It has been a very long time that I wrote anything here. Not that I haven't had anything to write about - I have been doing so many different things - but I am lazy. This entry is motivated from some questions some folks had about the row counter I use when knitting.
Liz Upitis in her book about Latvian mittens talks about using a loop of yarn that is tied into subloops. Each time you knit a round, you slip your needle into the next loop down. Say you need to cross a cable every 8 rows. You create an 8 loop counter. After going through all 8 loops, you do the cable cross and start over. Recently I saw a blog post that shows doing the same thing with locking stitch markers.
As a forester I often had to lay out boundary and cruising plot lines
using a handcompass and pacing. To keep track of my paces I used either
a clicker (much like the clickers knitters use) or pacing beads. Pacing
beads consist of two cords linked together on a loop or carabiner. One
cord carries 9 or 10 beads and the other usually about 5 beads. You
slide one of ten beads to the end of the cord each time you have paced a
certain distance (every 20 meters, every 50 meters - whatever). After
counting ten of these, you slide one of the five bead set to the end of
these cords. Then you start over with the 10 count. That way you can
count at least 50 - technically 60 - such distances.
The Upitis method got me to thinking that I could make a mini pacing bead set and accomplish the same thing. Additionally you could use them to count 2 different things - like decreasing every 3 round while cabling every 8 rounds, etc.
I use a split ring that works with the needle size. Cotton crochet thread doubled works well with the small beads - they slide only when you want them to. Split rings also work well as stitch makers. They are thinner than standard stitch markers and don't mess with your gauge as I have found the fat plastic ones do.
Anyway, try it and let me know if you like it!