Picking Up Stitches: Slipped-Stitch Side (Row) Edge

Feb 16, 2009

Picking Up Stitches: Slipped-Stitch Side (Row) Edge

 

Picking up stitches is a way to add new stitches to an already finished bit of knitting--along the sides for a buttonband, perhaps, or at the neckline for a collar. You can add stitches to any edge: a cast-on edge, a bound-off edge, or the side edges.

Related information:

Picking Up Stitches From a Cast-On or Bound-Off Edge


 

 

 

What is a Slipped-Stitch Edge?

Some patterns will instruct you to slip the first stitch of each row in order to create a neat, "chain stitch" edging along the side.

The most common place this is done is along the edge of a sock heel flap, in preparation for picking up stitches to form the gusset. 

Each "chain stitch" along the row edges represents two rows: the end of one row, and the beginning of the next.

 

 


Where do you put your needle?

When you are picking up stitches along a slipped-stitch row edge, you have two choices: you can insert your needle under both loops of each chain stitch, as seen here...

 

 

 




...or you can insert your needle under only one loop (usually the back loop) of each chain stitch, as seen here.

Picking up only one loop will cause less bulk on the wrong side of your work. However, some knitters find that the one-loop approach can leave a bit of a hole, particularly if they are "loose knitters" (gauge, people; I mean GAUGE!).

Experiment and find which way you prefer!

Examples of the finished product for both methods are shown below.

 


 


Step 1:

Insert needle under loop(s) of the first chain stitch.

Shown here: Needle inserted under both loops of a chain stitch.


 


Step 2:

Wrap working yarn around needle as you would to knit.


 


Step 3:

Pull yarn through.


 


Step 4:

Insert needle under loop(s) of next chain stitch.

Shown here: Needle inserted under both loops.


 


Step 5:

Wrap yarn as if to knit.

 


 


Step 6:

Pull yarn through.


 

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Result:
Front (RS) of work, both loops picked up


This is what your new row of stitches will look like if you pick up both loops of each chain edge stitch.


 


Result:
Front (RS) of work, one loop picked up


This is what the right side looks like, if you pick up only one loop of each chain edge stitch.

Compare this photo to the one above--do you see a difference?

The column of stitches immediately underneath the new stitches faces the opposite way here! This is because you used only one loop of the edge stitches, leaving the second (front) loop of each chain stitch to form an extra half-stitch along the edge.

In other words: If you are aiming for accuracy, note that picking up only one loop of the chain edge will add an additional half-stitch in width along the edge versus picking up both loops of the chain edge.


 


Result:
Back (WS) of work, one loop picked up


If you pick up stitches under one loop only of each chain stitch, this is what the wrong side of your work will look like.


 


Result:
Back (WS) of work, both loops picked up


If you pick up stitches under both loops of each chain stitch, this is what the wrong side of your work will look like.


 



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