Stage 4: Rows 80-81 and the Center 90
This part starts with row 80 – it’s the row where the center 90 starts – and ends when you have done both sets of pickups.
What you’re doing in this section is knitting the 90 stitches that are between the 2 increase points – NOT the 34 stitches at the two ends, which is why this section is called the Center 90. Once you’ve finished the 20 rows (or 10 ridges, however you want to count) you’ll do full rows again including knitting the 34 end stitches, picking up 10 stitches along the edge of the 10 ridges in the center 90. (See Details below for more information.)
Slip or not slip the first stitch of each row? It’s up to you. Some find it easier to pick up when the first stitch of the row is knit. Other people find it easier to pick up when the first stitch is slipped. Both ways work perfectly fine, so do whichever is more comfortable for you.
Something to think about before you start this section
The way EZ originally wrote the pattern, the pickup stitches were done on both sides – 10 stitches from the ‘right’ side and 10 from the ‘wrong’ side. Depending how you do the pickups, they can end up looking very different on the left & right fronts of the finished sweater. And depending on your striping pattern, you might notice a difference in the stripes. And depending how fussy you are about the garter ridge pattern not getting ‘messed up’, you might notice a difference in the ridges. If you don’t notice or care about these, then do the center 90 and the pickups as the pattern is written.
If the difference will bother you, then try one of the alternatives in the wiki -http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-surprise-jacket/wiki#about_the_centre_90__picking_up_stitches
The link also has a picture of what’s going on with the ‘center 90’ and the pick up stitches that might help clarify things too.
Details for knitting this section
Knit 124 stitches (first 34 end section, and center 90). Do NOT knit the last 34 stitches. Turn and knit 90. Do NOT knit the remaining 34 stitches. This is one ridge (2 rows) of the 10 ridges (20 rows) of the knit 90 section. * Turn and knit 90. Repeat from * until you’ve finished 20 rows (10 ridges)
When you’ve finished the last “knit 90”, continue by picking up 10 stitches along the side of the 20 rows (10 ridges) you just finished, and knit the 34 stitches to the end of the row.
Turn. Knit 134 stitches (34 + 10 pickup + center 90), pickup 10 stitches along the side of the 20 rows (10 ridges), and the knit 34 stitches to the end of the row.
Turn, and you’re ready for Stage 5.