Stitch Holders: knitting's dirty little secret?

Can someone please explain why everybody mentions stitch holders as necessary equipment yet NO book on knitting know-how wants to address their actual use. I have a pattern I’d love to use that only says separate every-other stitch onto 2 DPNs or stitch holders & knit each set separately for a few inches then rejoin and knit as one unit. That’s all! Help!

Stitch holders can be the metal clip type or just a piece of waste yarn. I prefer the piece of waste yarn. When you have to knit two pieces separately it’s easier to knit each section if the other part is on waste yarn.

What is the pattern? It helps when asking questions to link to a pattern or at least give the name of it so we can see exactly what you are talking about.

The use of stitch holders are mentioned within patterns, where it will say something like ‘slip xx sts onto a holder’. Or some patterns say ‘waste’ or scrap yarn, which can also function as a stitch holder. I use a circular needle for a holder. In your pattern, you would slide the number of sts for the to a holder and knit as directed. It sounds like this is for a double knit pattern.

I have been looking for a pattern for the last 30 years for a BowTie scarf (which has been around for at least 90 years; my mother would be 95; her mother made them for her and her sisters, and for my 2 oldest sisters, who are in their late 60s.) I was so excited to see it turn up in [U]101 Designer One-Skein Wonders[U] But the pattern tells knitters to work every other stitch after the ‘leaf’ end, onto two separate needles, work each half separately for about 2 inches then rejoin and work as one unit for the main body of the scarf, then repeat the separation process at the opposite end of the scarf for the second tag/opening.

Do I need to work one side; break off and weave in ends; and go back to bottom of 2nd half and join in the end of the working yarn? Do I literally work up the first half then carry the working yarn back to the bottom of the 2nd half and work it up 2 inches then rejoin?

The information just is not clear. And I have scoured every book touting knit-know-how that I could find. (that’s a lot of titles.) None explain this technique.

Huh, I’ve never done anything like that. Never had a pattern that called for it. But I tired it and here is what I did. I’m assuming there are an even number of stitches (but this works with an odd number too, but has to be adjusted). Knit the first stitch on a needle, knit the second stitch on a different needle, and keep alternating across. Tricky to do, and yarn overs easy to get if you aren’t careful.

This makes the first stitch that was in the original row end up on one needle and the yarn ends up attached to the other needle. I just kept working with the needle that the yarn was attached to at the moment and left the other needle dangling as a holder (put a stitch protector on the end of it if you can so the stitches won’t fall off). I don’t know what stitch you are using but I just used St st so my first row was a purl row. (If you don’t have enough needles to do this you can slip the stitches on the needle with no yarn onto a holder or waste yarn.)

Knit that needle up for your 2 inches. Ending with a purl row (count your rows so you can make the other needle have the same number). Cut the yarn and rejoin it to knit the other needle. Begin with WS facing and work a purl row first. Work it the same number of rows as the first needle. End on a purl row.

Now comes the rejoining row. Knit the first stitch on the needle the yarn is attached to (this was the original 1st st in the row), then the first stitch on the other needle on to join it. Keep alternating needles until all the stitches are on one needle.

Be sure that the first stitch you knit there at the end to get them all back on the needle was the stitch which, running back to when you started this maneuver, was the first stitch in the row. In other words keep the stitches in order.

You don’t need to work in the ends until you are all done with the project.

“Cut the yarn and rejoin it to knit the other needle.”

So this is pretty much a given anytime stitches are separated onto alternating needles/stitch-holders that there will be a pair of yarn ends to weave in?

Thanks. Will give it a try.

I’ve always used waste yarn or twist ties from bread for my stitch holders. I’m cheap that way.:wink: