Bind off in neck shaping problem

New knitter here. I am working on a cap sleeve sweater comprised of a front and back. The cap sleeves are worked as part of each piece, that is, you work the body, increase and shape the sleeves and end up at the neck. That is where I am now, and it has been smooth sailing to this point. Now, I am confused! I am supposed to shape the neck (which is 103 st. and includes the shoulder and sleeve): work 17 stitches, join another hank of yarn, bind off 47 stitches, knit11, and then finish last 17 stitches. Then, I am supposed to work both sides at once… Yikes!

Questions! 1) join another hank of yarn to what and where? 2)bind off like normal? 3) what does it mean to work both sides at once?

I will be truly grateful for any help. I started this sweater 18 months ago, just picked it up again at the same spot that made me put it down, and I am determined to finish it! Thanks!
P.S. I am working this on circular needles

Hi there fitcook!!
Just so you know…I am trying to make a sweater and I am as lost as you!! Mine also calls for working both sides at the same time, does this mean I need 4 needles?
Will I ever finish anything but hats and scarves?
Actually I guess the second question is more or less hypothetical hee hee
Look forward to hearing your problem solved by this awesome crew!!

Welcome Fitcook!

I’m not 100% clear on what your pattern looks like. Is the front of the neck edge just a long flat span, like from shoulder to shoulder, and then the sleeves continue up over the shoulders? This is what I’m picturing, if I’m not right, let me know, because I may not be advising you correctly. Here’s what I think you’re supposed to do…

You’re supposed to work until you reach the bottom side edge of the neck. You abandon the yarn you’ve been using, and, working with a new ball of yarn, you bind-off the stitches they tell you (regular knit bind-off will be fine, unless the edge needs to be stretchy. Since binding off can be quite tight and inflexible, use a larger needle to do the bind-off. You can go up three needle sizes or more! Just try it: do a few stitches, and see how the bind-off looks.) Anyway, when you’re done with your bind-offs, you are now on the other side, where the other sleeve continues. Using your normal needles again (!), follow the directions for knitting that row to the end. I assume the back is a separate piece? So, at this point, you’ll turn the work, and knit with that same yarn, back towards the neck edge. When you get to the end of this row (you’ve reached the neck edge), just drop this yarn. There are the stitches from the other side of the neck, waiting for you, with that other yarn. Work with that yarn to the end of the row and back. Then use the other yarn.

So you do two rows in a yarn, and then switch to the other yarn. This isn’t necessary; you could work one half at a time. But some prefer it, because it requires less thinking: you follow the same directions for both halves at the same time (mirror image directions), so you can knit longer before looking at your pattern again, and it can be faster because of that.

Hope that answers your questions!

Thank you for your detailed reply, Amy. Yes, the neckline is just one bound off “slit”, and the continuation of the top of the shoulders and cap sleeves make up the rest of the neckline row. I decided after my post that I needed to just go for it, figuring at the worst I would only have to undo my work. Turns out, I got very close to what you described to do. I basically stitched to where the neck was supposed to start, tied on a new ball, but continued on with the original ball during the bind off. I then did have two balls at either side where I worked the rest of the pattern on each individual side until the pattern told me to bind off. I didn’t pick up the new ball to continue across, but I basically achieved the same result of having one ball on each side of the bound off neck. I will take a look at it again and see if picking up the new ball would have made a difference in the look of the stitches, otherwise, I think I got it right. Thanks for your comments as it makes me think I did it correctly. And, thanks for the fabulous website!

P.S. Chris: thanks for the encouragement. I did use 4 needles, two for each side. Let me know if there is an easier way :slight_smile: