How to Work a Collar with The Cocoknits Method

Learn how to work an integrated (and nearly seamless) Collar in Cocoknits Method patterns. This technique is used in Lizzie, Franca, Kiki, EvaSarah, and Toni. The Collar is started at the back of the neck before picking up stitches for the Shoulders. Instructions will be provided in the pattern, but it can be difficult to visualize so Julie will walk you through it in this video. There are also step-by-step instructions below. In both, you'll learn how the Collar is started and incorporated into the rest of the garment. Once you get the hang of it, we promise, you'll want this stunning textural detail on every cardigan you knit. 



Create Upper Back

The first thing you'll do is Section 1 of the pattern: creating the Upper Back. To orient yourself: the initial Cast-On is the Back Neck, the slopes are your Shoulders. 


Prep Right Collar

The instructions will tell you to do a Provisional Cast-On. Here's a tutorial with our preferred method "How to Provisional Cast On with Judy’s Magic CO." If you're not a fan of the Provisional Cast-On you have the option to use whatever Cast-On you prefer, but you will have an additional seam at the back of the Collar. After you've Cast-On, knit as instructed in the pattern to prep the Right Collar. 



Align Collar with Upper Back

Lay out your Upper Back so the right side is facing up. Align the prepped Collar so your Cast-On is centered at the Back Neck. We recommend using our Claw Clips to secure the knitting where it needs to be while you complete the next step.




Pick Up & Knit Right Shoulder Stitches

You will pick up and knit along the Right Shoulder (the right slope of the Upper Back). The number of stitches you'll need to pick up is written into the pattern. Julie's technique for picking up stitches imitates a seam and ensures a tight join with no gaps. We have a great tutorial to help you with this technique if you're unfamiliar "How to Pick-up Stitches for the Cocoknits Method." 


Integrate Collar

Now it's time to integrate the Collar! You'll knit your picked up stitches, place a marker (so you know which stitches are the Shoulder and which are the Collar), and work across Collar stitches as the pattern directs you. 


Finish Right Shoulder

Finish Right Shoulder as your pattern directs you. Put your Right Shoulder stitches on hold.


Complete Other Side

Either continue prepping Left Shoulder as directed from your live Provisional Cast-On stitches or prep the Left Collar with a regular Cast-On and secure in place with Claw Clips prior to picking up Left Shoulder stitches and integrating.  


Continue with Sweater and Seam

From here, you'll knit across the Left Front, pick up Sleeve stitches, knit the Back, and continue to right side - just as you would with any other Cocoknits Method pattern. You can finish your sweater first, or seam the Collar as soon as the work is done! If you used the Provisional Cast-On you'll only need to seam the Back Neck to the Collar. If you used a regular Cast-On you'll also need to seam the two Cast-On edges of the Collar pieces. 

Helpful seaming tutorials: 

How to Join a Vertical to Horizontal Seam

How to Join a Vertical to Vertical Seam (False Grafting) 



Hi Caryn, The first sentence of this tuturial: “How to Provisional Cast-On with Judy’s Magic CO” has a link to a more extensive video that shows the cast-on and then the transition into starting the collar. Starting around minute 4:00 Julie shows you how to identify the right side of the stitches. Hope that helps!

Caryn Ackerman

I am knitting the Toni sweater. I am at prep left collar. It would have been helpful if you had shown the video, knitting from the provisional cast on, not a separate collar using a normal cast on. I had never done a provisional cast on your way before and this is a first time knitting your way. In your pattern you directed us to use a provisional cast on. I would assume knitting from the provisional cast on that the knits would follow knits and the purls would follow purls (rib), mine does not. It looks like a series of purl bumps. Don’t know if this is wrong or the way it is, because there is no example to look at. I will bind it off and seam it and work collar like you did in video, but the reason for doing this sweater was to learn new things.


Hi Mary,

You will have 16 stitches after your shoulder pick-up. There is no stitch marker when you pick up the shoulder stitches until you add the yellow marker before continuing on to the collar stitches. The only stitch markers are the ones with the stitches on hold at the bottom of the piece you are working on. Have you watched these videos for Julie’s Toni here: Videos 9-11 show the shoulder pick-up and joining of collar.

We’re sorry you’re disappointed and we’d be happy to answer your specific questions at Good luck!

Mary G Dowd

I am attempting to knit Toni sweater. I have the right half of collar completed. Trying to figure out a total stitch count after picking up ladders along shoulder. I pick up 16 stitches. But what happens to the 2 stitches which are to the right of stitch marker?
When you start to knit stitches for shoulder and neck do you have 16 or 18 stitches in that section?
The book does not even cover collars so no use. Have watched online videos and they help to a point but leave a lot unasnwered.
Thus far, this has been a frustrating and disappointing experience!


Hi Judith,
If you are a Ravelry user, there are a lot of pictures on the Franca KAL progress thread in our forum. Otherwise, we hope that this tutorial, along with the tutorial will give you what you need. Hope that helps!

Judith Paster

It would be helpful to see the first few rows of working the PCO left collar joining with the ladder stitches on the left back.

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