Maybe just overthinking it a little...
On the knit side, I usually use either k2tog or ssk... If I have this right
the ssk leans left, so you would use it on the right hand edge, and the k2tog slants right, so you would use it on the left hand edge... On the purl side, just p2tog.
Don't worry about it looking awful, because when you pick up stitches, it will hide the edge...
And when it tells you to pick up 42 st, and you don't have 42 places to pick up from, just pick up evenly... It's ok to pick up two stitches from the same place, and easy to do if you
-pick up one stitch
-transfer it back to the left needle
-knit the stitch
This will 'lock' the yarn, so you can pick up more than one stitch from the same spot.
Hope that helped!!