Knitting tips – keeping track mid-row

This thought came as a revelation to me so apologies if it’s already occurred to everyone else: “you can use stitch markers even when the pattern doesn’t say you have to!

I’m used to using stitch markers to mark specific points on jumpers, e.g. where the seams will be joined later, but it only recently occurred to me that I can also use them to keep track of simple repeating stitch patterns mid-row.

I’ve been working on a pattern with an extremely simple stitch pattern. How hard could it be to keep track of knit 2, slip 2 or purl 2, slip 2, even for a row with more than 400 stitches? In my case, nearly impossible! (For someone who works almost exclusively with numbers, having to admit that I was having trouble counting to two was embarassing, to say the least.)

Stitch markers to the rescue! I’ve now got stitch markers every 40 stitches and just work out at the start of every row which stitch (of the four stitch pattern) I should be at when I get to a marker. If I’m not at the right stitch, I never have to work back more than 40 stitches, which is a huge improvement over having to rip back the entire row!

This technique will work for any repeated stitch pattern. Just make sure that your markers are placed at appropriate multiples of stitches. For example, for a pattern with a repeat of 5 stitches, place markers at any multiples of 5 (5, 10, 15, 20, etc.) and, in each row, you should always be at the same stitch in the pattern when you get to a marker. Obviously, if your pattern shifts slightly from row to row, you’ll be at a different point in the pattern on different rows, but you should always be at the same point for every marker in a single row.

2 thoughts on “Knitting tips – keeping track mid-row

  1. I just had the same revelation recently. What should have been so simple (a seed stitch border) was turning out to be an opportunity for error. When I realized I could place stitch markers (even thought the pattern didn’t call for them) at the borders, I could stop counting those 10 stitches!

  2. Hi, I have just started knitted Lacy KAL project with my local Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild, the pattern is very, very lacy but open to adaption within reason regarding item category of wrap, scarf or wrap. The repeats of pattern in width and length is also negotiable. Same for yarn and ply and knitting needle size.

    I have tried different types of needles, and sizes to find what are the most suitable to use for project as needle size and ply is also optional. The metal knitting needles are too slippery, same with plastic, still a bit slippery but not as slippery as the metal ones. The circular needles,straight pins too! For non slip stitches I’ve tried bamboo needles in size 2.75mm are also a challenge because of tight tension.

    I am new to lace style knitting patterns and also lace weight yarns. I have chosen a 2 ply pastel variegated merino yarn as a challenge to myself as well as the project challenge open to all KAL participants! FO items only can be exhibited at end of project. A Six months deadline! This project is an ongoing weekly part-work pattern, given out in monthly instalments, an all lace pattern as far as I know. What tips do you have for a novice KAL participant, new to lacework patterns? Work by the chart or by the written instructions? Also with a variegated yarn, what would the result be by working with one skein rather than two at a time. I am still in the practice mode before beginning the project. There is a total of 560 rows in pattern project!

    Any tips very much welcomed! I am not at liberty to disclose pattern instructions, end of project we can display pic’s of finished projects. This is a pattern I’m looking forward to making.

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