How to remember where you are!

I just started knitting a couple days ago, and sometimes I’ll stop and go do something and come back, but then i forget whether i’m on a purl or knit row! I’ve been doing 3 rows of knit, 2 rows of purl. Unfortunately, my project is all messed up because I stopped in the middle of a row and couldn’t remember which I was on and did the opposite stitch. Is there a trick to knowing which you’re on?

:teehee: ok I might be a more OCD on this type of thing than most…but I keep a Knitting journal that I use while working on a project (I keep one for after a project that is neater too lol)… It’s just a notepad that I write down the day I co…what yarn…what pattern…what needles… and then everything I do I keep track of… if I ended on a WS then I’d put that down… or if I’m counting something I write the # down… I usually don’t stop mid row though…I try to finish it although it can be hard when your needed right away by family… oh then when I finished I have my bo date…then I move everything into a neater binder where I print off thesepages…:teehee:

If you don’t have a row counter, I just take an index card or notebook and put a mark down after each row (I usually do the marking in groups of 5 so it’s easier to count) - that way I can at least tell which row I’m on…then all I have to do is figure out where in the pattern I am. Sometimes that gets a little fun, when I’m in the “repeat pattern x number of times” and have to do some multiplying and dividing.:teehee: Yes, I do stink at math!!!

I’m totally stealing this idea from someone on this board (I think) but they put a little dot of pink or purple on one of the needles then whenever that needle was in the right hand they knew it was a purl row. P for purple, P for purl

What’s a row counter?

Clover has one they call the “Kacha-Kacha Counter” - it’s a little red thingie that has a button you click when you finish a row, and it displays the number of rows you’ve done…I can’t think of something to equate it to offhand…the “counter” part of it is kinda like the little “date square” on a watch that displays the day of the month of it. There’s also little round ones that you can actually put on your needles, and when you finish a row, you move a little round disc on the end to count the rows.
Check out “knitpicks” (since they have a display ad here) and see if they show row counters - I’m sure there are ones that I haven’t described here, as well.

I am so glad you posted this question. I too get lost. I am working on a lace scarf & just realized I made a huge mistake four inches ago!! ARG. I think I will have to start keeping a 3x5 card & write down exactly where i left off.

Not a fan of row counters despite decades of knitting (I have one and never use it). I prefer the tried and true… pencil and scratch paper.


I use sticky notes for keeping track of things in a pattern. I can just stick a sheet right on the pattern and mark off rows of a pattern. When doing socks I can write down any changes I’ve made on the 1st sock so I can duplicate it on the second sock. When done just peel off and throw away and haven’t marked up the pattern.

I have also seen stitch marker type things with beads and then number beads on them to show what row you are on. I am sure they would have them with a k or a p to indicate knit or purl…Or get some of those plastic sock (booties) that you stick on ends of your needles and use a sharpie and write purl on one and knit on the other…or use two different colors? Just thinking outloud! (well typing outloud!):knitting:

When you’re new at knitting, it’s hard to figure out by just looking, where you are. But as you get used to it, you’ll begin to be able to “read” your knitting–and it will be obvious from looking at the stitches whether you are in the midst of knitting or purling.

You might want to check out the videos on this site or maybe look at some books or other pictures of knitting to get an idea what the stitches look like.

If you consider the stitches on the needle as a head, knit stitches look like their wearing little scarves, and purl stitches look like it’s in a noose.

I use row counter, too, to keep up with where I am in the pattern. I don’t always want to drag around little pieces of paper and pencils. The row counters either go on the needles or hang around your neck or on your knitting bag. Way easier, for me at least. I like thisone.

If you are just knitting and purling alternate rows, in other words doing stockinette stitch, one side is bumpy and one side has the smooth vees. When you pick up your knitting, if you stopped in the middle of a row, make sure your working yarn is coming from the right hand needle, if it is on the left hand needle you were going the other way. In that case switch the needles to the opposite hands so that the yarn is coming from the right hand needle. The stitches to be worked are on your left and the knitting you have already done is coming toward you, between the two needles. If the work on top is bumpy you are purling if it is the smooth vees you are knitting.

As someone said you need to learn what the stitches look like. This isn’t really hard, just takes a little observation. After you have a few rows it becomes very easy to see which side is knit and which is purl, as I said above.

Here’s a little trick that I teach people that I teach how to knit… (now, this works for stockinette)

THE PURL side… has bumps that look like: PEARLS

The knit side is smooth, has the v’s… and looks what one thinks of a knitted sweater looks like…

AND… here is what I do when I am keeping track of complicated directions or multiple directions… in a pattern… good for when you have to do certain things so many times.

[B]If it’s just regular directions[/B] of… knit this pattern for so many rows- I usually just attach a ‘thing’ that I made (I make stitch markers/etc.) it basically has a lobster claw on it (like on a necklace) so you can just clip it on the row that you need to start counting ‘so many rows’ of a pattern from… it’s easy to count the #of rows that way…

[B]OR… I just use sticky notes…[/B] (those small ones for marking pages/etc.) and I put it under the direction that I’m doing for that particular pattern stitch row/etc… and on the sticky note it’s self… for instance if I am supposed to do a particular ‘stitch pattern’ on rows 12-19 I write these numbers down in a row on my sticky note and then I cross them out when I do that row- so, I’ll know exactly which row I’m on if I have to stop.

OR… I just put a straight line and [B]after I do that row[/B]… I cross the line w/ a diagonal line and I can tell where I am.

Hope these help.

For the pattern you are doing I think the best thing is to pay attention when you know what you are knitting to what it looks like so that you can come back and be ale to read it like Lisa said.

For a pattern that has repeating rows (like a lace pattern) I make a row counter with waste yarn.

What you do… is take a neddle (I like to use one that a little bigger than the one I’m using) and take some waste yarn (about the ame gague or smaller than you are using) and make a loop around the needle and tie a knot. Then flip the needle over so the knot is on the bottom. make another loop and tie a knot on the other side. keep doing this for you patten repeats. (Make 4 for a four row repeat)

There is a blog that someone has that explains it better than I do, but I can’t find it anymore.

I am a cronic Sticky note user! I have gotten into the habit of circling my increases and decreases, and trying to keep my purling rows on even numbers (as they often end up being - K1, P2 hee hee) That way I know if I am crossing out any even number, I should have just finished a purl row. Very handy too when you need to do more then one piece with the same pattern. (like the afformentioned socks, or sweaters with counted rows etc)