The accidental V-neck

The accidental V-neck

Last Wednesday night I cast on my quickie black raglan sweater, and I began knitting it in earnest the next day while stuck in a waiting room for a couple of hours. I knew I wanted to make the drop from the back neck to the front a little deeper than I have on improvised top-down sweaters of the past. And this is a crazy fast bit of knitting. And my mind was elsewhere. I didn’t even have a ruler on me, just a rough idea of how tall I wanted my little crescent of fabric to be before I cast on the front neck stitches and joined in the round. So mindlessly I knitted, and quickly it grew. Even when I was casting on only five stitches, it didn’t occur to me what I had done. Late that night, I pulled the little yokelet over my head and … duh! … I’d made a V-neck by accident. A sort of gentle V, since I had cast on 5 stitches and not none, but a V-neck nonetheless. Given how fast it was to knit that bit of yoke in the first place, it would have been nothing to rip it out and start again, but I pretty much instantly decided to live with it. As I see it, I have two options: embrace it, or take it as a design challenge. By the latter, I mean creating a little V patch like a sweatshirt (always my favorite thing), which could be knitted a few different ways or could be wool gauze sewn on, which would be a pretty marvelous little detail.

I’m not really a V-neck wearer, so it feels a little foreign to me, and it’s obviously unlike my original sketch, in the upper left corner up there. I still want that sweater, and will very possibly still want that sweater (and still want it to be black) if I finish this as a V-neck. On the other hand, maybe the universe was trying to tell me something. If I decide the V isn’t filling up that whole in my heart, I can always rip out whatever edge treatment I put on it and do the patch thing instead. So for the moment, I’m embracing it. But it did mean stopping to ask what kind of hem treatment and what shape of sleeve will work best with the V. After sketching it out (such a necessity for me!) I’ve decided the original shape and details are still best, so I’m headed for the lower right sketch. As fast as this is going, we’ll know how it turns out in about 10 minutes.

NOTES: There is no pattern for this sweater. I am improvising it, and you can too: There’s a whole top-down tutorial right here. This yarn is Lettlopi, worsted-weight Icelandic wool, knitted on US10.5 needles at 3.5 sts and 5 rows per inch.

24 thoughts on “The accidental V-neck

  1. I love that neckline…think how beautiful your necklace will look nestled in that open area. If it still bothers you, get a silk scarf and do those magic tricks with it. Besides, V-Necks elongate the neck and make everyone look thinner. Love the wool you are using, too. Brilliant!

  2. Agree with the above. Also, vees can look nice over other shirts, showing a bit of something that can set the tone by its material.

  3. If you really think you’ll still want a short black round neck sweater, I say rip now! The vee will probably always bug you. Or…you could change the lower shape into a longer, swing loose tee shirt garment not unlike a Julie Hoover design. Just a thought…

  4. If you ask me, this is a happy accident. I concur with the other comments that a V-neck is very flattering. Plus you could wear a little choker or a tank top underneath, or a scarf and depending on those variables it would be a whole new look. It seems like everyone is knitting with Lopi! I have my own sad story over on the MDK Stopover knitalong…sigh.

  5. There seems to be a consensus on the V neck. I love it too. But you could always narrow it down with a nice ribbed hem. Instead of picking up stitches in the round, start on one side only, then the other, then sew one side front border behind the other to create a nice detail and reduce the opening at the same time.

    • I like your idea. It would convert it into a high v-neck and the crossover detail is a handsome one. But then, I do have a thing for high, prim neck openings.

  6. Think about this–a V-neck might be just the thing to de-emphasize your shoulders which you keep saying are linebacker worthy. I don’t see it but I’m not the one wearing the shoulders. I barely have a neck, have a “generous” bust, and I’m pretty short-waisted. I love your V-neck. Off to reread the tutorial.

  7. Seems like this could be an opportunity to create an interesting turtleneck with a v shaped base maybe using some short rows to even out the top edge?

  8. as a large chested lady, I only wear v-necks, so this looks fabulous to me. Can’t wait to see the “solution”

  9. Think about this–a V-neck might go far toward minimizing what you say are linebacker-quality shoulders (personally I don’t see it but then I’m not the one wearing them). I have very little neck, a generous bust, and am short-waisted so a V-neck elongates my short torso; I’m a fan. I’m off to rewatch the tutorial.

  10. Curious, how do you find the lopi for next to skin wearing? I am always worried it will be too itchy. My skin seems to be on the more sensitive side.

  11. I think once you pick up stitches around the neckline for whatever finishing treatment you want to do that v will round off quite a bit.

  12. I prefer a V Neck. It’s more flattering to most, I think. I have broad shoulders, so I feel like a crew chokes me and makes me look like a linebacker.

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