How-to Pick Up Stitches for East Neuk

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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