Whenever I’m knitting, I always find myself in need of something. This time, it was stitch markers. I’m working on a bulky scarf and the stitch markers that come with those little kits just don’t fit. They’re too tiny. I rooted around my room for something that I could use and I stumbled across a stash of ponytail holders. They were definitely big enough for the needles and flexible enough to keep out of the way when it came to knitting those stitches.

If I could come up with something off the top of my head, I knew the collective hive mind of knitters could come up with even more hints and tips for knitting when you didn’t have the correct supplies. Whether if it’s because you’re on the go or you don’t have money for supplies, there’s always something around that you can use.

And so #macgyverknitting was born.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Find out what to do if you’re missing stitch holders: http://bit.ly/2cd5LKS #macgyverknitting” quote=”Click to share #macgyverknitting tips!”]

(If you’re too young to know Macgyver or if you’ve somehow manage to miss it via cultural osmosis, there’s a Macgyver wiki that has a list of every problem he’s solved on the show.)

It all started with a simple tweet.

The knitting hivemind on Twitter managed to be even more brilliant than I could have imagined.

They used writing utensils:

Unbent paper clips:

Paper clips and cardboard tubes:

Kilt pins(!):


I put out another couple requests for #macgyverknitting tricks and shared more of my own:

And the knitters responded with pencils:

I also found a couple tweets from ages ago, before this blog was even a twinkle in my eye, where a knitter, in desperation, used bobby pins as a tapestry needle and another used napkins as stitch markers:

I got a similar answer from another follower, except using straws instead of napkins:

Actually, the knitter above (@sameagegirls) is kind of hard core when it comes to DIY-ing her knitting supplies:

I don’t think I’ve ever considered filing blunt needles on the sidewalk.

Nor have I ever thought of using Silly Bandz as stitch holders:

Frankly, I’m beginning to notice a pattern with stitch markers. What is it about them? Are they so fiddly? Non-versatile? That no one really wants to use them? Or is just because they’re so small they get lost easily?

And my absolute favorite, Rube Goldberg-esque knitting fix is:

Knitting Tips and Tricks Summary

  • Ponytail holders, paperclips, napkins, straw wrappers, rubber bands, string, keyrings, and Silly Bandz can all be used for stitch markers
  • Pens, pencils, and screwdrivers are all suitable knitting needle replacements
  • Pens, kilt pins, and paperclips work as stitch holders
  • Screwdrivers can double as cable needles
  • Tapestry needles are unnecessary as long as you have bobby pins and paper clips
  • And you can wind yarn balls with nothing more than cardboard tubes or an RV handle, coffee mug, and a toe
Macgyver by dydyknits

A bonus trick with a crochet hook (from dydyknits)

#macgyverknitting Tips and Tricks | see more at knittingfornerds.com

[clickToTweet tweet=”Find out what to do if you’re missing stitch holders: http://bit.ly/2cd5LKS #macgyverknitting” quote=”Click to share #macgyverknitting tips!”]

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