The Yarnologue

WIP: Picking Up Stitches

My Tucked Pullover is moving along quickly now.

IMG_3469The second sleeve is done and I’m on to the neckline.

This section requires picking up stitches along the edge of the neck and transferring stitches from holders onto my needles.

Picking up stitches is a technique with which many knitters struggle. The spacing is what trips up many people.

For my Tucked Pullover I was fortunate that there were only a few stitches to be picked up on the side of each neck edge, so it was fairly painless.

The first step when picking up stitches is to divide your edge into sections. It’s easier to pick up a few stitches evenly spaced along a short section than to pick up all the stitches along the entire length.

IMG_3432I can’t fool you, that’s the armhole not the neck edge, but it’s a good example. I used the top and bottom seams as guides, then clipped stitch markers at the half way point on both the front and the back.

You can read more about marking your edge in this article on the Vogue Knitting website.

IMG_3475Stitches are usually picked up with the right/public side of your project facing out, which hides the ridge formed by the bound off edge.

Sometimes I put my crochet skills to use when I pick up stitches. I tension the yarn with my left hand and scoop it with the knitting needle. Other times I make things complicated by sticking my left hand needle into the fabric first, then using my right hand needle to knit the stitch in the normal fashion.

When I first learned to knit I found my two needle method provided more stability and helped me better see what was happening.

IMG_3476The stitches along the front of the neckline were still on the needle so all I had to do was knit them off. The neckline is worked with a smaller needle than the body, which is why I’m switching from my Denise set to a bamboo circular.

Jimmy Beans Wool has a video that discusses avoiding holes when you pick up stitches.

This video from cuts right to the chase of how to work the technique.

IMG_3478With my stitches all picked up, I quickly knit the garter stitch border for the neckline. Despite how excited I was about finally finishing my sweater, Baru was totally unimpressed.

I guess he was thinking about how many ends I had to weave in before I was really done!

This Knitty article goes into more depth about picking up stitches, which a focus on properly spacing a button band.

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