Q&A: Knitting a Rounded Neckline

I’ve made top-down sweaters before, but the neckline always looks clunky. How do you get a nice rounded neckline on a top-down knitted pullover?

When knitting top-down sweaters, casting on all of your neckline stitches at once will give you a straight-across neckline. This is fine if the horizontal line of a slash or boat-neck works for your body. If you prefer a rounded neckline, some patterns have you cast on stitches over several rows. But this creates little stair-steps on the neckline edge which can be tricky to neaten up during finishing.

My prefered method for creating a graceful rounded neckline is to cast on all of your front neck stitches, but then work short rows, knitting across a few more of the CO stitches each time you come to the neckline until, after a few rows, you are working all of your newly CO neckline stitches.

I always use Shadow Wrap short rows (SWSR) when working a neckline. They disappear and leave you with a clean, curved neckline! In addition to the picture tutorials on the cocoknits website, we have added videos showing the SWSR (RS and WS) on the Cocoknits YouTube channel. We hope they help you learn this invaluable technique!


  1. I have bought your book & can’t wait to knit my 14 year old granddaughter the sweater on the cover.
    I just started a top down classic sweater in the round that I must finish for my 8 year old great grandson. Is it possible to knit short row shadow wrap rows when knitting in the round?
    I’m 83 years old and am anxious to knit one of your designs for myself. They are beautiful and not “granny” looking.

    • Hi,
      Yes, you can work short rows in the round…but while you are working them, you’ll be going back and forth. Once you have finished the short row shaping, you’ll go back to knitting around again. Hope that helps!

  2. Wren

    Which pattern on the book uses this technique?

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