First off, I never took a picture of the finished sweater without me in it, so here’s that:
So, the neckline. The pattern (which is knit from the bottom of the front, over the top of the shoulders to the bottom of the back; I don’t want to give too many more details out of respect for the designer, who is brilliant) calls for you to put the middle stitches in one row on a holder, and then cast on the same number of stitches across the gap on the next row; it creates a slit, without any dip in the front or rise in the back. These stitches are then picked up once the rest of the sweater is knit, and the vertical ribbing is continued up for the turtleneck. Now, I think the neckline looked cute on the model in the magazine, but on me? No way. Totally awful. So awful I didn’t even take a picture. So I changed it:
Here’s what I did (I wish I had thought to document this process in photos!):
1. I ripped out the turtleneck down to where I’d picked up the stitches, so that I was back to where I had a straight line of stitches across the front and back (plus the extra stitches picked up from each side, so as to avoid holes).
2. On the front, I carefully picked up a curved neckline, starting at one side, by threading waste yarn through 4 stitches (two of the extra stitches, plus half of one of the ribbed columns), then dropping down a row and threading through the next 4 stitches, and so forth until I reached the middle 8 stitches (the four stitches from the center of the ribbing, plus 2 on either side). After the middle stitches, I reversed course, jumping up a row each time I threaded through 4 new stitches (does this make sense? I can’t think of how else to describe it). The curve created is not at all severe, but is enough to make the sweater hang a little lower in front.
3. After I had secured everything with waste yarn, I ripped down until I just had the stitches sitting on the waste yarn. This left long loops of yarn on the wrong side, connecting the sides at the same “height” to each other; these had to be snipped and woven in after I was finished.
4. I then knit one plain row around the neck, picking up the straight line of stitches across the back of the sweater. Then I did horizontal ribbing to make a sort of “cowl” neck (I was inspired by this cowl pattern), by purling 6 rows and then knitting 2, until I’d created 3 big purl ridges. Then I bound off fairly loosely, and set about weaving in all of the extra ends I’d created.
I think the horizontal ribbing was still very much in keeping with the other ribbed elements of the sweater. I’m really quite pleased with how it turned out; it looks like it was meant to be that way all along.
That said, if you’re planning to knit this sweater and want a neckline like this, I’d highly recommend planning for it from the beginning. You could save yourself some of the pain of weaving in all those ends by using short rows to create the curve in the front neckline as you’re knitting, before placing the stitches on waste yarn as called for in the pattern.