How to Count Crochet Rows with Confidence

Learning how to count crochet rows is really important for any project. Whether you're making a small item or a larger project like something to wear.

Making sure you have crocheted the correct number of rows means you know with confidence that you are following the instructions for the correct row, that your crocheted item is going to turn out as expected and that if you make a mistake you are more likely to be able to figure out where you went wrong.

By the end of this article you will have mastered how to identify and count your rows correctly. Let’s get to it!

A small, square sample of 12 rows of single crochet stitches made in pastel pink yarn is sat on an off white background. A white hand is on the left and the index finger is pointing to one of the rows. There are silver papers as stitch markers.
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Orange text on an off white background reads "How to Count Crochet Rows with Confidence" "". Below the text there is a photo of some single crochet stitches made in alternating colours of pastel pink and teal.

How to Count Rows

Differentiating Rows

The tricky part of counting rows is being able to differentiate between each one but it’s the most fundamental step to counting with confidence. If you can figure out which row is which, where one ends and one begins vertically, then you will have no problem counting them up super quick.

Due to the fact that we turn at the end of each row, alternating rows look different. One shows as the front of the crochet stitch and the other as the back of the stitch and so it can sometimes be hard to see which is one row and which is another.

To help out, I've created a small sample of crochet in each of the basic crochet stitches below using alternating colours to show the difference between the two (front and back) and how they appear. 

Rows in Single Crochet (UK Double)

First up is the single crochet or the UK double. This is the most difficult to differentiate because the stitches are small and easily blend into one another.

On the wrong side of the stitch (back), which is shown in pink and on odd rows, you can see the knot of the stitch and an upside down V shape. On the right side (front), shown in teal and on even rows, there is a normal shaped V pattern. See the photo below.

A small sample of 6 rows of single crochet made in alternating colours of pastel pink and teal. There is grey text and arrows pointing to the knot in a pink row, the V shape and the upside down V shape. The background is off white.

Thus, there are two ways to count these up. You can either count the normal V shape as one row and the upside down V as another row. Or count the knot as one row and then make sure to count a row in between the knots too.

Rows in Half Double Crochet (UK Half Treble)

Rows in half double crochet or the UK half treble are slightly taller than the single crochet and so they’re a bit easier to differentiate. Having said that, there is not a clear V shape that is normal on one row and upside down on the next like in the single crochet stitch so we need to use something else as a marker.

On the wrong side, the rows made in pink and on odd numbered rows, a twist in the stitch is visible, see the highlight and pointer in the photo below.

A small sample of 6 rows of half double crochet stitches made in alternating colours of pastel pink and teal. There is dark grey text and arrow which points to a twist in the 5th row which is pink. The background is off white.

We can use this twist as our marker and count the twists as one row and the depressed section in between as the next.

Rows in Double Crochet (UK Treble)

As the stitches get longer they become easier to distinguish. The double crochet stitch or the UK treble is again slightly taller than the half double crochet and so it is easier to pick out the recognisable slanting twists and knots at the top of each stitch followed by a straight section of yarn.

On the right side of the stitch (the front), the rows shown in teal and on even rows, one slanting twist in the top of the stitch is visible. On the wrong side (the back) a knot can be seen instead. They are both followed by a straight section of yarn underneath. See the photo below for clarity.

Using these slanting twists and knots it is easy to count up all the rows really quickly. A slanting twist represents one row and a knot, the next :)

Rows in Treble Crochet (UK Double Treble)

Even taller again are the treble crochet stitches or the UK double. More length on the stitch shows more twist and turns and so finding the front and the back of stitches is becoming even easier still.

You may notice a pattern here. The treble crochet stitch, being slightly longer, shows two slanting twists on the right side (the front) of the stitch. The back still shows a knot but the knot is simply more complex than the double crochet stitch.

A sample of four rows of treble crochet stitches made in alternating rows of colour in pastel pink and teal. There is dark grey text and arrows pointing to the top row made in teal and the second row made in pink. The background is off white.

Rows in Double Treble (UK Triple Treble)

Following the same pattern, the double treble crochet stitch (UK triple treble) is the longest of the basic crochet stitches. The easiest rows of stitches to count up, however, I have included it here to show the continuation of the pattern and to make this tutorial complete.

The right side of the double treble stitch, the ones shown here teal and on the second row only, there are three slanting twists. Again, on the wrong side, those shown in pink and on the first and third row, show a muddle of knots.

A sample of three rows of double treble crochet stitches made in alternating coloured rows of pastel pink and teal. The background is off white and there is dark grey text and arrows pointing to the second row and the third row.

Other Ways to Count Rows in Crochet

If distinguishing each row by the shape of the stitches isn’t helpful for you then don’t fret! There are other ways you can keep track of your rows too.

Use a Row Counter

Another great way to keep track of your stitches is to use a row counter. Every time you work a row, add it to your row count number. This is my favourite row counter as it’s made from stainless steel, so it will last forever, and it comes in black making it really sleek and professional or rainbow coloured for a bit of fun.

Use Stitch Markers

If you don’t have a row counter and don’t want to invest in one just yet, you could also use stitch markers. If you have plenty to hand, simply mark the end of each row so that you can quickly count them up whenever you need.

Or, if you only have a few, you could add a marker on every 5th, 10th, 20th etc row so that you know each marker means a batch of rows. Also easily countable.

You don’t need to buy any fancy markers if you don’t have any. You may have noticed in my tutorials and videos, I use paper clips all the time to mark my stitches and rows or you could simply use another coloured piece of yarn :)

Use a Ruler

Another way to count rows is to measure your stitches and use the measurement as a guide to where your stitches begin and end.

Let’s say your treble crochet stitch measures 1cm high, you can then measure your project and find how many cms it measures in total and divide it by the height of your stitches. So if your project measures 10cm and your stitch height is 1cm then you can guess that you have made 10 rows.

However, this method needs a disclaimer. Even if your stitch height in the first row is 1cm, your tension could change during your rows making your workings out inaccurate. You would need to measure your gauge all the time and be sure that you are working your stitches in the same way for each row for it to be accurate.

As always, get in touch if you have questions or pop them in the comments below, I’m always happy to help. Happy counting!

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Tina Rinaudo

Tina is a passionate zero waster and crocheter who aims to live and crochet as sustainably as possible. She has been crocheting since 2016 and specialises in using sustainable yarns to design zero waste crochet patterns to make easy swaps for yourselves and your homes. She has been featured in Happily Hooked Magazine, and many other websites for her eco friendly crochet patterns.


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