Over the course of my knitting and crocheting life, I’ve experimented with various row counters. I’ve tried electronic ones, the Kacha-Kacha type ones, plain old pad and pencil – hands down, my favorite ones are those little plastic barrel counters, either the kind you slide onto the needle or hang by the loop onto circular needles. I have many, many of these in various project bags, as you never know when you might need one. I like the fact that it’s a row counter that stays WITH the project. Also, you can play around with it. If you have, say, a pattern where you need to repeat rows 1-8 six times, you can turn the barrel numbers independently of one another. I know, there’s probably an App somewhere that will do this much more efficiently, but like I said, I like a counter that stays with the project. If you do a lot of crafting in public, like I do, you want a counter you can turn discreetly, versus having to whip out your Blackberry to punch in the next row repeat.
This, however, poses a bit of a problem for crochet. Some have argued that you can just slide the barrel counter onto a crochet hook, but this is assuming two things:
1) I’m able to keep my crochet hook with my project. Sometimes I end up using the same hook for multiple projects, or I just misplace it.
2) I use a hook that’s of a size to accommodate a barrel counter. Being a tight crocheter, I tend to use a larger hook; and, because of my wrist/thumb issues, I like to use either those foam rubber hook covers or the Susan Bates Bamboo Handle hooks.
So, I’ve hit upon a solution (that I’m sure is not unique). I take a safety pin and fasten a looped barrel counter onto my crochet project. I either fasten it at the very bottom, or I keep moving the safety pin up as I go along. The latter is a more practical solution if you’re working on a very large project like an afghan.