Picking Up Stitches

Well, I'm at the point in my cardigan where I have to pick up stitches to make the frontband. The pattern says to pick up 80 stitches up to the point where the neckline decrease starts. If I counted counted correctly, there are 102 rows of knitting leading up to that point. Can the pattern be correct? Should I really skip 22 stitches along the frontband when I pick them up? I didn't add any length to the body of the sweater (at least I didn't intend to). Anyone else ever have this problem?


VillageKnittiot's picture

A lot of times you pick up less stitches for a button band if you're knitting stockenette as the stitches are taller than they are wide. Usually the ration is about picking up 3 stitches every 4.

Knittinghelp has a video and she briefly explains the ration.

ronhuber's picture

Elizabeth Zimmermann recommends picking up 2 out of 3. I do *2 skip one, three, skip one, repeat from * for garter stitch or seed stitch but do *2 skip one, repeat from * for a rib. So 80 out of 102 sounds like a lot. I would think that would give you a flaring-out band. I would do closer to 70.

jwhassjr's picture

Oops posted twice.

jwhassjr's picture

The decrease is due to the width of a knit stitch being wider than it is tall. The best way to test the ratio of stitches to pick up is to take the measurement of front from the top of the garment to the bottom of the garment.

Let's say the measurment ends up being 20 inches. Now let's say that your gauge for a 4x4 square is 16 stiches x 24 rows. Then the number of rows according to this gauge would be approximately 120, but the number of stitches for this gauge would be approximately 80, so you would need to decrease from 120 to 80. That ration is divisible by 40, which is the same as saying your going to decrease from 3 to 2, which means you would skip every third row to evenly distribute the picked up stitches while still picking up the required number of stitches to equal the measurement of 20 inches for the front of your garment.

Hope this makes sense. Take a look at this link, it's from an episode of Knitty Gritty with Sally Melville as the guest. She knitted a sweater and did a fantastic job of describing ratios for seaming and finishing garmets that I believe will help you better conceive your knitting pattern.


Best of luck and hope you post your finished project. I'd love to see your success!