As I mentioned in my previous post, I prefer writing to talking. A good example of the disadvantage of speaking is when I was asked in the interview how I match back and front pieces to make a pattern continue across the shoulder join.
I said something like "um, well, it's about planning... put the pattern in the centre of both back and front sections... and then you try not to make mistakes..." How useful is that?
In this post I'm going to try to explain it better. (More vaguely would hardly be possible!) In the photo you can see two shoulder joins with the same pattern. I knitted the red version in the early 1990s, when I didn't dare to make modifications - and didn't have the skills either. The pattern is from Uuve Snidare's book "Fiskartröjor" (fishermen's sweaters), which is probably the most important one of my knitting books. In August I was lucky enough to get to meet Uuve Snidare at a knitting camp and thank her personally!
Even though I was (and still am) proud of knitting that sweater at 18, there are a few things about it that have annoyed me slightly since I finished it. A couple of years ago I knitted a new russet brown version, in which I incorporated some of the things I've learnt since then. I might write posts about all of them, but blending patterns across shoulder joins will do for today.
Placing the pattern so that the centre of a pattern repeat is in the centre of both back and front is crucial. It isn't in the red sweater, which shows when you look at the shoulder join. There is no row where I could have ended to get the lines to carry across the join smoothly.
The second crucial thing is ending at the (horizontal) centre of the pattern repeat, like in the russet brown sweater. The join is a three-needle bind-off: you turn the sweater inside-out and cast off the back and front sections together. The same thing goes for knit-purl patterns, like in this sweater (photo rather blurred, I'm afraid).
You don't have to end in the middle of a repeat, though: in this case I ended after a whole repeat. (This design is also from Uuve Snidare's book.) I guess it depends on the pattern. The tricky thing is figuring out how many repeats you will have to make to get them to blend and get the length you want.