I taught myself to knit late in life. One of my early projects was a gaiter for my husband. The cast on called for 175 stitches. That was more than I’d ever cast on before. (I’d only ever knit swatches and an ugly sweater for my then 8-year-old son.) I had picked out a lovely alpaca/silk for the project. I attempted to cast on while we were on a road trip. I pulled out my long tail and began. I cast on a bunch of stitches, counting as I went. My son called to me to look at something. I lost count. I looked, then, I counted again. My husband and son bickered about something. I lost count. I swore quietly. I counted again. You see where this is going, right? Ultimately, I threw down the project and decided that I’d never again try to knit in the car. I may have said a few words my son should not have heard. My husband tactfully suggested, “Why don’t you put a marker every 10 stitches?” I snarled. He returned his eyes to the road.
Later, I realized that he’d actually had a good idea. But 10 stitches were too few. Now, when I have to cast on a whole lot of stitches, I cast on a bunch, then go back and count. I place a split ring stitch marker every 20 stitches. Problem solved.