Trouble understanding pattern when dividing for armholes

I’m knitting my first sweater in 30 years … a rib sweater, with raglan sleeves using a circular needle. The pattern reads:-
“Body: Using circular needle CO 184 sts. Join to work in the rnd. Pm for BOR and work in 2 x 2 Rib for 15”.
Divide for Armholes: Work 86 sts, BO 12 sts, work 80 sts, BO 12 sts - [6 sts at end of rnd and 6 sts from beg of next rnd]; 80 sts rem each front and back …"

I have happily knitted my 15" but now don’t understand a) how I get to 80 sts for front and back when I started with 184. I have seen videos on how to bind off yet don’t understand the mathematics here. b) And why work 86 sts …and then …work 80 sts?

Welcome to KH!
You’re going to bind off 12sts on each side for the armholes, 80+80+12+12=184.
After the BOR, the first 6 sts will eventually become part of armhole 2 but don’t bind them off yet. Knit 86, bind off 12sts for armhole 1. Now knit until you have 80 sts on the right needle after the gap, bind off 12sts, removing the marker as you bind off. This will be armhole 2, and there will be 80 live sts for the front and 80 for the back.

Oh yes I see! Thank you so much for providing such a logical explanation.

OK. I have (I believe) followed your instructions ie knit 86, bo 12sts for armhole (which I did as if BO in the middle of my stream of knitting) and then knitted 80 sts. Now looking at videos on the net I think I have done my last BO 12sts incorrectly. My questions is should I have knitted those 12 sts as normal, turned it over and BO on the reverse side so that the yarn will be at the beginning of armhole 2? I’m halfway through knitting the sleeves and am contemplating the pattern and how the sleeves will fit in on the round with my body section and the positioning of the yarn to start.

BTW the pattern for the Sleeves is
"With dpns, CO 72 sts. Dividide sts evenly over needles, pm and join to work in the rnd. Work in 2 x 2 Rib for 1 3/4".

Divide for Armholes: BO6 sts, work to last 6 sts. BO 6 sts - 60 rem. Slip sts to st holder. Break yarn."

That all seems to be going ok.

The pattern for the Yoke
"Joining Rnd. With longer circular needle, RS facing and yarn attached to body, beg with front, work 80 sts in est rib, pm work 60 sts from sleeve in est riv, pm, work 80 sts from back in est rib, pm, work 60sts from sleeve in est rib, pm for new BOR - 280 sts. Next rnd: Work even as est."

Sounds like you did the armhole correctly. You want the yarn at the end of the bound off sts ready to knit across the back sts. Don’t turn and bind off. That would put you on the WS with the yarn at the beginning of the armhole bind off. You could then only purl across the front and continue on the WS.
You should have 80sts for the front and 80sts for the back with a gap on either side of 12sts.

When you get to joining the sleeves for the yoke, knit across the 80sts of the front, 60sts of one sleeve, 80sts of back and finally 60sts of sleeve two. The underarm openings of the body and the sleeves will be hanging near each other. As you knit the rounds, the yoke will take shape and position of the sleeves will be correct.

Here’s a video with good diagrams of what’s happening. It’s for a cardigan and the underarm sts are on holders not bound off but the basic idea is the same. And yes, the join will be a bit tight to knit on the first few rounds.

Thank you so much. Good to know I was on the right track.

Sorry another question and I’m sorry if this sounds very basic. Going back to the sleeves. As shown in the pattern (see above) I have 72 sts, then to divide for the armholes BO 6 sts, work to last 6 sts, BO 6 sts - 60 rem. OK when I BO the final 6 sts do I do this similarly to the body ie I want the yarn at the end or do I turn it over? I can see how this underarm bind off will meet the bind off’s I have done on the body when I move on to doing the yoke, however, I’m not sure of the actual method of doing this sleeve bind off. If I have the yarn at the end won’t I have an extra stitch left over?

Don’t worry about basic questions. We like all questions (and actually, this one isn’t so basic).

It sounds like a mistake in the pattern. You’re right, if you follow the pattern you’ll end up with a single lonely stitch in the middle of the underarm.

The best thing to do is to take out the last row (the row that starts with the bind off of 6sts) including the 6 bound off sts. Either re-knit to 6sts before the beginning of the round and bind off 12sts (6 at the end of round and 6 at beginning of the round)
or when you take out the last row and take out the initial bind off of 6sts, also take out 6sts from the end of the previous round. Then bind off 12sts (6 from the end of round and 6 from the beginning of the nest round.

What is the name of this pattern? Can you give us a link to it?

OK I think I understand what you are saying. I actually had taken out the last row (a few actually) in my frustation with this. So I virtually do the bind offs of 12 sts in one hit using either method you have suggested. Once I have bound off 12 sts I continue to knit to complete the round.

The pattern is

Cute pattern! You can either work to the end of the round (that’s going to be the gap created by the bound off sts) or stop after the bind off. When you join to knit the yoke, you’ll be using yarn attached to the body or else starting a new end of yarn.

Terrific thank you so much.