Learn to Knit - Picking up Stitches

When the main part of a project is finished, sometimes it is necessary to pick up stitches around an edge to create a border. This is frequently done around the neck of a sweater to create a neck band or around the edge of an afghan or throw to create a border.

To pick up stitches, hold the work with the right side facing you in your left hand. Hold the needle and yarn in your right hand and work from right to left. Insert the needle into the first row from the edge and wrap the yarn around the tip of the needle. Pull the yarn through and leave it on the right needle, creating a stitch (see illustration).

The pattern instructions may specify how many stitches to pick up or they may instruct you to pick up stitches evenly. When working along the cast on or bind of edge, pick up a stitch through both loops of each stitch. When working along the edge of rows, a rule of thumb is to pick up three stitches for every four rows, but check frequently to be sure the main body of knitting is not puckered (too few stitches picked up) or stretched (too many stitches picked up).

When picking up stitches along a side edge, pick up the stitch between the first and second stitch of the row—a whole stitch in from the edge. For bulky or super bulky yarn, it may be necessary to work into the first stitch, a half stitch in from the edge. Be consistent with how you pick up stitches for a straight edge.

Mon, 2011-08-22 (All day)