Confused by pattern for sweater neck shaping

Hello fellow knitters,

I’m making a sweater using straight needles (pattern called for circular but I prefer to use straight ones and sew seams) Everything was going along rather nicely, until I got to the neck shaping part for the front, where I had 18 stitches on the needle, and the instructions were as follows:

[color=blue]Next row (RS) K2tog, k5, join a 2nd skein of each yarn and bind off center 4 sts, k5, k2tog. Working both sides at once, dec 1 st each side, AT SAME TIME, dec 1 st at each neck edge on the next 2 rows. Work 1 row even, dec 1 st at neck edge of next row. Work 1 row even–1 st. Bind off.

  1. Why am I joining a 2nd skein of each yarn (i’m working with two yarns held together on this sweater) here?

  2. When I attempted the first line of the pattern, it looked fine and the neck started to take shape When I got to the “working both sides at once,” i tried to follow the instructions, but because I bound off 4 sts, i was left with two sections on either side of the bind-off and was not sure how to proceed. If I continued knitting i would end up with a hole where the bind off was. HELP!!! :-))))

Thanks a million,

I would call myself an advanced beginner, i’ve successfully made one easy sweater in the past, but boy am I confused by this!!

You start with a second end of yarn so you can work both sides of the shoulders at the same time and not get left with your yarn on the other side of the bound off stitches. You can do them separately, but you still need another end to work the other side with. Of course it’s going to make a hole, that’s for the neck.


hi suze,

thanks for your quick reply. the hole i was talking about before was 2 inches this happened because i attempted to continue knitting after binding off the four stitches. that’s the part i’m not getting. when am i supposed to join in the new yarn? i tried joining at the very beginning of the row, then doing the stitches and binding off 4, but then the yarn was on the right side of the stitches i just bound off, and if i used it to work with i ended up with that small hole.

so how and where do i join in the new strands of yarn?


Just like it says in the pattern:

Next row (RS) K2tog, k5, join a 2nd skein of each yarn and bind off center 4 sts, k5, k2tog.

Go back and undo it to where you BO 4 stitches. Start the 2nd end of your yarns, then bind off the stitches and finish the row.


I just asked the same question yesterday!! What really confused me was how to attach the yarn. Here’s the advice I got:

Just drop the yarn from the 1st ball, don’t do anything to it yet. To join the new ball, just pick it up, leave a tail of about 8 inches & begin knitting with it. Some people said to tie a loose knot to the stitch you are about to knit. Later untie & weave in. I’m going to try if w/ out the knot.