Are you one of the knitters who use row counters when working lace stitch patterns? I have to admit row counters might be a handy tool actually, but I only own one (in theory) and can never find it when I need one (in practice). So when it comes to lace knitting, I’m relying on reading my knitting to find out which row I am – especially after picking up knitting after a break and having lost track of the actual row.
This post is part of the Complete Guide to Lace Knitting.
The easiest way of reading your knitting is to use yarn overs (YO) as landmarks.
Let’s look at the following example chart: it’s a chart for the lower part of a triangle shawl worked bottom up featuring a small strawberries lace stitch pattern.
Dark grey squares represent no stitches, whites are knit, circles yarn overs, the slash and backslashes are k2tog (ssk) and the three legged triangle is a central double decrease stitches. (The chart is from the Marlene pattern.)
The positions of the yarn overs (the circles in the chart) can be used as landmarks by comparing their positions in the chart versus the appearance in your actual knitting: the white arrow in the picture below marks the top left yarn over in row 6, column 17 of the chart.
Using the stitches between two yarn overs as orientation points works as well. In the picture below, the two arrows point to stitches between two yarn overs: the lower one pointing to one stitch in between, the upper on towards three stitches.
So which row are we on in the picture above? Try to find out and tell us your answer in a comment below!