Need help with jacket knitting instructions for left front

I am knitting my first sweater. It’s a long jacket. I finished the back panel and am working on the left front but I am confused by the neck shaping instructions. I know what it wants but not sure how to do it.

It says… [INDENT]At the neck edge, bind off 8 sts once. At same edge, decrease 1 st every row 12 times.
Work even, if needed, on 46 sts until piece measures same as back to shoulder.
Bind off all sts in pattern.

It’s the blue part I’m confused about. The pattern stitch for the entire jacket is a 1 x 1 rib stitch.

If I understand it, I am doing the decrease at the edge where I bind off the 8. So that is either the beginning of the row or the end depending what side I am on of the piece. Is that correct?

How do I do the decrease? It just says decrease. (I was ironically thinking it’s just k2tog.)

Any help would be appreciated :worried:

I agree that the decreases are on the same edge as the bind off. Yes, it will be at the beginning or end of a row depending, but… the pattern places it “at neck edge” which isn’t arbitrary - place the piece on your body’s left front to be certain where they should occur.

You can do whatever decrease you want? I prefer when patterns make that decision for me, but they often don’t. If the edge will have a border added, it probably doesn’t make much difference unless you are using very large/thick yarn. Many (almost said most, but I’m not certain) patterns that do specify do so to designate which way they want the decrease to lean.

My best suggestion is to use a separate ball of the yarn you are using (or a stand-in of similar weight) and try out k2tog and SSK - the first leans right, the latter left. You will likely prefer symmetrical decreases (use one for the left front and the other for the right front). Swatches will show you the way!

​​​​​​​Happy knitting!

@EllenDeKnitter Thank you very much!

That makes so much sense! I get the symmetry aspect as well. You would probably use k2tog on one side and ssk when you come from the other direction but that brings up another question. If I start the bind off of the 8 sts, which direction do I probably want it to lean? Right or left?

If you are going to add a border to the bound off stitches it probably doesn’t matter @K2-Tog .

If not, I would get on YouTube and look a different bind off methods and swatch a few to see what you like best.

Personally, I tend to prefer things to lean away from the center, but there are no rules and you get to decide what you prefer.

@EllenDeKnitter Thanks again! :blush:

I did the swatch as you suggested and it helped me figure out most of it. Then, when I started I figured out more. I could not have done it without your help, much appreciated. :+1:

I wrote it all down so when I get to the other side I do the same thing. Since the stitch pattern is reversible, I don’t have to adjust what I worked out thankfully. :memo:

Here is the completed left front:


Great job @K2-Tog !

That’s going to be a nice sweater, I love the color!

Thanks @EllenDeKnitter

It looks great!