How to convert to 3 needle bind-off

I am making a basic “drop shoulder” sweater. The instructions say to bind off the shoulders and then sew front and back together. I’d rather do a 3 needle bind off.

Here are the applicable instructions for the sweater:

[B]Back: … work until total length is 17 1/2 inches, ending with a wrong side row. Bind off 23 sts at beginning of next 2 rows. [leaves 23 st in middle]

Front: … work until 15 inches, ending with WS row. Work across 27 st. Turn, work back. Dec 1 st at neck edge of next 4 RS rows: 23 st. Continue until total length is same as back, ending with a WS row. Bind off. Return to neck edge, place next 15 st on st holder. Reattach yarn to remaining 27 sts and work to end of row. Work one row even. Dec 1 st at beck edge on next 4 RS rows: 23 sts. Work even until same length as back; bind off. [/B]

If I wanted to do the 3 needle bind off… should I skip the 23 bind-offs at the beginning of the 2 rows past the 17 1/2 inches, and simply work 2 more rows, and just bind those stitches off when I attach the front to the back? Or would I want to slip those onto a stitch holder or something and just work two more rows in the middle/neck part. Also, does “ending with a wrong side row” mean stop AFTER working a wrong side row, or stop BEFORE the next wrong side row? (I assume it means AFTER but wanted to clarify)

Then for the front could I just work both sides of the neck at the same time and end with it the same length as the back, having just worked the WS…

I guess my biggest issue is to bind off or not to bind off the back. Do I want the neck part a little higher than the shoulder part back there, or is it OK if it is just even across?

Then when I do the 3 needle bind off do I want right sides or wrong sides together?

I apologize for what feels like an idiotic question here but I’d rather ask now then when I am in the thick of screwing up again. :slight_smile: Feel free to dumb down your response as much as possible.

“ending with a wrong side row”

Yes, it’s after you’ve done the wrong side row.

Since you start the front neck shaping 2" before the back shoulders end, that will make the neck lower than the back, but the shoulders will come out the same and it looks like the neck stitches will be left on a holder to incorporate into a neck band later. Basically, follow the pattern, except don’t BO the shoulder sts like it says, leave them on stitch holders instead. You should wind up with 23 sts for each shoulder both front and back, so you’d just pair them up - right side front and back/left side front and back - and do the 3 NBO. The right sides should be facing each other and you do the BO on the WS; turn the sweater inside out for this.

So for the back, I will have stockinetted 17 1/2 inches working a purl row last… then I will put the first and last 23 stitches on stitch holders and do two rows of 23 in the middle? Sounds good

Thank you for answering. :slight_smile:

That’s about right. You would put the first and last 23 sts on holders, and the middle 23 sts on a separate holder as well. It sounds as though after you join the shoulders, you will knit the 23 sts from the back neck, pick up sts around one side, knit the front 15 sts, then pick up from the other side and knit for the collar or neckband.