Best way to count rows?

I am a new knitter, and I would like to know the best way to keep track of rows. I have looked around on the internet, and I’ve seen several types. What do others prefer to use?


I just use a small barrel counter but have been thinking about buying something better.

Anything that keeps a count will work, even moving jelly beans from one bowl to another :mrgreen:

Yeah, right! I’d eat them too fast!

I like the barrels the best because they’re hard to lose. I had needles that were too big and tried a clicker, but between the kids playing with it and losing it, it’s useless. I now learned a cool trick from here. Take a piece of yarn, string it through the barrel and then tie it loosely and you can hang it on the needles for working in the round or larger needles!


I use a row counter (I got mine from Wal*Mart) threaded onto a small stitch holder, and I pin that into my knitting. Works great for me, and much better than holding the counter on the needle.

I’ve never even tried a row counter…I feel like I would forget to “click” it. I usually have my pattern written out and I put a line next to the row I just completed. I guess I have just as much of a chance of forgetting to put a line as I do of not “clicking” the row counter, don’t I? My system has worked so far, but I’m thinking of trying a new one!

When I’m making something I have to count a lot of rows on, I use a barrel counter. It’s hangs around my neck on one of those ballbead (dogtag) chains. People look at you funny though when you forget to take it off before leaving the house.

I used the barrel type counters for a while. I recently bought a “kacha-kacha” counter. It’s the type you squeeze or press to make the count go up. I got it for the sound. Something about it is very rewarding after completing a row or a round. Now I randomly squeeze the counter to get a moment of bliss… hmm… Pavlov’s dog, anyone? :slight_smile:

One negative thing about the kacha-kacha’s is they have gears on the side that allow you to quickly advance the numbers (say if you wanted to reset to zero). When I toss my counter in a bag sometimes my count gets off after it jostles around with everything else. :help: The barrels are harder to turn so I don’t experience the same problem.

Sometimes I return to the good old pen and paper. Tick marks confuse me (I always forget to cross for groups of 5) so I like to write out the whole number word (one, two, fifty-five etc.) after each row. If I have to do multiple counts (or if I need a little excitement) I’ll write out the numbers in a different language.

This is the oneI got. (disclaimer: I didn’t get it from that store, but used that link just for the picture)

I like this one because it clicks, it’s easy to use (one-handed, as opposed to the barrel ones that take two hands (for me anyway), I can hang it on my neck on a lanyard, and most important: it locks! So you just lock it before sticking it in your bag and you don’t have to worry about it altering your count.

(And it looks pretty silly when you leave home without taking it off, too!)

I just count my knitting, but if it is a complicated pattern I do the pencil and paper thing. But usually end up keeping track by counting my smallest repeating pattern…

For example in cable work, if one turns every 8th row, I’ll count that one. Why? Because I am always loosing my place. So I’ll count how many cable cross overs I have and then the rows up from there.

It kind of works and I don’t stress out over it, knitting is fun!