HOWTO make a row-counter "abacus" bracelet

Here's a set of free instructions for making your own stylish and functional "row counter" bracelet, a kind of wearable fashionable abacus:

The principle is simple - the smaller beads represent 1s, and the bigger beads represent 10s. When each row is knitted (or crocheted), simply move one small bead through the encircling beaded ring to the other side of the bracelet.

When you complete the 10th row, move all the small beads back to the 'start', and move one large bead, representing 10, through the ring.

Move small "1" beads through the beaded divider ring one by one as you complete rows, until you reach the 20th row, at which point you move all 9 small beads back to the 'start' of the bracelet (which is marked by a charm), and move a second "10" bead through to mark 20 rows - and so on!

Link (via Craft)


  1. Oh my goodness. As an adamant crochet-fiend, all I can say is that this is absolutely brilliant!

  2. Nice! I’m getting one & heading straight for the blackjack tables…and then maybe straight to jail.

  3. This is cute but its just a form of what the Army calls Ranger Beads used for pace counting and estimating walking distances. They should use this version though and soften up the Army’s image a bit.

  4. hmmm… what was the first keep-tracky-county-thing?
    A rock? One rock in your hand or dire-wolf skin loin cloth? Did two rocks lead to a bit of grass to string them on? Or did the shape of a grass blade lead to time connected?

  5. This is a totally super!

    I use double pointed needles and am constantly fighting to keep the little counter gadget-dy thing from falling off the end.

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