Why does my knit stitch not look like AV?
The most likely culprit is that you are wrapping your yarn the wrong way around your needle on either the knit side, the purl side, or both. You should always wrap the yarn counterclockwise around your needle.
Does casting on count as the first row?
Actually, what you shouldn’t be counting is the “row” formed by the cast on. The cast on doesn’t count as a row. But it’s easier to count all the rows in the worked fabric, below the needle, and just not count the loops on the needle. … And that you don’t count your cast on if you’re counting rows.