Counting stitches could seem like a less important ability but, in reality, is essential for any crocheter. You need to know how to count stitches to be able to follow patterns. I know you are probably thinking, do I really have to count? Yes, and like a beginner is better if you do it after finishing every row or round.
Of course, like everything in the crochet world, practice is the key. So, keep going, and it’ll become easier.
In the beginning, I thought to make just one explanation about how to count stitches, but I noticed that you would need some extra tips if you are just starting, so for that, I divided the post depending on what you are working on. Maybe you wouldn’t need all these scenarios right now, but they’ll be here when you need them.
Even though the information will be separated, I have two advice pieces that work for any crochet project.
- The slipknot doesn’t count as a stitch. Never.
- The loop in your crochet hook doesn’t count as a stitch, either.
Remember these two tips every time you have to count your stitches.
NEVER use a dark yarn like black or a very dark brown to learn how to crochet because that kind of color is challenging to count even for an experienced crocheter.
How to Count Stitches When Working in Chains
When you have to count your chain first, make sure that you are on the front side. Then count every “V” in your chain; each V is a stitch.
Remember to start counting from your crochet hook in the direction of your slip knot.
If you have problems identify the stitches or the “V’s”, here is an image showing you every countable stitch.
How to Count Stitches When Working in Rows
If you dominate the counting of stitches in the chain this shouldn’t be a problem. The idea is the same, you have to count the “V’s” but this time they will be on top of the row.
Be careful with the turning chain* because, in this example, it doesn’t count as a stitch.
* The turning chain is the extra chain that you use to turn around your work and start a new row. Usually, the turning chains are counted as a regular stitch EXCEPT when working with single crochet when you don’t have to count it.
If it’s too difficult for you to identify the stitches from the front when working in rows, you can look at your work from above, and count the “V’s” like in the chain.
Another option when working in rows is to count the post of the stitch. What does this mean? If you have problems seeing the “V’s,” you can count the bars of your work or the “body” of every stitch. Those bars are called posts, and you can find them in every tall stitch.
When can you use this option? Always! Except when working with single crochet. Why? Because in taller stitches, the turning chains at the beginning of the rows COUNT as one stitch.
How to Count Stitches When Working in Rounds – Magic Ring
I think counting in rounds is the most tricky of all previous ways because you don’t have the separation of every row, and is just a continuous round, and sometimes you can mix up your counting with the previous round.
The good part is that you have to count just like always, the “V’s” in your circle. Just be careful with the first and last stitch because sometimes (depending on the thickness of the yarn), you can miss one stitch.
When in doubt whether you stitch belongs to the previous round or not, the answer is simple. If you stitch has another stitch inside (on top), don’t count it because it is from the previous round.
If it’s too difficult for you to identify the stitches from the front when working in rounds, you can look at the side of the circle, and count the “V’s” like in the chain.
I hope that this has been useful to you, and remember, if you have any questions about this topic or any suggestion for a new one, PLEASE write me a comment below or send me an email, and I’ll answer you happily.
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