I have some experience with crocheting and decided to teach myself to knit earlier this year. The videos on this site have been indispensable. The one thing that stumps me though is counting. Counting rows and stitches. I’ve also been using the book “Stitch 'N Bitch” which is also a great resource. One of the suggestions she has is to make a swatch when starting a new project to check your gauge. She says to cast on 20, then knit 30 rows, then measure the center 16 to get an accurate gauge. But, how do I count the stitches? And lets say that I knit however many rows, then get interrupted and forget how many I did. How do I count rows?
Take a look at this thread - it has a picture that shows the knits and purls in a ribbed pattern. You can see the knits make Vs and the purls look like bumps. Learn to identify them and you can count them easily. When you measure your swatch, don’t include the edge sts, they’re a little different than the ones in the middle and curl under. It’s better to cast on something like 24 sts. To count the rows, I count the bumps on the back of the knit sts. If you’re knitting all the sts that makes garter stitch and each bumpy ridge counts as 2 rows.
I’m new enough that I can’t distinguish how many rows are there yet when looking at it, so I just keep a notepad and pen handy and as I finish each row I tick it off on the paper. If it’s a complex pattern I keep track of the different changes on the paper too.
One of these days I’ll be one of those experienced knitters that can keep track of everything in their head and just by looking at the work, but I’m nowhere near there yet!