Figuring out which type of decrease to do

Hi–I’m knitting a sweater for the 1st time. When you’re working on the torso, and they tell you to “dec 1 st at each end of 5th and foll 4th row”, what type of decrease do you do? Also, do you make the dec at the very end or a couple of sts in, like I’ve read about in the Stitch and Bitch book? Also, is it telling me to do the decs in the 5th and what will actually be the 9th row?

I’m not sure exactly where you mean for the decrease, so I can’t picture it. But I can say that what kind of decrease you use depends on whether you want it to be hidden or visible or decorative.

It sounds like you’re making the sweater in front and back pieces that will be sewn together. In that case, the most invisible decrease, I believe, (correct me if I’m wrong, folks) would be a right slanting decrease at the very beginning of the right-side row, and a left slanting decrease at the very end. K2tog, followed by ssk at the end of the row would work fine (on a right side row). Stitch 'N Bitch illustrates this on page 63, picture captioned “right slanting decrease on right edge.” If you need to do it on a wrong side row you can use slip slip purl (I’ll be putting up a video of this soon, let me know if you need verbal instructions ASAP), followed by p2tog.

As far as which row is the “following 4th row,” it sounds like the 9th row–UNLESS you are working in pattern instructions that outline what to do in a repeated series of rows, like over, say, 6 rows. You know, where they tell you:
Row 1: knit
Row 2: purl
Row 3…
…Row 6: purl
Repeat rows 1 - 6.

So, “Row 4” has a designation. Then it may be Row 4 of that series.

Hope that helps!

I would do the decreases at least one stitch in from the edges so you leave a nice edge for seaming.

I think they have said 5th and following 4th row so all the decs will be on right side rows.