Sweater neck too small

I have knitted a sweater for my son, finally finished all the pieces and began today stitching them together.

The directions were: “Sew left shoulder seam. Pick up and knit 42 stitches around the neck, knit five rows.” Okay, so I did that, made sure I had exactly the number of stitches that it said to have.

Then it said, “Sew right shoulder seam and neck.” I did that. Then I decided to try it on my son before sewing the sleeves on. It’s too small…there is absolutely no way I get the neck over his head. Otherwise, the pieces are the right size for him.

What do I need to do? Right now, I have stuck all the pieces in a bag and don’t want to look at them. What is the simplest way to enlarge the neck opening?


Two possibilities (more, probably, but these are the most likely suspects):

  1. Your bind-off is too tight and inelastic. Even if the neck has a big enough opening, the bind-off won’t stretch to go over it. Take out the bind-off row and run a piece of yarn through it to hold the stitches. Try it on. If it goes over your son’s head easily, bind off again LOOSELY, using one of these stretchy bind-offs.

  2. The neckline really is too small. In which case you’ll need to frog enough rows (a few in the back, several in front) to give the boy some breathing space, and then bind off.

I don’t know how old your son is, but if it’s any comfort, children have enormous heads in proportion to their bodies. That’s what makes them so cute, and that’s why so many sweaters have the same problem yours does.

I’ll offer a third solution. My son has a HUGE head (16" at birth and it just keep growing! It’s bigger than mine and he’s only 9yo!) You could open the shoulder seam and sew in some bias tape or twill ribbon on both pieces (the “bottom piece” it can stick out from) and then use some buttons to close the shoulder. I’ve done that one several things I’ve made for him. If I make the neck big enough to go over his head then it is huge around his neck and shoulders. I’m probably not explaining it very well. I’d draw a picture but I’m not very good at that either LOL!

Thank you both so much!! I saw the first one first (of course), so I took out the bind off row (agh! :wall: took me forever to find the yarn end to even start the process), put the yarn through like you suggested. When I tried it on him, it slipped over his head easily… :woot: So then I did the Elizabeth Zimmerman bind off from the link you gave me (thank you for it!), and it worked like a charm. It’s stretchy and fits over his head wonderfully now. cloud9

If anything, the neck looks a tiny bit too large now… but I don’t care! It fits, and I am not going to struggle with it anymore.

Thank you, Michelle, for the button suggestion too. I had considered if that might be necessary. I’m glad it wasn’t for now, but I’ll keep it in mind in the future.

My FAVORITE BO even tho much of a yarn hog, is just to k 2 sts tog all the way down…:slight_smile: I didn’t see that on the list…

My first sweater had a hood, and the hood hole is SOOOOO very small I can’t wear it, unless I only want my nose to hang out. I’ve not fixed it, but maybe will some day.