How do you keep your place?

I am new to knitting and have yet to move past simple scarves. Every time I try something with variation in the stitches, I immediately forget what I just did, or if I did two or three rows of knitting and now it’s time to change. I’m not quite at a point of being able to look and see that, yes, I’ve done this many of one thing and am ready for the next.

I look at complicated patterns and it seems like you’d just have to sit and count intensely, but it seems like knitters knit while chatting or watching TV, so any tips on how to keep track of where you are?

well i would think that most don’t sit and chat and all that for complicated patterns but that is just a guess. :shrug: i know I can’t but i often have to look to see which stitch i just did, much less what row i did (and i do knit while chatting, watching tv, movies, etc.)

A lot of people use postits to mark their place in the pattern. a row counter might help too. i will also mark a row and then count from there. just whichever way works best for you really.

I can’t do complicated patterns and watch TV or chat, but simple ones are fine.

I keep a pencil and paper next to me and write down row numbers, then cross them off as I do them. If there is something I want to be reminded of… like CF (cable front) on a specific row I note that as well so I don’t go past it.

Learning what the stitches look like will help you a LOT, too!

Like Jan, I was going to say, learn to read your knitting. Know what the knits and purls and k2tog and YOs look like and know what it’s supposed to look like at whatever point you’re in. Most complex patterns usually take 4, 6, 8, or 10 rows to complete, so then you’re starting over. After you’ve done a couple of them, it gets familiar so you don’t have to look as often. Mostly it just takes practice.


There are a number of ways to do it.

One really important one is to learn what the stitches look like, so like if you’re doing rib work, you don’t always have to count to know what comes next. I think everyone preaches this, hahah!

Other ways I’ve used, are to either keep tabs of how many rows I’ve done (I did this when I was making a pair of gloves with a 4x1 rib, and cable row, so I would just make a one mark on my paper every row, and then a C for every row I make the cable).

For more complicated things, like a lace bracelet I did, I printed up the chart for the pattern, and would cross out each row in pencil as I did it (could do each stitch if you wanted too). When I had to repeat the pattern again, I would just erase the pencil and start over!

Also, stitch makers are useful to keep track of both stitches and rows. For example, you could knit a stitch marker in, knit how ever many rows your pattern calls for, and then place another stitch marker, this way you don’t have to count your WHOLE piece of work.

You can also have them on the needles, to seperate pattern repeats. Like say every 10 stitches, you need to do a yarn over… you could have a stitch marker on the needles every ten rows to remind you of where you are in the row.

And after a while, the pattern will stick in your head (and never go away!!). I’ve still got ‘1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, et cetera’ playing in my head from the wristwarmers I made 0_0.

Thanks everyone. I think I was assuming it was just super-easy for everyone else and that I am the only one who forgets or has trouble keeping track! I will get a piece of paper/pencil when I try something harder.

i have the pattern repeat written and i make a slash mark everytime i complete a row, and when it comes around again i make the slash an x. i also use those little elastic hair ties (they look like rubberbands) to track the sets of stiches per row…every other row is purl…so that has a different color to give me the heads up that i am on a purl row…works for me. :shrug:

I often use patterns printed from the internet so feel happy to write on them, but if I don’t, I mark on another piece of paper. Some people put the page in a plastic sleeve so they can cross off rows, then wipe off the pen marks and start again.
Some also like to slide on a paper clip/etc. at the height of the current row, then slide it down for the next row.


my sister taught me to make a Check Grid for repete patterns and rown
if your pattern repetes 6 times per round (or row)
and was 8 rows deep
she makes a Grid with 6 squares across and 8 squares High
and she checks of each square as she finishes that piece of the pattern

as to the rest
I used to do simple patterns then as I learned to recognize how to count the simpler ones
i did more complicated ones
practice practice practice
makes (almost) perfect

do these tips help?


If I’m doing something new, I’ll say the instructions as I’m doing them.