Now that the back is finished it’s time to get started on the front! Initially the biggest difference with the front is that you will have to shape the neck. After that the front will be the very same as the back.
I’m going to do a wide neck that will be slightly scooped and rounded. If you want to create your own neck shape I’d suggest printing out some knitting graph paper (there are several online – I printed one from printablepaper.net).
When you have printed that out you can figure out your shaping by doing the following:
- Marking off the number of stitches you have for your neck (there is 64 stitches in mine- note that on the video I’m using the wrong numbers!).
- Now (making sure it’s centered around the front) draw a curve of the neck shape you’d like. For a rounded neck make sure you’ve got at least 1/3 of the stitches straight at the front (these will cast-on).
- Draw ‘steps’ in that get fairly close to the neck shape. This is how your increases will look as they will increase for each of those ‘steps’.
This is what my neck shape looks like (on the right) and I’ve put the stitch ‘steps’ in place on the left:
You can see that as I’m working, initially my work will be vertical (no increases), then I began a very slight slope towards the centre (increases only on the RS) and then the slope becomes flatter as I’m increasing more rapidly (both RS and WS) and finally the slope becomes completely flat where I’ve cast-on stitches to join the left and right front.
The shape I’ve shown has 20 increases on each side of the neck; 10 increases on the RS only and then 10 increases on the RS and WS (5 RS and 5 WS) with 24 cast-on stitches.
I usually use M1 both left and right as my increase style but you can use any increases! You can see this increase here. I’ll work the increases a couple of stitches in from the edge so they can be seen, I like how they look! I plan on doing a M1R for the right side and a M1L for the left side. However the difference in style is very slight so you may not notice much of a difference if you use them the other way around. When I’m doing this increase on the WS instead of knitting that new stitch it will be purled but the method of working it stays the same.
How I’m Working It
If you want to do the right and left sides of the front together you’ll need to wind a little of your yarn into a second ball for the second side. I’ve opted to knit the left side first of all and then I’ll mirror on the right side when I’m done.
To start with I picked up 40 stitches across the top of the back on the left shoulder (I had marked where the neck finished). Now I’m going to do the short rows just like for the back, but only on the left shoulder. To begin with I’ll have to purl the WS row so that I’m back at the neck then I’ll knit 6 stitches and turn. Work the German short row and purl back to the neck edge. I’ll keep adding 6 stitches each side before I do my Short Row until I’ve worked as many stitches as I can.
Now I don’t want a very deep front of neck so I’m going to work my colour stripes (as for the back) only for a few rows. You can change this depending on the depth of the opening you want.
Now I’m going to do my RS Neck increases. I’ll knit 2 sts then do a M1L, now knit to the end of the row. For my size (from the sketch above) I’ll do a total of 10 of these. Now I’m going to start adding in WS increases as well. I’ll do a RS increase as before but then on the WS I’ll purl to the last 2 stitches and work M1Lp and p2. Now I’ll do these 8 more times (total of 10 increases; 5 RS and 5 WS) so that I finish with (40 + 10+10 = 60 sts)
Now we come to do the same on the Right but just on the other side. Pick up 40 stitches across the right shoulder. Now for the short rows I’ll need purl 6 and then turn. Work a German short row back to the Neck. Keep doing that just like for the Left side until all the stitches are worked.
Now I’ll work straight fora few rows like for the Left side.
Now I’ll work 10 RS increase rows and then 10 increase rows on the RS and the WS (in total). They will be worked with the increase on the other side:
RS: Knit to the last 2 stitches, M1R, k2.
WS: Purl 2, M1Rp, purl to the end of the row.
When all the increases are finished I’ll have 60 sts just like the Left Front.
Now I need to join each side together, I knit my Right Front, cast-on 24 sts and then knit the Left side. From this point the front will be worked exactly the same as the back with 144 sts in total. Make sure you work the same stripe pattern (or not if you want to play around!!).
When I’m casting on across the front my favourite method is the Cable Cast-On. This gives a nice firm cast-on that doesn’t stretch out too much. You will need to turn your work to the WS to work it though and then turn back to the RS when it’s finished to join the left front.
Congratulations! That’s the most complex thing you’ll need to do and now you’ve finished it!!
How’s your sweater coming along? Share with me using #CarolFellerStashKAL so I can find you on social media (or tag me). Would love to share your progress.