I often find myself changing directions by mistake and not noticing it until I find a hole, while knitting in the round using DPNs. This especially happens when I’m just starting a project, when the work can easily flop to the other side of the needles, so that even if I’m always knitting counter-clockwise, I start going the wrong way. I think I’ll try a progress keeper to mark the outside of the work. Any other tricks to prevent this from happening? Thank you!
I always look at where the working thread comes from.
I knit "continental" style, so I would always knit clockwise in the round. My loose end of the working thread always sticks out of the left side of the last stitch, and that last stitch is always right of the working thread. So if I pick up my work and the thread goes into the left stitch, I know I'm holding it the wrong way.
Since you write you always knit counter-clockwise, I assume you use the "English" or "throwing" knitting style. Then your working thread probably comes out of the right side of the last stitch and that stitch must be left of the working thread. Have a close look at your work when you're certain you're working in the right direction and see where the working thread comes out of the last stitch. It doesn't matter if you knit or purl, the working thread will always be at the same side.
And last but not least a well-meant advice:
If you are a beginner using the "English" knitting style, maybe because you learned it from your grandma, it's worth switching to the "continental" style. In that style, you don't have to take your hand from your work to "throw" the working thread over the needle for every stitch, which reduces repetitive strain on your hands and increases the speed of your knitting. There are many videos on YouTube or other video platforms available that explain the differences between both styles. You mostly change the way you hold your working thread. You can create all knitting stitches in both styles.