Reduce width of boat neck

I have bought several beautiful bottom up and top down sweater patterns but most of them are boat neck, some so wide as to be almost off the shoulder! However, I have broad shoulders and am concerned that this style won’t be the best for me. I want to narrow the width of the boat neck and maybe add a bit of a scoop too. I think I’ll be able to do this with the bottom up patterns but am not so sure about the top downs. (the pattern models are usually slight and flat chested and I am not!) any advice gratefully received!

Welcome to KnittingHelp!
That certainly sounds possible. With the bottom up you can bind off maybe half the neck sts at the center then bind off sts on either side of the neck. A similar thing will work for the top down. Start with the two shoulders, increase sts by casting on at the neck edge and then join at the center neck.
Short rows are always handy for shaping the bust on sweater fronts.

Thanks. I should have been clearer in may original post - the top down patterns are in the round! I thought of casting on for a smaller size, then working more increases to get back to the right size. However I’m worried about puckering?

So is this more about shaping the bust on the sweaters?

No. It’s a top down, in the round yoke sweater. The examples I’ve bought are zweig and sunset highway by Caitlin hunter on Ravelry. I suppose they might be described as wide yoke necks rather than boat neck! My shape is upside down triangle and my shoulders/biceps are quite developed so to get positive ease, I think the neck will be too broad if I follow the pattern - by too broad, I mean, it will emphasise my shoulders even more! I thought if I could reshape to narrow the width of the neck opening and drop the front neck a little, it would look better on me! However, I may just have to stick to patterns I know will suit rather than ones I love! Thanks


Both very nice looking patterns. Yes, they look more like rounded necks than boat neck. I usually like a closer neck because the wide neck tends to look like I couldn’t knit the neck to fit.
It seems like you should be able to make the neck smaller by starting with fewer sts and adding a row or two to get back to the pattern numbers. I don’t find that that puckers, at least not when you wear the sweater.
I wonder if Ann Budd’s book Knitter’s Handy Book of Top Down Sweaters: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges might help? She’s very good and very thorough.

Thanks! I’ll look that reference up! I have some fantastic skein queen and triskelion yarn for the zweig and I don’t want to create another wooly that looks better on the blocking mat than on me!!

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