Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Necessity is the mother of invention!

I was always second guessing myself when I was keeping track of completed rows on paper. Did I mark the row down or not??? I really needed a better system.

I had seen the row counters (broken link removed) at Knitpicks but I needed to count more rows than that. I had also seen the row counter bracelet online and loved the concept but I wanted the counter to remain with the knitting project not my wrist.

So I grabbed my boxes of beads, jump rings and wine glass charm rings and went to work. Viola!

I put one green bead in the link before the odd rows and two blue beads (dark and light) before the even rows. I made the 5th row bead gold (five gold rings) to make it easier to recognize what row I was on at a glance.

Now when I knit a round or row and I arrive back at the point of the counter I know I must move the counter up a row. No more second guesses!

When I get to row 10 on the row chain I move one of the 10 row beads through the stopper beads on elastic thread. Always moving the stopper beads away from the purple starting bead.

I really like it! I've also made them with bigger jump rings for larger needle sizes.

Edited on Dec 12, 2007
to add picture against white background. Click on the picture to make it bigger. Also note that I had to remove one stopper bead from the ring of five. Using five was allowing it to sometimes move on its own when I packed the project into a bag. Not anymore with four! But how many you use will really be determined by the size of the beads you are using for the "10" beads.

Someone asked about the jump rings catching on the knitting. Using two smooth needle nose pliers I haven't had much issue with catching. I try to be sure to push the jump rings together tightly so hardly any light can be seen through the join. Although on the above picture you can see light through some of the links and I don't get caught up with this one.


Marie N. said...

Hi, I'm a new knitter, very impressed with your counter. I'm still making tally marks on my patterns. I look forward to visiting your blog. Mine will not be up and running till summer.

Marie N. said...

I see my friends among your blog links. From the links I see the provider of our homeschool's catechesis materials.

LotzaStitches said...

Hi Marie,
I look forward to your blog this summer. We also use Pastor Bender's catechesis materials. I've been on Martin Loopers since 1999 but I'm pretty quiet.

Marie N. said...

May I recommend another friend's knitting blog? www.lenealve.blogspot.com Since last fall when she started it I've learned so much and been so inspired. Yesterday I finished swatching and cast on for my first sweater. We'll see what happens. :-)

I'm not on ML anymore as I could not keep up with the mail volume. When ds begins kindergarten in the fall I may resub for a sanity check! Next year dd will be in 4th grade.

There's a good concentration on ML-ers in northeast Ohio and in our congregation.

LotzaStitches said...

Wow! What beautiful knitting your friend does! I love the Finnish lessons also!

What kind of sweater are you making? Pieces or in the round? For you? Or child size?

We're NE of Ohio and Chicago!

Marie N. said...


I'm making a short sleeve sweater for spring/fall. I found it here. http://www.berroco.com/189/189_heidi.html In the past I've made an overcoat and a sweater for a doll, but nothing this big. This is something I hope to actually wear! It is a light sage green. The fiber is acrylic because I lack confidence and it was very inexpensive. After I'd bought the yarn I learned this is probably not a great idea. I'm rationalizing to myself that "I'm always cold anyway" :-) If I like the look when I'm done, I'll try again in cotton.

The doll clothes I made were in pieces and this is also except for the neckband.

LotzaStitches said...

Cute sweater!

Anonymous said...

Great idea - I love it!!
Thanks so much for sharing.

Kat said...

BRILLIANT!! Your row counter is everything I've been looking for but not finding.

Do you find that it gets too heavy on your knitting?

Thanks so much for sharing!

LotzaStitches said...

I used glass beads on the wine glass charm. I also tried cheap plastic beads. The plastic beaded one is lighter than the glass one. But...I liked the sparkle of the glass beads! I don't find it to be *too* heavy in anyway.

AR said...

That is so smart! Thanks for sharing.

tiedye said...

Thank you so much for the second picture. I think that is what I am wanting but have been unable to describe it to me non-knitting sister

shelly said...

ok love these. didnt quite follow your method. did you make it up? have you ever just used a row counter that goes on the needle and you twist in ths numbers. thats the one and only i have ever had. but i would lik eto mimic yours..........do you have instructions and ingredients anywhere besides this?

Lotzastitches said...

This is a reply to Shelly.

Shelly wrote:
"didnt quite follow your method. did you make it up?"

I reply:
I'm not sure what you are asking. I did make up the row counter myself. Is that what you are asking?

Shelly wrote:
"have you ever just used a row counter that goes on the needle and you twist in ths numbers."

I reply: Yes, I've got several different types of row counters. I didn't like having to put down my needles to twist or click the row counter. With my row counter I just move up to the next jump ring. Just keep on knitting!

Shelly wrote:
"do you have instructions and ingredients anywhere besides this?"

I reply: Nope. You can click on the pictures to make them larger if that helps you to figure out what you need.

shelly said...

Thanks. I sooo want to make these. what are jump rings? and i am really confused as to how you made these. i try to follow the link yougave but i dont know what i need and where to get what i need?

Lotzastitches said...

Hi Shelly,

The link I gave does not show how to make my row counter. I gave the link to show what gave me my inspiration. My row counter is a cross between that link that is still working and the other Knitpicks link which is no longer working. I wanted the straight row counter from Knitpicks but I also wanted to have the bracelet part (from the other link) to dangle from the end of it so the bracelet part would stay on my project not on my wrist.

To make these the first thing that you will need is TWO SMOOTH needle nose pliers. You need these to bend the jump rings (the little metal rings your knitting needles will go through).

Other materials:
* 1" Wine glass charm loop (or hoop earring loop)
* Austrian crystal beads and metal beads to put on this loop
* Jump rings
*7mm size for knitting needles to go through
*4mm size to connect the 7mm size into a chain
* Seed Beads to go on the 4mm size jump rings.
* Elastic thread to make the stopper bead ring (clear beads on the wine glass charm ring)
* Beading needle to string clear beads onto the elastic

If you take this list of materials and a print out of the picture of my row counter into a craft supply store like Hobby Lobby or Michael's they will be able to help you find what you need.

If you don't have any of these items on hand you will find that this will be expensive to buy all the materials just to make one or two of these.

There is an Etsy shop that sells a similar version to mine.
(I can't make this link clickable...you'll have to copy and paste it.)

That may be a more cost efficient way to go and save you some frustrations. Working with beads, jump rings and smooth needle nose pliers can be a pain. I've been known to jab the pliers into my thumb on more than one occasion and draw blood trying to get the jump rings closed just right.

June said...

I was asked to make one of your row counters as a commission piece, and then was asked again when someone saw a photo of the first one I'd made. I would like to add them as a regular item for sale on my Facebook page, but wanted to ask you first if this was OK with you. The design has changed a little as the person that commissioned the first one asked for a hook at the top so they could attach it to a bracelet if they wanted to, but I have credited you with the original design. Please let me know if this is OK with you.
Thanks :o)