martian mischief

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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 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