Yarn Loops for Marking Increases,
Decreases, & Cable Crossings
Do you have trouble remembering to do those increases,
decreases, or cable crossings on the right row? Then try this
tip. I learned it from Lisbeth Upitis (thank you, Lisbeth!) -- and
it has save my sanity many times. I'll show you how to do a couple
versions, one for simple projects, one for more complex projects.
HOW TO MAKE IT -- Cut a piece of waste yarn in
smooth yarn that is a contrasting color to your project. The piece
will be folded in half and several knots tied in, so cut an ample
length. Then at intervals as far apart as your knitting needle is
thick, tie as many knots in it as you have rows to work before the next
"thing" you have to do (that "thing" can be an
increase, decrease, cable crossing, etc.). Then cut the tails an
inch or two long. See the picture of a marker meant for a 4-row
HOW TO USE IT -- Think of the knotted loop as if
it's a fish -- with a round head at one end and a tail at the
Now, on the row when you first do the
"thing", you'll hang the head of the marker on your needle
in your work near the point where you need to do the "thing"
-- the head marks the do-the-"thing" row. Then
continue working the row as usual.
* On the next row, when you get to the marker,
put the right needle into the loop BELOW the loop that the left needle
is on, slip the loop off the left needle, and continue working
*. See FIGURE 2 below.
Repeat * to * (being sure to ALWAYS work from head to
tail on the marker), until you get to the marker's tail.
Then on the next row, when you come to the marker, put
the right needle into the head loop, then be sure to do the
Then repeat Steps 2-4 until you're done.
FIGURE 1. Complex and simple
markers used in the same project. The simple marker (right) is
used for a 6-row cable crossing. The complex marker for the uneven
cable (left) has 7 knots at the head (top) end, then a double knot
(for an 8-row cable crossing), followed by 4 knots for a 4-row cable
FIGURE 2. Working Step 2 (above).