Mindful Blog

Using Row Counters for Knitting

Many knitters know this and have faced it - losing track of a row you are knitting.  Life happens—the phone rings, we get talking or must put our knitting needles down and when you are back you have lost the count of the rows. Counting your rows can be daunting and confusing - especially if you have multiple rows. A row counter is the best help but by also learning some simple strategies for identifying your stitches and using the right tools, you will find that counting rows are easy.

How to Use Row counters?

Row counters are the general name for a variety of devices that are used to help keep track of the row you are on in a knitting pattern. Counters are a very useful tool. While simple repeats such as a garter stitch can be worked without a row counter, however, the complex cable and lace patterns as well as many sweaters and shawl patterns cannot be done without some way to track rows. Sizing and shaping often depend on accuracy, and a row counter prevents the need to count a bunch of rows!

The Mindful Knitting Row Counter is beautiful as well as functional. The mindful color and theme add to its look. To count your rows, press the top button to advance the numbers. After each stitch, press the top button. To reset the numbers turn the wheels on the side of the counter. If you need to take a break or put down your knitting for some time, lock the row counter with the switch at the bottom.

Mindful Knitting Row Counter

Tips to Count Rows in Knitting

We always recommend having a row counter in your tool kit, and here are some additional tips to help you keep track:

Tip 1 - Do not count the stitches in your cast-on row and on your needles. Always begin counting on the row above the cast-on row and finish counting on the row before you get to your knitting needle. Knitting patterns do not count the cast-on stitches as a row as it is the base of any knitting project.

Tip 2 - Look for the V’s in your knitted piece. A knit stitch in a knitted garment looks like a V shape. To identify a knit stitch, look for Vs in a row and easily count the rows from the bottom to the top of your knitting.

Tip 3 - Count the upside-down U shapes. The purl stitches look like upside-down U shapes in your knitting. Like the knit stitch Vs, you can count the rows going from the bottom to the top of your knitting to find out how many rows you have knitted so far.

Tip 4 - Look for the hole in between your cables. The cable stitches may look twisted and confusing because of the odd angles. Counting the stitches from the top to the bottom of a cable stitch is rather frustrating. The easiest way to count the stitches in cables is to locate the hole in between the cables and then count the ladders above the hole. Insert your finger or the needle tip through the hole where your cables cross. Then, count the ladders above the hole using your fingers to spread the cables apart as needed. It is also recommended to spread the stitches on a cable while counting. The cable diameter allows you to easily see the stitches.

Tip 5 - Use the tip of a knitting needle or yarn needle to help you count. Oftentimes it is hard to identify the stitches in your knitting just by looking at them, especially in fuzzy yarn or dark colours. It is helpful to use the tip of a knitting needle or a darning needle as a guide.

Tip 6 - Use Stitch Markers. Some find it easy to mark every 5 or 10 rows with a marker at the end. That way you just count the number of markers on the edge and multiply.  Use stitch markers abundantly for colourwork or lace knitting patterns. You can use round or split stitch markers while knitting or even attach locking stitch markers on the pattern after knitting a row.

Mindful Collection Stitch Markers

Just as reading the knit and purl stitches helps to identify where you are in a pattern, being able to count your rows will help you become a better knitter and will free you up for many happy hours of knitting and less frustration.

To aid with knitting and mindfulness, the Mindful Collection is designed for knitters to enjoy the meditative benefits of the craft. Each knitting needle is crafted from stainless steel and has a unique motivational word imprinted on its tip that inspires the knitter in the practice of mindfulness.

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