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Understanding Armhole Shaping Instructions

Dear SweaterBabe,

I am knitting a cardigan and am working on the back piece from the bottom up. I am now starting to shape the armholes on both sides.

The instructions say to "Dec 1 st at the end of the next 3 rows, then on following 3 alternate rows, then on every following 4th row until 95 sts rem." I understand the first 3 row decreases but what does "on following 3 alternate rows, then on every following 4th row" mean?

My interpretations skew all the decreases on one side which is not right. The decreases should be even on both sides. I would appreciate any help you can give.

Thank you. Emily W.

Dear Emily,

First, I actually think there is a typo.  Most patterns will say "Dec 1 st at EACH end of the next 3 rows" so that shaping is happening on both ARMHOLES at the same time.  If that is assumed, does it all work?

Assuming there is that typo, let me explain the rest. 

Let's pretend your first armhole shaping row is Row 100.  This is what the instructions tell me to do:

"Dec 1 st at EACH end of the next 3 rows,...":
Row 100: Dec 1 st at EACH end.
Row 101: Dec 1 st at EACH end.
Row 102: Dec 1 st at EACH end.

"then on following 3 alternate rows,...":
Row 103: No decreasing.
Row 104: Dec 1 st at EACH end.
Row 105: No decreasing.
Row 106: Dec 1 st at EACH end.
Row 107: No decreasing.
Row 108: Dec 1 st at EACH end.

"then on every following 4th row until 95 sts rem.":
Row 109: No decreasing.
Row 110: No decreasing.
Row 111: No decreasing.
Row 112: Dec 1 st at EACH end.
Row 113: No decreasing.
Row 114: No decreasing.
Row 115: No decreasing.
Row 116: Dec 1 st at EACH end.
Row 117: No decreasing.
Row 118: No decreasing.
Row 119: No decreasing.
Row 120: Dec 1 st at EACH end.
... etc. until you have 95 sts left.  So, keep decreasing every 4th row (Row 124, 128, etc.) until you have 95 sts left.

I hope this then makes sense!  I'm pretty sure that the typo is part of the problem...

Best,

SweaterBabe

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