Friday, June 24, 2011

Counting the Rows

by Kelly

I'm knitting a large shawl right now, and I needed something to count the rows. Not just to keep track of the pattern (a 5 row repeat), but also to count the number of rows, since I need to make two panels the same size.

Normally, I use a gadget like this. It slides onto a needle and all you have to do is click it to count one row. Unfortunately, I'm using huge size 13 needles, so that little counter doesn't fit on the needle. So I'm using my backup, which I normally use for crocheting.

 Which is fine, if a little bulky. And it counts up to 9,999 rows. Heaven forbid I should ever have to knit or crochet 10,000 rows of anything, but I could if I wanted to. And besides, as my husband pointed out, it's red and sporty, like my last two cars. And my cell phone. And my vacuum cleaner.

Actually, when we went to buy the vacuum, I pointed it out without looking at any specs and said, "I like that one.". My husband said, "Because it's red and sporty?" I just laughed. There was another couple looking at vacuums, carefully checking out features with a salesperson to help them, and they didn't seem to think we were funny.

But anyway, back to the counter, it's not exactly 'knitting friendly', since I have to put it down on a table nearby, and our cat (who is usually eyeing the ball of yarn while I knit) thinks that makes it fair game. This means that at some point I have to walk across the room and retrieve my counter from under a couch or chair.

Then I started thinking - what I really need is a bracelet or a necklace with beads on it, that would let me count the rows like an abacus. Something that would stay on me, and not get played with or misplaced. But how would I make such a thing? So I questioned the oracle (my new name for Google search) and lo and behold:

a tutorial from Knitting Help. Yes, that's a bracelet that helps you count the rows. And not bad looking, either.

Not surprisingly, there are lots of these available on Etsy. Have any of you used something like this?

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