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Crochet Tip: Get Even Rows Without Counting



I'm going to assume when people learn how to crochet, they learn by chaining then making rows to create a blanket or dish cloth or some sort of retangular shape. When I first learned how to crochet, I made a blanket (that I never finished).  I was a pro at increasing by accident and it made my blanket look uneven and wonky. Not only was I 8 years old, but when you start crocheting it's difficult to see or even count the stitches because you just don't know what you're looking for.


My blanket looked a little like this picture, except is was bigger and made with baby pink and green/red ombre yarn. It was as hideous as it sounds. HA! But in my own defense, I was a kid.

So one way to get even rows is to go back and count the stitches, but if you're a beginner and are unsure of what you're even counting - this tip is for you.

Even if you're not a beginner, this may be a useful tip when making larger projects. I just started making a blanket in rows that is 200+ stitches across and I'm using this tip just so I'm sure I don't accidentally mess up along the way and have to take anything out.

So what's this tip? How can I get even rows and make sure I have the same amount of stitches in each row without counting?

Two words: STITCH MARKERS!

And you don't even have to go out and purchase stitch markers if you don't want to. You can use bobby pins, safety pins, or even small pieces of yarn in a different color.

Basically, you want to place a stitch marker in the first stitch in every row you start.


Once you have your chain and your first stitch of the row, place your stitch marker in that first stitch. You can do this right away with your hook still in place, but if you are using a piece of yarn you will want to do another stitch then use your hook to place your piece of yarn in that first stitch.

Continue to make your stitches down the chain. It's easy to see where the last stitch will be in the chain. Turn your work, chain up (however many you need for the stitch you are using) and make your first stitch.


Place you stitch marker in the first stitch as explained above. Continue to make your stitches along the row.


When you get to the end of the row, your first stitch marker will tell you where your last stitch will go! You don't have to second guess if it is the last stitch.


All you have to do now is keep moving the stitch marker up after each row and place it into the first stitch of each row! And ta-da! Even rows!

This may get tedious when making a small dishcloth, but it will ensure you will have even rows and takes less time than counting the stitches across! Like I said in the beginning, I'm making a blanket that is 200+ single crochets in width, so this is a life saver for me so I don't ever have to second guess where my last stitch is!

I hope this is helpful to you!

**NOTE: When working in rows, I never count the chain in the start of the row as a stitch. If you are counting your chain as a stitch, you will want to insert your stitch marker in the chain of each row. Example: If you chain up 3 in the beginning of a row and are counting it as a double crochet, you will want to insert your stitch marker at the top of that chain 3 as your first stitch.

19 comments

  1. Simple but smart. I need some cute stitch markers!

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  2. I am/was a stitch counter with 11 distractions in my household, so this will save me from making many, many more uneven blankets. Thank you!

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  3. Great idea! I am new to crocheting and recently had to pull apart a large blanket because it was so crooked. I'll try this in on my current project. Thanks!

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  4. Great idea! I am new to crocheting and recently had to pull apart a large blanket because it was so crooked. I'll try this in on my current project. Thanks!

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  5. This is a great tip!!! Thank you for sharing!

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  6. Thank you for sharing. I am new to crocheting and have taken apart my blanket 3 times because it was uneven.

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  7. I have begun teaching Beginner crochet. In the first lesson I emphasize dye lots, gauge, and use your stitch marker as a reminder to count each row. It saves a lot of frogging.

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  8. Easy and helpful, thanks!

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  9. great idea. I think of doing it and get lazy. I hate counting and ripping out!! thank you.

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  10. Great tip. Thankyou..I am TRYING t make a cardigan for my not born yet grandchild using the cobble stitch and I am constantly having to pull it all out and start again..it's my 1st ever cardigan so the tip on using marker stitches will help a great deal..thanks

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  11. I've ripped out a cot blanket for my grandson to be 5 times because it alway turns wonky somewhere. Thank you for a great tip! If I'm able to post a pic here of the finished blanket I will 😊

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  12. Excellent !!! I am sometimes using bobby pins on small projects they come out faster lol

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  13. So if you don't count your chain three as the first double crochet stitch, where would you place your stitch marker for the first stitch?

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    1. If you aren't counting the ch 3, place the stitch marker in the first double crochet/the stitch after the ch 3 in the beginning of the row :)

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  14. But, if you are counting your chain 3 as the first DC in the row, you would put your stitch marker in the to chain stitch, not at the top of the chains. If you put it at the top of the chains, you would effectively be placing your last DC of the next row between the two stitches. But if you put it into the 3rd chain, then you would be putting the last DC "into" the first DC of the previous row.

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    1. Thank you for clarifying, Mary! I ultimately meant to put the marker on the ch 3 st. I can see how my wording could be misinterpreted!

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  15. If you count your chain 3 (I prefer a chain 2) as your first DC then you want to put the stitch marker in the 3rd chain. If you place your last DC of the next row into the 3rd chain (or for me, into the 2nd chain) which is the same as putting the stitch into any other DC. But if you put your marker just at the top of the chain stitches and put the last DC of the next row into the open chain space then you are effectively putting your DC "between" the second to the last DC and the last DC causing a larger hole at the end of the previous row.
    Now as to why I use the chain 2 instead.....I HATE having too large of a hole at the ends of my rows. I have tried not counting the chains as the first stitch, but then I still have a bit of a lump at the end of the rows. If you are going to put a border around your project...you need to remember to put your stitches around not only the chain stitches but the DC on just the other side of those chain stitches as well.
    I hope this isn't confusing, but over the years that I have been crocheting, these are the things that have gotten me through. The only time I actually don't count the chain stitches as a stitch is when I am working in the round. Though, when working in the round, I prefer using the spiral method instead.

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    1. Great tip about the border! I, too, tend to have those lumps when doing the ch 2 and not counting as a chain. Although I have seen tips on how to keep "straight edges", it's the same method I do but still get those lumps. However with single crochet, I don't have that problem - just the double and triple crochets

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