Row Counter for Circular Needles Tutorial

Row Counter for Circular Needles Tutorial

Happy Monday everyone 🙂

Today is a public holiday here in South Africa, and we are all taking it easy and relaxing on a beautifully sunny day. There is a lovely calm in our garden, the little finches in our porch light are calling, the bees are buzzing around the lavender, and a drowsy sunny warmth fills the air… like the feeling of having a snooze in a patch of sunlight…

My dear friend Linda called me this morning to tell me that she had recieved some enquiries about the row counter seen in her Easter Bunny post… she wondered if I would do a tutorial. It is really such an incredibly easy thing to make, it’s almost shameful to call this a tutorial…
In any event, here it is…

Circular Needle Hanging Row Counter Tutorial


Beads (I like to use natural ” beads” as well, including pearls, semi-precious stones, glass, quartz etc), but you can use whatever takes your fancy
Bead Caps (these are the small rounded fancy caps that I use top and bottom of most beads)
Bead pins (brass, steel, copper etc)
Sharp-nosed pliers
Wire cutters
Row counters
Clasps, including lobster clasps
Any other embellishments you might like…

I am going to be making an example of how to create this particular green row counter, but again, you can play around and try different things…

Step 1. Gather all your tools…
Step 2. Using your sharp-nosed pliers, open the loop on a bead pin slightly. These bead pins come in a huge variety of lengths, finishes and can have plain loops, plain flat ends, fancy decorative ends etc

Step 3. Slip the bezel, charm (or other looped item), over the open bead pin.
Close the loop with the pliers, ensuring that the bezel swings freely.

Step 4. Slip a bead cap over the bead pin, being careful to insert the pin through the tiny central hole as seen above.

Step 5. Slip a bead over, and then again a bead cap. The bead caps now cover the bead top and bottom.

Step 6. Slip the row counter over the bead pin, again ensuring that the pin passes centrally through the row counter. Some row counters have a central set of flanges that are meant to ” hug” the straight needles that they were designed for… you want your bead pin to sit exactly in the middle of the flanges.

Step 7. Slip another bead cap over…the bead caps needn’t be the same, I use smaller caps on smaller beads and vice versa.

Step 8. Slip a second bead over, and again a bead cap to make it top and bottom…

Step 9. This is the slightly tricky bit. You need to hold the entire assembly quite tightly between your fingers, so that you have a good deal of tension when you bend the top piece of bead pin. This keeps all the elements nicely together, and stops your row counter from rattling around loose and irritating…

Step 10. Bend the pin to the side first using the pliers. Still applying pressure to the row counter’s top and bottom, use the pliers to ” loop” the end of the pin over into a circle. Don’t close the loop completely.

Step 11. Loop half closed…

Step 12. Slip the clasp onto the bead pin loop, and close snugly with your pliers.

Step 13. Make sure you don’t have any snaggy bits of metal (you don’t want to snag that gorgeous cashmere you got on sale… 😉 )
And there you have it!!

The possibilities are endless. You can customize the row counter as you like, add theme charms, add family photo charms, use bezels that are initialed with the recipients’ name, change the size of you clasps if you prefer a smaller clasp hole size, make them fancy and over the top, make them plain and functional….
The nice thing with this particular style of row counter, is that they double up as stitch markers. Just hook them over your cableneedle where you need to mark a place in your pattern. Even if you don’t add a row counter, you can use the same basic techniques for making stitch markers as well. A nice gift would be to make a matching set of stitch markers, together with a matching row counter. Relatively inexpensive depending on the beads and accessories you use, quick to make and useful!

This was bit of an unplanned tutorial, so I will post party pics and maybe a little extra tomorrow, my friends…
Off to have an afternoon nap in a sun patch somewhere…
Lots of Love,
Heidi 🙂

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