Choose Knitted Necklines (and Collars!) for Your Next Sweater

When I'm choosing a knitted sweater pattern, the first thing I notice are knitted necklines and collars. There are certain knitted necklines that personally I don't like — high necks are so constricting and sweaty to me — and others that I always seem drawn to. And even if a sweater doesn't have a Peter Pan collar, I always want to add one.

Knowing what types of knitted collars and necklines you prefer is key to knitting a sweater that you'll want to wear again and again. Before you choose your next sweater pattern, take a peek at these knitted necklines and collars to see which styles you love!


Crew neck

A crew neck is a very basic neckline. It fits right around the neckline, not too high and not too low. It's also traditional if you're knitting a men's sweater.

The  Band Colorwork Yoke Pullover  pictured above is a pattern exclusive to Bluprint members enrolled in  Choose Your Own Sweater Adventure  with Eunny Jang. Not only will you get variations on this sweater pattern, but Eunny will also show you how to knit three necklines, including this crew neck. You'll then be able to plug the neckline numbers into any of Eunny's variations to build the perfect sweater.

Get the Band Colorwork Yoke Pullover kit here.
Enroll in Choose Your Own Sweater Adventure with Eunny Jang here.

Photo via Bluprint member Vogue Knitting

Scoop neck

The scoop neck is a neckline that's just slightly lower than a crew neck, giving it the little scoop from which it takes its name. This is great for layering over button-down shirts, like in the photo above, because the neck isn't too snug and gives you plenty of breathing room for more layers.

Get the Cabled Scoop Neck Pullover pattern here.

Photo via Bluprint member Kristen Hanley

Boat neck

A boat neck is characterized by its width, running wider than other necklines. Boat necks come in many sizes, from a wider boat neck like the one pictured above to a more modest boat neck that doesn't show off quite as much skin. Consider the season when you'll be wearing the sweater; boat necks aren't the best choice if you're using the sweater to bundle up against freezing temperatures.

Get the Jewel Lake Pullover pattern here.

Photo via Bluprint member Jordana Paige

Cowl neck

You're probably already familiar with the popular cowl, right? A cowl neck looks like you took one of those cowls and just plopped it right over your sweater. Drape is very important when you're choosing a yarn for a cowl neck. Choose a yarn that's going to drape softly, like the sport-weight alpaca used in the Charlie Sweater pictured above.

Sometimes cowl neck is used interchangeably with a funnel neck, so be aware of that next time you're talking necklines with your knitting pals.

Get the Charlie sweater pattern here.

Photo via Bluprint member BijouBasinRanch


This is another neckline versatile enough to be worn by both men and women. The V-neck, like the scoop neck, is great for layering. It's a great neckline to transition you through different temperatures, too, so consider knitting one for fall and piling on those layers as the temperature falls.

Get the Not Too Fussy Men's Vest pattern here.

Photo via Bluprint instructor Patty Lyons

Turtle neck

Oh, you remember the turtle neck from the 1980s, don't you? I certainly do. I'm no stranger to layering a puff-paint Christmas sweatshirt over a turtleneck and sweating it out all day. The turtle neck on this vest is way cooler than any turtle neck I ever wore. Remember that turtle necks don't have to fit snugly around your neck; they can be looser like this one, which is better for layering and comfort in general.

Get the High Rise Vest pattern here.


Photo via Bluprint member Vogue Knitting

Shawl collar

A shawl collar is a wide collar that folds over on both sides. In some cases, you may have to add another layer underneath a shawl-collar sweater. A V-neck collar can easily be turned into a shawl collar by picking up some stitches and knitting some additional length onto the collar.

Get the Shawl Collar Tunic pattern here.

Photo via Bluprint member Nan Knits

Peter Pan collar

The Peter Pan collar is having a moment right now. In fact, you've probably noticed this rounded collar on many shirts and dresses in stores. My favorite thing about the Peter Pan collar is that it doesn't have to be attached to a sweater; you can knit them solo as detachable collars and just wear them with whatever you'd like.

Get the Round Collar Cardigan pattern here.

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January 15, 2015
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Choose Knitted Necklines (and Collars!) for Your Next Sweater