The pick up game

Picking up stitches is a hoot. It’s one of those techniques that you either just jump into feet first or lay aside thinking you’ll ask for help sometime. Sometime never comes and in two years you’re evaluating your WIPs (works in progress) and come across an item waiting for picked-up stitches. I don’t want to make this harder than it sounds. The bottom line with this technique is that it isn’t scary at all. When the project is going to be felted it becomes even less scary. Compare this to making brownies: Homemade brownies are really very easy to make, but brownies from a box are practically no-fail. The felting is going to hide any possible (and I stress upon possible) errors you could make in picking up stitches. I say go for it.

That said, I do wish the pattern explained picking up stitches for newer knitters. It doesn’t really. It says I should have 52 stitches (I am making the large size). I had at least 10 more. Because they’re slippers that will be felted and I didn’t want any gaps, I went with what I got instead of fretting about the numbers. I sewed up all of the seams (which the pattern said I should do only the heel before picking up stitches and adding the contrast trim and then to sew the top seam. I chose to deviate from the pattern here because I thought it would be simpler to sew up and match the edges of the main color only (not both that and the trim color). So, after I picked up the stitches I joined it in the round and knit my rounds.


This is where I get really stupid. And some call me an expert knitter. Hah! What a joke! I picked up the stitches from the wrong side so it has little color “blips” showing on the outside edge of the slipper. However, this meant after joining in the round, that I could just knit every stitch (not purl) to succeed in making garter stitch (remember I said I'm working on the wrong side). I personally decided that I like the little “blips,” they give it a cute dotted look that will probably be nearly invisible after felting. Never mind that it was about 11 p.m. and I have a newborn who will wake me at 3 a.m. and then my alarm will be ringing at 6 a.m. to get ready to head off to my full time job. Who gives a tinkers darn about blips?

Maybe I over think things, but the pattern could also express that what you’re knitting, after picking up the stitches, is garter stitch. Having that statement would help a beginner knitter better visualize what you’re supposed to end up with (even an advanced knitter would benefit from this information since you cannot really tell by the photos of the finished project).

That said, I say this is still a great pattern. It is simple and concise. It reads easily and aside from ending up with more stitches after the “pick up game” everything worked out beautifully (pre-felting statement). I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.



very cute. i have a similar philosophy on picking up stitches--it's nice to have a goal, but you have to pick up the number that feels right and not worry too much about the numbers. by the way, i don't know if anyone's told you, but all mothers of babies get an instant reprieve when it comes to little things like following knit patterns and picking up stitches. the fact that we can function (and i use that term loosely) and find time to knit on so little sleep is a small miracle and all knitting should be taken as a great feat of accomplishment.

I like the slippers. What's the pattern and is it available from Paton's?

The pattern, "Slippers for Her" can be found in the Patons book, "Family Felting." Go to: the website ( then click on Our Patterns, then New Pattern Books. (It has 10 other fantastic patterns too!)

I am officially a fan of color 'blips'