Neckhole Shaping -- HELP!

I am an extremely new knitter. I am making a sweater for my dd (the “Child’s Play” pullover in the Vogue Weekend Knits book).

Anyway, I have finished the back, and am about to start on the front, but am intimidated by what happens at the neckhole shaping. It says, “Join 2nd ball of yarn. Working both sides at the same time, [etc. decreases, etc. to form neck hole]”.

I absolutely do not understand this. I have spent time at the library and bookstore, poring over every knitting book, and it just doesn’t make sense. I’m using 2 single-pointed needles; no circular or DPN are called for. I do not understand how you attach a 2nd ball of yarn (and what do you attach it TO?), or anything. I was hoping to find a video clip on this site but there isn’t one.

Please help walk a clueless newbie through this procedure!


It’s a very common way of binding off the center stitches for the neck yet keeping a strand of yarn for each of the shoulders.

What’s normally done is that you work across X number of stitches with your working yarn. Drop that yarn and start making the center decreases with another piece of yarn. Just start knitting with it and you can weave in the end later. It will be quite secure because you’ll be binding off the first stitches you work with it. You stop binding off when you get to the stitches for the other shoulder.

Now you’ll have one shoulder with it’s own strand of yarn and the other shoulder with it’s strand of yarn. They’ll both be on the same needles you’re using now, but they’ll be a gap between them. You’ll knit one shoulder with it’s yarn, drop that yarn and knit the other shoulder with the other strand. This insures that both shoulders will be the same length.

Sounds more complicated than it really is!

Thanks! here’s hoping I can get it right. I haven’t found a satisfactory explanation of it in any book, anywhere – they take you from “You need two needles and some yarn”, right to “attach 2nd ball and yadda yadda yadda”. But I was stuck somewhere in between those two! :slight_smile:

OK, it kind of makes sense – but then again it doesn’t. So I start using the new yarn. What becomes of the remaining stitches on the needle? How is it that there aren’t a whole bunch of random strands cris-crossing the neck hole?

Maybe there should be a video clip of this. I really want to start it so I can finish the sweater, but the next time I see someone who can actually show it to me won’t be until May sometime. :frowning:

The whole purpose of having two strands is so you won’t have ‘strands crisscrossing on the neck hole.’

Sometimes you don’t need to understand what you’re doing. Follow the directions exactly as written, and you can understand it after you see it. I often say that reading a pattern all the way through and expecting to understand it all is like reading the instructions for putting together a bicycle. Unless you do parts A, B, C, and D first, you’ll never understand parts E and F.

Picture this:

shoulder with strand bound off stitches shoulder with strand.

You’ll work one shoulder and drop that strand.

Work the other shoulder with it’s own strand. Nothing crosses.

You said yourself that you’re a very new knitter. Trust me on this one.


:smiley: Ahhhh, Our Ing-A-Ling…what :thinking: did we ever do without Her :?? ?! :inlove: U Ing-A-Ling :wink:

Thanks! I think this is one of those Zen things that you encounter in knitting, isn’t it? :slight_smile: I will trust you and if it turns out I’ll post a pic.

Really appreciate the help & feedback. I LOOOOOOVE this site. :inlove: