One of the trickiest techniques, the most fiddly and, frankly – IMHO – one of the annoying of any project (depending on the amount) is summed up in six seemingly innocuous little words….
Pick up and knit X stitches
Do I see a shudder slipping down your back bone?
It’s like that short little instruction is smirking at you when you read it….
Pick up and knit X stitches.
Picking up stitches can be footery and I, for one, have certainly made a mess of it – I can recall trying to pick up stitches along a curved edge 5 times! (6th time was the charm)
Thankfully, although the Lush cardigan requires you to pick up stitches along both the top AND bottom edge of your lace yoke, there are no dreaded curved edges, but if you are not au fait with stitch-picking up then I thought I would share with you a couple of videos and sites that you might find useful…once you get good with the amount of picking up you may have to do, of course!
Before you start there are two important things to bear in mind- you always pick up with right side facing, unless you are directed otherwise. Secondly, as I quickly discovered, it’s not knitting stitches as in in- around-through-off, when we use two needles to create new stitches – you are picking up and simply drawing through a loop.
But where do you pick up? There are some fantastic online pictorials that will give you simple images to follow, and a really great blog on the subject from Tin Can Knits. Knitty.com has some great articles on techniques and picking up stitches is no exception. I think Knitty is one of the best go-to places for information on techniques; I have used it right from the get-go with knitting and they’ve never let me down.
You might also want to check out this video from Knit Purl Hunter, who looks at both horizontal and vertical picking up.
Personally, I prefer to use a crochet hook when picking up and one that is a good few sizes smaller than the recommended needle size. I did this with my last lush yoke after I was disappointed with how the new stitches look…long and saggy.
It was on the Tin Can Knits forum on Ravelry that I got this tip and have used it ever since. I find that the smaller crochet hook makes a neat new line of stitches, rather than elongated or droopy.
Have you picked up all those stitches yet? Top and bottom? Well done – now is the exciting bit…watching that long rectangle turn into a circular yoke.
Short rows are next – now short rows I have no helpful tips for – I suck massively and I am always just a little bit disappointed with how my wraps look in the end. Thankfully, Ysolda has a really interesting video tutorial on wrapless short rows and I think this is the technique I will try with my Lush.
My Lush…is about 2 repeats longer on the LH yoke as it was last night, not bad I suppose, considering I have been working all day and writing various things all evening…maybe if I stop writing blog posts I will get more knit?
I may not post tomorrow (dental surgery with anaesthetic = drowsy Weezie) but I will be watching for the Wednesday Club casting on – those KAL-ers who have had to wait on their yarn to arrive, or have wanted to chum those who have had to wait for yarn to arrive! Looking forward to seeing all the progress!
I’m not taking part in the Lush Pod KAL but enjoying reading all about your adventure 🙂
You’ve made me smile seeing the word footery…thank you!
I am not taking part either but the tip about using a crochet hook to pick up stitches, is very useful.
I’m a very strange creature. I love picking up stitches. It’s a favorite job of mine. What brilliant advice for knitters who are unsure of how to pick up stitches. Hopefully more will love it now.
Haha! You do? I think you must be in a unique group! But each to their own – I get strange looks when I say I love frogging! But, come on, success follows frogging when you get it right next time. 😉
Yes. Really I do. And I can see the appeal of frogging. There’s frustration that it needs to be done but also the new potential of a ball of yarn.
Knitters are strange yet philosophical folks. 😉
oooh, that’s a great tip about the crochet hook – will try that out as I usually make a mess of picking up stitches. And I never knew, you weren’t supposed to knit them as you picked them up! Ooops – that might explain why I’ve been disappointed with the outcome. I love KALS, you always learn something new. My lace is blocking now – hope to start the pick-up tonight or tomorrow.
Thanks for the information about picking up stitches. I quite like doing it, but it’s good to have some photos/videos to check I’m doing it properly. I like KnitPurlHunter’s videos so thanks for that link as I hadn’t discovered her.