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I couldn't agree with you more about picking up stitches. When it goes well - it works like a charm. When it doesn't go well - it is worse than pulling teeth. I think you're idea about Knit Picks making a hook for picking up stitches that could be changed for the knitting needle when done would be wonderful! I hope they do so! I'd certainly buy one.

I'll be interested in seeing you finished projects.


About that needle your dreaming up. Check out "Portuguese Knitting" on YouTube. Apparently the combo knitting needle and crochet hook is all they use over there. Sounds like an excuse for a trip to me!!! Good luck on picking up stitches, tonight I have a date w/ 190 or so myself.


There's always the Croknitting hook, though it isn't flexible. A friend of mine suggests (to all the knitting needle powers that be) a threaded crochet hook that you can screw onto the cable of your interchangeable set.


Amazing! Over a year ago, I wrote to the Denise needle lady and asked for a crochet hook attachment! I can't remember if I saved her response, but the answer was no. I just wanted a couple of hook sizes. I think that if she couldn't do ALL the crochet hook sizes that she didn't want to do any. I STILL think it's a great idea. One designer on Knitty Gritty used a long, double-ended crochet hook to pick up knitting stitches, though, so I think some manufacturer will pick up on the idea.


That is a genius needle idea - a Tunisian crochet hook for the modern age.

I don't mind picking up though - use a smaller than gauge needle, a crochet hook for the assist of the first 10...and away you go.

Glad things are ...I can't say better, but a little more stable anyway.

Love and kisses...


I'm glad things are starting to look up for part of the parental unit... I hope the trend continues! The needle idea is fantastic.... maybe the two ends could be cut and glued to each other.


Thanks for the updates - I've been thinking about you and your loved ones. Glad that at least some of the news is good news.

The sweaters look marvelous! I've been wanting to make Celtic dreams for years now, so I'm especially enjoying watching it grow. I know picking up is a pain, but I agree that it's less arduous than seaming - just finished a sweater that's been waiting for seaming for over 2 years - yikes!


One word of advice: Pick up the sts for the second CD sleeve *now*.... this is from experience. (Unless you take good notes, unlike me.)


Oh boy did I hate picking up stitches. It would be nice if it were a one for one wouldn't it. Glad you're moving along again on CD. I hope the stability continues.


Finishing in general and picking up stitches in particular is the chief reason I have finished a grand total of one sweater in my entire knitting career.


Think how great it will be to have 2 new sweaters to wear. Go, Julia.
And I'm sorry about your MIL. I really do hope things improve soon.


You know we're here to give you love and support.
I'm with Cassie on the sleeve pick up issue. i do both, so they match, then knit each down seperately. I'm too lazy to write good enough notes as I go !
I am really interested to see your Lady Detective hat. I have a 24'' head and problems with hats ! Not just the size, but how they look. Mostly stupid.

Beth S.

I hear you re: the Cable Down Raglan. Is that thing gorgeous, or what!

Your Spinnery sweater looks like a very satisfying knit. (Until now, anyway.) I don't mind the picking-up part too much as long as the expected stitch count isn't too hard to achieve... if it's a crazy unattainable number, then it's easier just to make up your own sleeve. ;-)


I am so sorry for all the medical woes that have befallen your in-laws and now the latest about your MIL. So hard especially long distance. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Hugs. Love the sweaters.

Mary K. in Rockport

What is this Lady Detective Hat of which you speak? Hats look so awful on me that I'm always on the lookout for something wearable cuz my ears do get cold. Would you like to join a BHC, a "Big Head Club" in which my husband is the charter member?


Awesome idea - more things to screw on to make it different. In fact, the whole options line could instantly support afghan hooks with the addition of a hooked end. I also would like to see 16" lengths - options or fixed-end. I still need to buy addis or someone else for hats.

Valerie in San Diego

You are *so* right about the need for a pickup needle!

Vicki Stammer

Two things that may help:

1. There is just such a tool, made by Addi, the Cro-Hook. It comes in a 32" length with ends
US 3 (3.25 mm) + C (3.0 mm) $14.95. Google "Addi" + Cro-Hook" and you'll find some sources. ( carries them but is out of stock right now.) The Skacel item # is M932C. I got mine years ago from Patternworks, and couldn't live without it.

2. We are just coming out of the year following my mother's death, and I can truly sympathize with how frazzling elder care is. One year later, and we're still tying up loose ends. Nobody wants to mention this, I know, but I would advise you, if you haven't yet done so, to make sure you have the support and guidance of a good estate attorney well in advance of need. That way, everybody has a track to follow when thinking gets to be almost too hard to do. The size of the estate is not the issue - it's having the reassurance of what to do under current law. I've also just received an email from a business acquaintance telling the story of the unexpected arrival of his newest son and the expenses it incurred. We were fortunate enough to have mother's expenses covered, but you might want to read his article at
for some ideas - just in case. Also, be sure to get all the guidance you can from the hospital social worker(s). Over the several years that we dealt with hospitalizations and care, they were an invaluable resource for us. They know the legal ends with which the doctors don't have to concern themselves.

You are in my thoughts. Email me offline if you need more info.



I know that Addi has the crochet hook/needle combo. My LYS sells them. You might want to try the Addi.

You are so close on both the sweaters. I love it when I just have sleeves to kit. I feel like I am in the home stretch, but I never look forward to having to seam it all together. Wish that there was an easier and faster way to seam.


Such a tool already exists, but the only place I've ever seen it is at Patternworks. I bought several and use them all the time. They're like a dentist's pick at one end and have a crochet hook at the other. One size only, unfortunately. You can see the tool at

or type in "dentist" in the keyword search engine or 300168 in the item number search engine. I notice it's out of stock right now but due in shortly.


Hi Julia,
I've been out of touch for awhile - so sorry to hear about your elder's health issues - I was there many years ago with my Dad and it was not fun, and we were only dealing with the one parent and only two hours away - I'll be holding you all in my heart.



I'm only a fan of baby sweaters b/c there's not much seaming to do!! I totally agree someone must make a new needle!!

Wanda Coulter

I actually don't mind picking up stitches, but I guess I'm odd that way. I like a lot of top-down patterns as well as knitting sweaters in pieces to keep my seaming skills up to date.


We missed you. I imagine the gang have reached your house by now, and I hope they give you some respite from your very reasonable feeling overwhelmed (or I may be projecting.) And I hope your back is all better soon.


both sweaters are looking great!
i'm glad your life is in a bit of a rest period. too much crises is wearing, and make each successive event rather stressfully anticlimactic.

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