Anyway, a long time ago I was told this great trick for making "pick up X number of stitches" easier. You take the edge (or neckline or whatever) and find the center point. For the purpose of this tip, we'll say it's the straight edge of a scarf. In this case, you'll take the two end points and put them together so the edge is folded in half. Place marker.
Then take the right end point and fold in half so it touches the first marker. Mark the new halfway point.
Keep folding marked spots in half to place new markers.
At some point, you'll decide you have enough half-points evenly spaced along the edge in need of new stitches.
Then you get your trusty calculator and figure this way: # of stitches needed to be picked up [divided by] number of spaces btw markers. That last distinction is very important. You want the number of spaces between the markers, not the actual number of markers. (Ask me how I know.)
In the case of the scarf I'm working on, the equation comes out to 115 sts [divided by] 8 spaces. It comes out to 14.38 stitches per space. I don't know how to pick up .38 of a stitch, so every few spaces I'd throw in one of the 3 extra stitches needed to come out to 115 sts.
I love this tip. I think it's so much easier to figure out 14 (or 15) stitches at a time then trying to eyeball 115 sts!
The other tip for picking up is this:
If the yarn I'm working with is too... well, too anything (dark, tight, slippery, whatever) and I'm having trouble picking up any stitches, I look around carefully to see that there's no Knitting Police stalking me, then I use a crochet hook! (gasp) I use the hook to bring the yarn through, put the loop on the knitting needle and repeat as needed. Sooo much easier!
I'm all about the easy, Ruth!