I saw on a local TV needlework show where the knitter instead of picking up stitches to add a collar and/or front edges just added the number of stitches needed to add edges & knitted front edges at the same time she was knitting fronts-also just kept knitting at neckline & decreased or added stitches to include collar. Has anyone had any experience in doing this. I have a terrible time when I try to pick up stitches to add the neckline.
I do this all the time. I hate picking up stitches around a neckline and down the front of a cardigan. I'll give you a general idea and then you can contact me for specifics for the type of sweater you are making.
To do one side of a cardigan front knitting from the bottom up. Cast on the number of stitches in the pattern and add the number of stitches in the border. Place a marker between the border and the regular front stitches then work the pattern, any increases in the pattern are worked after the marker. any buttonholes are worked in the band as you get to them. you will need to know how many rows per inch in order to space your buttonholes. When you get to the decrease stitches at the front neckline, move the stitches to the right needle instead of binding them off and hold them there until it is convenient to place them on a holder, usually when you have finished that side of the front. Do the other side in the same way and then do the back. Again when you get to the back neckline, don't bind off stitches, just place them on the needle until the neck is finished. Sew up your shoulder seams and then work all the neckline stitches in a pattern to match the front bands. I have done this with ribbing, seed stitch, and garter stitch bands on sweaters. If the sweater pattern has an area in shaping the neckline without any stitches bound off (such as going straight up) increase one stitch at the beginning of the row and put it on the right needle for the neckband, don't knit it again until you are ready to work the neckband. What you want is one stitch put aside for the neckband for every vertical row and every horizontal row.