I'm hoping that my inability to understand the next two lines in the pattern will be enough to keep me from repeating this behavior. At least temporarily. But look! A shoulder!
I didn't sit and read through the entire pattern until I was almost done with my ill-advised late night jaunt of knitting. Now that I understand when and where the collar will be worked I feel more confident that A) I have not already screwed up, and B) I will be able to complete this project.
That still leaves the mysterious directions:
With right side facing, join on yarn, bind off center 4 sts, k to end.
Perhaps an investigation into exactly how one is meant to join on yarn will provide a clue. At this point, however, my interpretation of this line is that I am supposed to start knitting backwards, towards the right, from the center. This feat seems much more easily accomplished by purling, with the wrong side facing front. Go ahead, call me crazy. Based on the assumption that all things appearing in a pattern happen for a reason, I think it is time to consult the forum at knittinghelp.com.