No, I haven't entirely lost the plot.
I've been making stitch markers. My Aran pattern of the moment is a bit involved, and I like to mark the beginning and end of each panel that corresponds to a specific chart to help me recognise where I am. It's less of an issue as I learn to recognise how the pattern hangs together, but at the beginning those stitch markers are a life-saver.
I started off with some lovely pretend pearl-headed pins ...
... a broken pretend pearl necklace ...
... some jump rings that were of a suitable size to fit onto my 4 mm needles - watch out because most jewellery findings stores sell these by reference to their outside diameter, but you'll want some that have an internal diameter wide enough to go over your normal knitting needles ...
... and a pair of round-nosed pliers or a pair of specially-made pliers for bending wire into lovely loops (see photo below). Aren't they a piece of work? They probably have some technical name, but you can buy them on Ebay for not very much money.
Snip the sharp end of your pin using a wire cutter, so that it can be bent around into a benign loop that won't go attacking your knitting.
Now thread a pearl bead onto the pin. I added a couple of small spacer beads top and bottom, just to spice things up a bit, but a single bead on its own would look just fine too.
Place the blunt end of the pin in the special loop-bending pliers so that the end is just protruding, grip the pliers and bend the end around in a loop, closing it so that it is centred on the shaft of the pin and not leaning over to one side. You're aiming for something that looks a bit like this (photo below) except you'll have a bead on there too. I've left the bead off this example so that you can see how I've bent the end around.
Now take one of the jump rings and open it out ever so slightly to one side. Slip the lovely loop of the pin that you've just bent into the jump ring and close it again with your pliers.
And that's it. Ta-dah! You've turned a few pins and a broken necklace into a covetable set of stitch-markers.
And here they are on duty, helping me recognise when I've reached the end of my knitting charts.
Have a splendid weekend!
All the best for now,