Reading the complex instructions of a lace pattern or following a chart can be confusing, and keeping up with where you are in the pattern can be frustrating. Here's an easy way to keep yourself in line.
There are many different ways to keep track of where you are in a lace pattern or graphical knitting chart, but they mostly boil down to somehow blocking off the rows you aren't working on or physically showing yourself which row you should be working on.
If you're working with a pattern you've found online, print it out or write out the instructions. If you're working from a book, it will be easier to keep track of your pattern if you make a photocopy.
With your pattern on a page you can use a magnetized board (these can be found in the cross stitch section of craft stores) and use a long, straight magnet to "underline" the row you're currently working on.
If you're working from a chart and won't have to work these instructions again, you can highlight each row as you knit it (or before you start) so you always know where you are.
A less fancy version that can also be done in a book is to use a Post-it note to show you which line or row you're on. If you're easily distracted, you can cover up both the rows or instructions above and below the row you're working on so that you can only see the row you should be focused on.
Some knitters prefer to be able to see the rows they've worked before so they can ensure the row they're working on is lining up with the previous knitting. Others like to see the part of the instructions or chart that they haven't worked yet, to give them a better idea of where they're going. Try both methods (as well as blocking off everything but the row you're on) to see what works best for you.
Remember, too, that you need to be consistent about when you move your marker to the next row. Will you change as soon as you finish the previous row or wait until you're actually starting the next row? This may not sound like a significant difference, but it is if you set your knitting aside for a day or two and can't remember if you worked the row you're seeing the instructions for or if you need to work that row.