I finished up my Red Revival sweater while I was on vacation last month, and while I was knitting up the second sleeve I took a quick pic to help share one of my favorite row counting methods.
You can see in the picture that I’ve used a thin lace weight counting thread to track how many rows I knit on the first sleeve, and then the second. I’ve tried the counter thread that flips back and forth each round, but I kept forgetting to flip it. I’ve just outright counted the little “v’s” many times, but then you have to check your count, and find a starting point that may be a hundred stitches away. Way too much work for me. I’ve tried marking down the rows on paper, but then I forget when the movie gets good. 😉 I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of this, but I guess my experience with huck-towel embroidery may be my inspiration for this “lazy knitter’s counting” technique.
What I’ve settled on is this: I run a thin yarn or thread with a darning needle sideways under a knit “v” at a starting point. In the case of the sweater, I ran it through the “v” under my needle when I put the sleeve stitches back on my needles. In the close-up sample I chose the final ribbed row on the edge. I then put the darning needle away and just leave the thread there until I’m ready to count. That’s where the lazy part comes in. No tick marks, no flipping, no need to count while you work at all. In the case of a sleeve like this, I actually waited until I was done with the first sleeve to count the rows. So, when I was done with that first sleeve, I threaded that darning needle again and began counting every tenth row, and running the counting thread behind that tenth “v”. It creates a dashed line on the right side of your work that you can then count off in tens. You leave the first counter thread in while you work the second sleeve, so you don’t have to write anything down, and the only thing you have to remember is to start the second thread at the same point. So I work the second until I feel it’s close, then count the second sleeve the same way, and compare to the first. Now, as I come up on the end of that sleeve, I only have a few stitches to count, rather than a whole big column of stitches. I have used this on many projects, and it’s more reliable that the tape measure, but far less tedious than counting rows as you go. It works for socks, sleeves, or any item where you just need to hit a certain row count in the pattern. When your done, the “dashes” are easily removed with your fingers without damaging the knitting!
BTW – The finished sweater is lovely and warm, so no pictures until the weather cools down!!!