Double the Fun KAL: Guildenstern Neckline and Shoulders

As I mentioned last week, if you’re not all caught up on your striping, it’s ok! This week is a bit of a light week since I know how things can build up and we get behind. This week we’re going to work the Neckline and Shoulders. Easy peasy!

Neckline - Front and Back

I found it easier to just work the Back first since it’s already on the needles from last week. If you prefer to work the Front first, that’s a-ok since they’re worked in exactly the same manner.

Since we didn’t break our Color D yarn from last week we’re all ready to go with the RS of the Back. Grab your Smaller needle and knit 3 rows. To clarify, we’re now working in garter: knit 1 RS row, knit 1 WS row and knit 1 more RS row!

Now, with the WS facing we’re going to work the Bind Off row that will create the neckline. We are knitting and binding off knitwise to maintain the garter ridges for a nice neckline detail.

Knit the number of stitches as per the pattern and then work a kfb. This KFB (knit into the front and back creating a new stitch) is my FAVORITE technique when binding off for a raw neckline like the Guildenstern has. This new stitch that we create will be the setup stitch to begin binding off. When you create the new stitch in the kfb, you also avoid the weird stitch distortion that inevitably happens when you bind off mid-row. It’s super dee-duper awesome.

The pattern says to “BO (bind off) knitwise until X number of sts remain”. The thing you want to keep in mind is that the “X” number of sts is the number remaining on the left hand (LH) needle.

For example!

On my size I knit 32 sts before working the kfb. The “kfb” created a new stitch on my right hand (RH) needle. Once I bound off my first stitch using the newly created stitch of the kfb, I had 33 sts on my RH needle.

SO! When I’m binding off, I want to bind off until I have 32 sts on my LH needle. There will still be one stitch on your RH needle so that you’ll have a total of 33 once you knit to the end of the row. Clear as mud? It will be super clear once you start working the bind off.



Finishing the Neckline

When you are done working the bind off row, the pattern says to measure out 5 yds. You don’t need that much for the Shoulders. I recommend measuring our 2 yards, MAXIMUM, to work the shoulders (I used just over 1 yard but I never want you to be short). You can then Break Color D and move on to the Front Neckline.

Work the Front Neckline in exactly the same manner as above. When you break Color D, measure out the same yardage (approximately 2 yds) for the Shoulder.


Working the Shoulders

The shoulders are “bound off” using a 3-needle bind off which is both a bind off method and a grafting method all rolled into one. It’s a really slick way of finishing a shoulder with a strong seam so the shoulder won’t stretch with wear.

We’ll start with the Right Shoulder just because but they’re both worked in exactly the same manner.

Step 1: Place the stitches from the Front and Back right shoulders onto two Smaller needles. Turn the project inside out so that the Front and Back shoulders are parallel to one another on the two needles with the WS facing outwards (the purl side will be visible). The working yarn will be attached to the first stitch on the back needle (see image below).

Shoulder, WS facing out (turned inside out)

Shoulder, WS facing out (turned inside out)

Step 2: Grab a third needle of the same size (a DPN is really great for this). Insert this needle into the front (knitwise) of the first stitch on the Front needle and the first stitch on the Back needle.

insert rh needle into first stitch on front and back needles

insert rh needle into first stitch on front and back needles

Step 3: Knit these two stitches together like a k2tog. 1 stitch will now be on your RH needle.


Step 4: Insert your needle into the first stitch on the Front and Back needles (like step 2). Knit these two stitches together like a k2tog (like Step 3). There will now be 2 stitches on your RH needle.


Step 5: Using one of the two needles in your left hand, pull the first stitch on the RH needle over the second stitch (binding off 1 stitch). 1 stitch will remain on your RH needle.


Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until 1 stitch remains on the RH needle (no stitches on the LH needle).
You will notice what looks like a braid forming where you have bound off your stitches.


Once all the stitches are bound off and only 1 stitch remains on the RH needle, break the yarn and pull the tail through to close up the final stitch.

Work the second shoulder in exactly the same manner!


Noble Goals!

The goal this week is to get all caught up from Week 3 where we worked Stripe Sections 2 and 3 and divided for the armholes. Additionally, let’s get those shoulders finished! Once both shoulders are complete you can break the yarn and try your sweater on! Next week we’ll focus on working the armholes and blocking so you can show off your new summer sweater!


Check in, encourage others, have fun!

Heather and Meaghan are here to answer any questions you might have about the Guildenstern shirt! We hope you're having fun with us on this summertime knitting adventure!

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