This week I only had yesterday to do errands and chores in the city, so I got no knitting done. Today, however, I had three appointments. For two I rode the bus and so knit a good four inches on the little Silken shawl. Tonight I got a bit done on the cardigan sleeve -- just enough for photos to go with the explanation of my chain of markers I promised.
I learned this tip for keeping track of row repeats while increasing or decreasing from Karen a few years ago, I think in a general tips and tricks class.
I usually use a chain of locking stitch markers equal in number to the row on which I need to do an increase or decrease. The last marker on one end is a different color than the rest. In this photo I decrease every ten rows on my top-down sleeve so I have nine orange markers and one green.
Alternatively, make a chain of knotted loops with some waste yarn. You want as many loops as your row repeat.
As you start your first round or work your first set of decreases or increases, place one end of your marker chain between the first and last stitch of the round. Each time you come back around to your chain, slip it to the next marker or loop, always going in the same direction. I work toward the green marker or toward the tails of the yarn chain.
After you slip your chain to that last marker, knit one more round. When you come back to your chain, do your increases or decreases before and after the marker chain and also slip the chain back to the first marker.
I keep track of the number of decreases/increases I've worked using hash marks on the photo copy of the pattern where I keep all my notes on that project. Every once in a while, I count my decreases to ensure that I've marked down all of them.
I use the same chains placed a few stitches from the edge to mark row repeats in flat knitting, too. When I make or delete stitches at the beginning of a right-side row, I pass the chain on the wrong side coming back without doing any increases or decreases or progressing the chain to a new marker. If I have shaping at both the beginning and end of my rows, I use a separate marker chain for each. I find I forget all too often that I'm on an increase/decrease row by the time I reach the end.