How to Crochet Even Rows Without Counting
When I first began my crochet journey, learning how to crochet in rows seemed impossible. As I would crochet in rows, each row would get shorter and shorter, and before I knew it I wouldn't even have a rectangle anymore, I was creating some sort of weird parallelogram.
As I learned more and more crochet 'rules' my rows began becoming more even, but I still hated how much counting I had to do! My counting was constantly thrown off due to random distractions in my house, even in my own head sometimes.
Crocheting in rows doesn't have to be this hard! If you have some of the same struggles I had, keep reading because crocheting in even rows WITHOUT having to count is actually super easy.
When most people are learning to crochet for the first time, they try out beginner crochet patterns and beginner crochet tutorials that will typically have you crochet in a rectangular shape via crocheting in rows. The first crochet pattern I followed was a crochet pattern for a crochet beanie, crocheted in rows to form a rectangle and then sewing up later.
When first learning how to crochet in rows, it can be hard to keep your work in even rows. You may notice that your rectangle starts to not look like a rectangle anymore a few rows in. The most common mistake when first learning to crochet in rows is when you miss a stitch in each row and the rows begin to get shorter and shorter.
It's an easy mistake to make because when you are first learning to crochet you don't really know where the stitches are and you don't quite understand what you're even looking for!
One easy way to get even rows while crocheting is to go back and count the stitches in each row and make sure they match each time. But, if you are a true beginner and are unsure of what you are even counting, this first tip is especially for you!
Even if you aren't a beginner this could also be a helpful tip for you when working on larger crochet projects. For instance, if you are crocheting a blanket pattern with 200+ stitches across, you DEFINITELY don't want to have to go back and count 200+ stitches every single time you complete a row of stitches!
Tip– Use Stitch Markers
Stitch markers are great tools that every crocheter should have on standby. Stitch markers can make your life so much easier, especially when you are working in continuous rounds or when you just don't want to have to count your stitches!
Stitch markers are one of those things that you don't even have to go and purchase either! You can use a few items that you probably have in your home right now like a safety pin, bobby pin, paper clip, or even other small pieces of yarn in a different color.
How to Use Stitch Markers
Stitch markers are pretty easy to use, all you have to do is place them in the first and last stitch of every row!
Unsure of where the first stitch in the row is?
All patterns are different, but they will follow one of two rules when crocheting in rows.
The pattern will tell you that your turning chain(s) does NOT count as a stitch, or
The pattern will tell you that your turning chain(s) DOES count as a stitch.
Depending on which one your pattern notes has, the placement of your first stitch will be different. Don't worry, this isn't complicated, I promise!
If your turning chain(s) does NOT count as a stitch:
If the pattern or pattern notes say that your turning chain(s) does not count as a stitch then once you work your turning chain and turn your work you will start this row with your first stitch on top of the very last stitch in the last row. Once you work on this stitch, you will place your stitch marker on top of it.
NOTE: Patterns that are using single crochet (sc) stitches and half double crochet (hdc) stitches usually use turning chains that are not counted as a stitch.
If your turning chain(s) DOES count as a stitch:
If the pattern or pattern notes say that your turning chain(s) does count as a stitch then once you work your turning chain and turn your work you will start this row with your first stitch on top of the second to last stitch from the last row.
Since your turning chain counts as a stitch, think about how that first "stitch" (aka the turning chain) would be sitting on top of the first stitch of the row, which is always the last stitch of the last row. Once you work the second stitch of the row, you will place your stitch marker on top of the turning chain.
Unsure of where the last stitch in the row is?
The last stitch of the row is another spot that can trip you up. It is a very common mistake to accidentally skip the last stitch of the row and start your turning chain too early. To avoid accidentally skipping your last stitch of the row, place a stitch marker at the end of every row.
When first starting your project, you will begin with a foundation chain, once you work your way back along the foundation chain, it will be pretty obvious where your last stitch is because it will be the very first chain stitch you formed after your slip knot. After working a stitch into that last chain, place a stitch marker to designate where the last stitch in the row is.
As you continue crocheting in rows, you will be working from stitch marker to stitch marker. Each time you work into a stitch marker, remove the stitch marker and place it on top of the stitch you just placed. It's that easy!
When you get to the end of each row, your first stitch marker will tell you where your last stitch will go. You no longer have to guess or count your stitches!
This may feel like a tedious process if you are making a small dishcloth or something similar, but the more you crochet in rows, the more familiar you will be with the first and last stitches, and pretty soon you won't need them in projects at all anymore.
If you have any issues with this tutorial or have any questions, drop a comment below 🙂