Neck opening needs to be resized

I’m in the process of making a cowl neck shell in Bernat Miami which is a cotton blend ribbon yarn. I just started but am preparing for the worst. I’m concerned that the neck opening won’t be large enough to get a head through.

I was thinking about binding off a few more stitches when I do the neck shaping. Would that make the opening larger?? Then when I pick up the stitches to add the cowl, should I add an equal number to the cowl to make it wider? For instance if it tells me to pick up 17 on each side of the 32 live stitches and I bound off 2 extra on each side should I pick up 19 plus the live stitches? Does this make sense??

Also, I always seem to bind off (at the end of the cowl/project) too tightly if I use the same size needles. How much larger can I go before it starts to look “funky.” I have sized up 1 or 2 sizes and it looks OK but it could still be roomier.

I made a poncho in homespun and had to redo it twice before I got the neck opening large enough to get a head through.

What you say about making the neck hole bigger makes perfect sense. You can make it as large as you need to. I would pick up all the stitches around the neck to start the cowl, but then gradually reduce the stitches after about an inch to the neck doesn’t turn out too floppy.

I always bind off with a needle one size larger, but you can use any size needle that makes it look the way you want. Bound-off edges are usually woven together or picked up, so as long as they’re stretchy enough, do whatever works.