When you're working with more complicated knitting and crochet patterns, it can become annoying to have to stop and mark off rows. It can really interrupt the working flow of your yarn craft to put it all down, pick up a pen and mark your pattern. Working from a crochet-along video or instructions in a digital e-book can cause even more disruption if you use a separate piece of paper to keep track of it all.
You can get online app counters which could be handy except for the fact that you need to make sure you've got your smart phone or tablet device with you when you're crafting. I really just wanted a device to count off rows that was very simple and effective to use. Happily I've found it.
I use a lot of tools by Clover for crocheting and I think they are a really good brand. So when I saw that they had a clicker tool, they call it a mini kacha-kacha, I bought one straightaway to test it out. This brilliant and simple to use row or stitch counter gadget has made keeping track of a pattern for me so much easier.
Simple Push Button Operation to Track Rows or Stitches
This little device has a simple push button operation and no complicated technology. It is a lightweight plastic that you can fit in the palm of your hand. You can wear this as a necklace and it features the necessary holes to pop some cord or elastic through. The necklace strap, however, is not included in the packet.
You work this device with a simple push button on the top. Press the button down to move the counter on to the next number in the sequence. Normally you will start at 00 and then push the button to move to 01 and then 02, 03 etc. I click mine as soon as I have finished a row so the counter always displays the number of the row I'm working on.
The numbers on this go up to 99 which is perfect for the majority of crochet patterns. If you want this for knitting, you may need a counter that goes higher than this. Bear in mind that you can also use it to keep track of a small number of stitches or pattern repeats.
I find it quicker to press than stopping to pick up a pencil or pen and marking off where I'm at on paper. One click of the Clover counter is so much faster to use than having to pick up a pencil, find your place in a pattern or a notebook and mark off a row. They are very easy to use and my young daughter loves to get permission to play with it.
Luckily extra details are there such as being able to manually move the numbers on the counter if you make a mistake and push the button too many times. To adjust the numbers manually, you can rotate the side wheels to change the number on each side. That is a quick way to get to the exact number that you need.
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Wear it Like a Necklace While You are Crafting
If you hang this counter around your neck, it's easy to find when you need to use it. I often get up from my crochet to go and make a drink or I will often decide to go and work outside. Wearing this like a necklace means it is with me when I'm ready to start crocheting again.
Note: this device does not come supplied with any cord so you need to use your own. The product image I admit is a little misleading. I strung mine on elastic instead.
It works great popped on some strong elastic. Or you can easily string this on a long piece of leather cord to wear around your neck. I preferred to use elastic as the necklace chain because it means I can stretch the counter down further to get a good look at it. That is a handy feature if you have sight problems like me. Here it is on the elastic in the photo. Bear in mind that you can now buy elastic in all kinds of colors.
The counter is not heavy and I keep it slung round my neck all day while I am working on my crochet. I tend to wear this all through the day. I like to do crocheting when I get a spare moment so it's just easier to keep it round my neck. It's so light that I even forget it is there until I need it.
Locking System Prevents Accidental Presses
A locking mechanism is there so that the counter cannot be accidentally pressed when it is not in use. A simple switch locks all the buttons in place so that you can sling it into a project bag or tote without any worries that the numbers will change. It is quite hard to accidentally adjust the numbers on this device but nice to have that extra security.
Different Row Counters and How They Work
My Rating for the Stitch Counter
It Works Perfectly but Should be Supplied with Cord
It Packs Away Neatly in My Case When Not in Use
The fact that this design by Clover has a locking system means I can throw it into my project bag and not worry that the row count will change. In between projects, I like to store it in my crochet case along with my other tools.
Works Better than Stopping to Mark Your Patterns
This is inexpensive enough that you can get several if you work on more than one project at a time. If you enjoy working on multiple yarn projects, why not buy several of these, thread each one with a different color cord or elastic and keep it in with your individual project bag or tote.
I am really happy with my Clover stitch and row counter. It does everything I need and is simple and efficient to use. I love that I don't need to waste time picking up a pencil to mark my patterns. These handy little markers are now part of my indispensable crochet kit.
Image Credits: The introductory image belongs to the author, Marie Williams Johnstone. All other images (unless watermarked with the author’s name) are product photos from Amazon.