The other day I posted a photo on Instagram of the latest in my series of Sophie Scarf projects, and the internet went wild.
Wild, I tell you.
Everybody wanted to know what that running strand of orange (MDK Atlas, shade Clementine) was for. When I said that it was a yarn marker to help me keep track of rows so that I could space my increases and decreases correctly, the people clamored—clamored, I tell you—to know this secret trick.
You better come get your nan, I think she got lost in my DMs (my DMs). (Apologies to Lizzo.)
No tip is so self-explanatory that it wouldn’t benefit from Jen Arnall-Culliford showing you how to do it. In the video up top, Jen teaches the humble homely yarn marker.
Pattern: Sophie Scarf. Yarn: MDK Atlas in Citron, a lemony yellow that is lighting up the January gloom.
It goes like this: The first time you make an increase, you lay a strand of yarn (ideally in a contrasting color) over a stitch in that row. That yarn is a visual marker from which you count the rows (in this case 8 rows, or 4 garter ridges—I always prefer to count garter ridges) to your next increase. When you make that next increase, you flip the yarn to the other side of the work. Over time, that strand of yarn makes a visual record of the inchworm-like regularity of your increases and decreases. It’s super intuitive, and super handy.
It saves a lot of counting, a lot of squinting at your work to find the last increase row, and worry about whether you forgot to click your row-counter thingie or make a hash mark on a scrap of paper. The increases are marked right there in your knitting, plain as day.
This past weekend, I got the chance to sit and knit with Nashvillian Kelley Dew, who then also posted a yarn marker-on-Sophie-Scarf picture that lit up the world wide web. When knitters sit together, it’s amazing how much small-bore knitting know-how gets passed around. Everybody loves a sweet little trick. Sharing is caring!
One more piece of advice: don’t let that strand of yarn slip out of your knitting. It’s not the worst thing that could happen, but it’s better if it does not happen.