How to Count Rows in Knitting

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Keeping track of the number of rows is essential to certain knitting projects. If you are making two of the same object, such as sleeves, socks, mittens or gloves, counting rows helps ensure the two objects will be the same size. One convenient way to count rows is with a row counter, a small dial that slides onto your needles. If you don't have a row counter, you can still keep track of your stitches by counting them vertically.

Lay your knitting flat to make the rows more visible and easier to count.

Locate the vertical Vs that represent rows in stockinette stitch. Stockinette stitch is the result of alternating knitting and purling every other row.

Count each V vertically to tally up the number of rows. Pointing to each V with the tip of your needle as you count can help to keep you from losing your place.

Count rows of garter stitch by counting each ridge. A ridge looks like two purl bumps, one stacked on top of the other. Each ridge is equal to two rows.

Invest in a row counter or clicker if you have trouble counting rows consistently. You can also use a piece of paper and make one mark for each row you knit.


  • The cast-on row does not count when counting rows. Do not count the row currently on your needles. If you find it difficult to count garter stitch, pull gently on your knitting from top to bottom. You will see a small V, which looks like a stockinette row, in between each two-row ridge. This will help you separate every two rows from the previous two.