How to Pick Up Stitches: Different Methods and Tips

We show and explain how to pick up stitches along a horizontal or vertical edge, along the curve, and how to create cast-on and bound-off edges.
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Last updatedLast updated: July 12, 2021

If you are learning how to knit, then you should master the art of picking up stitches as well. The process of knitting includes creating different kinds of stitches using yarn, wool, or any other kind of material.

For knitting, a person has to knit consecutive loops that overlap with the surrounding loops. However, once you are done knitting, you will be required to finish off the edges. To do so, you can pick up your stitches and help clean up your messy edges. Learning how to pick up stitches can help give your knitted product a more refined look.

By knowing how to pick up stitches in knitting, you can add a bottom to your sweater, create a design on your scarf, and so much more. Picking stitches is a useful technique that you should master if you are interested in knitting.

This article takes a look at different ways on how to pick up stitches. It also covers different methods and tips to pick up stitches.

Let’s Begin!

When You Might Need to Pick Up Stitches

How to Pick Up Stitches: Different Methods and TipsKnitting is a long and tedious process that can take days. It requires attention and precision. Many people follow knitting books in order to master this long process. One step of this long process includes picking up the stitches.

Picking up a stitch is the final step to knitting. Once you are done picking up the stitches, your design has been fully prepared. You will often require to pick up the stitches in order to clean up any messy look on your final product.

Picking up stitches usually includes sleeve finishing, neckband stitches, or even ribbing on the ends of your product. Thus, this step is important and every knitting enthusiast should know how to pick up and knit stitches.

How to Pick Up Stitches: Different Methods

When it comes to picking up stitches, there are different methods that one can go about. Each method has a different process, and you can choose one according to your knitting requirements.

Following are the different methods on how to pick up and knit stitches:

Along a Horizontal Edge

In order to tidy up your look, you can opt to pick up stitches along a horizontal edge. For this purpose, insert your knitting needle from the front to the back while picking up the middle of every stitch. You will have to insert the needle into the center of the stitch that is near the horizontal edge.

At the same time, you will loop around your yarn in an anti-clockwise direction, and using the needle tip, you will pull the knitting material ahead. This will pick up your stitch while making sure that it is lined up seamlessly, along the horizontal edge.

Along a Vertical Edge

When it comes to picking up stitches along the vertical edge, there are two types of stitches that you can pick.

●     Stockinette Stitch

Firstly, we have the stockinette stitch Trusted Source How to Knit the Stockinette Stitch Stockinette stitch is one of the most basic knitting patterns produced by knitting one row, purling the next, and then repeating the pattern. www.thesprucecrafts.com . For this particular stitch, insert your needle and bring it to the front, between the last two stitch columns. During this process, loop your knitting material around the needle in an anti-clockwise direction.

Once you are done, use the needle tip and pull your knitting material to the front. This method will help pick stitches that are perpendicular to the loops, which means that you will not pick up a stitch for every row but rather three stitches for every four rows. This depends on the knitting material that you are using.

●     Garter Stitch

The other type of stitch is the garter stitch Trusted Source How to Knit the Garter Stitch | Martha Stewart Learn how to knit the garter stitch, which is one of the easiest and most common patterns in knitting. Our guide tells you how and when to use it. www.marthastewart.com . To pick up a garter stitch, you will insert your needle from the back to the front. Similar to the stockinette stitch, you will insert the needle between the last two columns, but this time you will bring it forward from the ridges of the garter. Then, you will loop your knitting material around the needle in an anti-clockwise direction and pull it forward. For a garter stitch, pick up one stitch for each ridge.

Along a Curve

For picking a stitch along a curve, use a circular needle. We recommend the ChiaGoo Knitting Needle. Picking up stitches along the curve help create neckline or armholes. If you know how to pick up stitches in knitting around the neck, that would be great!

For this purpose, you follow the same process as above where you bring your knitting needle forward. While bringing it forward, you pick up the stitches and wrap the knitting material in an anti-clockwise direction.

For a stockinette stitch, you pick up three stitches every four rows and for the garter, you pick up one stitch for every two ridges. In the case of bound off stitches, you pick one stitch for every row.

Cast-On and Bound-Off Edges

For a cast-on edge, you can pick up the stitches in a purlwise manner. This technique requires you to bring ahead your needle from the back while inserting it into the center of the stitch to neat the cast-on edge.

While bringing the needle forward, wrap your knitting material around it anti-clockwise, and then pull that to the back.

For a bound-off edge, knit two stitches and then purl the other two. You continue this process until your design is finished.

Tips

Here are a few tips that you should remember while picking up any stitch:

  • For a smooth edge, opt for stitches that are evenly spaced. You can do this by counting the stitches and seeing how many you need to pick up accordingly. By counting the stitches, you will be able to figure out the spacing.
  • If you feel like you have not picked up the stitch properly, then you can always pull it out and start fresh. This will ensure that no mistakes are made.
  • For a blanket, use a circular needle.
  • To create a border on your knitwear, use a crochet hook. We recommend using these. A crochet hook can help pick up the stitches more accurately.

Final Thoughts

Picking up a stitch is knitting basic 101! This is something everyone should know before getting into it. This particular technique helps you finish off your knitting and gives your knitwear a proper look. Picking a stitch can also help with the design of your knitwear.

There are many different methods to pick up each stitch such as how to pick up stitches in knitting socks and how to pick up and knit stitches along the cast-on edge.

We hope this article helped you figure out different ways on how to pick up stitches. For your design, choose a method that suits you the most and get knitting!

Good luck!

References

1.
How to Knit the Stockinette Stitch
Stockinette stitch is one of the most basic knitting patterns produced by knitting one row, purling the next, and then repeating the pattern.
2.
How to Knit the Garter Stitch | Martha Stewart
Learn how to knit the garter stitch, which is one of the easiest and most common patterns in knitting. Our guide tells you how and when to use it.
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