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Topic: Keeping Track of Rows  (Read 1109 times)
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hercuteness
wonderfulonium
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« on: April 28, 2005 08:22:50 AM »

I'm a fairly new knitter.  I've read on the "tips" thread about different techniques for counting off rows in a pattern.  But, I have trouble keeping track of rows on even the simplest of projects.

I guess I must be EASILY distracted, or it's just something you learn over time, but even in garter stitch I tend to lose count and. . .this is going to sound REALLY dumb. . .i don't know how to "look" at the piece I'm knitting and tell what row I'm on.  I start a new row and in my head I chant "Three, three, three," with each stitch (hoping the repitition will keep me straight). 

But then the NEXT number will creep into my head and by the time I finish the row I've convinced myself I just finished row 4!

I could write it down but sometimes this isn't convenient (on the bus, at the doctor's office, standing in line, etc.).

Am I crazy?  Am I dumb? 

 Undecided

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Cat79
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2005 08:29:57 AM »

I have the same problem too!!!!!
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2005 08:37:54 AM »

if I were you, I'd buy a row counter.  it fits on your knitting needle and has two bits that you rotate.  If you can remember to turn it 1 number at the end of each row, this is for you Cheesy

here's a pic of what I'm talking about:
http://www.e-yarn.com//pictures/400-4002a.jpg

They should be easy to find.  I think even my local Walmart has them.

(as a side note - this may sound complex but it isn't - If I have to do 5 repeats of 6 rows, instead of counting from 1 to 30, I use the right hand number to keep track of 1 thru 6 and I use the left number to keep track of 1 thru 5.  so someone else might think i'm on row 35, but in reality I'm on row 5 of the 3rd repeat)

row counters are your friends Cheesy
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justlease
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2005 08:41:33 AM »

In garter stitch, one ridge is two rows.

You can also use those little plastic stitch marker things that are removable to mark your rows at intervals, so if you do lose count, you only have to count the rows from the last marker you placed instead of all the way from the beginning.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2005 08:44:55 AM by justlease » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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hercuteness
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2005 08:44:57 AM »

i have seent he row counters. . .in fact, i'm sure i was supposed to buy one when i first started knitting.  but, you know, who goes into knitting thinking they really NEED on of those?

*smacks head*

that seems like the best option. . .as long as i can train myself to turn it!
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starlings
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2005 10:05:43 AM »

One kind of annoying thing about row counters is that they don't work with circular needles or dpns. I've tried wearing one like a bracelet, threaded onto a piece of elastic, but I inevitably forget to use it. Somehow, the way my brain is working when I'm knitting, it just doesn't want to count.

Learning to count rows by looking at your knitting is really important. No system or device for keeping track is infallable, so you need to be able to fall back on actually "reading" your knitting - counting v's in stocking stitch or ridges in garter stitch, for example.

My favourite way of keeping track is a compromise between keeping track and counting back. I run a piece of contrasting waste yarn vertically between two stitch columns. I do this in circular knitting at the beginning of the round, but it will work in flat as well:
  • Take a length of waste yarn that really contrasts in colour with your main working yarn.
  • Leaving a few inches hanging at the front of your work, drape the yarn towards the back, between two stitches.Now knit.
  • After 5 rows, or however many you want to count as a unit (repeats in a pattern, or rows between decreases for example), drape the yarn forward to the front of your work.
  • Work another unit's worth of rows, drape it towards the back, and so on...

By representing the length of the units in this concrete way, instead of abstractly with numbers, you become better able to immediately recognize what 5 rows, or 6 rows or 10 rows look like, and you're more likely to recognize mistakes or know when you're coming to the end of a group of rows.

Now, you may think "wait a minute, if I forget to bring the waste yarn forward or back I can still get confused!" Yes, but it is really easy to figure out your correct count:
  • Gently separate the stitch columns between which you've been running the waste yarn: there will be little horizontal bars between the stitches. Each one of those bars represents a row.
  • Count these back to the last point that you brought the waste yarn forward/back. That tells you how many rows you've completed since then.
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mols
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2005 10:27:42 AM »

I like your way starlings, I thought about putting a link to the other thread you talked about it in.
 - but uh -
I've used a row counter on my dpns . . .
Noone ever told me I couldn't. hmmm.  Now I guess it wouldn't work on circs.
But I just pop it on the needle and shift it as I go around.

And they do sell (I saw in the store the other day) a row counter that dangles down specifically for circs or dpns.  The little ring part that went on the needle was about the size of a stitch marker so it did double duty.
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hercuteness
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2005 10:47:39 AM »

starlings that's brilliant!  i *think* i can remember to flip a piece of yarn back and forth every five rows.  i know counting is important. . .this is what i get for not going to a class, i guess.

THANK GOD for craftster.

 Grin
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You got no fear of the underdog. . .that's why you will not survive!

PHOTOGRAPHY - It's what I do, and I'm pretty darn good.
http://www.fulltiltphotography.com/

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somafied84
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2005 12:52:36 AM »

My cheap-ass row counter really only works on straight needles. But if you take a piece of waste yarn in a different color and fold it in half and tie a knot around your knitting needle it forms a fixed loop. This really is meant for patterns when you're knitting a certain number of rows and then repeating something (like cables). For that kind of thing it works best to tie 1/2 the number of rows between repeats as loops. For example, if you are knitting 12 rows between cable turns tie 6 loops. Every time your "counter" is exposed to the tip of the needle (AKA, every 2 rows) slide another fixed loop onto the needle, push it towards the end and keep on knitting.
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Roe
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2005 09:25:15 AM »

I just have a row counter that I keep next to me. It doesn't fit on a needle and looks like a little rectangle. It's  handy to have until my two year old comes up and grabs it and, clicks, clicks, clicks, then I'm in trouble. So sometimes I keep a row by row interpretation of my pattern and highlight it as i go, crossing out rows i've done. But that's just if I have a confusing pattern that every row counts, heh heh. i guess i'm still learning or maybe i just don't want to get half way done and find out i didn't do one of those increases.

good luck,
roe
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