How to find first stitch while working in the round?

I am knitting rounds using circular needles and my stitch marker fell off the needle without me noticing. Is there trick to finding the first stitch?

If you’re doing a pattern stitch, it’s a bit easier, but if it’s all st st, then just find the beginning of the CO edge and follow the stitch up. It’s a little easier to do if you can stretch the work a little bit between your hands, and you have something in your hand to follow the line with.

If you haven’t woven in the tail end yet, can you use that to guide you? I generally knit in the tail end with the working yarn for 3 stitches. So if I need to find the beginning of the round, I find the tail end and count 3 stitches in and follow that column up the rows. If you’re following a pattern, find the stitch that is logically the beginning of the new pattern.

Find the tail of the cast on where you joined and go up that column of stitches.

Hmm, I found the CO tail (thanks - great idea!) and followed it up, and it made sense. I knitted to what I think is the last st of the round. However, when I compare the stitches, it seems like what I think is that st is higher than the what I think is the first st. But if it truly was the last st, wouldn’t it be even with the first st?

I’m confused! :S

You may be one stitch to the left of the true beginning. And if it’s just stockinette, it won’t matter if you’re off a stitch.

Yep, it’s just stockinette. There is ribbing a few inches down but the rest of the piece is just stockinette.
So it’s not terribly important, then? Great :slight_smile: Thanks!

The reason the one stitch is higher is because when you knit in the round, you’re knitting a spiral and each round lays on top of the other. Think of it like a coil of wire with the end not laying flat.

Yeah… but when I reach the end of the round the last st should be even with the first st of the next round. And I was able to find the last stitch.

Thanks for your advice!

No the last st will still be off a little from the 1st st, but you found it so it’s all good.

Here’s what I do: Take a strand of contrasting-color yarn and, when you reach the end of one round, put one end of this strand outside your work exactly at the beginning of the round - and pass the other end through/beneath your needles to the inside of your work. Now it lies across your work like a skinny, limp caterpillar. Couple of rounds later, when you’ve finished the last stitch before the one beginning the next round, take the inner part of contrasting yarn and thread it between the stitches [ending/beginning] below your needles.

Keep on “stitching” the cc yarn upwards as your work lengthens. You can pull it up easily and it marks your beginning and ending stitches very nicely indeed.

Hope this makes sense.


Yes, that’s a great suggestion. I do that with my tails for a couple inches, then need to go track down a marker.

Actually, if you use a piece of contrasting yarn, you can pull it up as your work lengthens and you want more of the contrasting yarn to pull through the first/last stitches.

Oh yeah, I’ve done that too. CO tails are the lazy knitter’s marker until you get to the point you have to use another piece of yarn, or a real marker.