So, now to my very least favorite part of the sweater construction -- picking up stitches for the neckline. Like sewing up sweater parts, you have to be willing to undo your work until you are happy with the results. This can be very, very time consuming. I used to just pick up the stitches “intuitively”, but it turns out my stitch pick-up intuition is not good at all. I’d end up with wavy necklines and button bands because I’d picked up too many stitches. Other times, I’d find gaps in my work because I hadn’t spaced the stitches properly. It was terribly frustrating, but I’d keep taking the stitches out and starting over as many times as needed. You have to commit to this, really. If you're not happy with it when you've done it, you will never be happy with it so, work on it until you're happy with it.
I don’t remember where I read it, but eventually I learned to measure the area of stitches to be picked up and divide it in half and then quarters and then eighths in order to figure out how many stitches to pick up in each section. This works great when the number of stitches to be picked up are on even sides -- like a button band or a boatneck top. This method doesn’t work so well on scoop necks or v-necks, but it still can be done. In order to use this method where the front and the back of the neckline are not the same, measure from the center of the neckline (not at the neck edge). This way, you can divide by half to make sure you pick up the same number of stitches around evenly. Then you have to use the intuition method to pick up the stitches evenly. There’s a great article on knitty.com about this which helps clarify how to be better at being intuitive here. At the end of the day, the only way to do this well is to commit the time and patience and continuing to practice.
So, what's your least favorite part of sweater construction?