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Location: Athens, Georgia, United States

Friday, April 28, 2006


I make my own row counters. No matter how hard I tried, I always forgot to change my counter. The more relaxed knitting makes me, the more ditzy I become. So........I made a counter I have to pay attention to or I can't go on knitting. It is so simple. Tie a contrasting yarn around 2 knitting needles the size you are using with a square knot, flip the needles over and tie another knot on the other side. Continue this until you have the number of circles tied in the yarn that you want. For straight row counting, I use 10. Look at the chain you just formed. One end has a circle that is smooth all the way around. That is row 1. The other end has 2 yarn tags hanging from it. That is row 10. Now knit 4 or 5 stitches in the row and slip your counter to the right hand needle and then continue knitting. You have to stop and do something each time you get to the chain. You can't ignore it.(Put in on the end of the knitting and you can ignore it) Each time you finish a row, slip your needle in a circle below the one you were using and go on.If you have to count a large number of rows, use 2 chains and switch one every row and the other each time you come to the end of the first chain. You can count 110 rows with these two chains. Need more? Add a third chain and you can count 1110 rows. If you need a fourth chain....STOP....you are knitting a highway. One of the best places to use these markers is in an Aran pattern. I put regular stitch markers between the pattern sections--one of which counts the total rows for me. Then put pattern specific markers in each different section to count the rows of the individual pattern. For example one section may have a chain of 6, another a chain of 4, depending on the pattern repeat. I even did one pattern with a 28 row repeat, and did that with 2 chains. One a 10 chain with the 8th hole marked with permanent marker and the other a 2 chain. I figured this out many years ago when I did a sweater with 19 Aran patterns in it. (I was young, brave and most important CHILDLESS). I sometimes just put a length of yarn 8-10 inches around a couple of stitches on the tenth row, then when I get to the 20 row, I pull it out, tie a knot in it and use it again. I get the total by counting the knots.I%2

18 Comments:

Blogger Emano said...

I just started a sleeve and I'm supposed to increase every 6 rows. With this method, I don't need to keep a paper for hatch marks-- just use a 6 hole chain. Great idea!

6:41 PM  
Blogger Zippianna said...

"If you need a fourth chain....STOP....you are knitting a highway."

Hahaha! That's so cute.

I love your row counter. The cleverest way to keep track and force yourself to do it, too. Thank you!

7:01 PM  
Blogger Panhandle Jane said...

I'm going to try one of your row counters, too.

Thanks for your info on blocking the poncho.

3:49 AM  
Blogger hakucho said...

Your row counter is so clever! I'm definitely making one the next time I need a counter. Thanks for sharing :)

11:56 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

I asked a question on a message board about the best counter to buy since there are so many. I was pointed to your blog to show me how it's done. This is great! I love how some people are naturally unselfish and willing to help perfect strangers!

Thank you so much for posting this!

8:09 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

forgot to say....

do you have additional pictures showing this in use? I am a new knitter and am often confused until I see someone doing it.

Thanks!

8:14 AM  
Blogger Debby said...

Great idea. Much better than the bracelet counter I saw for $25.

Very inventive mind you have there.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Docbeccy said...

brilliant!

12:32 PM  
Blogger twokniveskatie said...

omg, fran, will you adopt me?

12:53 PM  
Blogger Nyrali Drake said...

This is fantastic! I always lose count for cables etc -- this works beautifully for me and I'm pointing everyone to this page for the idea!!

7:53 AM  
Blogger Donna Millar Potts said...

Best DIY row counter EVER - not just cheap but free, simple to make and use, and works better than the ones you buy. I also often forget to turn the counter, so I bought the kind with a loop than hangs from the needle so I would be reminded to turn it - and it broke within a day. Thank you so much!

10:36 AM  
Blogger Suzanne Kreisher said...

What genius!! I was looking for a good row counter and came across your site. I've aleady made one of your chain counters and will be using this method for all my row counting needs. Thank you for sharing.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Inkheart said...

OK I'm a beginner and want to make a simple scarf. I love this idea but am a little confused (a picture of it in use would help me).
So you slip it on your needles in each row? So it gets "knit into" your piece? So do you clip it out(with scissors) at the end? One time use for each project that way?
If you could fill me in. I can hardly wait to try this!

1:02 PM  
Blogger Inkheart said...

OK I'm a beginner and want to make a simple scarf. I love this idea but am a little confused (a picture of it in use would help me).
So you slip it on your needles in each row? So it gets "knit into" your piece? So do you clip it out(with scissors) at the end? One time use for each project that way?
If you could fill me in. I can hardly wait to try this!

1:03 PM  
Blogger Gypsy Jane said...

Inkheart, you slide it to the other needle just like a regular stitch marker - but you put it in the next hole so you know how many rows.
Simple, brilliant. Love it.

12:26 PM  
Blogger stude53 said...

Hi, Katie
Just noticed you had updated your blog.
Hope this note finds you well and happy!

Bob (akastude53

6:07 AM  
Blogger Justbecauseitmakesmesmile said...

GENIUS!!!!
This will change my knitting life!! Thank you!

4:23 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Just stumbled across this tonight as I was looking for an inexpensive way to make a DIY counter at my first attempt at cables in a sock. Wow! I love it. How much less expensive could you get? Thank you for your generosity in sharing.

Becky in Brussels, Belgium

3:25 PM  

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