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Old 01-06-2014, 03:16 AM   #1
SleepingCetra
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How do you keep from losing your place?
I don't know if this is only a problem for beginners, but I get intimidated looking at a pattern that has several different stitch techniques in a single round because I am afraid I will lose my place, sort of like when you are counting up to a large number and stumble just for a moment and then have to start over from the beginning because you are worried you will have miscounted if you take a guess.

I am about to start the Zigzag lace pattern on my cowl and there are 28 rounds of 168 sts with various SSK and YO and other things, things I have never even tried before! However, I am not worried about the technique, only losing track of where I am in a round.

I can knit with the TV on usually when it is a simple pattern, but I have to concentrate on this to make sure I don't skip a step. I have a pen and paper beside me, I have been marking my completed rounds to keep my place, but now I think I am going to do that for the stitches in every round.

So, how do you do it? Do you have a notepad to keep a tally on, or is it just second nature at this point?
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:15 AM   #2
jinxnit55
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Hi there! There are several ways to keep track of your knitting. Lots of people use stitch markers, which you can buy (anything from simple plastic clips to ornate jeweled versions), or make (some people just use a small piece of different-colored yarn, or you can cut soda straws into little round pieces, for example). So, say, if there is a pattern repeat every 10 to 20 stitches, you can place a marker to help remind you. You can count to yourself or make tally marks on paper.
In time, you will also be able to "read" the knitting, differentiating how a purl stitch looks different than a knit stitch, same thing with yarn overs and SSKs. Then you can visually tell where you are.

You are right that it helps to focus on your work rather than watching TV or talking with someone while you knit.

I can't say if it becomes second nature, because I have only been knitting for a year myself, and can still wind up losing track. In that case I "tink" back until I figure out where I am. HTH! I'm sure you will figure out a good way of doing it!
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:11 AM   #3
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I second everything Jinx said. You might also think about inserting a lifeline just in case you need to rip out a row or two. It may also help to use sticky notes on either a lace chart or the pattern text. Good luck with the cowl!
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:02 PM   #4
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I second and third what Jinx and Salmonmac said. Stitch markers and lifelines are sanity savers!
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:46 AM   #5
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Generally speaking, when working a pattern, I will knit the entire pattern repeat, that way I always start on row 1. However, if it's just a type of stitch. I will work to the end of the row.
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:22 PM   #6
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Yes to all of the above. I'll add just one. When using stitch markers, always make sure that the one you use to mark the end of a round is a different color or type than the rest so you don't confuse it with the others that are within the round.

I like using lots of stitch markers when I'm working really long rows or rounds. If I'm working 120 stitches, I'll sometimes mark every 25--then, if I lose count , I only have to start counting after the last marker
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:09 PM   #7
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Have to wholeheartedly agree with all of our answers! Lifelines and Stitch Markers! I've even used different sets of colors across long rows, then marked those colors on my pattern using colored pens. Anything to keep myself oriented.

I'm working on the Kathy Kelly Cabled Capelet now. Oy vey. Top down, starting with 54 neckline stitches, increasing to 500 by row 93 and binding off.


No chart provided. Line by line by line written directions, each row different. So I'm using post-it sticky notes to mask the rows above and below the current working row to prevent my old eyes from jumping to another row!

Now I'll tell ya another secret I use on these kinds of rows: at the end of each RS 'working' busy row, and before turning the work around to knit the WS, I count my stitches between each stitch marker, just to be sure no increases have been forgotten!

Does this take extra time? It certainly does! But if I discover a boo-boo on that row, I can tink back to that boo-boo and fix it now instead of many rows later.

On the capelet I'm knitting now, the stitches between each stitch marker have increased to 35 (from the original 6)... the rows have become more complicated.... so after I pass each stitch marker, I stop and count stitches. Just to be sure all my stitches are there.

I hate losing track or losing count. But by taking careful precautions, going slow & accurate, using tools like stitch markers, lifelines, post-it notes, colored pens & highlighters...all these things help me stay on track.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:06 PM   #8
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That capelet is looking very nice! I don't envy you working without a chart, oy vey doesn't begin to convey.

All the ideas above are great, beginner or not, keeping track of where you are can be challenging.

One pattern I've worked from has something like 54 rows. With this one I've used a magnetic board to hold my pattern, a couple of magnets to hold paper which blocks from my view any of the rows below the one that I currently work on.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ArtLady1981 View Post
Have to wholeheartedly agree with all of our answers! Lifelines and Stitch Markers! I've even used different sets of colors across long rows, then marked those colors on my pattern using colored pens. Anything to keep myself oriented.

I'm working on the Kathy Kelly Cabled Capelet now. Oy vey. Top down, starting with 54 neckline stitches, increasing to 500 by row 93 and binding off.

No chart provided. Line by line by line written directions, each row different. So I'm using post-it sticky notes to mask the rows above and below the current working row to prevent my old eyes from jumping to another row!

Now I'll tell ya another secret I use on these kinds of rows: at the end of each RS 'working' busy row, and before turning the work around to knit the WS, I count my stitches between each stitch marker, just to be sure no increases have been forgotten!

Does this take extra time? It certainly does! But if I discover a boo-boo on that row, I can tink back to that boo-boo and fix it now instead of many rows later.

On the capelet I'm knitting now, the stitches between each stitch marker have increased to 35 (from the original 6)... the rows have become more complicated.... so after I pass each stitch marker, I stop and count stitches. Just to be sure all my stitches are there.

I hate losing track or losing count. But by taking careful precautions, going slow & accurate, using tools like stitch markers, lifelines, post-it notes, colored pens & highlighters...all these things help me stay on track.
I do all of the above, PLUS

--different sizes, as well as colors, of stitch markers. Maybe the borders in one kind of marker, repeats in another?

--make my own chart *from* the written instructions. (I did this on New Year's Eve, when there appeared to be a contradiction in the written instrux.)

--I'm another who marks regular intervals on long runs of the same stitch. I'm up to 270 or so stitches on each row of a growing triangular shawl; there's a marker every 25 stitches for me, too, like sgtpam.

--I keep row count on a tally sheet. At the end of each row on a counted (vs. measured) piece, before I turn the work, I make a tally mark with pencil (I try never to have pen near my yarn) so that I'll know which row I'm on when I come back to the piece after the inevitable interruption(s) of life. The tally sheet is usually paper-clipped to the pattern.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:01 PM   #10
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If I'm knitting from a chart, especially lace, I put a bunch of sticky notes on the chart itself to mark where I am in the pattern. In other words, there is a line of stickies all the way across the page above the line I am currently working on. In addition, in lace there are usually a bunch of yo and k2tog in a row. I will count them to see how many I have to do instead of trying to look at them one at a time.
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