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Turtleneck Dickey

The turtleneck that lies perfectly and doesn’t strangle the wearer:

   This is easy, and much improves the sweater. The directions always say, “bind off loosely in pattern,” but that isn’t quite enough to make a ribbed turtleneck fit well, and lie flat at the flare of the neck to the shoulders, once it is turned down. You can make this simple, increasing one stitch in four; lettuce leaf, increasing two stitches in four; or frilled, doubling the stitches on each of two successive rows. Try swatching these; they’re fun.

   Instead, when you are binding off, use the increase bind off. Turtlenecks are almost always k2, p2 rib, but for perfection, increase between each pair of purl stitches as you go, so the bind off increases one stitch in four, and goes:

        k2, bind first stitch over second,

       *purl 1, bind previous stitch over purl stitch.

       make 1 as purl stitch, bind previous stitch over increase stitch

       P1, bind increase stitch over purl stitch

       K1, bind previous stitch over K stitch,

       K1, bind off previous stitch over this stitch*

       Repeat, around the turtleneck.

The result is shown on the red sweater at right.

   By the same principle, you can make a lettuce-leaf edge by increasing between each pair of stitches, making 1 in knit between every pair of knit stitches, and making 1 in purl between each pair of purl stitches, as I did on the blue sweater shown below. That’s two stitches of increasing for every four.


You can make a frilled edge by working an increase in each stitch on the first row, not binding off; then making an increase in each of that row, and binding off as you go, on a second round. This is four increases per four stitches on the first row, and four increases per four stitches on the second.