How to Count Stitches

How to Count Stitches

Techniques  |  1 min read time

Tutorial Overview

Counting the stitches, or loops, on your needle is the easiest way to check if you're on track with your project. Occasionally you'll need to check if the decreases or increases in an earlier row are correct, and you'll have to count your stitches a few rows down. In this video we'll show you how to count the stitches in garter stitch, stocking stitch and moss stitch.


Step-by-step guide

Garter Stitch:

  • Garter Stitch produces a series of wave-like ridges.
  • To check how many stitches your row has, you'll count all the bars in one row, from left to right.
  • You can count either the top half, or bottom half of your wave-like ridge.
  • Be careful when counting the stitches on the edge of your piece. It can help to stretch and tilt your fabric slightly, to see clearly which bar belongs to the first and last stitch.

Stocking Stitch:

  • When working in stocking stitch you'll see the 'V' shapes on the right side of your fabric very clearly.
  • Choose one row and count all the V's from left to right.
  • You can also count your stitches on the purl side of your work. On the wrong side you'll count each bar as one stitch.
  • Be careful with those elusive stitches along the edges that like to curl up in stocking stitch!

Moss Stitch:

  • When working in moss stitch you'll alternate between knit and purl stitches in each row.
  • To count the stitches in your row, count the alternating V's and bars in this row.
  • Be careful not to slip from row to row when counting in moss stitch.


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