Shoulder and Neck Shaping Question

Hello! I am getting close to the point that I need to start shaping the armholes and neck of the back of my Mom’s sweater, so I have been reading ahead in the directions. I understand the directions for binding off for the shoulder. The last direction for shaping the neck have me confused. How do I do this:

At this point there are 130 sts on the needles.

BO 8 sts at beg of next 4 rows
BO 9 sts at the beg of next 4 rows

[I]Do I BO the specified number of stitches on [B]each[/B] row? Or over the course of the 4 rows? I.E. for the first one … 8 sts total or 32 sts total?[/I]

[B]and at the same time, on the first row of shoulder shaping work across to center 54 sts, BO center sts, work to end. [/B][I](Is this my center point for binding of the neck hole??)[/I]

[B]Working both sides at the same time, at each neck edge, BO 2 sts twice. [/B][I](Does this mean that I start from the center and bind off two stitches at a time for the neck while working the shoulder shaping?)[/I]

This is my first sweater so as you might imagine, I am a bit nervous about the whole thing …

?1…bind off 32 sts total, 8 at the beginning of each of the next 4 rows.
?2…yes, this is the bind off for the neck I think you will then have two sections of knitting…you’ll be working them with seperate working yarn at the same time.
?3…yes, you are correct

Relax, you will be fine. On the first row, when you bind off 8 stitches, you will also bind off the center stitches starting with stitch 39 (out of the original 130) bind off 54 stitches, then keep knitting until you get to the end, and on the next row bind off the first 8 stitches. (there are 38 shoulder stitches on each side, plus the center 54 to equal 130, the bind off’s equal exactly 38 on each side)

Now you have 2 sets of working stitches on your needle. You need to attach another ball of yarn to work the other shoulder starting at the neck edge so that you can work each row in the same direction as the other shoulder.

Ok, I think I have a good understanding of what to do. Thank you for your help!

What boggles me is that it seems so complicated. Is the binding off for the neck section of a sweater always so … pesky? I was imagining that you would bind the last row all at once. Now that I think about it, it’s because the neck isn’t straight, huh? It curves around the neck. Ok:figureditout: I get it now.

Maybe it’s just because I am a beginner … but I have to ponder these things for 12 hours before I understand them … oh well! Wish me luck!

You can bind off the last row all at once if you use short rows instead of bind offs for shaping, but I would still either put the center 54 stitches on a piece of waste yarn and decrease by one stitch [B]each[/B] row for 4 rows on the neck edge or you could bind off the center stitches and decrease by one stitch [B]each[/B] row on the neck edge but use short rows for the neck edge, then you can use 3 needle bind off to join the shoulders. The short rows make a smoother edge to the shoulder. But for a first sweater you will probably want to do the bind off unless you already feel comfortable with short rows.

I should mention I edited my other post a couple of times, so you might want to check to see if you read my last version.

With most patterns if you follow the steps line by line and don’t try to 2nd guess `what it means’ you’ll be doing it correctly. There’s a few poorly written ones, but that one seems good. After you’ve made one sweater like that, the next ones will be easier because of experience.

Well, it’s been a while since I posted this question but I thought I would give you an update - I got the back done and it looks good if I must say so myself! Not too bad for a first-timer, eh?

Looks really great!

Very adventureous project for first sweater! Kudos! Looks fantastic!! Cables and yarn appear to be wonderful match.


That looks great! No one would know it’s your first sweater. Way to go.