knitting question: I don't have enough stitches to pick up. what should I do?

I am knitting a top-down hooded sweater. I have just completed the 3-sided hood. According to the pattern, I am supposed to pick up and knit a certain amount of stitches along the side, back, and other side of the hood. My problem is there aren’t enough stitches to pick up. :frowning: What should I do?

Can you tell us the pattern name and give us a link please when asking questions? It always helps if we can at least see the pattern. (Don’t post the pattern itself here)

How many stitches are you supposed to pick up and how many do you have?

The pattern name is “Sporto”, found on knitty.com. On the first side of the hood, I am supposed to pick up 40 stitches and I only have 24. sigh I have knit the required amount of inches out from the pick-up row and have already bound off in pattern. This is my first top-down sweater. It seemed to have been going well so far… :frowning: Thank you so much for any help you can offer!

What yarn are you using? This is quite a confusing pattern with the different versions and patterns. Just to be sure which version are you doing? The pattern version is for worsted weight yarn the other recipe version requires you figure out your gauge with your chosen yarn.

My first thought is you didn’t do enough increases. If you reached the correct number of inches without them I wonder if you are using a heavier yarn…

I’m going to tag another person who may be able to help, too. @salmonmac

TFor the larger sizes, after you first pick up stitches you knit for 8 inches and then work an inch of rib. If you are close to gauge, 22rows/4inches, that’s about 50 rows.
Did you slip a stitch at the row ends and pick up in the slipped sts?
That could be the problem. You need to pick up in almost every row to get 40sts out of about 50 rows.
If this sounds like what happened, just count your rows and get an approximate idea of how often to pick up sts, maybe 4sts for every 5 rows. Pick up and if you’re close to the right number you can always inc or dec on the next row.

Wow! Thank you both so much for your timely and intuitive replies!

To be clear, I am using the pattern version, not the recipe version. I am, however, using a bulky yarn, not a worsted weight - just as you were thinking, Jan_in_CA. :slight_smile: In my swatch I changed needle sizes and believe I had obtained the correct stitch gauge, so I thought I was good to go. Rookie mistake, perhaps? I worked all the initial increases using a slipped stitch edge as the pattern indicated, did the first set of pick up and knits, and all seemed to be going well. As I got closer to the end of the 8 inches, I did think it wasn’t going to be enough stitches for the next set of pick up and knits. :frowning: I did the inch of ribbing, bound off in pattern, starting picking up and knitting stitches on one side of the hood and uh-oh, not enough stitches. Not sure where to go from here.

I am currently using US 8 circular needles for the larger size needles. Do I need to go back and start over with something smaller? Can I use a smaller size needle effectively with the bulky yarn? Can I just continue on and just make new stitches in the next row so that I have the required 100 stitches altogether? sigh Questions from an advanced beginner that knows just enough to be dangerous. :wink:

Thanks again for all your help and advice!

How many rows do you have in the 9 or so inches befoe picking up thw 40 sts?

If you’re using a heavier yarn maybe you don’t need to pick up that many stitches then since you have the correct length?

I’ve got about 45 rows in the 9 inches that are stockinette and then ribbing - after counting 3 times.

Do you reckon that I could get away without the extra 16 stitches on both sides (and the shortfall along the back) as long as the length is correct? Maybe that does make sense with the heavier yarn, but won’t it affect the overall pattern size?

I really appreciate you kind people taking the time to help sort me out. :slight_smile: It’s almost as good as having you sitting right here in my living room! Thanks again!

I’m honestly not sure about the hood, but in general changing yarn weight can can have a huge effect on the pattern size making it much too large in the case of bulky vs worsted weight.

SWhat is the name of the yarn you’re using?
Recheck the stitch gauge on the hood as you have it now. Your row gauge is close to the pattern gauge. Do you like the knit fabric and does the hood fit?
If your stitch gauge is still close to the pattern gauge (15sts/ 4 inches) try picking up sts again to get closer to 40 (pick up in almost every row) and inc on the next row. The pattern gauge is just on the cusp between worsted and bulky.
Keep watching and trying on as you knit to make sure the sweater isn’t turning out too big
http://knitty.com/ISSUEwbis11/KSPATTsporto.php

Thanks for your reply, salmonmac. I appreciate all the advice I’ve been given so far! I’m going to try these tips tomorrow and measure things up and see what happens.

My yarn is called “Estelle Chunky”.