Tally Ho

Are you super impressed with how neat and tidy the above notebook looks?  Look at those pristine tallies of each row knitted.  I believe it is a work of art of a very organized knitter.  Would you believe that the above notebook is NOT mine.  It belonged to my mother and I inherited it along with many of her knitting supplies over ten years ago.  I was always envious of her copious notes and really I tried to be just like her. 

However, I am the kind of knitter who does a tally tick then wonders "did I just mark that row?"  "I think I did"  and then I would doubt it, or my cable rows were off or some other minor catastrophe occurred because I cannot keep track of tally marks. 

I know you are shocked!  I cannot tell you how many hours I would sit there counting rows or just stare at my knitting trying to figure out where I was on the pattern.  I also believe there were tears involved because I can become quite emotional and impatient (who me?).  Some good evolved from my errant ways.  I can read my knitting.  I can pick it up and look at it and see what row I just completed in a lace pattern.  I can count rows and figure out how many I have left to do.

I have found through the years the solution to my neglectful ways of keeping track.  First of all, I try as much as possible to knit fronts and back in one piece. I will alter a pattern if I have too. That takes the pressure off of making sure everything is the same length.  

My next secret weapon are these little beauties.  Locking stitch markers.  I use these ALL THE TIME.  I will clip them on when counting rows.  I clip when I decrease or increase stitches.  I also clip when I am doing a cable row.  I clip when I finish a lace chart and before another.  With the locking stitch markers I can spend minutes instead of hours reading my knitting and knowing where I am on any given pattern.

So tell me, are you a tally maker or a stitch marker user?  Or do you have a different clever way of keeping track of your knitting?


  1. What a treasure to have your Mom's book.
    I'm not sure what kind of knitter I am! I use both tally marks and stitch markers and I still can not read my knitting! I have been knitting for almost a year and a half. I have not attempted cables or knitting lace yet {although I hope to try lace soon]nor can I read a chart. Pathetic isn't it?! I have a beautiful book of Lace knitting that I want to try except it is in charts and written for right handers [I'm a leftie]. I hope during the holiday break to have time to try it, we'll see. xx

  2. I make tally marks, and then second guess myself a lot ;) I'm not fantastic at reading my knitting, but I muddle through ok. There is a fair amount of fudging that goes on, which is why I'm not very good at lace!

  3. i just use a kacha kacha to keep track of my rows :)

  4. I'm suddenly intimidated! But thankful that you shared. I guess that as my skill level increases I'll remember what you shared here and say to myself, "Aha, I know what I need to do. Locking stitch markers. Or, make myself a tally chart."

    Right now I only use regular stitch markers and a stitch counter. :)

    Blessings, Debbie

  5. I am learning how much I don't know. Like what the heck is a 'kacha kacha'. That book looks amazing-so incredibly neat. I tend to use both tallies and stitch markers. I am anal and scattered like that. I haven't tried the locking stitch markers yet. Hmm.

  6. I inherited many knitting needles from my grandmother, although I think she had stopped knitting long before I got them. :) I love inheriting things!

    As for the color--it's a brighter, more orangey shade than the photo captures. Not nauseating in general, it is very pretty--but I am in an odd place right now! (Not in a bad way, just lots of things happening!) :)

  7. Your mom was quite the organized knitter. I do like the idea of a dedicated notebook (much better than my "Oo scrap paper! This will do!" mindset).

    I go both ways with the tally marks and the stitch markers, especially if I have to make two of one (like sleeves).

  8. How special that you have your moms knitting notebook...love original handwriting since there is so little of it these days. I just started knitting this summer so I'm still trying to figure out my style. I think I like the notebook idea myself!

  9. My secret weapon is an app on my phone. Lately I have been using pen and paper and sometimes I end up with a sleeve longer than the other ;o)

  10. Oh, I'm not clever at all. I take no notes then sit and stare at the knitting for hours trying to work out where I'm up to. The other day I was trying to knit with three kids climbing on me, losing my start of the round stitch marker in the process, and that night I spent the good part of an hour counting and recounting trying to find where the start was. Argh!

  11. I use to be a tally marker all the time. Now only if the pattern is confusing. Tally marking in itself is confusing so I'm not sure if I'm helping myself all that much. A lot of questioning and counting is always involved. Half the fun, if you ask me! :)

  12. What a marvelous treasure! Currently I'm a sit and stare and count, count, count knitter but with my weaving I was a tally maker so maybe I'll continue it in my knitting when I finally choose a pattern complicated enough to warrant either choice?


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