How to count rows of knitting

How to count rows of knitting

How to Count Rows of Knitting: Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

If you’re new to knitting, you may find it challenging to keep track of the number of rows you’ve completed. Counting rows is an essential skill that helps you create symmetrical and well-finished projects. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of counting rows in knitting.

Materials Needed

Before we begin, gather the following materials:

  • A completed knitting project that you want to count the rows for
  • A knitting needle
  • A ruler or tape measure
  • A notepad and pen for keeping track of your counts

Step 1: Identify the Stitches

The first step is to identify the vertical columns of stitches in your knitting project. These stitches are often referred to as “stitches” or “columns.” Use your knitting needle to follow the path of the stitches and locate the first column.

Step 2: Count the Rows

Once you’ve identified the first column, carefully count the rows from the bottom edge of your project to the top. It may be helpful to use a ruler or tape measure to accurately measure the rows. Take note of the number of rows as you count.

Step 3: Record and Review

As you count the rows, it’s important to record the numbers to ensure accuracy. Use a notepad and pen to write down the row counts. Once you’ve finished counting, review your counts to double-check for any errors or inconsistencies.

Step 4: Adjust if Needed

If you discover any mistakes or inconsistencies in your counts, don’t worry! Knitting is a flexible and forgiving craft. Simply go back and recount the rows, making any necessary adjustments. It’s better to take the time to get an accurate count than to continue working with incorrect counts.


Counting rows in knitting is a valuable skill that every knitter should master. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to accurately count the rows in your knitting projects, leading to symmetrical and professional results every time.

Understanding the Basics of Row Counting

Row counting is an essential skill for any knitter, whether you are a beginner or an experienced crafter. Keeping track of your rows is important for maintaining the correct size and shape of your knitting project and ensuring consistent patterns and stitch counts.

Here are the key points to understand about row counting:

  • What is row counting? Row counting refers to keeping track of the number of rows you have knitted in a project. This is usually done by marking off each completed row with a stitch marker, row counter, or simply making a tally mark on a piece of paper.
  • Why is row counting important? Row counting is crucial for several reasons. First, it helps you stay organized and follow the pattern accurately. Second, it ensures that you maintain the correct number of rows for shaping, such as armholes or necklines. It also allows you to easily adjust the length of sleeves or add decorative elements symmetrically when needed.
  • Methods of row counting: There are several methods you can use to count rows. The most common ones include using a row counter, placing a stitch marker after each completed row, or making tally marks on a piece of paper. Some knitters prefer to count rows by visual observation.
  • Using a row counter: A row counter is a small tool that can be attached to your knitting needles or worn as a bracelet. It has dials or buttons that can be incremented or decremented to keep track of the number of rows. Simply turn the dial or press the button after completing each row to increment the counter.
  • Other methods: If you don’t have a row counter or prefer a different method, you can place a stitch marker after each completed row. This allows you to visually see the progress and easily count the rows. Alternatively, you can make tally marks on a piece of paper or use a smartphone app to keep track.
  • Common challenges: While row counting is a simple process, there can be some challenges. It’s important to establish a consistent counting method and double-check your counts periodically to avoid mistakes. Counting rows with complex stitch patterns or multicolor work may require additional attention and keeping track of pattern repeats.

Mastering the art of row counting will greatly enhance your knitting experience and contribute to the success of your projects. With practice and patience, you’ll become a pro at keeping track of your rows, ensuring your knitting turns out exactly as planned.

Choosing the Right Tools for Counting Rows

Counting the rows in your knitting project is an essential skill for any knitter. It helps you keep track of your progress and ensures that your finished piece is the correct size. To make counting rows easier, it’s important to choose the right tools. Here are some options to consider:

  • Row Counter: A row counter is a small tool that can be attached to your knitting needles, allowing you to easily keep track of the number of rows you have knit. It usually has a dial or buttons that you can turn or press to increase the count.
  • Pen and Paper: If you prefer a more traditional method, you can use a pen and paper to manually count the rows. Simply mark down each row as you complete it. This method works well for small projects or if you don’t have a row counter available.
  • Stitch Markers: Stitch markers are small rings or clips that can be attached to your knitting needles to mark specific rows or sections. You can place a stitch marker after a certain number of rows and easily count the rows by counting the markers.
  • Knitting App: If you prefer using technology, there are various knitting apps available that can help you count your rows. These apps often have built-in row counters, as well as other features like pattern tracking and stitch guides.

Choosing the right tool for counting rows depends on your personal preference and the complexity of your project. It’s always a good idea to have multiple options available, so you can switch between methods if needed. Remember to choose a tool that is easy to use and won’t disrupt your knitting flow.

Step 1: Starting with a Clear and Organized Workspace

Before you begin counting rows in your knitting project, it’s important to start with a clear and organized workspace. This will help you keep track of your rows more easily and avoid any confusion or mistakes.

Here are some steps to follow when setting up your workspace:

  1. Gather your materials: Make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials for your knitting project, including your knitting needles, yarn, and any pattern or instructions you may be following.
  2. Clean your work surface: Clear off any clutter from your work surface, such as other knitting projects or unrelated items. Having a clean space will help you better focus on your current project.
  3. Use a row counter: Consider using a row counter to help you keep track of the rows as you knit. This can be a physical tool or an app on your phone or tablet. A row counter will make it easier to know exactly which row you are on and help prevent mistakes.
  4. Set up a way to mark rows: If you prefer not to use a row counter, have another method in place to mark your rows. This could be as simple as using a pen and paper to tally the rows, or using stitch markers or safety pins to physically mark the rows in your knitting.
  5. Organize your yarn: Ensure that your yarn is neatly wound and tangle-free. Consider using a yarn bowl or a yarn holder to keep your yarn from rolling around and getting tangled as you work.
  6. Have a clear understanding of the pattern: Take the time to read through the pattern or instructions for your knitting project before you start. This will help you have a clear understanding of the project and the rows you will be counting.

By starting with a clear and organized workspace, you will set yourself up for knitting success and make it easier to count rows accurately throughout your project.

Step 2: Establishing a Reference Point for Counting

Before you start counting rows, it’s important to establish a reference point on your knitting project. This reference point will help you keep track of the rows as you work on your project. Here’s how you can establish a reference point:

  1. Identify the right side (RS) and wrong side (WS) of your knitting. The RS is usually the side that is meant to be seen, while the WS is the side that faces towards you as you knit.
  2. Choose a stitch marker or safety pin to mark a specific stitch on your knitting. This stitch will serve as your reference point throughout your project.
  3. Place the stitch marker or safety pin on the RS of your knitting, at the start of the row where you want to begin counting.

By placing the reference point on the RS of your knitting, you can easily locate it and count rows as you progress. Now that you have established a reference point, you are ready to start counting rows in your knitting project.

Step 3: Keeping Track of Rows with a Row Counter

One of the essential tools that every knitter should have is a row counter. A row counter helps you keep track of the number of rows you’ve knitted, making it easier to follow patterns and ensure consistency in your knitting.

There are various types of row counters available, from digital ones to manual ones. Choose the type that suits your preference and knitting style.

To use a row counter, follow these steps:

  1. Attach the row counter to your knitting needles or keep it within reach.
  2. Start counting from the first row. If your pattern specifies a certain number of rows to knit before making a change or switching stitches, make sure to keep track using the row counter.
  3. Click the row counter up by one after completing each row. This will help you keep track of the number of rows you have knitted.
  4. If you make a mistake or lose track of rows, simply check the row counter to see where you left off.
  5. Remember to reset the row counter to zero when starting a new pattern or project.

Using a row counter can greatly simplify your knitting process and help you stay organized. It allows you to focus on your stitches and patterns without worrying about losing track of rows.

It’s always a good idea to have a row counter on hand, even if you’re just starting out with knitting. It’s a small investment that can make a big difference in your knitting experience.

Step 4: Using Visual Markers to Count Rows

Counting rows in knitting can sometimes be tricky, especially if you’re working on a large project with many rows. Visual markers can be a helpful tool to keep track of your progress and ensure that you don’t lose count.

Here are some methods for using visual markers to count rows:

  1. Safety Pins: Attach safety pins to your knitting after a certain number of rows. For example, you could attach a safety pin after every 10 rows. This way, you can easily see how many rows you have completed by counting the number of safety pins.
  2. Stitch Markers: Place a different-colored stitch marker at the beginning of each set of rows. This makes it easy to visually determine which row you’re on by counting the number of stitch markers.
  3. Contrasting Yarn: If you have a contrasting yarn or stitch holder, you can place it at the end of each set of rows. This will create a visual line that is easy to see and count.
  4. Row Counter: Another option is to use a row counter, which is a small device that you can attach to your knitting needles. A row counter keeps track of the number of rows you have completed, eliminating the need for visual markers.

Choose the method that works best for you and your project. Some knitters prefer visual markers, while others find row counters more convenient. Experiment with different techniques to find the one that suits your knitting style.

Remember to update your visual markers or row counter each time you complete a row to ensure accurate counting. This will help you stay organized and avoid mistakes in your knitting.

Step 5: Double-Checking Your Row Count

After completing a set number of rows in your knitting project, it’s important to double-check your row count to ensure accuracy. Mistakes in row count can lead to uneven sections or misshapen finished products. Here’s how to double-check your row count:

  1. Start by counting the number of rows you have completed so far. Do this by counting the ridges or rows of stitches in your knitting.
  2. Compare your count to the pattern or instructions you are following. Make sure your row count matches the desired number of rows mentioned in the pattern.
  3. If your count does not match the pattern, carefully review your knitting to identify any missed or extra rows.
  4. If you find a mistake, carefully unravel the stitches back to the point where the error occurred and re-knit those rows correctly. Use stitch markers to keep track of your progress and avoid losing your place.
  5. Continue knitting, counting your rows as you go, to ensure you stay on track with the pattern.

Double-checking your row count may seem tedious, but it’s an essential step in achieving a polished finished product. Taking the time to ensure accuracy will result in a knitting project that looks just as you envisioned it.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Row Counting

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Row Counting

In knitting, accurately counting rows is essential for creating a well-executed project. However, beginners may encounter some common issues with row counting that can affect the overall outcome of their work. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you overcome these issues:

1. Forgetting to keep track of rows:

It’s easy to get lost in the rhythm of knitting and forget to keep track of the number of rows you’ve completed. To avoid this issue, consider using row counters, which are small devices that can be attached to your knitting needles. You can also use a pen and paper or a digital row counting app to keep track of your progress.

2. Miscounting rows:

Counting rows accurately can be challenging, especially when working on more complex patterns or lacework. To avoid miscounting rows, place a stitch marker in your work after a certain number of rows. This will act as a checkpoint and help you easily identify if you’ve made any mistakes along the way.

3. Losing track of pattern repeats:

Some knitting patterns require you to repeat a certain sequence of stitches or rows. If you lose track of these repeats, it can throw off the entire pattern. To keep track, use a row counter or place a stitch marker after each repeat. You can also highlight or mark the pattern repeat in your pattern sheet to make it more visible.

4. Uneven tension:

An uneven tension can result in variations in row height, making it challenging to count rows accurately. To maintain an even tension, try to relax your grip on the yarn and knitting needles. Practice consistent tension throughout your knitting and make adjustments as needed.

5. Dropped or added stitches:

Dropped or added stitches can throw off your row count, especially if you don’t notice them right away. Regularly check your work for any dropped or added stitches and fix them immediately to ensure an accurate row count.

6. Working on multiple projects simultaneously:

If you’re working on multiple knitting projects simultaneously, it can be easy to lose track of the row count for each project. To avoid confusion, use separate row counters or clearly label and organize your projects. This will help you easily switch between projects without mixing up the row counts.

By being aware of these common issues and implementing the troubleshooting tips provided, you’ll be able to better manage and accurately count rows in your knitting projects. Happy knitting!


What is knitting?

Knitting is a technique used to create fabric by interlocking yarn or thread using knitting needles or machinery. It is a popular hobby and can be used to create a variety of items such as clothing, accessories, and home decor.

How do I start knitting?

To start knitting, you will need knitting needles, yarn, and a basic understanding of knitting techniques. Begin by casting on, which is creating the first row of stitches on your needle. Then, you can start knitting by following a pattern or creating your own design. There are many resources available, such as online tutorials and books, to help you learn the basics of knitting.

What is a row in knitting?

A row in knitting refers to a horizontal line of stitches that are worked from one end of the knitting needle to the other. Every time you move your knitting from the left needle to the right needle, it is considered one row. Rows are important for keeping track of your progress and following knitting patterns.

How can I count the rows of my knitting?

Counting the rows of your knitting is relatively simple. Start by identifying the first row on your needle, which is usually called the cast-on row. Then, use your finger or a knitting row counter to keep track of each row as you complete them. If you are following a knitting pattern, it may also specify how many rows to knit before moving on to the next step. Counting your rows will help you keep track of your progress and ensure that your knitting is even.



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