Important Knitting Tasks When Shaping Garments

Shaping knitted garments requires working increases and decreases where the fabric conforms to body contours – waist, side seams, neck, armholes, and sleeves. Most hand knit garments are shaped along the outside edges. “At the same time” and “Reverse shaping” are two necessary tasks that need to be dealt with when shaping garments.

  • “At the same time”. This phrase lets the knitter know that two or more things are going to take place simultaneously or “at the same time”. Work the instructions that immediately follow this at the same time as the instructions that immediately precede it. A typical situation using “at the same time” involves armhole and V-neck shaping. Neck shaping will usually start at a point where the armhole shaping is already in progress. As you are working the armhole decreases, you need to pay attention and keep track as to when to start the neck shaping (the second thing). The start of the second thing will be at a certain stitch count or at a certain number of rows of the armhole worked. To assist you, read your instructions ahead of time, and keep notes and row counts on what you’re doing.
  • “Reverse shaping”. A term used when knitting garments such as cardigan fronts, where the shaping is identical, but reversed. The instructions will usually be given for one piece, and you must remember to work the shaping for the other piece in the opposite order.
Cardigan Fronts - Reverse Shaping
Cardigan Fronts – Reverse Shaping

Note: I neglected to include these two important tasks in The Little e-book of Abbreviations and Knitting Terms, so I have made the edits.