In thinking about organizing stitch markers and using non-traditional knitting tools, I remembered a time, years ago, when I was eagerly beginning my second attempt at Fair Isle stranded knitting. Somehow, my usual Girl-Scout-Always-Prepared ability was not functioning one day, and I made it out of the house without my bag of knitting gadgets. When I realized I REALLY needed a stitch marker to figure out where in the pattern I was without having to count and re-count every time I looked up from the chart to know where the chart repeats were, I began the hunt. There was no way I was going to miss out on car knitting time for the lack of a stitch marker!
--Gadget bag? Nope.
--Emergency yarn cutter I usually carry in my purse so I can cut a piece of yarn to use as a stitch marker? Nope. Changed purses on the way out the door; neglected to transfer the yarn cutter.
--Stray pair of scissors anywhere in the vehicle? Nope.
--Set of keys not currently in use to employ in cutting of yarn? Nope. (House keys are great for this--if you have them on you. It seemed a bit much to ask my hubby to pull over and turn off the car just so I could use his house key to cut a piece of yarn, although that possibility loomed large...)
--Pocket knife being carried by any male member of the family (since they always have pocket knives with them)? Nope.
--Stray piece of yarn that doesn't need cutting before being put to use as stitch marker? Nope.
And then I found it: a paperclip in one of the 4563 assorted storage areas in the KnitMobile. Bingo!!
Since that time, I have used paperclips many times when stitch markers were in short supply. Also, safety pins, hair pins (which make good cable needles when you get desperate, which I have), and a pencil. Somehow I always want to think I am more organized than this, but apparently not. On the plus side, if I'm knitting somewhere and need a paperclip, I've totally got it covered!