How to pick up stitches for the front of the sweater
The following is the original blog post:
In the Crew Neck pattern, one of the most confusing parts, yet very important to do correctly, is this line:
Front ShouldersWith WS facing and CO edge of left side at the top, using the needle emerging from the sweater's left side below and a separate strand of yarn for each piece, pick up purlwise and purl XX sts from the middle of each st of the CO row—XX sts on each piece.
I have tried to explain it in response to a question in the PhranckoForum but it is very difficult to put into words. However, knowing the proverbial "picture = 1000 words" here is a picture that I hope will make it perfectly clear:
As you see, we have "the WS [wrong side] facing" and we are looking only at the "left side" of the sweater, the one that does not have the right side marker, and we have oriented it with the "CO [cast on] edge at the top." We are about to use the needle that is "emerging from the sweater's left side" which is actually on your right side. And we have positioned the point of the needle to pick up purlwise starting in the selvedge stitch directly above where needle emerges from the work.
Now it's perfectly clear, right? I sure hope so. This is the most important reason for marking the right side of the sweater. Without that, would you know that this picture is looking at the left side? It's upside down and wrong side facing. Now that is very confusing!
How do we then pick up the stitches purlwise?We want to pick up the same number of stitches that we cast on in the beginning. That means we need to pick up one stitch in every single cast on stitch, including the selvedge stitch at each end. Each stitch other than the selvedges looks like a V, when you are looking at the fabric on the right side and also not upside down. You want to pick up a stitch in the middle of every one of those V's, right next to the cast on edge. For the selvedge stitches, you just have to find a good place to pick up a stitch since it doesn't look like a V. But the main thing is not to forget to do it or you will not have enough stitches and the connected edge will not be flat.
To pick up purlwise, you insert the needle from the RS (i.e., the far side since the WS is facing you) through to the WS, wrap the needle and then pull it through the fabric. Then you insert the needle in the next stitch from the RS to the WS. It will feel like you are purling since you insert the needle towards you as in making a purl stitch, hence the name "pick up purlwise."
A Wonderful Visit with my Sister
Here are the three beautiful knitters patiently enduring my hovering over them to make sure they did everything exactly right.
We also went to a yarn store and bought yarn for her sweater, so the next day we generated a custom-fit pattern for her and started her sweater. The picture above, as you can see, was taken on her plaid table cloth and it is a picture of the start of her sweater using Cascade 220 Aran yarn.