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.