counting cast ons

Appoligies in advance if this is a dumb quesiotion. One of my biggest irritations is keeping track of how many stitches I've cast on to circular needles - it's just hard to count 110 stitches on those things. So, I'm thinking of using a marker ever 10 or 20 stitches to make it easier. What do most people do or am I the only one with this problem?



I have done this in the past and it helped. You just have to remember - if you are knitting a sweater - which are the markers for the side seams.

QueerJoe's picture

This happens to me as well, but I honestly don't consider it a's just another aspect of the hobby I love.

Typically, I try to keep count of stitches as I cast them on, and when I hit the required number of stitches, I recount to make sure, and add or subtract as necessary. Then I count the first row of actual knitting carefully, as a final check.

I'm a big fan of stitch markers for pattern repeats, but not for counting initial cast-on stitches. Placing one ever 10 stitches and then removing them would take me as much time as triple counting my stitches.

Hey Scott: I am doing my first project on circular needles and had to put 160 stitches on to start. I got a piece of paper and made a mark everytime I cast on 10 stitches. When I had 16 marks I knew I had 160. (I did go back and recount though.) I agree with queerjoe though, it is part of knitting and I kind of enjoy it. I challenge myself everytime I cast on to make it the smoothest edge I have ever made. This keeps it interesting. (new knitter ...easily entertained)

MMario's picture

For long cast ons - 200 plus stitches, I'll mark every fifty or so sitches. sometimes. Othertimes I just cast on, and then recount. I'm usually correct within a sitch or two. Or else I'm way, way off. but that's easily corrected, since I'm usually doing a knit cast on.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

crmartin's picture

I place paper clips on my needles to mark multiples of stitches, usually 25. They are then easily removed when all stitches have been cast on.



scottly's picture

Thanks guys. queerjoe I wish I had the type of brain that would let me keep track of stitches as I cast them on but alas I'm a bit of a flibbertigibbet especially with numbers. Maybe once I can cast on more quickly then my current glacial pace I'll be able to do it. Kurt the tick mark method will work great - I use it when I need to keep count of rows so I don't know why I didn't think to do it for stitches. And really it's only a problem for me with a needle size of less then 8 and only on circulars - my eyes just keep getting lost as I count around the cruve of the wire. I haven't done much work with these tiny needles so experience will probably help me as well.

MMario's picture

heck - with my eyesight I get lost trying to count TEN stitches on a straight needle; if I try to count by eye. I always do an actual physical count.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Aaron M.
I wear a stitch counter around my neck and click it every ten or twenty stitches depending on how many I have to cast on. Even then I still end up re-counting at least once just to be sure. Nothing's worse than getting to the last stitch on a two hundred stitch round and finding your count was off!

Aaron M.

V's picture

I just cast on stitches until I *think* I have the required number of stitches to cast on and then I count by pairs. As in: 2, 4, 6, 8 10 - 2, 4, 6, 8, 20 and so on. If I'm casting on more than 200 + stitches than I put a marker after every 50 stitches to keep track.

BuduR's picture

I have some wierd form of OCD when it comes to casting on, I have to count my cast on stitches 3 times, and god forbid it doesn't come out the same all 3 times, then I have to count it 3 more. I don't know why I do it. But if I have alot to cast on. Over 100, I put markers on every 20 or so.
MWK's Token Estrogen-American

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog I divide the stitiches in half or thirds or quarters and place a markers, because it is the most sensible thing to do.

eyedoc's picture

First of all, there are no dumb questions around here! :)

I use markers when needed. Except of course when the pattern is stupid and calls for a marker to distinguish a k3 border! That's just crazy. I also have to agree with BuduR. I also count and recount my cast-on stitches several times.
One of my first projects a few years ago was a baby afghan that used two strands of worsted-weight yarn at one time... and did not use stitch markers. To be honest, at that time in my knitting experience, I didn't even know what markers were for! LOL Needless to say, after endlessly counting 130 someodd double stitches, I soon found out!


greenmanmknz's picture

Well, markers can be made of a variety of things, contrasting yarn slipped through to mark the multiples and prollie won't make any difference on the appearance of the edge. And counting as the first row or round is worked is the way I check myself.

teejtc's picture

Everyone's probably said everything you need to know at this point. I'd just note that markers take time. It's not a big deal for three or four of them, but if you put one every 10 stitches, you'll get sick of them pretty quickly. If you're concerned about casting on, you can use markers (as has been mentioned) ever 10/15/25 whatever... and then take them out during your first round of knitting. (That's the beautiful thing about markers, you can put extra in if you're having trouble focusing and take them out if they're annoying). I've found that sometimes when I do larger things like sweaters I'm happy with a couple of markers (one at the beginning of a round and one in the middle) but then sometimes I feel like I'm not doing much so I add a few extra to "feel like" I'm moving :-) I suppose my social-worker-wife would call it delusional but, oh well!

In other words... as with all things knitting -- listen to QueerJoe...

Grace and Peace,