Questions on Finishing a Sweater


I feel like I have posted so many questions about this sweater, but it’s my very first and everything seems so confusing!

I am very confused when it comes to finishing. It says:

“using circular needle, beg at left shoulder, pick up and k56 sts along left front neck edge, k1 from holder, place marker, k remaining st from holder, pick up and k56 sts along right front neck edge, then 38 sts along back neck edge – 152 sts. Mark for beg of rnd and carry marker up.”

What does “pick up stitches” mean? What do they mean, “K1 from holder”? It says to do something similar with the armbands, and I am just sort of lost as to what they are talking about.

Thank you for the help!

There’s a video for picking up stitched on the Advanced techniques page – it’s a way of knitting into the neck edge to make the neckband, or around the armholes for a finishing band. When you split the front sts for the neck, you put 1 stitch on a holder. The Left and R front edges they’re talking about refer to when you wear the sweater, not as you’re looking at it.

I went to the “Advanced Techniques” page but couldn’t find a video about picking up stitches. Maybe I am looking for the wrong thing, do you know the name of the video?


Sorry, I get the pages mixed up, it was on the Tips page, but here’s the direct link.


Posting in here again because after watching the video I am confused as to how I will do that for my sweater. It looks like she already has the orange thread knit into the garment. How will I do that?

I am just reading the “finishing’ directions and am still completely lost. What does it mean to “k1 from holder”? And then it says to k56 along right neck edge and then 38 stitches along back neck edge…how exactly will I do that? What does it mean to 'carry the marker up”?

I apologize for all the questions! Maybe I am freaking out a little because this is my first sweater but I truly cannot make sense of anything that is in these finishing directions. Are there any videos that might do something similar to this type of finishing?


When you start to pick up sts, hold the yarn end, say about 6 inches worth, in place with your fingers. Once you’ve picked up a few sts, you can drop the end. It’s not going anywhere and if the first few picked up sts seem loose you can give a slight tug on that end to snug them up. The yarn end will get woven in when you’ve finished the collar.
You’re going to pick up sts down the left neck edge, then knit the single stitch off the holder (it’s one of the center stitches of the V). Place a marker and then knit the other stitch from the holder. The marker will be slipped from the left needle to the right everytime you come to it. It’ll mark the center for decreases. (You can use the holder like a left needle and knit the stitch off it onto the righthand needle.) Continue on picking up sts up the right neck edge and on across the back.
Take it step by step and you’ll get it to work. The picked up stitches always look better than you think they will. The video here is quite good but you can also try this one for a sweater neck.

Thank you for the video!

I am still confused about that first part though when you say “to pick up stitches hold the yarn end”. From what I understand I will have my front piece and back piece of the sweater, where is the yarn end coming from? Do I just use yarn from my ball of yarn to pick up the stitches? From the video you sent me it looks like she used yarn from a ball and not from the finished sweater she had in front of her? But in the video from knittinghelp it looks like that was already coming from the knitted pieces? I am also not understanding how the picked up stitches come off the needle. The video ends with the picked up stitches on her needle and I don’t really get what I do next.

I have also watched a couple videos that say not to pick up every stitch but stagger them somehow. It does not say that specifically in my pattern but should I do that?

I am not really getting the k1 from the holder part, but I think I will wait until I am actually doing it, because it may make more sense when I can see it in front of me?

Yes, use a new yarn end from a ball of yarn. Hold the end in place as you pick up the first few sts and then continued picking up down the front edge.
The easiest way to decide where to pick up sts is to divide the left front edge into halves or fourths. Then pick up half the sts or a fourth the sts in each section. That helps you space them out approximately evenly. You may not be picking up in every stitch or every other, it may be 3sts for every 4 rows. You’ll have to decide how to distribute the sts but don’t worry too much about this. As long as they’re approximately evenly distributed you’ll be fine.
Before you pick up sts for the collar, you join the front and back at the shoulders so that you’ll be picking up around a circle as in the video. Once you have picked up all the sts you’ll be joining to knit in the round. So you’ll start knitting the second round by knitting the sts on the needle that you picked up for the left front edge

Thank you so much! I am, for the most part, a self-taught knitter. I do not know where I would be if it were not for the helpful knitters on sites like knittinghelp!

I think at this point I at least know how to begin the finishing part. Also I am just noticing that “holder” means a stitch holder. So that actually makes more sense now!

I also have another question. For knitting the back piece it says to dec 1 st each side every right side row. Does that mean I dec 1 stitch when the right side is facing towards me on the needles or away from me on the needles?

I am also still confused about knitting the front piece, where it says “Bind off 6(6-7-8-9) sts, work until there are 34(38-42-45-49) sts on RH needle, sl center 2 sts onto holder, join another ball of yarn and k to end. Work both sides at once.” What does it mean to “work both sides at once”?

This really is such a tremendous resource, thank you so much!

I’m glad you’re finding the site helpful. Some of the questions will become clearer as you have the stitches on the needle but it’s always a good idea to read through the pattern first.
For the decreases on each side of the back, the right side should be facing you on the left needle, ready to be knit onto the righthand needle.
For the front, you’re at the part where you shape the armholes and divide for the neck. Follow the directions until you have the number of sts for your size on the righthand needle, then slip the next 2sts to a stitch holder (these are the two sts that you’ll work when you get to the neckband). Now join and start knitting with a new end of yarn. You’re dividing for the left and right shoulders so you can work each shoulder with a separate ball of yarn. You’ll be shaping the deep V neck on this sweater.