Wednesday March 29th 2017

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QuickTip: picking up purl stitches

QTsmOne of the easiest things to do in knitting is to pick up or correct stitches a few rows (or more) of knitting back by using a crochet hook. It’s also one of the most intimidating things for a new knitter to learn. It all looks so complicated and scary, and what if you can’t pick it back up? If I drop the stitches down where I missed a stitch, will the entire garment blow up in my face or fall to pieces?

This QT is one of those “doh!” things that I’ve shown to quite a few new knitters now, so don’t feel bad if you’ve never realized it before. There’s been at least one person who has knitted for years that I showed how to pick up stitches that hadn’t figured this one out, simply because the thought of picking up a lost stitch scared her so much.

A lot of new knitters can manage to pick up knit stitches with a crochet hook, but have a much harder time with purl stitches. Here’s the actual hint, which is shorter than the set-up by far:

Turn the knitting around so the back side of the knitting faces you. Voilá. The purl stitch is now a knit stitch. Pick it up. Turn the knitting around if necessary. Keep on picking up stitches.

If you’ve been trying to figure out how to pick up stitches or if it has always scared you to death, just ask a friendly knitter to show you how. It’s one of those things that, if you’re actually looking at someone doing it, takes ten minutes or under, especially if you’re just talking purl and knit stitches. (Picking up a yarnover takes a tiny bit longer to get your head around, I’ve found. Make that about 15 minutes if you want to figure out how to pickup yarnovers too.)

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6 Responses to “QuickTip: picking up purl stitches”

  1. I confess, I have picked up knits and purls, but have avoided yo pick ups.
    (hmm.. to the uninitiated, this sounds like a coded conversation about a singles bar)

    • Zina says:

      It’s easier to figure out if at first you drop more than two stitches and then grab two DPNs and knit the dropped stitches as a row — that’ll teach you more about picking up a yo then anything else!

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  5. Kamil says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I went away with it ilmediatemy, finishing the whole thing in one day.I even managed to line the headband the next day with some supersoft fleece My ears have never been cosier

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