How to pick up the correct # of stitches?


This is my first post here, hopefully I am doing it correctly. I have not knitted a wide variety of items, and this type is new.

I am knitting a toddler sized sweater jacket, it says to pick up the yarn for the sleeves, from a certain point (last color knitted) on the back, to the same point on the front. It is straight garter stitch.

It called for 42 stitches–by doubling stitches in some of the Vs, I was able to get them all in. However, the sleeves were very puffy. Ripped that out.

My knitting friend told me to pick up 3 stitches and skip one. However, If I do that the sleeve is very narrow and I don’t think it would go around a toddlers arm, especially since this is a jacket sweater and clothes would be there.

What do I do? Knit in the lesser amount of stitches or leave it puffy? The pattern came from my local knitting store several years ago and they are no longer in business to ask.

Thank you for any help

This is a drop sleeve jacket?
I’m thinking you might pick up the 42sts over a wider area. It might help to look at some similar patterns on Ravelry to see what the measurement at the top of the sleeve is for a baby jacket or sweater.
On this chart, it looks like the upper arm for a 2 year old would measure 7.5 inches around so maybe a 10 inch sleeve at the top?

Thank you for responding. I am relatively new to knitting and still do not understand all the terminology.

I would call this a straight shoulder, no drop. The sleeves are attached by picking up shoulder stitches and continuing to knit the sleeve.

The closest pattern that I could find on Ravelry is this

Even though it is listed as a free pattern, I was unable to find how to download it. So, I am not sure if it is the same. Nothing else that I found called for picking up sleeves.

I read the chart page that you recommended and I am afraid that I did not understand it all. If the child that I am knitting this for was closer to me, I could measure him, but it is very complicated to get through to his Mom.

If you would like me to attach my pattern, I can scan it in and do so.

Thank you for your help,

Well basically the chart was just saying what I posted: about a 7.5 inch circumference at the top of the sleeve is a fine measurement for a toddler. Lay out the fronts and back and mark off 7.5 inches at the arm edge, centered on the shoulder seam. Count rows between the markers and see if you can pick up one stitch in each row or perhaps more likely 3sts for every 4 rows. See if that comes close to 42sts.
Best not to post the pattern since we can get into copyright problems.

Hi again,

I ripped it all out and am going to start over. I felt the yarn (a cotton-acrylic blend) was getting too out of shape from all the reworking.

I will let you know when I have it redone–how it works out.

I did measure the upper arm sleeve width and it was just a hair over 7.5 inches, so at least I know that that width is correct using the 42 stitches. Now to just pick them up correctly.

Thank you so much for your help, and I will be back to you, and thanks for letting me know about the copyright issues–I never gave that a thought.


OK, good luck with it! It helps to mark off the distance in fourths so that you can more evenly pick up sts and stay on track.
I just looked back at the chart and they’re saying the body measurement is 7.5 inches so the sleeve width should be a bit bigger than that, maybe up to 10 inches at the armhole. Sorry, I was mistaken earlier when I got going on 7.5 inches.

Thank you again for warning me in time!

Will post when I have it caught up.