How to start picking up the stitches?

I’m all turned around, somehow :eyes:

I know how to pick up stitches, but am having trouble making my needles go where they’re supposed to (and figuring out where they’re supposed to!).

I’m making Amanda’s Squatty Sidekick. I have the bottom of the bag done, which was done by working 60 rows in St st, slipping the first st of each row kwise.

So now I have to: [B]Pick up and knit 30 sts along the first side (one st for each “chain” st slong the edge), pick up and knit 5 sts along the cast-on edge, then pick up and knit 30 sts along the second side, join to work in rnds.[/B]

What I’m looking at: I have the right side of the knitting facing me. The (15) stitches are sitting on the left needle (circular needle). I’ve got the empty needle in my right hand. I assume I’m starting to pick up stitches along the right hand side of the knitting, since that’s where my working yarn is. Am I picking them up with the right or left needle? And should the right side or wrong side of the knitting be facing me while I’m picking them up?

I’m sure once I get going, it’ll be easier, but trying to get it started is seriously awkward, with the cable all in my way and the working yarn never seeming to be in the right place :eyes:

I’m trying to picture this in my head… You pick up with the right needle. You’re going right to left like you always do when knitting. You want the stockinette stitch to be on the outside of the bag because you’ll be knitting in the round.

I downloaded the PDF from your Rav Notebook.
I made a diagram of how this works (same as for Booga Bag):

RS of work facing you: The tail of the yarn is at the tip of the right hand needle as indicated by the arrow, and the needle is in your right hand. Now, turn the corner with SIDE A at the top…pick up stitches along SIDE A using a crochet hook. When you get about 10 st loaded onto the crochet hook, feed them off the back end of the crochet hook and ONTO THE KNITTING NEEDLE. It helps to put stitch markers for this ‘picking up and loading onto…’ stage!

I think the diagram says it best. Every time you’re done with side, rotate the work again, and keep going on your merry way!

PS: It doesn’t matter if the st st is on the inside or outside. You can turn it right side out if it’s inside out while you’re working in the round. I usually work this type of pattern with the right side on the inside as I’m going along. It’s easier.

Thank you, both of you! ArtLady, that diagram was tons of help, and it never occurred to me to pick up stitches with a crochet hook first, what a huge help that was. I love this place :mrgreen:

You’re very welcome! I use the crochet hood to pick up ANY stitches…buttonbands, collars, etc!

And thanks for posting those 3 [B]handsome [/B]little boys in your signature!

Hi, I’ve been following other posts regarding picking up from circular needles for market bags, etc. I tried it last night (I am making a market bag) and as I look at the diagram in this post, that is what I did. I had the bottom (yarn) on the outside, and picked up in the direction as on your diagram. However, I think I may have done something wrong, as when I was done, the project was not in one circular loop, somehow the needle was twisted into a figure 8 pattern and I couldn’t untwist it. Is there some other hints? Would it work better if I had the finished part on the inside? Am I supposed to move the picked up stitches to the left hand needle as I pick them up? I took my work apart to start over as it was so twisted I couldn’t do anything with it. It seems to me it would be easier to knit in the round if the needle was in one circle, rather than twisted. Thank you.

Is it just the needle that’s twisted, or did the knitting twist too? Either way, you can slide the sts onto a smaller circular and take the twist out. If the twist is in the knitting because you picked up some sts on the wrong side, you can take those out and pick up again the right way. When you pick them up, the RS should be facing you and you go around the piece counter clockwise.

I think it was just the needle that was twisted because when I knitted the first round, it knitted okay. I thought the twist would work itself out after the first round, but it didn’t. Thanks. I will see what I can do tonight after work when I get to that spot again.

Okay, so I think I picked up the stitches okay as described above. However, where do I join the yarn to start knitting in the round? I have the left hand needle holding my last stitches before I started picking up, then the stitches go around in a “U” shape on the circular needle. Then there is a space and underneath the left hand needle starts the picked up stitches. And now I’m at the end of the right handle needle. Again, it is in a weird loopy pattern. So, do I join by starting to knit the stitches off the left hand needle, the stitches at the end of the left hand needle (the end of the stitches that were at the end of the left hand needle before I started picking up), or the picked up stitches? If I start the join by starting to knit the stitches off the left hand needle it is going to get all twisted again because the needles are in the weird twisty pattern. If need be I can post a pic. Thanks.

Yes, ‘joining’ to knit in the round is just knitting the first st on the left needle. If you can post a picture of the ‘weird twisty pattern’ that would help. It could be just your needles are twisted, but your sts aren’t.

I think I am just confused about the whole concept. I have the garter stitches on the left needle and the right one is empty. Do I insert the right needle and pick up all of the stitches onto the right one and add the stitches to the bottom, or do I use the left needle to just keep adding stitches onto the left needle? I have been inserting the right hand needle to pick up stitches and I think I am supposed to use the left one with all the stitches already on it? Right? Sorry, I’m just not understanding the concept. A video would be great!

There’s a video on picking up sts on the Tips page. You don’t have to literally ‘pick up’ a stitch with the left needle then ‘knit’ it with the right. You can insert your right needle into the edge to pick it up all in one action.

When I’m making a bag that has a flat piece that needs stitches picked up on 3 sides (it has live stitches one one side) I find it easiest to use double pointed needes, one for each side. It can be really difficult to work a circular needle around the square or rectangle bottom piece picking up stitches.

Once I get the 4 needles with stitches on each side, continue knitting circularly around for 2-5 rows with the dbl pt needles. Once you get some rows done, knit back onto the circular needle around all sides. Then continue knitting.