Ambiguous pattern wording

Hi - I’ve just joined - very glad to find such a helpful site! I am experienced knitter but there are still plenty of things I can learn, eg all the different techniques for casting on.

I am using an online pattern for a baby cardigan and came across wording that is not clear. It’s for the left front section, part of shaping the neck.

I have decreased to 17 stitches, now the instruction is:
‘Work 4 rows and dec 1 st at neck edge in next row and foll RS row. (15 sts).’
Do I do the decreases AT THE SAME TIME AS working these 4 rows? Or do I work 4 rows AND THEN decrease?

There’s a similar instruction for the right front. When I have 15 stitches:
‘Work 5 rows and dec 1 st at neck edge in next and every foll 4th row. (13 sts).’
As above, do I decrease DURING or AFTER working the 5 rows?

Hoping you can help!

Welcome to KH!
You’re right. It is confusing. What is the name of your pattern? It may help to see the photo.

Taking the directions as written, I would work 4 rows then start the decreases. That seems unusual for a baby cardigan though as I would expect to start decreases for the neck on the next row or two.

Thanks for your prompt reply. Here’s the link to the free online pattern - maybe the photo will help.

That’s adorable. Thanks for the link.
Looking at the lengths and the row gauge and also the way the other decreases are spaced, I’d say work 4 rows, then work the decreases on the next rows. Later there’s an instruction to work 5 rows and I’d do the same there, work 5 rows then start the decreases.

I’ve argued both ways with myself (this after 2 cups of coffee). Actually, I think either interpretation will work but the above seems to be what that pattern is getting at.

Thanks so much for your help, much appreciated. I suppose it will become clear whether it’s the right choice when I do the front ribbed bands.

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