Learning how to read your knitting is essential for creating a perfect pickup when attaching a collar, or button-band. When stitches are bound off the previous stitch is looped over the following stitch to prevent unraveling. This actually shifts the dominant hole created by the bind off over between the stitches, which means that if you use the hole created by the bind off for your pick-up the picked up stitches will originate between the main body stitches. This creates an edge that is not as visually smooth as using the middle of the ‘v’ stitches from the bind off row.
Locate the ‘v’ stitches from the bind off row by looking at the work.
Always pickup the stitches for your collar or button band from the middle of each ‘v’.
TIP: If the pattern indicates to pickup up more or less stitches than are available, pickup in every ‘v’ then increase or decrease as needed on the first row as skipping a stitch will be highly visible.
As you can see the stitches on the right side are picked up from the middle of the ‘v’, they line up perfectly with the previous stitches from the main body and the knitting appears to move uninterrupted from one section to the next. The stitches on the left hand side are picked up into the hole made from the bind off and end up being in-between the previous stitches from the main body. The work does not flow smoothly from the main body to the picked up stitches and you can see that the ‘v’s do not line up vertically.
Want to practice your Pickup Skills? Try knitting an Impression Vest the picked up neckline is a great place to work this technique.