In this blog I collect all knitting-related information.
I publish my ideas and patterns, report progress
and link things I find.

Friday, February 25, 2011

the Rosary - der Rosenkranz

The Rosary - Der Rosenkranz

I  also made a lot of patterns that included counting rows or rounds. Those made me "invent" the rosary. Well, my invention may not be new. And maybe you have seen instructions and things alike.
I guess, I do get the credit for the name. If that is all, I am still happy to present an instruction.

(Note: I have seen similar things called "linked stitch markers", so you may want to google that)

So why do you need a different marker and what exactly is this rosary?

Well, when you need to count rounds or rows, for example in a stitch pattern, there are so many ways to count them… and so many ways to go wrong.

  • Just keep track in your head – and do not loose concentration or put down your work.

  • Write down the row/round number you are on – and do not forget about it.

  • Re-count your rows/rounds – and do not get confused in lace or bored to no end in stochinette stitch, oh, and do not forget to re-count

  • Use a smart row counter that sits on your needle – and do not forget to turn it over for every row (I will forget, I know)

  • Keep a list to check off – guess what, I will forget

  • Check off / cross out the line of the pattern – oh, will I ever forget, and then the pattern is marked… not so convenient for a repeat that you do 27 times over or anything… how many different ways to check do you want to invent?

  • Lay out a certain number of candies and eat one every time you finish a row. Then you know where in the thing you are at. – sweet, if you do not eat too many or have someone steal from you. And you can not do that unless you have a save place to put those, even if your work is hybernating. But sweet, I agree.

  • Find your own way, make it fool proof - it is you you have to fool! - and make it accessible and cheap, if possible, make it simpel. - That is how I made the rosary.

A rosary you can make from whatever string you like. I like sock yarn or even better, yarn that does not split anywhere. But the sample I will show in the picture is a simple piece of cotton. It is easy to show with that.

You cut an end of yarn. To be save I would think, 30 cm / 1 foot, will be good.

You lay it double, then make a first knot, leaving a loop open in the top. Make an plain knot (loop and pull the end through, nothing more).

Then you repeat that a little further down the string, leaving a space between the knots about as wide as the gap in the loop.

This way you made a 2-step-rosary already. Yes, I said, it is simple, didn't I?

If you continue this so you have 10 enclosed spaces, you make what I call a standart or 10-step-rosary.

Here is a picture:

the rosary - yes, simple, I know.

And no, it does not get any more complicated.

When knitting you slide the rosary on the needle, not at the edge of a row, but a few stitches in (I go in about 2 to 4 stitches, usually). When working in rounds you can also use it as a round marker and just set it into that place.

Every time you get to the rosary, you pick it off the left needle with your right. But unlike a regular stitch marker you do not slide the needle in next to the other needle, but you slide it in one hole deeper towards the end of the string. (To make the direction easier to see you can mark that end by another color yarn you tie in, maybe attach a bead, or just look closely.)

Reality Check: So tell me... when you get to this long string of knots... can you forget to poke in one loop deeper? Can you really? Well, I can not.

And once you get to the end you know you completed a set of your pattern - what ever you were marking.

For every project you can make the perfect custom rosary, if you want:

make it 6 loops, if that is your repeat. You can make just 2 loops, if you want. You can make 25, if you want to handle that... And when you get to the end, you need to do something special.

If I just have to count rows, like 16 rows of stochinette stitch, I am likely using a 10-set-rosary. I start so that 6 loops are left to do. Then I do another set of 10 and I am done when I get to the end of it. The moment you start those 16 rows, you know that you have to do them, so set the "fraction" first. Then you can not accidentally go too far. If you need to make multiple repeats of the rosary... well keep notes, count, guess... do what ever you like to find out if you made 20, 30, 40 or 50 rows... the estimate is not so hard, really. Or use a second rosary to count your repeats of rosary No.1  only... if you want.

Finally: A picture of a rosary in use while knitting a sock on a train and keeping track of a cable repeat without counting and without "looking" much:

rosary in use


hyperactive said...

I need to comment on myself today:
I found this blog when googeling for stitch markers and abacus:

She has a technique she calls abacus that is very different from mine, but that is also too complicated for me. Here chain link stitch marker, though, works mostly like my rosary. So there are options out there.
I want to note that I did find that post of 2004 today and want to make it available for everybody.

Hélène Magnússon said...

That's brillant!

hyperactive said...

it's really simple. No magic here!

Harpa Jónsdóttir said...

That is so cool!

Anonymous said...

Tolle Idee! Hab ich gleich nachgemacht!

Ariel said...

This is a genius idea! Thanks!!!!!!

Betty Jackson said...

Just saw this today after learning about the concept of chain row counters yesterday. I first saw a homemade version here: But my attempts ended up curly and unruly and just plain hard to use. My solution was to form the chain by placing the wool around a pen (held steady between the knees) to have more uniform links, then making a square knot. After each link is made, just slide it off the pen and start a new one. This gave a good result, with the links nicely lined up and all the same size. Thanks for your post.