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How-to Pick Up Stitches for East Neuk

Aug 28, 2014

I'm so close to finishing my East Neuk Hoodie (the cover project from Knitscene Fall)—and as an added bonus, the weather here has been hinting at fall, so I'm even more excited that I could probably wear it in a few weeks! Even if I'm only wearing it for maybe half an hour.

 

This is a warm sweater. My gauge came out a bit looser than the pattern gauge—on size 3 needles, I knit a size smaller, but I was pretty adamant about not knitting a sweater on size 2s. I just don't think I'm that crazy yet. Obviously there's still ends to be woven, a hood to complete, button placket and hood edging to knit, and then I have to decide what to do about the elbow patches—the pattern calls for knitting them in the same color, but maybe I'll go for a medium brown tone to simulate leather? Or go buy faux-leather patches? I have some time to decide, but I'd love your thoughts—share them in the comments!

The pattern is really straight forward and also easy to adapt to gauge variances—I probably didn't work the seed stitch patterning as much as Kristen did, for example. But there's one part that I thought might be helpful to illustrate. After knitting the bottom hem in garter stitch, stitches are placed on a holder and then picked up to work the bottom of the body, behind the pocket flap.

To do that, I first moved my held stitches to a spare cable. Interchangeable needles are perfect for this, but you could just a spare circular needle or waste yarn. In the photos below, I hadn't yet taken off the needle tip that I'd used to slip the stitches so there's a seemingly random third needle tip—sorry about that.

 

The easiest way I found to pick up the stitches was to lift the purl bump from the wrong side and place on the needle. In the photo above, I'm just about to pick up that bump—it's the last row of the garter stitch edge and pretty easy to grab. Your held stitches will not get distorted by picking up the purl bumps.

You can just lift that bump up with your left needle...

...and then work the stitch from there, inserting your right needle into the purl bump, then knitting. Be mindful of how the stitch is positioned, so you don't accidentally twist it.

Once you've picked up all the stitches you need, you'll have these parallel row of stitches, and you can just start knitting the body, no problem!

Do you have a favorite way to pick up stitches? Let me know! (And seriously, weigh in about the elbow patches, I'm so torn!) Until next time, happy knitting!


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Comments

AmyPalmer wrote
on Sep 11, 2014 12:57 PM

Thanks everyone for the input!

saltykat wrote
on Sep 9, 2014 1:33 PM

I like the elbow patches in the same color. My yarn -Berroco Ultra Alpaca; couldn't stomach using Cascade, which is made in China- should be here Thursday. I cannot wait to get started!

on Sep 7, 2014 5:54 PM

I'd use knitted patches in brown. It'll make your life easier when it comes time to wash your sweater.

on Sep 6, 2014 7:57 PM

Definitely the real suede in tan.  Your yarn is real and so should the patches be.  Faux belongs with acrylic!  It has to be tan for the same reason.  Looking good.

birchcreek wrote
on Sep 6, 2014 2:13 PM

I would do a contrasting colour (tan) but in real suede - there's a reason those became popular, and it's that the suede wears incredibly well, getting softer and more supple with time.  The faux-suede knit add-on patches or epaulets always look kind-of "twee", if you know what I mean!

birchcreek wrote
on Sep 6, 2014 2:12 PM

I would do a contrasting colour (tan) but in real suede - there's a reason those became popular, and it's that the suede wears incredibly well, getting softer and more supple with time.  The faux-suede knit add-on patches or epaulets always look kind-of "twee", if you know what I mean!

on Sep 3, 2014 7:40 PM

Looking good, Amy! I love that sweater, and your version is beautiful. Tan elbow patches would be perfect.

AmyPalmer wrote
on Sep 2, 2014 6:25 PM

@shugghis the more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards a tan-colored yarn for the elbow patches.

shugghis wrote
on Aug 31, 2014 3:23 PM

I definitely feel a contrasting color would make the perfect patch. I don't know , I'm not feeling the faux leather idea. And certainly not the same color, that will give you effort with no impact.