Archive for April 25th, 2014

For some knitters, the number of stitches picked up along the edge of a knitted garment is a mystery number. How do designers come up with this number? Really, it is simple.

The two rules for picking up stitches are:
1) If it is a bound off edge every stitch is picked up.
2) If it is a selvedge edge pick up 3 out of every 4 stitches.

Neck edges are usually bound off edges. The total number of stitches bound off to form the back and front of the neck is the total number to pick up. If each front edge has 20 bound off stitches, pick up 20 stitches on each edge. Same for the number of stitches in the back.

Selvedge edges usually become button bands of some sort. The rule here is to pick up about 3 out of every 4 stitches. Three out of every 4 prevents the bands from becoming wavy. The same number of stitches picked up on one side must be picked up on the other side. Do a test count before picking up band stitches just to make sure the number on one side can be duplicated on the other.

Another thing to watch out for when picking up band stitches is the effect the amount of stitches picked up has on the overall length of the garment. Is it shortening the length by drawing it up? If so, adjust the 3 out of every 4 rule by picking up 4 out of 5 or 4 out of 4 every so often. The more stitches picked up the greater the chance the band will become wavy and not lie flat. This can be countered by picking up less stitches.

Picking up the right amount of stitches isn’t really as hard as it seems. Knitted garments can be quite forgiving. As with anything in life, practice helps.

Have a good weekend.

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