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How to Become an "Expert Knitter"   *Buy this book on CD for offline reading!

table of contents Ľ chapter 23 (of 29)

23: Working the Neck Band of a Sweater (cont.)

Shaping rows are different because they have a diagonally slanted edge and this elongates the edge stitches (see here). Usually, three stitches are picked up to every four rows on a right angle edge, but the slope of the edge of shaping rows changes the height of the rows. The stitch to row ratio changes to four stitches to five rows when the slope is not very pronounced, and five stitches to six rows or even one stitch for every row if the slope has made the edge stitches longer [pic 11].

11: The slant of a shaping edge will dictate the ratio of stitches to rows when picking up stitches.

On a high round neck there are only a few shaping rows, so skip or miss a row or two, evenly placed along the shaping edge, as there arenít enough rows or stitches here to have much influence on the curve. The back of the neck also may have a little shaping at each side, so skip one row to allow for the small slant of the shaping edge. By contrast, a wide rounded front neck or wide, low back will have a long slanted edge at each side. Adjust the stitch to row ratio to keep the shape of the curve correct [pic 12].

12: The shaping rows at the edge of the neck are close together. This elongates the edge stitches, and so the neck has been picked up matching one stitch to every row.

Itís all a bit tricky, but it is also logical. You may have to do a bit of experimenting to get it just right, but it is the only way to avoid wavy bands or oddly shaped curves [pic 13,14].

13: (left) Too many stitches on the right angle edges make a floppy neckband.
14: (right) The neck sits well when the correct amount of stitches have been picked up on each side of the neck.

If the needle size for the band is smaller than that used for the garment, pick up a stitch for every row along each side of the neck and also the shaping rows. Thereís no need to skip any rows. You need these extra stitches to make the neck band sit properly at each side, as the stitches on a smaller needle will be tighter. The size of the stitches also means that the stitches picked up along a straight row are smaller than those on the base, but that will be balanced out by the extra stitches on each right angle side of the front neck, where stitches have been picked up for every row [pic 15].

15: When a smaller needle has been used for the neck, the stitches are smaller and so you donít need to skip rows to make the neck sit flat.

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