Then I bought some beaded bone stitch markers and thought, hmmm, I can make those. (In case you're wondering that's what I think when I see most things.) So I started making them, in several sizes because when you're knitting socks, for example, you don't want huge honking rings and jumbo beads hanging off your needles. And bitty little sock markers won't fit on big sweater needles. I did make one improvement. The ones I bought used jump rings which a) get snagged in your yarn and b) open up thereby allowing your precious bead to fall off (in my case I found it later in my knitting bag, but that was after quite a lot of desperate searching.) I use split rings and find them much more satisfactory in every particular (if you read a lot of Brit Lit you'll be laughing at my last sentence and guess what I've been up to, but for those of you who didn't find that wording odd I'll tell you that I've been reading Susan Wittig Albert's delightful series of Beatrix Potter mysteries lately and find myself thinking in British.)
Since I, by virtue of the fact that sheep and bunnies need to eat, am obliged to sell a lot of what I make I naturally don't get to keep the best ones. I mostly snag the oddballs from sets where I have a few leftover, but not enough to make a complete set. Occasionally I'll score a whole set for myself if I have lots of a particular bead. So my collection is growing and I can't begin to tell you how much FUN I have selecting which ones to use when I'm knitting. Truth be told I use them even when the pattern doesn't call for it. I love their gentle click (like dominoes or Mahjong tiles) and my knitting goes in fits and spurts usually and I find that if I'm interrupted it's much easier to figure out where I am between stitch markers than to count back to the beginning of the row. (And let's face it, I'm a bit ADD and have enough trouble keeping track when I'm knitting along without any distraction at all!)
The bitty little ladybug sock stitch markers above are an example of some beads I found on a recent scouting trip to a bead store on Shelburne Road. I snagged the last 10 ladybug beads she had because they were so darling and they just screamed "Spring is coming!" (Of course, this being Vermont we got dumped on with snow the very next day, but hey, this being Vermont it could all be gone tomorrow too.) I'm hoping to get these little babies onto my Etsy site today, a place I've been sadly neglecting because it's my busy season at my real job.