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Picking up stitches without circulars

Posted by: cloudymoor (IP Logged)
Date: October 09, 2009 04:47PM

I don't have circular needles and have to add a turtleneck to my sweater. The instructions call for circulars but my mom said you can get around this. She picks up by NOT sewing the second shoulder seam and just using her regular straight needles. Obviously she has to do this in two sections and sew the seam up the back, but I'm not sure how to proceed in the most effective way (she's away right now so I can't ask her!). I've gotten the front left shoulder and left front picked up and I'm wondering if I can just go back and forth at this point and worry about picking up the second half (right side and back) later on.

I hope I've made sense of this. I know people adore circulars and will probably get them at some point but I'd really like to know how to do this with straight needles and thanks in advance!!

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Posted by: Sally J (IP Logged)
Date: October 09, 2009 05:07PM

I have done this, but all in one section, and the seam is a continuation of the shoulder seam (I prefer the left). You sew up one shoulder seam, then pick up all the neck stitches on your straight needle. Work them to the desired length, bind off loosely, then sew up the other shoulder seam, continuing on to sew the turtleneck. As long as your seam is tidy, it works pretty well.

Posted by: cloudymoor (IP Logged)
Date: October 09, 2009 05:18PM

Thanks so much for the ultra speedy response. I think what threw me is that I didn't pick up the back at all yet, so I felt like it was too disjointed. Stupid me!.

Again, my thanks Sally J!!!

Posted by: Alex (IP Logged)
Date: October 10, 2009 09:52AM

I don't know what your ribbing is like (1x1, 2x2, 1x2..), but if you work flat you will have to add a stitch or more to get your count straight since a couple of your stitches are being used for your seam. Whether you use a complete stitch on either side or a half stitch on either side will also make a difference. Remember too, that your seam will have to be on the right side if the turtleneck is to be folded down.

Another way of doing the neck (the way I would do it anyway; don't care for circs in small places) is to use double-pointed needles and work in the round. This is a good place to learn to handle dpns because there is no fooling around with the cast-on row and having to worry if your stitches have twisted. They can't twist because they are already part of the sweater.

Posted by: cloudymoor (IP Logged)
Date: October 13, 2009 02:55PM

Hi Alex,
I finished my sweater and then saw your response and wanted to thank you. The dpn idea is a great one. I was thinking of doing that as well. I had a 2 by 2 ribbing and indeed was confused with the seam coming into play with the stitches!!