With the 11th annual DFW Fiber Fest less than a week away, it was time to prepare for this year's stitch marker swap! I participated in the swap at the inaugural Stitches Texas market back in September and am only too eager to do so again next weekend. The collection of stitch markers I brought home last summer is such a fantastic souvenir of the event, aside from the obvious yarn-binging of course. I love being able to dive into my notions tin and come up with at least one marker that matches my current project perfectly.
Six months ago, I showed you how to make your own stitch markers using fishing line and crimp beads. This time, I'm changing it up a bit with metal jewelry findings.
10mm jump rings
4mm jump rings
I found these purple glass beads on the clearance rack for just $0.99 per package (28 beads per package). The larger jump rings will be able to accommodate needles up to a US size 11 (8mm). The head pins I had on-hand were 2 inches long, but I snipped them down to about 3/4 inch, so if you can find shorter ones, go right ahead.
First, I placed a bead on a head pin and made sure the head of the pin was larger than the hole in the bead. If not, you can use a smaller bead on the bottom as a stopper of sorts. Then, I snipped off the excess length of head pin with my wire cutters, leaving about 1/2 inch above the top of the bead. I used my round-nose pliers to make a loop at the top. And finally, I used my flat-nose pliers to open up one of the smaller jump rings and connect the head pin loop to a larger jump ring.
And that's all there is to it! Rinse and repeat until you have a few markers for your own use or 75-100 for a swap, depending on the event and how many participants are expected. Since I was making so many, I set up a little assembly line. I would snip a bunch of head pins down the size, then add beads and make loops until my hand hurt, then add jump rings until my hand hurt in a different way, and so on and so forth until I had them all completed.
While in the jewelry making section of Michaels, I also found them bracelet blanks, two to a pack. I think they'll be the perfect solution to carrying these stitch markers around the vendor area, with my handmade markers on one bracelet and another ready to receive all the glorious stitch markers from the other swappers. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!