How to shape neck for a sweater

The question is: I have knitted the back of a sweater and finished the armhole shaping. The next step is to divide for the neck. I did that by knitting the first 27 stitches, bound off 26 for the neck, then added the second yarn and knitted a second 27 stitches for the left side. Next is the neck shaping that I don’t get. Row 1 says to bind off 7 anerd purl across. On the other side, bind off 3 and purl to the end. Row 2 says bind off 7 on one side and bind off 3 on the other. It doesn’t say to knit back to the shoulder. Do I start binding off toward the shoulder at the neckline? That would not make sense, then I would have a point in the middle of the shoulder. I would think that I would start binding off at the shoulder edges only so that the shoulder slants upward toward the neck on both the back and front pieces so they match. The pattern does not say however to knit back to the armhole and start the binding off only on the edge toward the neck. How is this done?

Begin by BO 7 on the purl row, work to the neck, then BO 3 on the other side and finish the row. Turn and BO 7 on the RS, knit to the neck, and BO 3 on the other side of it and finish that row. The row is split by the neck BO, but you always work across all the stitches.

Are you saying that after I bind off 7 on the purl side on the left shoulder, I purl to the neck edge and then on the right shoulder at the neck edge, I bind off three and purl to the end toward the shoulder, thereby binding off both at the the shoulder toward the neck and on the other side from the neck toward the shoulder?

Are you saying that after I bind off 7 on the purl side on the left shoulder, I purl to the neck edge and then on the right shoulder at the neck edge, I bind off three and purl to the end toward the shoulder, thereby binding off both at the the shoulder toward the neck and on the other side from the neck toward the shoulder?

Yep, that’s right. It’ll look something like this.

/–__/–
|vvvvvvv|

Thank you so much! This was real confusing to me because the neck bind offs are in the middle and I couldn’t tell if you when from one side to the other or stopped at the neck and then turned around. Thanks again.

You can do each shoulder separately, too; just depends on how you want to work them.

This is confusing when you’ve not done it before, I still remember my first time. I thought I’d never get it right. The best part of doing both shoulders at the same time this way is that you don’t have to go back and start over and have to decipher the pattern again. You’re also less likely to find a glaring error on one side just when you think you were done because you have the mirror images in front of you. Once I got the hang of it, doing both at the same time was the only way for me. It works with sleeves and other things too. You’ve just gained a valuable skill! :cheering: Pat yourself on the back for me, OK?

It may help to make a little diagram of the shoulder and neck decreases. You can use dashes with the number of sts to bind off written above the dash and check them off as you go along to make sure you’re gotten them all done.
Good luck with the rest of the sweater!

thank you so much; you are so nice[U]

I finished the shoulder/neck shaping the way that you instructed and I did it correctly. My question is: When you bind off in a row along the shoulder and then knit or purl the rest of the way toward the neck or shoulder, there is a bump transitioning from the bind off to the knit. And in the middle of the shoulder line, where the final bind off occurs, there is a small ridge. I thought that according to the pattern there is a line from the shoulder to the neck that is a slight incline, which doesn’t match the slight incline in the middle of the shoulder line that I completed. Why the difference and will this weave together nicely with the front piece?

To avoid a bump you can slip a stitch, or knit the last 2tog when binding off.

I followed the directions given by Sue on the neck shaping for the back of the sweater, which left the final bind offs in the middle of the neck edge. I started the neck edge on the back with seven bind offs on the shoulder edge, then three bind offs on the other side on the neck edge, then seven bind offs on that shoulder edge when I turned and three on the other side etc. Now on the front side, I’m almost ready to do the shoulder shaping, and noticed that the instructions are different. The pattern says to first, on the ws, bind off 7 from shoulder toward the neck on the purl side, and then on the other side, purl across. Then Bind off 7 more on the knit side when I turn the work and knit across on the other side. This doesn’t match the back. Am I reading this wrong?

On the last row of BOs it doesn’t matter if you go from shoulder to neck or neck to shoulder - there won’t be anymore stitches to be worked.
The instructions for the front seem to have you doing the BO from shoulder to neck, so that’s fine.