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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How To Count Your Stitches And Rows FAST

In the words of Sharon Chang, one of my favorite Knitting Superstars, "Part of becoming a Knitting Superstar is knitting faster and more efficiently." But what if there were a way you could speed up your progress on a project, without changing how you knit at all? 

Of course, there are many. Since we all (hopefully) follow patterns and track our progress by counting stitches and rows, it makes sense that one of the quickest fixes to a slow-moving project is learning a few ways to count faster.

Counting your stitches faster
In my classes, I am amazed by how long knitters, even experts, take to count their stitches! Changing how you count takes practice, but this video contains a scientific secret that will give you the motivation and encouragement to try this new way.

Counting by fives is absolutely the fastest way to count stitches in knitting

An easy way to count your rows
Keeping track of how many rows you've knitted is vital for most knitting projects, yet many knitters wait until they think they've gone far enough to do anything about it! Here's a very simple trick that will make sure you never have to guess or think too hard when counting your rows. This way, you'll be absolutely sure how far you've gone, without any extra effort!

Placing a marker AROUND a stitch in "row 1" will help you count later!

Voila! I challenge you to start practicing these new ways of counting on your current knitting project - comment here and let me know what you think!

If you enjoyed this free video tutorial on knitting more efficiently, you might also like my videos on:


  1. Hi! I've found your blog through Ravelry. You have very useful tips!
    Thank you for the 5s tip. I count in 3-3-4, 10s, basically. Work for me, but I might try 5s too.
    As for counting rows, I use a stitch markers of 2 types: one small and several bigger ones. I don't mark first row, after I knit 5, I put a small SM around a stitch, just like you do (but after I knit the row, not during, like this it's not in the way when I knit next stitch). Then after I knit another 5 rows, I put a big SM, which marks 10. After next 5 I move the small SM, knit another 5 and put another big one. Like this you can quickly see how many 10s you've done already, very useful for long stockinette cardigans!
    I'm not sure if I understand why you count the stitches on the needle as a knitted row though. They're yet to become V's, it's a "row to be". So in your example I'd say that you've already knit 25 rows and are about to knit row 26.
    Thank you again, and count me in your followers!
    Greetings from Belgium, Olga

  2. Hi Olga,
    Thanks for your comment! I love the idea of marking your cardigans with row-groups of 10 for easy counting. That's a great tip for readers.

    As far as counting the stitches on the needle - they are a knitted row because I have already knitted them. I think no matter how you count, as long as you are consistent it will come out correctly.

    Thanks again for contributing!

  3. I've always counted my stitches in groups of three, which has worked well for me, but faster sounds better, so I'll give the 5's a try!

    I have always had a struggle counting rows, and can't begin to count how many times I've forgotten to click my row-counter gadget at the end of a completed row. I am really anxious to implement your row counting method.

    Your tricks are such commen-sense ideas, I really don't understand why I never thought to do them! ;-) I appreciate you sharing all your cleverness with those of us who are NOT so clever! ;-Þ