Neck hole shaping -- desperate

I am currently working on a hooded sweater from the Leisure Arts Campus Knits booklet. I am frustrated beyond words right now. I am finished with the back except now I am to the part where it says “Shape Back Neck”. I will explain what the pattern states at this point and then try to explain my problem. If anyone can offer me any advice, I would greatly appreciate it.

Shape Back Neck: Work across 15 stitches, join 2nd ball of C, bind off 11 stitches for back neck, work across remaining 15 stitches.

This part I think I understand except when it says to join 2nd ball of C. I read some of the other posts and then tried to just start knitting with the new ball of yarn because I get that you need one strand of yarn for each side after you bind off the neckhole. However the side that I joined the yarn on has a weird kind of gap between my stitches and the bound off stitches that isn’t present on the other side. Will this just correct itself when I join the front to the back or is there some trick to “joining” new yarn that I am unaware of. It just isn’t connected to the stitch right before it.

Bind off 3 stitches at each neck edge once. AT SAME TIME, bind off at shoulder edge 6 stitches once, then 6 stitches once.

OK – well, I tried to do this to the best of my understanding and I end up with 6 stitches on one side that I have absolutely no way to bind off.
There are 41 stitches on my size 13 knitting needles at the beginning of this and I ended on a purl side. So, I knit 15 stitches and “join” my second ball of yarn. Like I said before it leaves at weird little gap there. Then I bind off 11 stitches and knit the next 15 leaving me with 30 stitches. I am now left with two pieces of working yarn, one at the neck edge on one side and one at the shoulder edge on the other. So, I have been starting at the shoulder edge and binding off 6 stitches, purling 6 and binding off 3 at the neck edge on one side. This leaves me with my working yarn on that side not next to the 6 stitches that I still have to bind off. On the other side, I bind off the 3 stitches on the neck edge, purl 6, and bind off 6 at the shoulder edge and once again, I am left with stitches that I cannot bind off because my working yarn is not next to them.

If the instructions just wanted me to bind off all the stitches at once, wouldn’t it have said that instead of all of the “AT SAME TIME” stuff and the 6 stitches once and 6 stitches once. Maybe I am supposed to leave some of the stitches unworked, but nowhere does it tell me to put them on a stitch holder or anything like that. After these directions, it goes right into the directions for the front.

I feel like there is just some knowledge that it being assumed by these directions that I simply don’t possess. This site has gotten me through many rocky places before as I journey along the knitting road.

If anyone can help me with this, but needs pictures, just let know and I can post some this afternoon.

Thanks in advance,

First of all, there will be a slight gap where you have joined your second ball of yarn. There’s no real way to completely avoid that BUT I betcha your pattern will have you do some kind of neckline finishing at the end that will take care of the problem. There will either be a hood or a collar or picking up stitches for a neck ‘trim’, no??

Also, it sounds like your pattern is asking you to work both sides of the neck at the same time, which means that you will work the right side with one ball of yarn and the left side with the second ball of yarn, alternating between the two on the SAME needle. Does that make sense???

So you are binding off 3 stitches at each neck edge, once (which means you will follow this instruction for one row only), and bind of 6 stitches at each shoulder edge. Now, you cannot bind off stitches at the END of a row so you will have to bind off some of the mentioned stitches on the wrong side of your work.

So what I would do is this. Bind off 6 stitches at the shoulder edge, which I believe is at the beginning of your row. Work to the end of that ‘row’ (ie. where your second ball of yarn takes over, which is the neck edge), switch balls of yarn and bind off 3 stitches at that neck edge. Work to the end of the row and turn your work. Bind off 6 stitches on the wrong side of your work, work to where the other ball of yarn takes over, bind off 3 stitches on the other neck edge, then work to the end of the row.

Make sense???

I am going to go and try it right now. I made a sample swatch to try this on so I wouldn’t have to keep pulling out rows of the sweater back. Thank you so much for your reply, I’ll post later and let you know if it worked!

Thanks so much for your help! Why didn’t they just say that in the first place? I think I figured it out with your assistance. I guess I will know if I got it right when I got to piece it all together! Thanks again!