Pocket shaping questions - Oregon Vest

I’m just starting the Oregon Vest, and already am confused about shaping the pockets. Here’s a snippet of the instructions, with my confusion in bold:

Work in twisted rib for 1 1/4". Change to larger needles and purl 1 row.
[I]Shape Pockets
Row 1 (right side): Cast on 21 sts. at the beginning the row, knit across row.
[B]Row 2: Cast on 21 sts. at the beginning of row, purl across row.[/B][/I]

What’s confusing me for the second row is which needle does the new cast on stitches go? I’m also confused as to why I’m working on the pockets on the BACK piece.

The instructions go on to state:
Work even in stockinette st. on 119 (21 + 21 + 77 original) sts. until pocket measures 6" from cast-on. Bind off 21 sts at the beginning of next two rows.

There is mention of an extra needle, but I’m still unclear on how to use it with the cast on stitches…

OK, I’ve done some searching and I’ve cast on 21 stitches (using the cable cast-on method), and knit back across the row. Now when I cast on the next 21 stitches, should I be using my extra knitting needle? The yarn is now between the end of the 77 sts work and before the first set of 21 cast-on stitches.

I guess I just don’t understand the big picture, because once I cast on the second set of 21 sts and purl back across the row, the yarn will be in the same place, and then I have to work even in stockinette across all the stitches for 6"…ugh.

You cast on to the needle you’ve been using as the Right needle. The mention of the larger needle is that you should switch from using the 2 smaller needles to the 2 larger needles for all the knitting from now on - it’s not an `extra’ needle. Also this pattern knits the fronts and the back in one piece, so you’re actually putting the pocket on the 2 fronts.

I figured out what I was doing wrong…I should be adding 21 sts to both ends of the back. In other words, I should cast on 21 sts, then knit all the way across the 21 +77 sts and cast on another 21 sts on the other end, making 119 altogether.

If the front and back are knitted in one piece, I wonder why there are separate instructions for the BACK, LEFT FRONT, and RIGHT FRONT?

Also, the Materials do include the words “1 extra knitting needle size 10 1/2 or 11”, which is why I was confused.

Thanks for the clarifications.

Okay, I may be wrong in how I thought it was put together… However, casting on sts for the pocket shaping at the edges of the back would make sense if the shaping forms part of the pocket opening in the seam when you’re done. Oat Coture patterns are generally pretty well done, so just follow the instructions. I dunno why the extra needle, maybe to hold the actual pocket when you wrestle it into wherever it goes…? I’m sure it’ll be explained when you need to use it.

I think I try to over-think these things, and end up making it much harder than it needs to be. I so appreciate the help I get on this forum, even for the little things.

Reading patterns can be a challenge; but I’m having fun with all the new techniques I’m learning by practicing.

I taught myself to knit over 40 years ago in high school. Though I didn’t keep it up for about 12 years in there, when I began again about 3 years ago and found all the forums and help on the internet, I learned new ways of doing some things plus loads of new techniques. And figured out a couple ways of doing stuff on my own too. It’s great to exchange ideas and techniques with others.