A step by step tutorial showing you everything you need to know about counting garter stitch rows the right way
So, I assume you are currently knitting a pattern and it tells you to finish a specific number of rows, right? But then you lost track and now you don’t know if knit enough rows or not. Well, despair not. It’s very simple. Here’s how to count garter stitch rows:
Garter stitch is a simple knitting stitch pattern that consists of knit stitches across all rows. And each single knit stitch is formed by a single loop around your knitting needle. As a result, counting garter stitch rows is as simple as counting the loops in a column of knit stitches (see picture below).
The problem, however, is that these loops are often quite condensed and it is somewhat hard to see them – unless you stretch them out. And even then – especially if you are knitting with a rather fuzzy yarn – it can be a bit difficult to see. Your knitting probably looks a bit more like this:
And that’s why you need to employ a little trick. Two of these loops form one ridge. So, if you look very closely at the picture below, you can see how these two knit stitch loops create a little elevated structure where they meet. And the adjacent pairs continued this ridge (follow the red arrows).
And with that knowledge, here’s what you need to do.
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- Starting on the right side of your work, count the ridges of your project.
- Multiply that number by two.
So, if you counted 5 ridges, you know that you have knitted 10 rows.
- Double-check if there is an unfinished ridge.
If your project is still on the needle, make sure to check on which side the working yarn comes out. If it comes out on the left side, then you need to add +1 to your row count. So, in this case it's a total of 11 rows you should have counted.
(If the yarn comes out on the right, then you should be able to see a finished ridge directly below your knitting needle.)
Make sure that you don't accidentally count the cast-on edge. It sometimes looks a bit like a row or its own ridge on the wrong side (like in the picture below).
The ridges you need to count are formed by what looks a bit like a dome and a bowl. Neither the cast-on nor the bind-off edge will have these.
And just in case, here’s how to count rows in knitting in general.