Thursday, January 18, 2007

Stitch Markers

Most of my stitch markers are rather plain--the kind you can get for a few bucks at a yarn shop or even Joanne's or Michael's. I have the little orange and green plastic pins and the green and purple rings among others. The other night, I reached into my tools bag to get a stitch marker. It's not very organized in there, so it took a bit of doing, but I was able to pull one out. I try to put them back into the little plastic pocket they come in. But, when I pulled out that little pocket, there were perhaps four in there. Where do they all go?

Some of them are hanging out on UFOs. I've got a number of those hanging around, still on the needles even (unless, by some great misfortune, I needed those needles for something else in which case I should rip out the project because I'll never remember what size needles I was using for that project). But not that many. I probably own fifty or more stitch markers and yet, it seems they are all gone.

On the other hand, I feel like I must have a very large number of them because I find them everywhere. Around my apt., I understand. I set them down on a table, or the bed, or the couch--wherever I'm knitting--instead of putting them away right away and then forget they are there. So, there are a little piles of stitch markers on just about every flat surface in the apt. If I need a large number of them at once, I have to go around and gather them like berries (or buy more). However, they do show up in odd places like the bathroom or the kitchen. Perhaps some people knit while sitting on the toilet or in the shower, but I'm not one of them. I can't tell you how many we found under the bed when we packed it up for California. These, I can blame on the cat. We have a wood floor and these markers slide across it like little hockey pucks on ice. I've seen him batting at them from time to time. This is probably how they ended up under the bookcases. Because, while conceivably I could fit under the bed and be knitting there (!) I definitely do not fit under the bookshelves.

I also find them in the car. This can probably be explained by the fact that every so often, I knit in the car. But not on the driver's side. So I'm not sure how they get over there. I find them in the lab on the floor around my desk and bench. I've found them on my lab bench. How did they get there? I don't use them in my experiments (I've found that the bacteria and yeast can grow happily without a little plastic pin stuck in the petri plate). I don't sit at my desk or my bench and knit, either. Yet, there they are. When I visit my relatives, inevitably a week after I get home I get a card in the mail with a stitch marker taped to the inside of it (a good way to get sent cards, I guess!).

As a scientist, I am trained to look at all of the evidence and draw my conclusions from that. Therefore, I present you with Elisabeth's Great Theory of Stitch Marker Displacement: I shed them. No, really. I leave behind little plastic rings everywhere I go the same way my cat leaves behind half of his fur everywhere he goes (or, looked at another way, like a bunny leaves behind little brown pellets on your floor everywhere he goes). People used to complain that they found my hair everywhere after I had visited. Now, it's stitch markers. I wouldn't be surprised if my roommate found one in his underwear drawer (where, apparently, he has found one of my hairs--he was very disturbed about this, as I'm sure you can imagine; he claims this is why he doesn't allow the cat in his bedroom--bad enough my hairs end up in his unmentionables but if the cat hair did too, it would be even more unnerving).

I have a set of fancy stitch markers that are still in their packaging. I'm afraid to use them. I'm sure they're going to wind up in some unlikely place like the vegetable drawer in the fridge (also known as Where Cucumbers Go to Die). Or Roommie's sock drawer (I can hear his boyfriend now, "What is this earring doing in your sock drawer? Is there something you're not telling me about?"). Or in the PCR machine ("Eureka! I put in this DNA and out came this pretty bobbled zipper pull!"). Or in some place even I can't imagine ("We've discovered why your shower isn't draining properly ma'am--do these little rings look familiar?").

Don't get me wrong, it can be beneficial, too. I was knitting in a seminar once, wishing I had a stitch marker, and it turned out I had one in my jeans pocket (probably put there by whoever randomly puts a dollar bill in there that I discover just when I need it, or a kleenex right before I throw them in the wash, if they're feeling malicious). It probably says something about me that I even thought there might be one in my pocket. So, I'm a little concerned that it's another step on the road towards That Crazy Woman Who Lives in 3A. I would rather not be known as That Woman Who Leaves Behind Little Plastic Circles All Over the House. On the other hand, if we're knitting together in some obscure location, you can look at me and ask if I have a stitch marker and I probably have one on me somewhere (just don't be surprised if I have to take my shoe off to get to it). And really, what more could you want in a friend?


  1. I have found that I am obsessively anal about my fancy(ier) stitch markers. I've got to document their whereabouts at all times. No fancies lying under the couch.

  2. I too find stitch markers in every place imaginable!! I've even gotten calls from non-knitting friends who will discover my little friends weeks after I've been to their house!!

  3. so glad I'm not the only one that does this! I swore that this year I would pay better attention to what I do with things!

  4. Will you disown me if I say I only own one little packet of stitch markers (the green and orange ones) and I still know where all 10 of them are?

  5. Uh, that's all 20 of them.