Auntie Ann Knits

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A trip to the bead store

I went to the bead store yesterday. A trip to the bead store (or JoAnn's, or Michael's) invariably results in new beads or other materials for stitch markers. Do I need new stitch markers? I do not.

row counter 6-row version 2

This, however, is much more than a stitch marker. It is an adjustable pattern row counter, seen here in the 6-row pattern repeat version. I started using it last night, and I love it.

In my first attempt at stitch markers, I made a two-row pattern row counter. Yes, I do sometimes have trouble counting to two rows, why? C'mon, most of my knitting is done while multi-tasking in some way -- listening to an audiobook or podcast, watching TV, watching soccer, etc. Isn't yours?

I've been using the two-row counter for toes of socks and such, and I actually find it very helpful. It wasn't helping me, though, with my Sonnet sleeve, which needs increases every 6 rows. I was ending up with somewhat random increases, and hoping they would average out properly. Well, that's no way to run a railroad, as the saying goes.

Enter the 6-row counter. As before, the idea is that on every round I move my needle down into the next loop closer to the bead, until I got to the loop closest to the bead. When the marker came around again, I knew it was time to increase again, and to move the needle up into the first loop again. For me, this works like a dream.

And to steal yet another idea from Turtlegirl's blog, this one is adjustable for different numbers of rows. Genius! One bead, one head pin, six split rings and six lobster claw clasps, and I have a 6-row counter. In fact, I should have made this with only five lobster claw clasps -- I attached the bead to a lobster claw and could have attached it straight to the split ring. This way, however, it can do double-duty as a row marker if I want it to.

If I need fewer rows for my pattern repeat, I remove some loops. I can add more just as easily.

While I was at it, I tried various other types of stitch and row markers:

stitch marker prototypes

The marker from my first batch is there for comparison, and the Clover openable marker is there for scale.

They are: two more two-row (but now adjustable!) row markers made with head pins, a single marker made with bead wire, a crimp bead and a split ring, and then one of my first batch of markers. You can see that I made the same mistake design feature with the one on the far left that I did with the 6-row one. The lowest lobster claw clasp is not necessary, unless I want to use it for a row marker (the kind you attach to a stitch instead of hanging on the needles).

The trick with the lobster claw clasps and split rings can make any of your existing stitch markers into row counters. I bought packs of 25 of each for about $13.

Thank you, Turtlegirl! Check out her Etsy shop for more genius creations.


  • Your row counter is awesome...I would love one of those! Thanks for the how to...someday :)

    By Blogger hakucho, at Sunday, April 20, 2008 3:03:00 PM  

  • Brilliant row counter! I gots to make me one of those. Sooner rather than later might be a good idea.

    By Blogger Ronni, at Sunday, April 20, 2008 7:50:00 PM  

  • I use the the split rings
    and just join them together without the clasps.

    I use the clasps to help count rows. Clip on on a stitch in the first row and use it as a marker to count from when I'm counting rows.

    My beading daughter adds beads and charms to mine to make them pretty!

    By Blogger LizzieK8, at Monday, April 21, 2008 6:51:00 AM  

  • Very nice! Now I have another excuse to go to the bead shop. Did I tell you she has a sweater on the needles charm?

    Of course I especially love the blue beads. So pretty and blue!

    By Blogger Unknown, at Monday, April 21, 2008 8:15:00 AM  

  • I love you adjustable row counter - it's great. I also made the 2 & 3 row counter from your previous & they have been so useful. Now I will have to make some of these. Thanks so much for sharing.

    By Blogger Ann, at Tuesday, April 22, 2008 7:39:00 PM  

  • Great row counters! I may have to make some. Yeah right, who am I kidding; I'll ask my daughter to make me some. She loves working with beads.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, April 23, 2008 3:28:00 AM  

  • Nice! Let me know how you like the lobster claws. My filagree clasps are near impossible for me to find now.

    By Blogger turtlegirl76, at Friday, May 02, 2008 3:05:00 AM  

  • WHY am I so late to comment on this? I have no clue. I thougth I had you on my bloglines, and just realized that I don't!!

    I love your stitch markers. I've been wanting to make some, but need a trip to the Evil Michael's first!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, May 11, 2008 6:34:00 AM  

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