I've checked other posts on this topic but the answers are not leaving me any clearer. I am working on the Natalie cardigan, the back piece, from the Rowan Classic Family book. I really do not know how to interpret the pattern at the neck/shoulder shaping part:
1) there are 62 stitches on the needle after shaping armholes and knitting up the rest of the back. It says to "end with RS facing for next row." [COLOR="Blue"]How do I know which is RS when the pattern is done in garter stitch?[/COLOR]
2) Cast off 7 sts, K until there are 11 sts on right needle and turn, leaving rem sts on a holder. [COLOR="Blue"](I think I got that bit ok. I cast off the first 7 stitches, knitted 44 stitches, and put the last 11 onto an extra needle. So now there are 44 stitches on the needle.)[/COLOR]
3) Work each side of neck separately.
4) Cast off 3 sts at beg of next row. [COLOR="Blue"](Got it)[/COLOR]
5) Cast of rem 8 sts. [COLOR="Blue"](OK I am lost with steps 4 and 5 -- do these two instructions mean cast off 3 right after having put those 11 sts on a holder, in which case, won't the 3 sts I cast off make a hole or something? And by casting off rem 8 sts, well, if I started the row by casting off 3, there would be 41 sts remaining. Do I cast off the first 8 of those 41, or the last 8, or do I knit to the very end of that row and cast off the first 8 of the next row, or is it really talking about the rem sts on the holder that I am supposed to be casting off?)[/COLOR]
6) With RS facing, rejoin yarn to rem sts, cast off centre 26 sts, K to end. [COLOR="Blue"](Which rem sts are they talking about, the one on the holder, or something else? Assuming the previous two steps left me with 33 sts on the needle, if I rejoin the yarn to them, I can't cast off 26 in exactly the middle, it would be off by a stitch... so am I supposed to knit 4, cast off 26, then knit 3? and how do I know if RS is facing... does it really matter?)[/COLOR]
7) Complete to match first side, reversing shapings. [COLOR="Blue"](Oh dear, I hope that if I can understand the directions up to this point, I will be able to do that...)[/COLOR]
Thank you for any advice or links you may have to help out with this.