Easy Way to Count Rows Between Cables

Easy Way to Count Rows Between Cables

Even though knitting cables could seem intimidating, it is, in fact, a very easy knitting technique. The only difficulty in knitting cables is to know in which row or round we should cross the stitches to create the beautiful cable texture.

If we are not consistent, the segments between cables will be of different length and the whole project will look sloppy, like this little swatch with mismatched cables.

Easy Way to Count Rows Between Cables

Sometimes, we could get carried away and miss the cable crossing row. Then we have to undo a few rows and that task is always a pain. To avoid that, we usually keep a close eye on the number of rows using different methods.

Some knitters use row counters to keep track of the rows between cables. Others place markers next to the cable to mark the row where the stitches were crossed.

All these ways work fine but they require additional concentration and we can’t fully relax and enjoy knitting.

A few years ago, I came across a simple trick that helps us to quickly find out the number of rows between cables. This trick was described in a blog called “Debora’s Knitting”. I’ve been using this method ever since and it never failed me.

This technique is simple and reliable. It does not require any special tools, and we don’t have to remember to do something after we finish each row.

Here’s how it works step-by-step. If you’d rather learn from a video, click here or scroll down to the bottom of this page.

STEP 1

When you suspect it might be time to cross stitches to make a cable, work a wrong side row and stop.

Easy Way to Count Rows Between Cables

We finish with a wrong side row because, in a majority of cases, cable crossing happens every even number of rows. That means that we cross stitches in right side rows when we work back and forth.

When we work in the round, it is harder to determine whether we worked an odd or an even number of rounds. In this case, stop after any round that seems like the last round before you should cross stitches.

STEP 2

With any side of the work facing you, insert the knitting needle from front to back into a hole on either side of the previous cable crossing.

Easy Way to Count Rows Between Cables

STEP 3

Push the tip of the needle from back to front under the working needle in a spot that is at the end of the same column of stitches. Watch how to do it.

Easy Way to Count Rows Between Cables

Now count the strands lined up on the needle and you will know exactly how many rows or rounds you’ve worked since you crossed stitches the previous time.

This number of rows includes the row where the stitches were crossed, but, conveniently enough, this row is also included in most pattern instructions. So if the pattern tells you to cross stitches in every 6th row or round, do it after you count 6 strands on the needle pierced through the fabric as explained in steps 2 and 3 above.

For example, when I check the number of rows worked after I crossed stitches to make each of the three cables in my swatch, I see that there are 4 rows worked in the first cable shown in the photo, 6 rows in the second cable and 8 rows in the third cable.

Easy Way to Count Rows Between Cables

If I were to cross stitches in every 6th row, then I would work 2 more rows of the first cable, cross stitches of the second cable in the next row, and I would have to unravel 2 rows of the third cable (ouch!).

Now, that you know this little trick, I hope that you will never have to unravel your work because you missed the row when you were supposed to cross stitches to make a cable.


If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:

“Neat Side Edges” Book

Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.


Happy knitting!

Maryna Shevchenko - www.10rowsaday.com

Let’s be friends on GoodReads 🙂

Easy Way to Count Rows Between Cables
 | 10 rows a day
Easy Way to Count Rows Between Cables
 | 10 rows a day
Easy Way to Count Rows Between Cables
 | 10 rows a day