a knitting question

[written 10/08/07]

i just picked up a ton of stitches to start the skirt section for the tilted duster, from the latest IK, and though i picked up the amount specified, i have a theoretical question:

if you cast on x amount of stitches, then isn’t x the maximum you can pick up from that cast-on edge without making the resulting knitted fabric pucker?

that’s what i understood, and yet here, we pick up 40 stitches, for example, from the 36-stitch cast-on edge of the left front (+2 stitches for selvedge that i almost always tack on). i assume nora gaughan knows better than i – and no one else knitting the duster has even peeped about it online – but i’m still a tad confused. what am i not understanding?

thanks ~ and btw, columbus sucks.