rip it again, Sam

There is this vest that has been almost finished for a very long time now. Not because I got bored of it. Not because I didn’t feel like working on it. Not because I ran out of yarn. My problem with it? The neckline. I’ve picked up stitches, knitted it, bound off, and ripped it all twice now. Let’s take it step by step.

I thought this would be the easiest part of the whole project. I love picking up stitches. What a great way to do a neckline, I thought! And I could test it and see if I want it a bit longer, to adjust just how much cleavage I want this vest to have. But then the knitting fairy decided to teach me a lesson.

I don’t have the photo for my first attempt, but the problem was that I ended up with weird holes in very undesirable places around my neckline. The kind of holes that would be the first thing that poked someone in the eye. They were on the neckline, after all! On the front of the vest! On my boobs! Even if I fixed them up with my scrap yarn (and I’m not an expert on fixing holes in knitting), they would be too unseemly. Rip.

For my second attempt, I followed clever advice from The Sweatshop of Love – and picked up the stitches a bit further away from the edge of my knitting. In order to be double safe, I used a slightly smaller needle. And in order to be triple safe, I picked up the stitches much closer to each other. Which meant that I ended up with around 90 stitches more than recommended in the pattern. Are you starting to see the problem?

No holes, brilliant, but I ended up with a, to put it nicely, ruffled neckline. Too many stitches, and in ribbing too, it just doesn’t work. Rip.

And here we are now. The plan for the third attempt is as follows: rip back to first row after picking up, then do one row of [k2tog twice, p2tog twice] to get set up for the proper ribbing. That way I get the benefit of not having any holes + get rid of my surplus of stitches. It seems like a good idea, for now at least. Any problems you foresee? Please tell me now, I don’t feel like another rip.

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About fridica

I started knitting completely by accident, when I was visiting my parents for a holiday in 2008. On a boring Sunday afternoon, I decided to dig through their stash of books to see if there was anything interesting to take back to my apartment. A knitting manual happened to be one of the books I found. I got curious, my mom immediately dug out her old needles and yarn stash (which she hadn’t used in a decade at least), and in a few minutes we were both casting on - she by memory, I by following the instructions from the book… :) Since I normally prefer learning from books, this was ideal.. I took the book home with me, and very very soon - I was an addict.

33 thoughts on “rip it again, Sam

  1. Knitting two stitches together in the first round may leave the set-up row too bulky but you never know: try it anyway, see how it goes!
    I did an applied i-cord edging on a neckline recently and found that I picked up too few stitches. I didn’t want to go back and get it wrong over and over, so I put my working yarn over the raw edge and used that to pick up an additional stitch every 4-5 (picked up) stitches. That helped to pin down the raw edge as well, I quite liked that side effect!
    But I have a feeling that doing this with ribbing will make this seam more bulky.
    Good luck! Keep us up to date.

    • Thank you for the advice! It’s so annoying when you’re so close to completion and this one detail just refuses to work… I have tried out my plan though, and it worked! Yay! Only blocking left now! :)

    • Thank you for the advice! I think it would’ve achieved a cool result if I had more rows on the neckline (there were only 8 rows, alas), so I couldn’t do it this time. I love the idea, though, I’ll have to think of some other project to use it on!

  2. That’s what I would do, decrease to get rid of the extra stitches. How many stitches does the pattern say you should have? I would calculate the decreases to get rid of the 90 sts and if it doesn’t work out exactly, I would hide the difference in the purl sts. However, I have never done this before, so this is what I would do, but I don’t know if it would work. It will be interesting to read what other people suggest!

    Good luck with the vest! The good news is it’s almost done and it looks very pretty!

  3. What if you only pick up stitches a bit further away from the edge of the knitting, but not closer together? Getting away from the edge may get rid of any holes by itself without having to pick up stitches closer together.

    • Which is exactly what would’ve been the most obvious choice of action. Buuut, I had put in so much effort to pick up these stitches at the perfect distance from the edge, and it was such a pain, I just couldn’t bring myself to pull them out without trying something else first, if you know what I mean…

    • I know what you’re saying, but I don’t think it’s so important here, since the neckline ribbing is more decorative than functional in this case. It was just too many stitches, I don’t know why I ever thought that wouldn’t be a problem! :D

  4. When I do neckline or arms-line, I usually pick up every st on straight parts, and 2sts on every 3 sts on curved parts. Also I picked them so that I have at least 2 threads between picked sts and BO line of project.

    But on projects that have ribbed neck line, sometimes I pick 2 st on every 3sts on whole neckline.

    • Rib part on your arms seams fine. Count number of sts that you picked up there, and count an actual number of sts on your project. Then for neckline, pick up the same percent of sts that you’ve picked up for arms.

    • Yup, my magic formula is becoming: have three little vertical strands between every picked up stitch. I also used it on another project yesterday and it seemed to work pretty well! Thanks for the advice!

  5. oh no!! I totally understand that kind of pain. How about this- you can measure how many stitches per inch you’re getting on that ribbing. then measure around the neckline to get an idea of how many inches of ribbing you need, then multiply neck circumference inches x stitches per inch. this will give you a more accurate idea of how many stitches you need for the ribbing. And even then, I’d subtract one inch of the stitches to ensure that the stitches don’t buckle around the curve of the neckline.

    • Wooohooo, you do realize that just writing these sentences makes me believe you’re a Nobel-winning mathematician, right? :) Me and maths… :) I used to be good at it, but it’s been a long time since highschool ;) Joking aside, I knew the number of stitches I needed already, from the pattern. I was just being stupid. :P Thank you for helping, though!

  6. oh, wow, that sounds so frustrating! i don’t have any good advice, either. the few necklines i have done have only been minorly wonky, nothing i couldn’t trust a good blocking to take care of.

  7. pick up fewer stitches and knit them through the back loop as you pick up. This always works for me (I’ve had the same neckline problems before). I knit as I pick up so maybe that might help? Also once you’ve picked up a few stitches lay the needle down and look at it in accordance with the actual knitting. Is it flat? If not then you will certainly have a problem. Remember that this is where a lot of people have bumps so you aren’t alone & the bulky weight yarn really helps to emphasize any imperfection.

    Good luck!

    • Thank you for the support, I managed to work it out my way in the end but I’ve collected so much good advice in the meantime, I love it! I’ve never really understood how pick-up-and-knit works, though, I always pick up my stitches on one round and only knit them on the next round…

      • Pick up and knit might be done with two balls of yarn? One for picking up the stitches and the second one for the actual knitting.
        Or otherwise a very generous length of yarn for the picking up part! A few stitches at a time, using two lots of circulars – that’s how I would do it.

  8. Huh, nisam citala komentare … pa ne znam je l’ se ponavljam … :)
    Ne mogu da vidim na slici kakav je oblik izreza. Ako nije krug, onda u coskovima izreza treba smanjivati petlje.
    Takodje, vidim da je ivica siroka i na samom pocetku – pa mozes sve oparati, i uzeti jos manje petlji nego sto si sad – ja obicno uzimam jednu, drugu pored nje, pa jednu preskocim, pa opet dve ……
    Smanjivanje u samoj ivici najbolje izlazi ako pletes 2 krive petlje zajedno, tako da dobijes iluziju da se nista nije smanjilo…..

    • Da, bilo bi idealno da sam uzimala manje oica, no, kao to sam objasnila u prethodnim komentarima – toliko sam se izmuila s tim drugi put kad sam radila da mi je bilo previe ao skroz parati. Rijeila sam u meuvremenu problem ba ovako kako sam bila opisala i zadovoljna sam! Evo je sui se :)

  9. So glad you worked it out to your satisfaction!

    All the advice and tips here are amazing! I’ve learnt not just a thing or two, but lots more! Brilliant.

    PS: If the inside/BO edge of the neckline ribbing is only a little bit loose then I threading an elastic thread through and that worked pretty well to make it lie flat.

  10. I’m so glad your rib worked out! For the future, too, you can always use a smaller size needle for your ribbing, and it looks like the problem is at the bottom of the ribbing, and that your sleeves look good. It takes a lot of practice to pick up stitches, so every time you go through the process you’ll get better and better!

    • Well for me the sadest thing was the fact that I LOVE picking up stitches, and I thought it was my one natural talent in knitting. But nope, never be cocky – that was my lesson from this :)

  11. I love how it looks all Vogue-esque! I like many of the tips given here and I would go with a smaller size needle with even pick ups – every stitch on straight sides and 2 sts for every 3 for curved ones. This will give you a less hole-y look and then you could tighten things up with k2tog, p2tog and maybe even finish off with a row of single crochet along the cast off edge. Alternatively, you could change the neckline to a ruffled one or an icord edging. Whatever you do, it’s going to look spectacular and even more Vogue-esque!!

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