Some of our fellow KH-ers have asked: what tools do I need to make a stitch marker....and how do I use these tools to make the stitch marker.
I made a stitch marker today, taking photos along the way.
Making the stitch marker is really a 4 step process:
1) load the headpin with your elements
2) create the "eye" in which to insert the jumpring
3) create a "neck coil/wrap" under the jumpring
4) snip off the excess headpin
As said earlier, 3 tools are A MUST. Don't sidestep any of these "beading tools" and use something in your husband's toolbox. They are not the same. They make look similar, but they aren't. Get your tools through a bead shop, or online through a bead shop.
The "elements" you need are whatever you want
to load onto the headpin. If the head of the headpin is smaller than the hole of your first bead...slip a collar or small bead onto the headpin first...then your first "show bead" won't fall off the end of the headpin.
I like to use Sterling Silver "finest gauge" (as for pearls they call it) because this material is so malleable...and wrapping the "neck coil/wrap" is like working with butter. The "neck coil/wrap" is the trickiest part to get right. I made alot of duds before I got my groove going...if you look at some of my beads, you will see some that are not as nicely wrapped...but they will do!
So here are some photos. A couple of them are blurry, my apologies. I was trying to work with the stitch marker and take photos at the same time.
1) Your all important "Bender" Tool!
2) Your Bender Tool, view 2
3) Your Gripper Tool,
especially designed for jewelry bead work! (Not needle-nose pliers from DH toolbox!)
4) Your Snipper Tool
5) The is the side view of your Snipper Tool. The "angle" is what enables you to snip off that excess headpin wire REAL CLOSE to the coil...thereby preventing a pokey-snaggy "tips" that will snag your yarn TO DEATH!
6) I prefer using 3" sterling silver headpins, using the finest gauge. Don't skimp and use shorter headpins. It will make "wrapping" the neck coil much much harder. You won't have anything to hang onto!
7) The headpin and 10mm jumpring are ready!
8) Two sizes of jumprings: the 10mm fits up to size US10.5
needles...the 8mm fits US0-6 nicely. The gauge of the jumpring is 16 gauge. (edited 8/7/07)
9) Here is the metal "collar" that will slide onto the headpin first, forming a foundation for the "show beads".
10) The little metal "collar", they call it a spacer, will prevent the first bead from falling off the small "head" of the headpin. This is because this wood bead was intended for something else. The hole is larger than the headpin. I could have used a "seed bead" just as well.
11) The elements are loading...
12) The elements are now loaded and ready for the jumpring attachment!
13) FIRMLY grasp the headpin with the Bender Tool, close to the elements, but not too close...I'd say about 3-4mm space.
14) Bend/roll the headpin over the Bender Tool, creating a U
the headpin around the Bender Tool, creating as round of an "eye" as you can muster.
16) The Bender Tool removed, the "round eye" is now ready...it is not quite closed...it will still receive the jumpring. (sorry that this photo is blurry)
17) Slide the jumpring into the not-quite-closed "round eye".
18) The jumpring is inside the "round eye", awaiting the next step.
19) FIRMLY grasp the top of the "round eye" with your Gripper Tool, do not grasp the jumpring...let it lay loose
20) With the "round eye" firmly gripped (using the Gripper Tool) in your right hand, use your left hand to begin a continuous "wrapping" around the neck. Wrap, wrap, wrap, wrap! This is when you will love the malleable qualities of silver VS the stubborness of the other hard metals! (sorry this photo is blurry)
21) The "neck coil/wrap" done!
22) Snip off the excess as closely as possible. Pinch down any sharp edges with your "Gripper" tool.
23) VOILA! DONE!