No matter how tightly they are joined, the more usual split ring or jump ring connectors on beaded stitch markers eventually catch in the fiber of the yarn. It is especially bad with fluffy yarns like mohair blends, but even the smoothest yarn has caught in them. No matter how beautiful they look I have learned to avoid such markers.
And then there is the dangle syndrome. Such markers made with beads usually dangle on one side or the other of the knitting, and I need to flip them back and forth and avoid knitting them into the stitches.
I was reduced to using small gaskets from the plumbing section of Home Depot. Useful, but not very pretty. My knitting deserves better.
Last year I received a small packet of Entrelac stitch markers from the Loopy Ewe as part of their yarn club. I fell head over heels with these things, but when I went to the site to order more, they had none left. So using the designer's name, I did an intensive internet search. I found an (empty) Etsy shop. So I did an even MORE intensive internet search and found a website created by the designer where she is still selling her markers; Meowingdog.net.
After ordering from her a few times, I can solidly say Ana has fantastic customer service, and every one of her stitch markers is made with a high level of detail and finished to perfection.
What do I like so much about them? Ana's markers are different from those I have seen before. No jump rings or split ring wires premade from a jewelry supply store for her. She cuts her very own wire and the connection is buried deep inside a beautiful bead. (My favorites are the faceted Swarovski crystals). Even her wires are special. I recently received an order of markers made with rainbow-colored wire adorned with clear quartz beads. Wow, they are so beautiful!
Ana has also invented markers useful for attaching right to your project, by forming wire into shapes based on the Greek Alphabet. The coils are close enough together that you can slip them over a strand of yarn and they will remain there until you remove them. This purpose is usually served by plastic safety-pin shaped markers in fairly horrid colors. I love Ana's elegant copper and other colored wire creations so much better. The simplicity of the design and the meticulously curved forms make them works of art.
Her markers are sold individually, making it easy to mix and match a set all your own. Prices range from 75 cents to $1.75. Materials include copper, niobium, semiprecious stones, glass beads, star-shaped beads and more.
Yes, I could use a loop of scrap yarn or twisted bread tie or any number of other things to simply mark my place when knitting or crocheting, but the things I make are special and they deserve the best. Adding Ana's creations to my almost-daily crafting adds another layer of pleasure to my work, and I deserve that, too. :-}
(photo above is from Ana's site, of the rainbow-quartz markers)