It took 28 more rows of the cable pattern to get to 12-1/2" for the front before shaping the front neck. I ended on a Row 4.
Instead of joining a second ball of yarn, I usually work each side separately. And since I try to avoid extra work, I don't bind off stitches for shaping. I simply quit working them. That means they're still hanging around on the needle and won't have to be picked up to work the collar stitches. I use a jump ring marker to keep my place while I do this.
To give you a visual of what this looks like, here is my work once the first half of the front is done. The stitches to the far right of both markers are the shoulder stitches. The stitches between the markers are the ones that would usually be bound-off for the neck shaping.
Again, instead of binding off the shoulder stitches, I'm going to leave them live and graft them with 20 stitches from the back like this:
|Grafting the shoulder, as seen from above|
|Grafting the shoulder, as seen from the front. (I've already grafted some of it.)|
It took a total of 12 more rows (including shaping rows) once I began the neck shaping. Then I repeated the same process with the other side.
Next up was the neckband, simply because I had stitches hanging around on the needles, and it made sense to go ahead and do them now instead of transferring the stitches to scrap yarn and then having to transfer them back again later.
One thing I discovered on this particular neckline: Don't try to use an extra-stretchy bind-off. When I did, the neckline was distorted, almost like ruffles. This particular neckline needs the stability and sturdiness of a regular bind-off.
The sleeves are next, and these are just a little bit trickier because of the cabling pattern and decreasing as you go down the arms. That, and the fact that I'm going to work them directly onto the sweater (shoulder to cuff) instead of knitting them cuff to shoulder and then seaming them on.
I need to pick up 87 stitches around the armhole. (I'm just going to the end of the instructions and working my way back.) I see that I will have to decrease over 68 rows, with an additional 2 rows (since they're starting the decreasing on the 3rd cabling row). That makes a total of 70 rows, which should measure out to 11.2", according to the pattern gauge. I also have to take 2" of ribbing into account at the bottom, so that means I'm up to 13.2" with decreases and ribbing. Since the sleeve needs to be a total of 14.5" long, that means I'll start with 1.25" of cabling before beginning any decreasing.
Does that make any sense? I hope so! It's the best I could do in trying to explain how I reverse things like this. :) It's really not as complicated as it sounds when it's written down. It's just a matter of using math (which is something I happen to enjoy doing).
So what I ended up doing was one complete set of 4 cabling rows. Then, on the second Row 3, I began the decreases.
I finished a 6 of the 17 decreases.