Some Anonymous commenter asked this question on the tutorial about picking up and knitting stitches from the cast on or bound off edge:
“How do you secure the knit you just stitched? It looks as though nothing is keeping it there and you could just pull out the string from the end. Also, wouldn’t that make it difficult to continue picking up stitches?”
Anonymous commenter, you are right as far as nothing keeping the stitch there at first. In fact, when I knit the first row (or purl across, if the part I’ve picked up is Stockinette knit flat) and near the first few picked up stitches, I keep a little bit of tension on the yarn that’s hanging out at the end (the tail) because it CAN come undone. After a few rows I secure the string by weaving in the end with a tapestry needle, the same way I would if I were making stripes or switching to a new ball of yarn.
I hope that helps. If the original commenter would please clarify what they mean by “wouldn’t that make it difficult to continue picking up stitches?”, I would be happy to answer that part of the question, too. If you mean the looseness of the first stitch – for example, if it comes out when you’re trying to pick up more stitches – try putting a little tension on the tail. Looking at this picture might help a bit:
See how I’m holding the tail with my thumb and middle finger? Use your thumb and middle finger to hold the tail taut and create some tension. You can do this as you pick up and knit stitches to keep the first stitch in place.
If this answer is in any way confusing, please let me know, and if you have any questions about anything you see on the blog, don’t be afraid to ask either by posting a comment or emailing me at tonyawagner AT theshizknit DOT com. Remember, I’m not a knitting expert, so it is possible that I leave out an important note!