How To Count Knitting Rows

Starting your knitting journey can be an exciting step that will fill your wardrobe or home with cozy scarves, hats, and even quirky blankets. But, well, how do you trace all those rows you've set? Calculating the number of knitted rows is as easy as it sounds. You don’t need to worry, and it will eventually come to you. Make the single row a little weighted – every V-shaped item is your knit stitch or stockinette stitch! It is like a climb on a knitting ladder, the way a knitter does, row by row, to achieve something great.

Now, just imagine that you happen to use your eyes to simply count them, and, hey, no stitch marker or colored yarn is needed. Isn't it a tough and long process? So, here, we will show you ways to identify how to count knit rows!

Why Is Counting Knit Rows Important?

Counting these rows is like following a map on a journey. Without the map, you would be lost and end up where you don’t want to be. If you fail to count knit rows accurately or don’t know how to do it, you will only end up with a project that doesn’t fit or look right.

Precise knit counting ensures that you maintain consistency. Your project will have an even length and width, just as you wanted. The stitch patterns on your project will be more accurate as you learn to keep track of accurate knit rows. For sweaters, accurate knit count not only ensures a perfect fit but also a perfect look. So, you must count the stitch markers carefully.

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Methods For Identifying Stitch Rows

Before you start counting knit rows, you must first learn to identify them. You just count directly as you knit from the needle. There are proper methods that can help you identify knit rows so that there is no room for error.

Let’s start with what not to count. You must ignore the last row or cast one row on your needles. These knit rows will not make it to the final count. The cast-on row is at the bottom of your knitting. Hence, you must begin counting above this row and end counting right below your needles. After carefully knitting each stitch, you can complete each row with a long tail cast, leaving an extended yarn tail that adds a touch of elegance to your project.

There are different types of stitches and, hence, different ways to identify them. You cannot use just one method to identify all kinds of stitches. Here are some of the ways you can identify knit rows:

1- Identify Knit Stitches

This is the most common type of stitch that has a V shape. To identify these stitches, you just have to look for V shapes on your project. Each V stitch is a row. Hence, you can easily count the knit rows by counting the V's.

2- Identify Garter Stitches

If you are working with garter stitches, then there will be no V shapes; instead, you will have to look for inverted U shapes. These stitches are also known as purl stitches. Counting a purl stitch or frown in your project will give you an exact row count.

3- Identify Cable Stitches

A cable stitch is confusing because it is not like the previous two. These stitches have odd angles, unlike U or V stitches, and hence, it is difficult to identify them directly. In this kind of project, you will have to find the hole between the cables and then count the ladders above these stitches. Find the hole with your fingers, put the finger inside, and then count the ladders above the finger. Your knit row count will be the total number of ladders minus one.

Knit Rows 5

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Methods For Counting Knit Rows

There are various methods that can help you count knit rows. Once you have identified the stitch rows, it is much easier to count them. Here are some of the most common ways used for knit row counting.

1- Manual Counting

For smaller projects, you can easily count the knit rows manually without having to use any instrument. You can count knit rows verbally or in your mind, as there won’t be many. However, when you are knitting a sweater or a larger project, then you will need a proper strategy to keep track of rows. You have to be careful and never lose track of these stitches. For counting rows in seed stitch knitting, you need to count the purl stitches and multiply your counted number by 2. Also, for counting columns, you have to pick just one column of stitches. After that, you should count the V's in it.

2- Digital Counter

Getting a digital counter can prove to be quite handy, as it can accurately keep track of the count and is pretty easy to use. Place the stitch counter at the end of your needles and count as you get through each row. You can also wear it on your finger, wear it as a necklace, or in any way that is convenient for you. Some of the more advanced digital counters come with a lock function that will prevent adding an accidental count. I personally recommend them to all my readers as they are the most effective counting machines.

3- Download A Knitting App

Technology has revolutionized the craft of knitting, and today, there are various knitting apps available that not only help you with keeping an accurate knit count but also provide instructions and helpful insights. You can download a knitting app that will help you count the knit rows just by tapping on the screen. It is really easy and convenient to use.

4- Using Pen & Paper

Some users prefer using the old tally method on pen and paper. Instead of writing numbers or placing marks on paper, you can use the tally method, which is an effective strategy for counting. You place four straight lines, and the fifth crosses them diagonally. But I am against resorting to this method. The reason is you will have to stop after knitting each row to note it down, which can break your flow of work.

5- Placing A Stitch Marker

You can place a stitch marker every few rows to ensure that you don’t lose count. Even with digital counters, you can mistakenly press a button and add a row, but a marker will help you keep accurate track. Ideally, placing a marker every 10 rows is considered the best method. This will allow you to count 10 rows later directly without going through any effort. The number of markers multiplied by 10 will give you the exact number of rows you have knitted more easily and quickly,

Methods For Counting Knit Rows In A Table Form



Manual CountingCount knit rows as a verb or a number for smaller projects, but approaching large ones uses a strategy.
Digital CounterThe digital counter can be used at the terminal of your needles or as a separate device to count the number of rows more easily and quickly.
Download A Knitting AppRely on knitting apps to avail the feature of tapping to count, instructions, and insights.
Using Pen & PaperThe tally method is the most suitable if you need the counts of each row as you might have to stop after each row.
Placing A Stitch MarkerThe problem of accuracy is solved by placing a stitch marker every few rows, and this is especially needed for the digital counters; it is preferable to use markers every 10 rows, as this makes counting much easier.
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Trouble Counting Rows? Try the Needle Technique!

Sometimes, it is very difficult to identify the knits or stitches just by looking at them. As a beginner, you might be facing this difficulty. As a result, it will be very difficult for you to keep track of rows just by counting them with your fingers. What if you skip one? That would ruin the whole count.

As you become more experienced, you will find it easier to count the rows, but to facilitate the process in the beginning, you can use a knitting needle or yarn needle to count the rows. Use the tip of the needle to count the stitches from the bottom to the top. You will only need to use the tip as a guide. Once you become more proficient, you will be able to count them visually.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is 1 Row Of Knitting?

One line of basic knit stitches is known as 1 row of knitting. While knitting a sweater, blanket, or any project, the row above the cast row will be called the 1st row of your knitting project.

Do You Count Stitches On A Needle When Counting Rows Of Knitting?

No, stitches on the needle are not counted. Both the stitches on the needle and on the cast-on row are not counted in knitted rows. Hence, you must exclude them from the final count.

How Do You Count How Many Rows You Have Knitted In Garter Stitch?

The garter stitches do not have V-shaped knits. Instead, they have ridges, and each ridge equates to two rows. So, you will have to count the rows and then multiply them by two to get the exact number of rows you have.


To sum it all up, counting knit rows isn’t as difficult as it might seem at first, but it is a fundamental task and must not be overlooked. The knit row count has a lot of significance, especially when it comes to the desired look and fit of the project. I have discussed various methods to identify the stitches and also to count the knit rows in the above guide.

The most effective method is the one that is convenient for you. If the method you select requires you to put down the needles each time you need to count the row, then it is not an effective one. Getting the digital counter is the most effective, as you can wear it on a finger and count rows as you knit. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes really effective. Know something we don’t? Drop it in the comments section below. Happy Knitting!

Sophia William

An accomplished author with an impressive history of 6 years of contributions to renowned informational websites.

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