3 Dec 2013

Top Honours jumper: 4. Neckline tricks

Finishing the neckline is almost always the last step in the knitting process. While the neckline of the Phillipa jumper is finished with a crochet edge the Top Honours jumper has a classic rib finish. While it seems easy there are a number of tricks that makes your neckline look prettier. Because I wanted the grey color closest to my face I used that for the neck band (the waist and sleeve ribbings are blue)

1. picking up stitches
Usually the pattern instructions tell you how many stitches you need to pick up along the neckline. Then you should divide both the numbers as the neckline in even amounts, place stitchmarkers and pick up the amount of stitches  distributed evenly between your markers. So what's wrong with that? Basically nothing, but in my opinion it is almost impossible, plus time-consuming to distribute the stitches evenly.
I prefer another method, which is picking up more stitches and reducing the amount in the first round. This way you don't end up with gaping holes and you get a prettier, smoother curve. I picked up every stitch evenly and corrected the amount in the first row by knitting (or purling according to pattern) together every 4th and 5th stitch. This methoprevents a stretched-out look too.

As you can see there were quite a few stitches!

Try to keep the same distance all around, also on the diagonal sides:

To prevent a really high closing neckline I reduced the width of the ribbing.

2. casting off
It is important to cast off very loosely! (=a trial & error experience)
Even when you don't need to stretch the neckline out to pull it over your head, tightly cast off stitches can deform the shape of the finished neckline.

3. how-to: finish with a button loop
I choose a decorative button to finish the ribbed edge and used press studs for the opening (trying not to disturb the pattern). Attach the button at the inner edge of your button band underlayment. A small silver colored rose looks great on the blue- and grey tones:

I finished castig off the ribbing at the side where I wanted to have the button loop. The ribbing pulls a bit inwards (left pic) so I filled that up with a row of double crochet (right):

Secure the last stitch with a slipstitch to make a neat and straight edge:

Make a chain loop for your button:

check that your loop is not too tight and not too loose before finishing the loop:

Previous posts about the making of this jumper: 
1. introduction 
2. pattern chart and pattern diagram 
3. sleeve caps + my modification: back neck opening

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