You Can Count On Me: Knitting Counters For Knitters


#1

Since the beginning of knitting the need to keep track of which row you are on for the different patterns has been an essential part of the tool kits of knitters. You can go from simple two row patterns to cables and lace patterns that have repeats ranging from a few rows to many making some of them from difficult to almost impossible to memorize. On the scarf that I am making at the present moment there are two separate patterns happening at the same time. The pattern at the edge is simply to knit 5 and I use a stitch market to remind me when I have to go to the center pattern. I finally put the stitch markers on after having to rip some rows when I looked and saw that I was not paying attention and the edge was clearly wrong. I like to use the aluminum Prismatic markers by as they stay out of the way yet remind me to change. In addition, they are color coded by size.

I took out my oldest counter, which I slipped onto the needle and rotate each row to keep track of the twelve row repeat. It took me a while to memorize the pattern so that I no longer had to track the rows This type of counter has worked well for me for many years but I am always on the look out for new devises.

My next counter, as seen below, I have been using for quite a few years and I may often be seen walking around the supermarket or out to the movies with it hanging around my neck as I often forget to take it off. I personally like this one quite a bit for its ease of use and click action. But, it can only keep track of one pattern at a time and I would not be inclined to wear more than one at a time.

Again, this works well for repeats of a single pattern but for multiple patterns that are being worked at the same time this will not solve your problems.

Happily, this next counter is the solution to keeping track of up to three separate patterns at once.

As you can see, this allows for tracking three patterns that you keep track of by assigning each pattern a different color according to a separate repeat . I am constantly amazed at the cleverness of mankind or womankind when a new device is created to solve some problem that has been around for years . This Sirks which I got from Jimmybeanswool.com comes in two colors and I look forward to using it soon.

I am almost finished with this scarf and it has taken me quite a few repeats until I got to the point where I “understood” the pattern so that I no longer needed the instructions and therefore no longer needed the counters. This speeds up the process quite a bit. Just to let you know, I took the central pattern for this scarf from 400 knitting stitches published by Potter Craft. This is a great book, well organized and a great resource for Knit-Purl, Crossed Stitch and Cable, Slipped Stitches and Lacy Stitches.

What ways do you used to count rows or keep track of intricate patterns?

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