Thursday, July 28, 2005

Pick up vs Pick up and knit

This post answers a question C posted on Christina's blog: What's the difference between picking up and picking up and knitting.

Almost all the time, when a pattern says "pick up", it means "pick up and knit", ie, use a new piece of yarn to make new loops along an edge where there were no live stitches before. But there really are two techniques, and you do have to think about which one to use. When I was describing to Christina how I pick up stitches on a sock heel, she realized she had not used another piece of yarn, but had "picked up" one side of each stitch in the heel flap and then knit across those loops. It's a legitimate technique, but not what was wanted in this case

Picking up and knitting is very common, and it's probably what you do already. You have the working needle in the right hand and the yarn maybe in the left... with the working needle, you reach thru the fabric where you are picking up stitches and grab a loop of the new yarn to make a stitch. Repeat until you have the desired number of stitches on the needle. If you pulled the needle out at this point, your new stitches will be probably turn back into string.

Picking up without knitting is very rare, but sometimes a pattern author actually wants you to do it. Usually the pattern will make a big deal about this: pick up WITHOUT KNITTING, it might say. That would mean: without any working yarn at all, just grab a loop from the existing fabric. You might slip an extra double point thru the stitches to be picked up, to get loops on the needle. If you pulled the needle out again, the loops would flatten back into the existing fabric. No string. The next step usually involves using the picked-up loops as stitches.

If you've never done either, knitty has a nice article on picking up and knitting stitches with very clear photos.


Blogger Christina said...

Thanks, that's a great explanation! Now I just have to decide if I should do the same on the other sock so they match or do it correctly so I can get the technique down.

~ Christina

July 29, 2005 7:23 PM  
Blogger Wiz Knitter said...

Nice explanation! I recently had reason to "pick up" WITHOUT knitting on the Blue Cardy pockets. The pattern said to stick a stitch holder through the stitches after knitting them so you could go back and make the pocket later. I just marked each edge and went back and picked up the stitches later. The only trickiness being that those stitches were pretty tight, so I had to start with a smaller needle and move to the right one after a row.

August 01, 2005 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Lora Dee said...

Hey Spinnity!
I was looking up this question and realized it was you answering it so fabulously. Thanks buddy! Say hi to the bird guy for me.

November 14, 2010 9:09 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home