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Wisteria Shawl Collar Pullover Knit-Along: Working the Front!

Welcome back to the Wisteria KAL! I hope your progress has been going well and your pullovers are coming along nicely. I know I've been enjoying seeing the colors change in Amazing. Now that we've tackled the back (the largest piece by the way - congratulate yourself on completing it!) it's time to move on to the front. As I mentioned last week, the front is worked much like the back for the first 11.5 inches, if you are following the pattern as written. Alternatively, if you have altered the size of the sweater, work the front as for the back until the length is 2.5 inches shorter than the back was to the armhole shaping. Time for neck shaping!

The initial shaping for the neck opening is achieved by binding off 18 stitches in the middle of the row, leaving an equal number of stitches on either side to continue working. However, in order to work both fronts at the same time, you will need to attach another piece of yarn to one of the sides to keep working. After the bind-off row you will work back on the wrong side with the yarn still attached, but once you reach the bind-off gap you will notice there is no yarn to work with!


To remedy this, simply join a new strand of yarn by using it to purl the first stitch after the gap and continue across, just as you do to join a new ball when your yarn runs out.

gap 2

Now the fun begins - if you look ahead in your pattern, you'll notice 2 things: one is the description of how to proceed with the neck shaping, and the other are those four little words we all should be hunting for when working a pattern: AT THE SAME TIME. What this means is that while you are keeping track of decreasing at the neck edges every 8 rows, you also need to notice when your piece measures the same as the back to the armholes (14 inches or your desired length) and simultaneously work the same armhole shaping as we worked for the back. Knowing your row gauge is also very useful at this point - I knew that I was getting 6 rows/inch and I had started my neck shaping 2.5 inches before I needed to worry about the armholes. After 12 rows past the neck bind off (about 2 inches), I measured after every row to be sure I wouldn't miss the 14 inch length point. When I was sure I was there, I pulled out my completed back piece to measure against so I was sure they would match.

Now comes keeping track of two sets of instructions at the same time. This is why it's nice we already did the back with just armhole shaping because you already have a sense of how to work the armholes. At this point I'm keeping notes so I know where I'm at: I make a hash mark for every row I complete so when I get to the 8th row, I do my neck decreases then start a new set of hash marks for the next row. By doing so, when I have 6 (7, 7, 8, 10) groups of marks I know my neck decreases are complete! While this is going on I am also referring to armhole shaping instructions from the back section of the pattern, which is worked over a total of 8 (12, 16, 18, 20) rows. My best advice is to make whatever notes you need to in order to keep track of what is going on so you don't miss any of the decreases.

Once you have completed your decreases, count the number of stitches remaining on each side of the neck to make sure they match what the pattern says you should have left for binding off - 17 (18, 20, 21, 22), then do a happy dance - the shaping is over and you have the stitches you should! If for some reason your numbers don't match, see if you can determine where the mistake was made and rip back to correct it, keeping track of how many rows you rip out so you know where you are in the pattern. Once you're all set with the decreases, work even until the armhole depth matches that of the back (this may be quite soon after the neck decreases are completed) and bind-off both sides. Another piece done!


Next week we'll move onto the sleeves and talk about blocking your pieces for seaming. Have a great week and enjoy!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mia-Svensson/1173240917 Mia Svensson

    I´m done! Phew! That was not the easiest thing I´ve ever done. It came out a little wonkey, but that´s ok. ;)

  • Christie

    I bought my yarn, and I am following along with the reading and planning part... but I have a boatload of crocheting to do for Christmas, so I plan to work on the sweater after those projects are done..... will I be able to access the blog entries for this, all in a row? and how can I do that?


  • Connie

    Ahh did the armhole shaping wrong...guess I am going back once I finish my sleeves I already started. This post explained it much better than the patterns directions.

  • Cynthia

    What length did everyone go with? I'm dithering over the length and it's keeping me from finishing the back! I'm long torsoed so thought I'd add an inch. It's driving me nuts! Please help! What's everyone doing?

  • Susan Koutnik

    Can't believe I am finished already. This one went so quickly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1570892527 Kimberly McKenna Junkins

    Finished all the shaping on the front of my sweater last night AND missed something and have 19 stitches instead of 18. Arrrrgh! So, I know I should rip it out and redo but I really don't want to. I believe I missed one dec on the arm shaping. Can I reduce now with about 1 1/2 inches to go before it's done?

  • Jen in VT

    Hi all!!
    Ok, so I think I have a handle on how to keep track of the the simulations decreases. Now I realized that the length between the armhole and the neck opening is more like 3in. Can I just add some stitches (in a multiple of 4) to the collar?? Otherwise I think I might need to rip it back to before the neck bind off. TIA for your advice!!

  • Stammisfam

    Hi Kendra!
    What kinda needles do you have there?  They look so fun!

  • LdyM

    Nearing top of front, with only two more neck decreases to go.  However, I have an extra stitch on one side.  In fact it almost looks like one side is longer than the other!  What to do??  I won't frog (eyes don't allow); can I hide or adjust it somehow?

    This was so much fun to do the "double" instructions at once.  Thanks..  M

  • Lorriehero

    I'm just about to start the front shaping, and I noticed that the pattern says to add another ball of yarn at the beginning of the bind off section during the knit row while the knit along instructions say to add the second ball of yarn on the next row. Does it matter?

  • http://blog.lionbrand.com/2011/10/19/wisteria-shawl-collar-pullover-kal-time-for-sleeves-and-blocking/ Wisteria Shawl Collar Pullover KAL: Time for Sleeves and Blocking | Lion Brand Notebook

    [...] Wisteria Shawl Collar Pullover Knit-Along: Working the Front! [...]

  • http://blog.lionbrand.com/2011/10/19/wisteria-shawl-collar-pullover-kal-time-for-sleeves-and-blocking/ Wisteria Shawl Collar Pullover KAL: Time for Sleeves and Blocking | Lion Brand Notebook

    [...] Wisteria Shawl Collar Pullover Knit-Along: Working the Front! [...]

  • Williams Sharon

    Does anyone have any ideas to make the two sleeves to match in the colour pattern? I just finished a turtleneck sweater in one of the self patterning yarns and worked very hard to make the side seams line up and the sleeves be the same. Suggestions?

  • Amy

    How do you decrease for the neck?  Does it mean to make decreases in the middle or are the decreases on the armholes?

    a little confused

  • Amy

    oh I think I understand now...the sides are the sides of the neck, not rows...

  • wendy

    I am sooooo confused.  I am working on the front of the sweater and I have gotten to the part where we are decreasing.  I did the first decrease on the neck side.  And then I did the decrease for the arm holes.  I need to do 8 more decreases on the neck side.  The way I have it figured I will still have 29 stitches left instead of the 21 I am supposed to have.   44 - 1 = 43 (first decrease)  43 - 6 = 37 (arm decrease)  37 - 1  (8 remaining decreases) = 29.  Am I reading the pattern wrong or is their a mistake.  HELP

  • Karen

    I'm almost finished with the front, just one more decrease, when I noticed that I have 17 stitches on one side and 18 stitches on the other. How should I proceed ?

  • http://blog.lionbrand.com/2011/10/26/wisteria-shawl-collar-pullover-kal-working-the-collar/ Wisteria Shawl Collar Pullover KAL: Working the Collar | Lion Brand Notebook

    [...] Wisteria Shawl Collar Pullover: Working the Front! [...]

  • Eileen_pritch

    I am sure many are long past finished this sweater bit I am just starting- waiting to find the perfect yarn at a perfect price.  Wool Eze was recommended- which I bought for a fabulous color and washability/ problem is without a scematic chart there is no way to work the proper gauge.  Going on smaller and smaller needles justs gets to the point of looking like a felted piece.  I can figure out the gauge for casting on from my sample but things get complicated knowing how much to cast on and off for neckline and of course the collar- HELP