New to knitting and confused about pattern instructions

Hey everyone! I’m starting to venture into knitting sweaters and decided I would start by knitting a Weasley Sweater from the Harry Potter series. I’m having some trouble understanding the shoulder shaping section, however, and try as I might look up videos to help me understand visually I can’t find anything on the specific topic. The sweater is knitted bottom up and flat. The shoulder shaping part says:

"Shoulder shaping

Bind off 18 (20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44) stitches at the beginning of the next two rows.

Place remaining 24 (26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50) stitches on holder or scrap yarn for the neck.

Note: If you wish to grade the shoulders you can divide the shoulder bind offs into two, three, or four groups. For example, for the smallest size – bind off 9 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows, 2 times; for the seventh size (32” circ.) – bind off 10 stitches at beginning of next two rows, 3 times; for the largest size (44” circ.) – bind off 10 stitches at beginning of next two rows, 4 times."

There are two things confusing me here. The first is where the stitches get bound off. In order to shape both shoulders does that mean I bind off 9 at the beginning and end of the row? Or am I binding off 18, knitting to the end and then binding off 18 on the next row up and opposite end of the previous bind off from the row below? But won’t this make the shoulders lopsided? ( I’m sorry If this doesn’t make much sense. I’m more of a visual person when it comes to learning manual tasks)

The second is the shoulder grading. Here I’m having much the same problem and it throws a wrench in my idea of splitting the bind offs equally over the two ends of a row. Is shoulder grading another way of saying sloped bind off? And if I want to do this, does this mean I have to begin however many rows earlier according to the size I’m knitting?

Thank you guys so much for the help. I’ve been banging my head trying to figure out what these parts mean!

Here’s a link to the pattern I’m discussing: http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/features/crafts/knitting/weasleysweatersin/

Hi and welcome!

You can really only bind off at the beginning of a row. Bind off at the beginning of the row, work to the end of the row, turn, bind off at the beginning of this next row. Yes, the shoulders will be offset by a row but this won’t be noticeable.

The pattern gives you the option of splitting the bind offs over several rows. So for the 18sts you could bind off 9, work to the end of the row, turn, bind off 9 at the beginning of the row and work to the end, then repeat the entire process. This will give you a stepped bind off. The difference in inches isn’t that much and I wouldn’t start the bind off earlier. You have to consider the length of the armhole here too, because the sleeve top will need space here.

Here’s a video for a sloped bind off if you’d like to try that:

Thanks very much for the link. It looks like a nice pattern and sweater.

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Thank you so much for the help! Sometimes the obvious things are what trip me up :sweat_smile: . Yeah, I’m pretty excited to knit it. If it comes out well I’ll probably be making a bunch of them for myself.