My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.



I actually finished my Lila Cardigan last Sunday night.

The Lila Cardigan is a design by Sarah Hatton, the the pattern is free from Rowan. I used Blue Sky Fibers Worsted Cotton in the Mediterranean colorway. This was my August Camp Loopy project.

After my last blog post on this project there were some comments on how neatly I picked up the stitches for the front bands. Thank you for all your nice comments!

In order to pick up stitches neatly, I carefully steamed all the knitted pieces. I then divided up the area where I was picking up stitches into shorter segments of equal length, separated by locking stitch markers, That way I could be sure to pick up the same number of stitches in each segment so the results would look even.

At this point, my best tip is to use the number of stitches to be picked up directed by the pattern as a guideline only. I made my cardigan longer than the pattern directed, and my gauge was not identical to that of the pattern, so my pick-up number was different from the start.

How many stitches to pick up? Whatever looks good. Kind of a vague lame answer, but you just have to follow your gut on this. I’ve been knitting forever, so I have a pretty good feel for this. But even now, I’ll pick up stitches, look at it, and see that I’m off: ether too many, too few, or gaps. Don’t feel bad about pulling out what you have done and starting over. That’s the secret to getting a perfect pick-up — re-doing it until it looks perfect.

The other secret to a perfect pick-up is to make sure you are picking up the stitches in the same spot on each row. I usually move in one or one and a half stitches from the edge to ensure I get a perfect line of stitches. In my experience, if you only move in a half a stitch from the edge, you are going to have a hard time picking up the stitches and it’s not going to look as neat as it would if you moved in a half or a whole stitch. The last stitch on each side of a piece is going to look a little wonky no matter what, so you don’t want half of that wonky stitch showing on your finished piece and ruining the look of your finished piece!

I’m working on a secret project where the picking up of stitches is quite a challenge due to . . . well, that’s another story for another time and place.


  1. Mary Lou Keenan says:


  2. Great looking sweater; I’m sure you will get a lot of use out of it. Re the pick ups: With this many stitches around the edge, I have been known to just pick up like 1/4 of the front band and then knit back & forth to see how it looks. If it buckles up, then there are too few; if it is wavy on the needle, then there are too many. And sometimes I alternate my skipped rows between two different numbers, as in… pick up 4 straight, skip 1, then pick up 3 straight, skip 1, then pick up 4, skip 1, then 3, etc…. My gut isn’t as reliable as yours!

  3. Love the longer length on your Lila- I will have to remember your tip for the flat bands. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Your sweater looks comfortable, easy to wear, and the color is lovely.

    Regarding picking up stitches, “it depends” is good advice. Thanks for walking through the steps that work for you.
    Barbara´s last blog post ..Houston, We Have a Problem

  5. Shirley Gallagher says:

    Beautiful sweater, beautiful cat!

  6. Beth in Maryland says:

    This looks lovely. I’ve been following your blog for a long time – you never disappoint!! Beautiful knitting plus helpful tips, written with economy and no long digressions. Thanks, Wendy!

  7. This is so helpful. I avoid project where I have to pick up stitches because they always look terrible, I thought it was just me. This is a road map on how to not suck at picking up stitches. Thank you.

  8. I am avid reader of your blog posts and your Cardigan is looking absolutely fabulous, I really like the pattern and the color is very good. Thanks for sharing it on ravelry.