Picking Up Stitches – Crochet Basics

Occasionally, you’ll come across the term “pick up (x) stitches” in a crochet pattern. This just means that you’ll need to add a certain number of stitches to the finished portion of the item.

You can also use this technique outside of patterns to add a decorative border to spice up the look of a finished item.

I just whipped a small swatch of single stitch crochet up to demonstrate how I do this.

Step One
When picking stitches up on the side of a piece, insert the hook in the space between the rows at the edge of the piece. I prefer to put the hook in from the front, or right side of the piece, but if you find inserting it from the back instead is easier, there’s no reason why you can’t do that.

When starting at the top or bottom, just crochet into the stitches that are already there.

Step Two

Loop the yarn over the hook, and draw it through. Keeping that loop in place by holding the yarn tail securely with the hand not holding the hook, insert the hook into the space between the second and third row, yarn over again and pull that through. You’ll now have two loops on your hook.

Step Three
Bring the tail still attached to the yarn ball to the front of the piece, yarn over and pull the new loop through the two existing ones. This will be your first stitch.

Step Four
Continue in this way for as many stitches as the pattern calls for. If you’re adding a border, keep doing it until you’ve gotten all the way around the piece. When you get to the last stitch, pull it tight, snip the yarn and weave the end in.

The border on the bottom and left side of the picture demonstrates what the first row will look like. I’d already started the second row on the right side.

So, there you have it! Painless, and rather pretty.

For more Crochet Basics, check out the master page.

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