I like pretty tools.
Obviously, they have to do the job they’re intended for. But is it wrong to want them to be at least as pretty as they are useful?
Of course not. So, that really nice, high quality, razor sharp pair of small (and plain) scissors I paid a pretty penny for tend to stay on the peg board–I gravitate towards my pair of gold-plated swan scissors. And that meant the serviceable plastic stitch markers I bought in bulk had a severely limited life cycle…especially since they were limited in size.
The problem was finding stitch markers I loved. I did buy two sets at my LYS of nice carved pewter ones that I liked, but there was no love. I wanted something…dangly. Something colorful. Something pretty. Something me.
And that meant something custom…but I wasn’t sure where to go. Then Genuine posted about some stitch markers she was getting from Molly, an artist who offers hand-dyed yarns and rovings, as well as handmade jewelry and stitch markers. I hoped over to Molly’s store, Nerdclub 2000, and liked the quality of what I saw. There wasn’t anything in the colors I was looking for, but I quickly spotted the button to “Request Custom Item.”
My heart started beating a little faster.
So I sent Molly a note briefly outlining what I was looking for. Honestly, I figured I’d give her a couple loose guidelines and she’d put something together. Molly, it turns out, is a very conscientious and thorough artist. We had several back and forths where we pinned down exactly what colors in what shades I liked, and Molly even gave me the opportunity to give my opinion on several specific types of beads. I know I certainly had a better idea of what I wanted by the time it was all said and done!
Molly offered to show me pictures of the finished products, but I decided I wanted to be surprised…and then part of me regretted that decision from the day I made it until today–because today, my waiting ended. And I truly, absolutely, could not be happier with the result. I tried to tell Molly right away how much I loved them, but I couldn’t come up with the right words.
How about that nice packaging?
There are three different types of markers in my new set. First, I got two sets of fixed ring stitch markers, one large and one small:
After much internal debate, I finally selected the turquoise stitch markers as my favorite. I love the black beads with them, because it really brings out the black lines in the turquoise beads. And turquoise is just one of my favorite stones; I was really hoping Molly used some. The subdued pearl beads come in a very close second. I really love the colors. And here’s a cute detail I didn’t notice at first–just one of those markers has a small crystal bead added. Once I saw that, I took a closer look at all of my markers, and that appears to be Molly’s signature: in each set, there’s one marker that matches all the others…except for one little touch that makes it stand out. In the turquoise set, four of five markers have beads that are all about the same size; the fifth has beads that are definitely larger.
For those items I’m knitting on larger needles, I also got a set of adjustable markers:
This is the only set where the beads are so different from each other, but they work beautifully together. And the larger overall beads have the oomph to really stand out on the bigger needles and the types of knitting they’d hold. I love the variety in this set.
Lastly, I need a marker I could use to mark the right side of my knitting–I’d already had to frog one project because I lost track. What kind of marker did I need? I really had no idea. But when I described what I needed to Molly, she came up with the perfect solution:
This set tied for my second favorite; I adore the purple standout marker.
Now, I just need to start a couple projects so I have an excuse to use these gorgeous markers. Heck, I might throw them on the garter stitch burp cloth I’m knitting just so I can look at them. But I’d actually rather cast on something new. Hey, why don’t I cast on my new hand-dyed yarns from Molly?
Maybe the turquoise with Here Comes the Sun (left)? And the pearls with Tiptoe Through the Tulips (right)? Hmmmm…decisions, decisions… C’mon–with choices like this, you’d have trouble choosing too.