Poncho Neck Circular Needles & 2 Balls of Yarn?

New to knitting with circular needles and need mucho help please. I just finished St st for 26" but now I’m confused by what the pattern is [COLOR=black]instructing[/COLOR]:
[COLOR=blue]Neck Opening Next Row (RS): [/COLOR]
[COLOR=blue]K53 sts (back); [/COLOR]
[COLOR=black]??? Do I understand the above to mean knit 53 sts then go back the way I just came, leaving unfinished sts on needles???[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#0000ff]join second ball of yarn, dec 1 st,[/COLOR]
??? How would I join second ball and why???
[COLOR=#0000ff]k to end (front).[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#0000ff]Working both sides at same time, work 1 row even.[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#0000ff]Rep neck dec for front on next 2 RS rows. - 50 sts for front; 53 sts for back.[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#0000ff]Work even until neck opening measures 7 1/2", end on WS row.[/COLOR]

I know how to decrease well enough, but the rest has me baffled.
If ya’ll could give me some simple directions, broken down so that my tiny mind can easily understand what to do, I’d be so appreciative.
The link to pattern is www.lionbrand.com/patterns/kwe-poncho.html
It’s a lovely poncho with a high neck to keep me warm here in New England.
Thanks in advance for any help,
Lee Lee

The 53 sts are those [B]for[/B] the back. To join yarn, just begin knitting with a new strand, leave a 3-4" tail. The 2 sides (front and back) are going to be knit separately with decreases on both, but maybe at different rates, which is why you work both of them at the same time. Just take the instructions one stitch at a time and it’ll work out.

you are knitting from sleeve edge to sleeve edge.

half the stitches are the front of the poncho, half are the back (mid row is the shoulder )

to make the neck opening, you knit the back, Join a new ball of yarn and continue knitting


VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV--row just before neck edge
VVVVVVV--VVVVVVVVV--a break in the knitting. (2 ball of yarn)
VVVVVVV---VVVVVVVVV--dashes are neck opening
VVVVVVV--VVVVVVVVV--which continues for 7 inches
VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV--back to 1 row for poncho

continue knitting till you finish

There isn't a schematic.. but the text drawing above should help

you need 2 balls of yarn because you're going to be knitting 2 pieces for a while.. to make a neck opening.  
you'll do this by using 2 balls of yarn 

when the neck opening is completed, you'll return to knitting 1 long row

YOU can knit the back, and then knit the front.. but for just the few inches of a neck, i'd knit both parts at once..

Thanks for the lovely replies. I think I’ve got it figured out. Please bear with me just a little longer.

Neck Opening:
I’m going to Knit 53 sts (this is working what will end up being the poncho’s back side)
Join a 2nd ball of yarn, leaving first ball to rest for now, and decrease one stitch, knit to end (this will become poncho’s front)

Working both sides at same time, work 1 row even.
Q: Does above mean to just perl (as the next row is WS) but to leave the center area where I decreased and began working with 2 balls of yarn alone? (which I guess will end up being the neck opening)

Now, next row is RS, a knit row. It states to REP neck dec for front on next 2 RS rows… This will take me from the original 53 sts on poncho’s front, down to 50.
Pattern does not tell me to decrease on the back side but to keep at 53 sts.

More confusion with the next:
Work even until neck opening is 7 1/2".
Q: Do I just go back to original Knit one row, perl the next, without any decreases? And by 7 1/2", I take it that means when the center slit made from working 2 separate balls of yarn is 7 1/2" long?

:???: Sorry to seem so dense but I’ve only ever worked Berroco patterns and they really spell every little thing out for a novice, ding-dong like me.
Your help is saving me and I can’t thank ya’ll enough!
Lee Lee

Yes, start the purl row, knit to where you decreased the stitch, drop that yarn and pick up the other strand to purl on the back stitches. Then do your decs on the front on the next row, the Knit RS row, dropping the yarn when you get to the split and pick up the other one. Repeat ws, rs rows again, then keep knitting until each piece is 7½".