Armhole Edgings in Azalea
One of the final steps in Azalea is to create your armhole edgings! This is the little bit of Garter stitch trim that is around each armhole. I have lots of tips to share about this step of the pattern – check them out below! And I also have a video tutorial that walks you through exactly how to pick up and knit the stitches using the Magic Loop Method (although you can use double pointed needles if you prefer). And scroll down to read how to easily alter the pattern to make it longer sleeves!
Tip #1: It’s ok to pick up more stitches
The stitch count given for the pick-up is based upon the armhole measurements you work for the Front and Back armholes. So if you had added length of your armholes (which I know is very common to do), then you’ll definitely want to pick up more stitches. Because you are working in Garter stitch (after the pick-up), the actual number of stitches isn’t vital (it’s not like ribbing where it needs to be a certain multiple of stitches). I recommend a pick-up ratio of 2 sts for every 3 rows. I show you how to do this in the video below. However, if you pick up at this ratio and after you work a few rounds it looks like it’s cinching in too much, that might mean you should pick up more stitches – so in this situation I would rip out and re-do, picking up at a ratio of 3 sts for every 4 rows instead. This can happen if your row gauge is different from that of the pattern so it can be a common situation to encounter.
Tip #2: Don’t pick up into the edge stitch
When I pick up and knit stitches along a vertical edge like this, I like to go 1 stitch in from the edge. This helps to create a nice, clean pick-up edge. You’ll see this in better detail in my video below.
Tip #3: Try picking up with a small crochet hook!
Many people swear by this technique! If you have trouble picking up stitches with your knitting needle, try a crochet hook. It can be easier because the hook on the crochet needle helps to scoop up & carry the loop through the stitch you’re picking up. If you’ve never tried this technique before, you can check out my video tutorial here.
Tip #3: Add longer sleeves if you like!
As you can see from my finished sample above, I made my sleeves 3/4 length! If you want to do this, the picking up of the armhole stitches is the same as if you were just do the edging except you will use the same needle size as you did for the garment (so not the smaller needle as you would do just for the edging). For the remainder of the tips on creating sleeves (including approximate amount of extra yardage it will require), check out my blog post here!
Want to see how I pick up my armhole stitches using the magic loop method? Check out my video below! Even if you are planning on using double-pointed-needles (and not magic loop), this video will still be helpful for seeing the techniques I use for picking up: