What row am I on?

Categories: Crochet, Knitting, and Organization.

We all face this challenge when knitting or doing a crochet project – keeping track of how many rows have been completed.

I’m an old fashioned person and I use the pen and paper method. But sometimes you can’t find the pen or it runs out of ink. I tried a method my mother used to use and that was poking the knitting needle through the number. I didn’t like that method, in fact it could be dangerous. So it is time to change.

row counting the old fashioned way at craftygardener.ca

Recently while reading knitting message boards I’ve been seeing different ways of counting rows that other crafters use. I could purchase a row counter, but being the thrifty sort of person that I am I figured I would try to make my own. I’d sooner save my money and spend it on yarn.

I saw some ingenious ways using bracelets and thought I might try one of those. But then thought I could simplify it even more. I mean I don’t want to sell these, as others are selling the bracelets for quite a bit of money.  If you are a crafty person (and of course you are or you wouldn’t be reading a craft blog) you can make it yourself. In fact I bet lots of you have come up with your own ways of counting rows.

a simple row counter at craftygardener.ca

 So I decided on a very simple counter using some thin ribbon and some beads and mini clothes pins that I already had in my craft stash.

I put the big wooden bead in the middle, added a couple of small beads either side and knotted the ribbon. This will be the top. Then on each side I added 9 beads. The bottom of the ribbon was knotted together. The white side is for the numbers 1 to 9 and the blue side is for the 10’s to 90’s.

So how do I count?

Each time I complete a row I move the little yellow clothes pin under a white bead. When 9 rows are complete it will be at the bottom. When completing row 10 the yellow pin will go to the very top of the white row and the green pin will go underneath the first blue bead. Remember each blue bead counts for 10 rows.

This can lay on the seat beside, or on my lap when I’m working. It even slips over my wrist! This eliminates the paper or pen from slipping off my lap.

But it got a little tedious moving the little cloths pin all the time, so it was time to improve my row counter.  I came up with another way of counting so that I know what row I’m on.  It is similar except except that the beads are threaded on using 2 strands of cord.


Fold a piece of cord in half, tie to the top of a ring to hold in place. Thread one piece of the cord through the bead from the right and the other side through the bead from the left. Pull so bead moves to top and then add another bead. Continue till you have 9 beads on one side. Then you can do the other side.

a row counter at craftygardener.ca

With the first counter I also needed a little clothes pin to separate the beads. With this latest counter all you need to do is move the bead down and it automatically stays in place.

 The white beads represent 1 completed row and the green beads represent 10 completed rows.  So the image above shows I’m on row 22 of the pattern.

a row counter for more than 99 rows at craftygardener.ca

But not all knitting or crochet stops at row 100.  So it was back to the drawing board as the saying goes and I added a third row of beads.  Now the black beads represent 100 rows, the green beads represent 10 rows and the white beads represent 1 row.  So according to the image above I’m on row 173.

My next challenge will be to find beads with numbers on them, or find a way to add numbers to the beads.

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