# Picking up stitches formula?

I have a pattern fora baby blanket and it wants me to pcik up stitches on the top/bottom edgers and the sides. The problem, besides having never done this before, is that they don’t want me to pick up all the stitches along each edge. The top and bottom edgers have 193 stitches on them and they want me to pick 176. The sides will have 294 (approx.) and they want me to pick up 218. I know the stitches need to be evenly spaced, but how do I do that? Is there a formula to figure out how to space them out evenly?:eyebrow2:

For every 3 stitches that present themselves, pick up a stitch in two of them and skip the 3rd.

EXAMPLE:
I pick up into first stitch on blanket’s edge, pick up a stitch into the second stitch on blanket’s edge, then skip the third stitch on the blanket’s edge…then repeat that process in the next 3 stitches that present themselves.

If you pick up one [U]for every stitch on the blanket’s edge[/U], your newly created edge will ripple and buckle. Not a pretty sight.

The way I would do it depends on what they have you do with the stitches once you pick them up. If you are doing a real simple thing with them like knitting several rounds of garter stitch, I would do one thing. But if it is important that you have those exact numbers because of a pattern stitch you are doing I would do it a different way.

If it doesn’t matter how many you pick up really, but you just want it to lie flat (you would still need to handle the corners the way they say to I suppose) I would basically pick up the ends stitch for stitch. That would be where you have the 193. You could skip a few now and then if you want. (this isn’t rocket science) But on the side edges I would pick them up 1, 2, 3 and then skip a stitch. This is a “formula” that usually works very well for picking up the row edges of a piece. I do it that way for adding button bands. I’m sure there is a video on this site about picking up stitches that would show you how. It is not hard once you see how. The hardest part is trying to get a certain number of stitches, and I usually don’t anymore unless it is absolutely necessary. It is actually fun to pick them up the more natural method I described above.

But if you need the number they give I suggest you divide the edges up into sections and pick up a certain number in each section. For instance… You need 176 on the ends. I would fold that end section in half and mark the middle (2 sections), then fold the 1/2 sections in half again and mark them. Now you will have 4 sections. Fold the 1/4 sections in half and mark those. Now you will have 8 more or less even sections across the end. Absolute perfection is not needed, but do the best you can. I would tie a little piece of yarn where I want the marks, but any method you can think of will work. With 176 stitches divided by 8 you get exactly 22 stitches in each section–22X8=176. Then pick up 22 stitches in each section.

Just make the picked up stitches as evenly spaced as you can in each section, but they don’t have to be exactly even. Keep the markers in until you are done. If you get across a section and only have picked up 15 take them back out in that section and try again putting them a little closer together. If you do a section and pick up 22 and haven’t reached the next marker, then rip them back to the beginning of that section and spread them out a little more. If they are about evenly spaced, and there are 22 in each section it will work great.

Do something similar with the side sections. If you divide them also into 8 sections by the folding method, you would have 8 sections where you needed to pick up 27 in 6 of them and 28 in 2 of them. 27X6=162+2X28 (58)=218. Its okay if the exact same number isn’t in each section. It won’t hurt a thing. If you divided the sides into 10 sections you could have 22 sts in 8 of them and 21 in 2 of them to get the 218.

Having smaller sections like the 10, so that you only have to eye ball 22 stitches into each section is a little easier than the 27, but I don’t know how to get 10 sections by folding. (you could get it by measuring though and dividing)

You could fold it as the sides and then carry it one step further so that you had 16 sections. Then the sections would have 14 stitches in 10 of the sections and 13 in 6 of the sections. 14X10=140+13X6 (78)=218 Mix the 14s and 13s out over the side so that they don’t all come together.

I used to have to rip back quite a bit when I started, but I’m better now and only have to do it occasionally. So it gets easier.

Good luck and don’t get too stressed, if you are close in your work it will look all right without perfection being 100% necessary.

Thank you ArtLady1981 and MerigoldinWA. I was kinda thinking the pick up a few and then skip one, but i wasn’t sure how many to do. I am a little of a perfectionist when it comes to projects I’m giving to someone. I guess that’s why I’m scared to try really complex projects. I hate the thought of messing up.

Thanks again for the help.

I do pretty much what merrigold does-- I lay the piece out flat on a table, measure out the length and with brightly colored safety pins (you can get them at Joann’s), I divide up that length into quarters or eighths or thirds or whatever is needed, mark those sections off with the pins, and then just increase however many I need to in each section, pretty much eyeballing it as I go along. It’s not ultra exact (I mean, I’m not increasing a stitch every 3 mm or whatever), but I’ve never had a problem, nothing’s every come out oddly.

So my next question is have you ever worked with Bernat’s Cottontots? I’ve read mixed reviews on how it does with washing and I don’t want to give my friend this banket if it’s going to pill as soon as she washes it. Has it ever pilled on you? Is it because they dried it in the dryer instead of lying it flat to air dry?

I’ve never used it, but I do know this:
Pilling comes from friction, so getting tossed around in the dryer vs laying it flat could only make it worse. The other thing, is that I would put it in net sweater bag to wash it, to keep it from rubbing up against other clothing.