Yarn Lover's Room



Tips and Tricks


Exchanging knit to crochet

Exchange knitting to crochet or crochet to knitting.

Keeping track of rows  

I copy all of the patterns I am working on, put them in a plastic sleeve and then a cover. This carries with me very easily when I am travel or going to doctor ' s offices where I have to wait. I keep the original book on the end table in the living room away from my other knitting books. If I loose the directions it is no big deal, I just make another copy because I have not lost the original directions and I know exactly where to find them .

I like to plan out my knitting rows or rounds on notebook paper. I write down the rows or rounds of the pattern on notebook paper. I write the number of stitches next to the corresponding pattern number. This shows me that I have an increase. I put circles where I have a cable twist on that pattern Row, this way I do not have to keep going back to the directions if it is a simple cable pattern such as on the back of gloves. If there are two patterns pattern A has 8 rows, I write 1 to 8 down the notebook page. Pattern B has 6 rows to the pattern, I would write 1 to 6 down the page making sure the numbers are where I would be with pattern A. I would end up with the numbers not matching after the first repeat. As I knit the rows or rounds, I check off the corresponding number after I finished the Row or round. I found I could run several cable patterns on the needles at the same time and not get mixed up as to where I am at. I have run up to 13 different cable patterns on the needles in one Row and not had a bit of problems knowing where I am at. This is especially helpful if the pattern is unfamiliar or a beginning knitter is being taught.

If a pattern changes the number of stitches every Row or two such as happens in boarder lace, I sit down before I knit a stitch and count the number of stitches in each Row. Some of the patterns do not tell you how many stitches are on each Row until you have finished the whole pattern once. I have found this is a little late for picking up mistakes. I place a safety pin as markers each time the pattern is to change or repeat. This helps with finding the exact place of may mistake or to confirm the stitches were knit right. Safety pins can be removed easily and are much cheaper to obtain than markers. Just remember to change the size of the pins depending on the size of the needle and the yarn you are working with.

Counting the stitches you have for each Row as you knit the Row is much easier to correct errors before a lot of work has to be torn out. Peace be with you. Little Candal


Hello, Here's another quick trick for keeping track of what Row you are on for knitting or crocheting. I use 2 different colored sticky flags (the ones from office supply that attorneys use to mark where you need to sign a document), and just keep moving the top one below the bottom one when I finish that Row. The reason for this is that when working from a chart, I can't tell you how many times I would pick up the sticky note or flag to move it and not be able to tell what Row I just picked it up from. So using 2 different ones solved that problem. Happy knitting and crocheting. Judy M.


Before I start an item, I read over the instructions a couple of time to get familiar with it.  I then take a sheet of lined notebook paper and re-write them, line by line.  Some times one sentence of the instructions can run into another if included in one long paragraph or not separated with punctuation.  Also some words really not necessary may be included.  I write just what I want to know, being careful to keep track of rows (rounds), repeats, etc.  It may seem like a waste of time, but it is worth it in a pattern that you have to watch very closely or one that changes a lot.  Some patterns are very specific,some are too "wordy" (using several sentences to describe something that can be done in one operation) or some may "assume" that you know what has gone before.  It works faster when you get started or if the directions look like a Chinese restaurant order and you reeeely want to make the item.  I usually designate some space if I have to repeat or go "from Row 3 to Row 45."    Ruth


When following a pattern instead of using sticky notes to keep track of where you are, you can buy in many knitting stores a magnet board that you put over your pattern, then just use the magnetic strip and follow line by line. I could not do all my pattern knitting with out it. Thanks, Barbara Lee


I write confusing directions on 3x5 cards one Row at a time. Especially if it is a repeat pattern. As I complete each Row, I flip to the next card. This way I always know  what Row I'm on. Especially helpful on cable patterns. Diane S


Make a  color  coded vertical bar chart corresponding to the rows of the cable  pattern, which has bars of the same number as cables No crossing cable  has no color on the bar concerned Cross front is a chosen color Cross back is a different color The colors are not in the knitting which is just one color The color is crayon on the bar chart  which runs alongside the vertical  penned instruction you make  for the non-cable part which often has to be repeated vertically It then gets easier as you knit   from TFylan@


  I am 65 and have worn out many needles in the past 58 years. I thought I might pass along a tip I find helpful, when working from a printed pattern or graph I use "sticky notes" to mark my place and if it is one of those "repeat this Row 13 time" I keep track of those rows my marking of the note. Thanks for the wonderful site, keep up the good work. Donna


Re keeping track of rows and stitches, my mother's way was always to stop in the middle of a Row, never at the end of one. she had a little Row counter that clipped on the selvedge, marked increases/decreases with a an inch or two of yarn in a contrasting color. Shirley L.




 I find I'm always "on a roll" when I come to the end of a Row, and don't want to put down my hook to move my post-it or make another mark on my paper.  

I also have a problem keeping count on my chains, since my husband always picks that moment to start a conversation.  I finally found two answers that work for me. 

When creating my initial chain, I use an abacus, and every ten chains, I move a bead.  That way I can move the bead without setting down my work, and never have to recount more than 10 chains, no matter how often I'm interrupted. 

My Row counter (and these took forever to find), are clothespins for doll clothes.  I remembered having these tiny clips as a child, but they were hard to find when I was looking for them.  Since I never want to put down my work after a single Row, I clip a clothespin on every 5th Row (use whatever number you want, as long as you're consistent), and use another to mark where I stand on my pattern.  Since most of my patterns use several rows of the same stitch pattern, my 5-count lets me know how many of a particular Row I've done, and the clip on my pattern tells me which Row I'm doing now. CB Lapp, Troy, Michigan


My last knitting project had several different knitting stitches in one square and each line was different.  I went to my computer and typed out each line and marked the page.  Then I printed each line on heavy paper (card paper) which was great.  I then  punched a hole in the corner and put a key ring in, as I knitted the line I turned the page to the next line.  If I had to put my knitting down I knew exactly what line I had to work on.  This works wonders when doing other knitting objects that have many different lines and makes it much easier to read the lines.  I print them out larger to see easier.   Hope this helps you. From Ezlivin4@


When working a pattern that contains many rows to do, I now use a post-it page to mark the current Row I'm working on -- this also saves your pattern for use the next time you want to do it. signed, The Happy Hooker from Dayton, OH


When my aunt was crocheting (or knitting) something with complicated instructions, she'd tape a wooden ruler on the kitchen table, place the instructions beneath, and just slide the sheet up line by line as she progressed. From Barbara in Allentown PA.


 from Amanda at dahuffs@scottyhuff.com My tip is: When a pattern tells you to mark Row as rs, or right side I promptly pull my yarn tail in a position on the ws, or wrong side so that it is painfully obvious that it is the ws. This way I always know the other side is the rs. I do this because I am too lazy to get up and get another color yarn...but lazy, as a fox. (hahahaheehee) Amanda =) a.k.a. Yarnee


Hi, A long time quitter (18 years) I just got back into crocheting and knitting recently and have been surfing the internet looking for new ideas.  I was
reading your "tips" page and saw several ways to count your rows. Among my stashed supplies for knitting, I found my " counter". I have had it for years.  I purchased  it at an office supply store.  It is a metal  device and sits on a table. It has a knob on top of it, and you just tap the knob and it adds a number to the counter. It is the handiest thing that I ever got. As I finish each Row I just tap it and I always know which Row I am on.  You turn a little dial and get back to 0000.  mab maryann@kiski.net


On my latest project that was a lacy knit shell, I had a nightmare trying to follow the directions for each Row and keep track of my size in the [   ]. The directions had 43 different rows.  So I took some time and went into my word processor and wrote out each Row step by step, on a separate sheet of paper.   It was so much easier than getting lost over and over in that fine print and mess of numbers on the directions. It took some time to do, but in the end, it sure saved my sanity!  As I finished each Row, I just put the sheet for the that Row away and I knew that I did it.  I knitted both the front and back at the same time in circular needles so I only had to follow the directions once! mab maryann@kiski.net


pirhls@ns.sympatico.ca S In many of the patterns I use there are many repetitions of a Row, sometimes as many as 50. Keeping track of the number of rows I have done has always been a problem. However, my kitchen solved the problem for me. What I do is use dried macaroni. I count out pieces of macaroni equal to the number of rows I need to repeat. I put them in one bowl and as I complete a Row I transfer a piece to an empty bowl. When the first bowl is empty I have reached the number of rows I need. Inexpensive and effective. Patrick LaRusic


fredsmom@telus.net  hi there . when I'm crocheting I sometimes forget which Row I'm on so what I do is place the pattern in a plastic cover then I put a post it note on the Row I'm on then just move it down  Row by Row.  It works


nbugmann@fmtc.com Subject: Keeping rows I put the numbers of the rows needed for a doily or tablecloth I am working, then when I finish a Row I cross it off with a pencil.  Sometimes I double mark the rows ( put the last Row /first Row; next to last Row/second Row; etc.) that way I not only know what Row I just finished, but I also know how many rows I have left to do for that project.  Hope this helps someone.

Dotti  KESINGERD@MTA.NET   slip a Row counter from my knitting onto a stitch-holder and pin it to my work to keep track of what Row I'm on when I have to count rows.