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How to: pick up stitches (selvedge)

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How to: pick up stitches (selvedge)

video by

Let's Knit Together

  • Overview
  • Practical Guides

The selvedge of the fabric is the side with all the row ends, which has a natural, finished edge. To add a button band or to work a border around the sides, you’ll be picking up loops through these edge stitches.

If you have to go around a corner, your pattern may tell you to increase on the corner stitch, and you will need to change your picking up technique accordingly.

When you pick up along a selvedge, your new piece of knitting will be at right angles to the fabric that the stitches are picked up from and you should use the knitting needle size specified in your pattern to create stitches of the correct size. You’ll probably find it most natural to work with the piece of knitting on its side, with the selvedge facing up. It’s usual to start in a corner to work along the selvedge. To begin, insert the tip of your knitting needle between the first and second stitches of the first row. Wrap your working yarn round the tip and pull up the loop so you have one new stitch on your needle. This should not be especially loose or tight, just a regular loop. Ensure you leave a long enough yarn tail to weave in the end later. Look at the next row and insert your needle between the first and second stitches as before, wrap the yarn around the tip, and pull up a second loop. Continue to work down the rows, in the space between the Vs of the first and second stitches, picking up one stitch per row, unless the pattern states otherwise. When you have added all the stitches needed, continue with the pattern, working back along the row you’ve just made. The first loop you picked up will need to be worked carefully as the end will need weaving in.


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