Picking up stitches is an easy way to build off of a finished edge on many types of knitwear. You might be asked to pick up stitches to add ribbing to the bottom of a sweater, to add earflaps to a hat, or to make a project seamless.
The process of picking up stitches is quite simple:
- Read the pattern to determine how many stitches you need to pick up.
- Determine where you will need to pick up stitches in order to evenly space the stitches in the space available.
- Slide your needle under both parts of the V of the stitch on the very edge of the work.
Some people prefer to work with only one part of the stitch, while others work one stitch in from the edge. This is useful if you have a messy edge and want to form a cleaner line in your project. Just make sure you pick up stitches straight across the work—be consistent and don't wander from row to row.
Pick up and Knit
In knitting patterns, you will sometimes see the instructions "pick up X stitches" or, at other times, "pick up and knit." The terms are often used to mean the same thing. Once you pick up the stitch along the edge of your work, you have to knit it in order to make it look like a normal, workable stitch. This can be accomplished using just one needle, or you can pick up the stitch with one needle and knit it onto the other needle, whichever is easier for you.
Some people also use a crochet hook to help pick up stitches and pull the working yarn through. If you do this, all you have to do is slide the loop from the hook to the needle to make a completed stitch.
Continuing to Pick up Stitches
Now that you picked up and knitted one stitch, simply continue in the same manner until you pick up all the stitches that you need. You can then work with these stitches just like you would work with any cast-on stitches.