Semitone: Picking Up Stitches around Openings

Issue 39: Winter 2021 features the stunning Semitone pullover, designed by Valerie Ng! Semitone uses a variety of techniques, some you'll be familiar with and others that might be completely new to you. 

Valerie has created a set of tutorials for some of the more intricate or intimidating techniques to guide you through creating your very own Semitone! Thank you Valerie!

A line of slip-stitch surface crochet is added to the neck, hem, and cuff openings of the Semitone sweater before the ribbing is worked with the main yarn held double.

Set up

Bind off stitches as directed by the pattern.

Picking Up Sts 1

Step 1

With right side facing, insert crochet hook into the stitch (the opening between the right leg and left leg of the stitch right below the bind-off chain).

Picking Up Sts 2

Step 2

With the ribbing yarn (Yarn A held double for the Semitone pattern), yarn over and pull up a loop.

Picking Up Sts 3

Step 3

With one loop on hook, insert the hook in the adjacent stitch.

Picking Up Sts 4

Step 4

Yarn over and pull up a loop. – 2 loops on hook

Picking Up Sts 5

Step 5

Pull through 1 loop to complete the slip stitch. – 1 chain created; 1 loop on hook

Picking Up Sts 6

Repeat Steps 3-5 to create a line of slip stitches along the opening. Each time when the hook is inserted into a stitch is counted as "pick up 1" (do not count the number of chains made at this point but to keep count of the number of times the hook is inserted into the fabric). In order to compensate for the difference in gauge and to achieve the correct number of stitches required for the ribbing, some stitches have to be skipped. Work out how many stitches have to be "skipped" in order to achieve the desired number of stitches for the ribbing from the original stitch count and distribute these "skipped stitches" evenly across the round.

Use an online knitting calculator if needed and translate the instructions accordingly. For example, if the instruction given by the knitting calculator says, "knit 5, knit 2 together around"

Essentially, there are 6 stitches remaining after performing the decrease out of the original 7 stitches per each 7-stitch repeat.

That means, when crocheting the slip-stitch crochet chain, 6 chains has to be made over 7 stitches. In order words, one has to "pick up 6, skip 1" by inserting the hook and make make a slip stitch into 6 consecutive stitches, then skip 1 stitch.

Skip 1

To "skip 1": Insert hook into the stitch next to the adjacent stitch which the last loop was pulled up from behind the fabric. This serves as the first pick-up stitch for the next set of repeat. 1 stitch skipped

Picking Up Sts 7

Yarn over and pull up a loop as in Step 4.

Picking Up Sts 8

Pull through 1 loop as in Step 5.

Continue making slipstitches along the opening until the desired number of chains/stitches is achieved.

Picking Up Sts 9

To complete the round, simply insert the hook into the first chain.

Picking Up Sts 10

Yarn over and pull up a loop. – 1 loop on hook

Count the number of chains made, excluding the loop on the hook. The number should match with the one specified in the pattern for the ribbing.

Picking Up Sts 11

Remove the crochet hook and insert the knitting needle for the ribbing from right to left into the loop. This is now the first stitch for the ribbing. The stitch is mounted "incorrectly" as if it was a twisted stitch, but that is correct.

Picking Up Sts 12

Insert crochet hook into the adjacent chain.

Picking up Sts 13 

Yarn over and pull up a loop.

Picking up Sts 14

Pull and elongate the loop, transfer it to the knitting needle. 2 stitches picked up and knitted

Picking up Sts 15

Continue in this manner until the end of the round. Each chain should have 1 stitch that emerges from it.

Picking up Sts 16 Picking up Sts 17