family watches TV around me, so keeping track of where I am in the pattern can be a challenge. Using stitch markers is what saves my sanity!
When I adapt a chart from one of my Japanese knitting books, I add colored markings to some of the columns. Then I use stitch markers to mark those pegs on my loom. If I get distracted while knitting, I never have to count more than a few pegs to know where I am on the chart.
I’ve learned over time to choose strategic spots in a pattern for marking.
For example, in the chart above, I’ve marked the center stitch in the pattern pink. The edges are marked in blue to separate them from the garter stitch border. And the green columns are about half-way between the other markings. So the stitch markers would be placed on the loom like this:
The white markers show the turning pegs at the end of the rows, so I don’t have to remember if there are any empty pegs. (I’ll explain turning pegs in another post. I don’t include those pegs on my charts.)
There are some essential tools for using this technique in your loom knitting. First, you need a way to add the markings to your chart. The low-tech way to do this is to use highlighters or markers on a printed chart. But I like being able to edit knitting charts, so I’ve found an app for that! I use an app called Knitting Chart (which is only available for Apple devices.) But there are many knitting chart apps, and most of them have marking tools that will do the job.
You also need stitch markers that will fit on your loom. You can find different sizes of stitch markers in your favorite craft or yarn store. I had trouble finding markers small enough to fit on my fine gauge Kiss looms, so I made some simple ones from jewelry wire. They can be easily bent to fit wherever I need them.
So, if you want to tackle some complicated (and beautiful) stitch patterns, do yourself a favor and use this technique to make it easier!