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My Favorite Knitting App and A Trick For Picking Up Stitches Evenly

There are quite a few knitting apps out there, but the specialized one I use most is Knit Evenly.  Have you heard of it?  I find a lot of people haven't!

You know when a pattern tells you to "decrease/increase 10 sts evenly across row"?  Obviously, if you decreased all the stitches at the beginning of a row it would look puckered on one side.  For many years I used this great online calculator from TheDietDiary blog.  However, the app ($1.99), gives a little bit extra and doesn't require online access.  Unfortunately, it is only available for Apple products, and because it is an iPhone app, you might not find it in the iPad search.  So, here is a convenient link that should get you there:

Shall we see how it works?

First choose whether your piece is knitted flat or in the round (this will affect the calculation).  The "round" calculation will make sure there is an even number of stitches surrounding the false seams.  Then, key in the number of stitches you have and how many you need to add or remove.

Press that Calculate button!  

You'll see 2 options, Memorizable or Anal-Retentive.  Ha!  That one is for me.  :)  But don't be scared of the second option because of the great 'extra' in this app... The Guide Me button.

If you push it, it will break up the instructions into parts so that you can follow it step-by-step.  Just click the button after every section to move on.  It couldn't be easier.

But now I have an awesome tip for you.  You can use this same program to figure out how to pick up stitches along a knitted edge.  

We've all been there.  A pattern needs you to pick up 100 stitches along a button band, and since you're the adventurous sort you just dive in and start picking up in some vague "I'll make it!" manner.  Of course, when you get near the end you tear your hair out because you are either too far away from the end or way too close, and YOU DON'T WANT TO DO IT AGAIN, OMG.

Alternatively, you fold the edge in many halves and try to pick up a smaller number of stitches between each marked point.   But then somehow it's never evenly divisible and you start second-guessing yourself "wait, did I pick up 8 or 9 last time??"... and we're back to square one.

Well, no more of any of that!  With this method, you know exactly where to pick up at every moment.  Basically you are tricking the program into thinking that you are decreasing along an edge, simply because you almost always pick up less stitches than loops available.  For the trick to work, you simply re-interpret "k2tog" decreases as skipped stitches for your pick-ups.

Let me demonstrate.  First, count how many loops/stitches (whatever you like to pick up into) you have along the edge.  It's never a set number, and some may look odd around seams.  Just count the ones you would consider picking up in.

In the Knit Evenly app, press "DEC" (because you will be picking up less stitches) and either "Flat" or "Rnd" depending on your type of knitting.  In the "# of sts on the needle" box, type in the number of pick-up loops available.  In the "# of sts to inc/dec" box, type the difference from the number you need to pick-up.

(Android users, don't despair, you can do the same thing using the online calculator)

When you Calculate, it will actually be a formula for picking-up!  Every time it says "k2tog", just skip a loop along your edge.  You'll be thrilled when your last stitch is in exactly the right place, believe me.  :)

Skip a loop every time it says "k2tog"

I compile many tips on my About Me page on Ravelry, you should come check it out.  Cast-on tips, row-counting tips, converting to top-down knitting, needle storage... tons of stuff.  Actually, it's always worth checking out the About Me pages on Ravelry, you can learn the darnedest things!

Check out my Ravelry profile page here!

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  1. This is genius! I've seen people mention the online calculator before, but never thought to use it for picking up stitches. Thanks for the tip!

  2. I would love this app for android - currently it's only for the itunes genre.

    1. Shoot, I just discovered that. Well -- in any case, you can always use the online calculator for now.

  3. Thank you.. for this tip... my tip: i use stitch minder while knitting to count without pencil and paper ( nice when you travel with your knit work)..
    Regards Astrid ( Dutch knitty)

    1. I use Stitch Minder, too. Another good program!

  4. Dayana; Thank you so much for the calculator. It is invaluable. Love your blog. You help me so much !!!

    1. Excellent, I'm glad to help! Feel free to give me a screen name or Rav name next time in your comment so we can get to know each other. :)

  5. Thank you so much for this tip, and for bringing this knitting app to our attention! I am going to download it right now.

    1. Great, Kristie, do tell me if you like it! Just a note for you and others, the app is for the iPhone, so I've realized that if you do a search on the iPad it will pretend not to find it. Clicking the link in this post should get you there, though.

  6. Hi Dayana! Just used this tool to pick up neckline stitches. Works great and can I make a suggestion? If the tool says K2tog, you have to k1 1 and then skip 1. When I first did it, I skipped one for the k2tog without knitting 1 and didn't work :)

    1. Oh yes, you are correct, it wouldn't work otherwise. I will clarify! :)


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