Trouble with Picking Up Stitches

Project – Cable Yoke Sweater
Bernat Pattern Book #530197 – Cold Front
Yarn – Bernat Roving in 00103 Lazuli
Blogger – Shandeh

I've been knitting for about seven years now, and have learned a lot in that time.  Mostly, because I knit so much.  I mean, I am ADDICTED to knitting!  I knit everywhere I go - at home, at church, even at stoplights!  I just can't get enough.

But there is one thing in knitting I do NOT enjoy - picking up and knitting stitchesUGH!!

So, there I was, happily finishing up the cable panel on the Cable Yoke Sweater, excited about starting the next section.  I then read the following directions, "pick up and knit 214 stitches across bottom edge of cable yoke".   ACK!!!!!!!!  TWO HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN STITCHES!!!!!  I immediately threw the pattern book across the room and freaked out!   What a nightmare!!

OMG!!!   What had I gotten myself into?!

I went down the hall, talking to myself the whole way, "How in the world am I going to be able to pick up that many stitches?"   "How many MORE stitches am I going to have to pick up for this project?"  "Maybe I can change to a different pattern this month...maybe Bernat won't mind."

It was lunchtime, so I decided to take a break and browse the internet for a while.  Nibbling on my sandwich, I looked at websites about picking up and knitting stitches.  I wondered if maybe there was an easier way to do it.  No...everyone does it the same way. least I tried.

I also looked at the Bernat website, to see if there was something different I could make with the Bernat Roving yarn.  Then, I looked at the photo of the completed Cable Yoke Sweater on the website again.

Gorgeous.  Absolutely beautiful.  I just HAD to master this picking up stitches thing, once and for ALL.

So, I took a deep breath, and decided to let my pet peeve slide away in order to create my pretty cabled cardigan.

Back in the craft room again, I rescued the rejected pattern book, and read through the sweater directions all the way to the end.  As I feared, there would be many more stitches to be picked up and knitted before this cardigan was complete.  "Oh well....I'll just have to make it happen," I proclaimed to the walls of my little room.

The first thing I did was to count how many slipped stitches there were along the side of my cable panel.  99 stitches.  Not enough holes for the 214 stitches I needed to pick up.  This wasn't going to be simple....I would need to THINK and use MATH.

Next, I needed to figure out WHERE to pick up those extra stitches.  So, I asked Bernat for help.  I'm not afraid to ask for help when I need it, and I'm very glad I asked this time.  Bernat quickly responded, with an explanation, as well as photos, showing where to pick up the extra stitches.  YAY!

Picking up and knitting between the loops created with slipped stitches:

Picking up and knitting into the loops created with slipped stitches (which I already knew how to do):

So, now I was fully educated on how to pick up and knit all 214 stitches.  I knew that if I picked up stitches in each hole, as well as in between each hole, I would only pick up 197 stitches.  And I still needed 17 more.  So, I folded the cable panel in half, and placed a marker for the center of the panel.  Next, I placed 8 markers evenly spaced on the two sides.  This would show me where I would need to pick up those extra 17 stitches.  (Bernat recommended that I pick up the 17 stitches on the row below the stitches.)  Excellent!  Figured out!

Once I got started, it wasn't bad at all. :)

After all that drama, I've finished picking up all the stitches, and knitted the little stockinette section.  I've also moved onto the NEXT area, picking up over 100 stitches.  Finally, I'm on the easy road....knitting the pretty stitch pattern all the way down to the bottom.  Smooth sailing now!  I'm doing it!!!

- Shandeh


You are VERY brave!!! Thanks for sharing. Maybe I can be as brave to forge onward to picking up the necessary stitches on my UFO sweater neckline now...

Thank you! Thank you! I am so proud to FINALLY know how to pick up stitches with ease. :) Good luck with your neckline!

Bravo! You conquered the fear - that was the hard part; then the actual picking up of the stitches wasn't so bad. That's what I have found with most knitting - once you get good instructions and just follow them - it turns out. I'm really looking forward to seeing your sweater completed. Love the colour.

Thanks Eva! *hug* I'm so glad I didn't let the technique defeat me. I am woman, hear me ROAR! Ha! Take THAT, you big bad "picking up hundreds of stitches"! :) I just hope I can keep up this power when I try my next difficult knitting stitch. ;) - Shandeh