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How to Pickup Knitting Stitches

When adding a border to your knitting, such as a neck band or collar, you generally pick up stitches along the edge. It is important to do this evenly in order to make a smooth join between the edge and the border.

It is best to work from the right side and to make the stitches on a knitting needle using a new piece of yarn,not one attached to the edge itself,as to do it that way may stretch and distort the edge.

Use a knitting needle (straight or circular) one or two sizes smaller than the needles used for the main body. The smaller size is easier to insert into the fabric and will not stretch the picked-up stitches. After picking up, change to the needle size used for the edging.

If your pattern does not tell you how many stitches to pick up, but just says, pick up evenly, you can calculate how many to increase by in this way; First determine the gauge of the edging to be used by making a tension gauge, then measure the total area and multiply that figure by the stitch gauge of the edging to be added.

Along a shaped edge, such as a neck, always pick up inside the edge so that you do not to create any holes. If you are making a band in a different colour from the main piece then pick up stitches with the main colour first, changing to the contrasting colour on the first row.

If you are picking up stitches on a long piece, such as the entire outside edge of a cardigan, there may be too many stitches to fit on a straight needle. Therefore divide  the work in half, working first along the right front to the centre back neck and then from the centre back neck along the left front. You will then need to neatly seam the centre back.Another option is to work back and forth on a circular needle.

When picking up for a neckband on a pullover with a straight needle sew one shoulder seam, pick up and work the required stitches work the edging, then sew the second shoulder seam and the side of the neckband. If using circular or double-pointed needles, sew both shoulder seams first, pick up the required number stitches and work the edging in rounds, no seam is then required.

Marking Your Edge

Pickup Knitting Stitches on Horizontal Edge

1. Insert the knitting needle into the center of the first stitch in the row below the cast off edge. Wrap the yarn knitwise around the needle.

Pickup Knitting Stitches on Vertical Edge

It is important that stitches  be picked up evenly to avoid the band pulling or flaring.To do this place pins, markers or yarn, as shown, every 2"/5cm and pick up the same number of stitches between each pair of markers. If you know the number of stitches to be picked up, divide this equally by the number of sections to work out how many stitches to pick up in each one. If you don’t have a final count then use the marked sections to ensure even spacing around the neck.

 2. Draw the yarn through. You have now picked up one stitch. Continue in this way, remembering to evenly space the new stitches,along the cast off edge.

1. Insert the knitting needle into the corner stitch of the first row, one stitch in from the side edge. Wrap the yarn around the needle knitwise.

2. Draw the yarn through. You have now picked up one stitch. Continue in this way, remembering to evenly space the new stitches,along the cast off edge.

The Knitting Wool Store Knitting Techniques  Pickup Knitting Stitches

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