Beginner help with picking up neck edge

Hi everybody,

I’ve been using this forum for a while now just reading other posts, so I figured it was time to sign up!

I realise this question has been asked previously so I’m sorry for asking it again, but I couldn’t find exactly what I needed in another thread.

I’m a super beginner knitter, i.e. this is the first non-scarf or hat project I’ve ever done. I’m knitting a baby sweater, in Sirdar Snowflake Chunky (which makes seeing the stitches really hard when you make a mistake!).

I’ve gotten to the point where I need to pick up neck edge stitches in order to create the neck band.

It says to pick up 24 stitches along the left hand edge of the neck. I have looked at videos and read tutorials, but I don’t understand this:

Do I judge by eye where to pick up a stitch? And evenly space them so that along the entire left edge there are 24 stitches onto my needle? Or is there a more precise way for me to decide where to pick up a stitch?

Also, the neck is a V-neck, so the V edge that I’m picking up on is decreased as it goes up to the shoulder. I don’t even know what loops I should be picking in to, and with this wool that is super fluffy I cannot see the stitches very well. Any advice on how to pick up the stitches is VERY much appreciated. I have no idea what I’m doing.

Thanks so much, and have a great weekend,

Hi Gracie and welcome!
You’ve probably seen the video on picking up stitches but just in case:

It’s a good idea to mark off the area where you’ll be picking up the stitches into smaller sections, halves or fourths. That helps you space out the sts. They don’t have to be precisely spaced, eyeballing it is good. Amy has some advice about where to pick up, through both strands of the stitch, for example rather than through one leg that’s good to keep in mind. This turns out much better than in practice than you might imagine although the fuzzy yarn may make things a little more difficult to see.

Hi Gracie!

I don’t really have much of a tip about picking up for a neckline except to say that it’s easy to pull out what you’ve done if you don’t like it. Over time you’ll develop a feel for whether or not you need to pick up a half or a whole stitch over from your last one. The video that salmonmac suggested is one that I rewatch whenever I’m about to do a neckline.

I am a little bit of an expert on hard-to-see yarns because I knit lots of baggy black sweaters, so I think I can help you with that. :cool:
The fluffyness of your yarn is good because it can help hide any holes that can sometimes happen when picking up stitches. The way I’m currently dealing with hard-to-see stitches is a clip-on book light. I bought it to use when I can’t sleep and don’t want to wake Mr. Rie. I use it all the time now when knitting, especially as it’s portable. It’s a cheapie little LED with a bulb smaller than my pinkie nail. I have even clamped it onto my wristwatch and curved the long neck toward my knitting. They even sell them at drugstores. Seriously, save your eyes and use an extra spotlight.
However, if you have the means, there are companies that make much better lights specifically designed for crafting. I’m not advocating any brands here, these are the first two that came up when I searched for examples for you.