stripes! in front of a tree

I’ve been terrible about keeping this blog updated, my apologies! (Other people with access: please post! And if you don’t have access and want it, comment and let me know!)

What you see above is a photo of my most recent yoked sweater, Stripes!, which I blogged about in detail here. Several people have inquired about whether I would make Stripes! into a pattern, and put it up for sale. I have to admit that I am somewhat hesitant to do this. Not because I don’t want other people to knit it up…I’d actually be quite giddy if tons of people were walking around in stripey yoked sweaters! It’s more that I feel like my sweater is, when it comes down to it, just such a basic yoked sweater that it’s hardly worth pattern-izing. Yes, my basic yoked sweater diverges in a few key ways from the classic EZ one that originally inspired it, and there are some particular techniques that make Stripes! look the way it looks, but it’s still just a basic yoked sweater.

But then I had an idea. What if I worked through the numbers for a few sizes, but then wrote up the pattern as more of a yoked sweater tutorial? A pattern where the whys and hows and which number do I use wheres of knitting a yoked sweater, generally, are worked out in detail, in which the goal is to leave the reader with the ability to construct a yoked sweater of their own, with whatever mods they’d like? I realize this already exists in at least one form: namely, the EZ books I learned from. But would people like to read about it in the context of Stripes!? Because I do so love explaining things and teaching things to people, and since I appear to have become something of a yoked sweater evangelist (which is terribly funny if you know me well!), I think it might be a really great way to introduce people to the construction. What do y’all think? What would be a reasonable price for such a thing? (If it’s “free”, I’ll be honest…I don’t have loads of free time and might not find the time to put into making a nice pattern/tutorial, not because I’m mean and selfish, but because it’s a lot of work!). I’m open to suggestions!


(This is a slightly edited post from my blog, which I thought might be useful for some of my fellow yoke-enthusiasts!)

yoking along. [365.214]

This week, I started over from scratch on my top-down, garter-yoked cardi. I just wasn’t happy with the gauge I was getting, and I wanted to reshape the yoke, using numbers more suited to doing a full yoke instead of half yoke, half-raglan as in the pattern from Knit.1. So, before I forget what I’ve done so far, I’m making note here.

Basically, what I’m doing is turning the yoke diagram in “The Opinionated Knitter” upside-down, using the percentages from the newer, 4-decrease yoke, but increasing instead. Since the gauge I’m happy with in this yarn (Araucania Nature Wool) is the same as the gauge I got with the Patons Merino I used in my Bohus Yoke sweater, I decided to use the same key number as I did in that sweater: K = 176 stitches.

This mean that for my neck opening, I would want to cast-on 40% of K I used the Twisted German Cast-On, because it is one of my favorites. I knit 4 rows in stockinette to get a sort of “rolled” neckline, an idea which I stole from my Cobblestone Sweater. Then I began knitting in garter stitch, and did my first increase after only two rows in garter. My increase rows were as follows, always on a right-side row:

inc. 1: k5, *k1, kfb* until last 5 sts, k5
inc. 2: k5, *k2, kfb* until last 5 sts, k5
inc. 3: k5, *k2, kfb* until last 5 sts, k5
inc. 4: k5, *k3, kfb* until last 5 sts, k5

The k5 on either side of the increases are the button band stitches. Realistically, I should have added 5 stitches to my K to account for the overlapping bands in front, but I’m ok with the fit being a bit snugger for this cardigan than it is in my Bohus Yoke. I also added short rows after the first increase row, and the 4th increase row. In both cases, I knit almost 3/4 of the way across, then w&t, then knit halfway back and w&t again, picking up wraps as I encountered them. After the first increase row, I did two sets of short rows, and after the last increase row, I only did one. I found that spacing my increase rows about 2 inches apart worked well for me; your mileage may vary, depending on your desired depth for the yoke.

Once I’d finished the yoke (trying it on to ensure that I’d knit enough yoke to reach my armpit), it was time to hold off some of the stitches for the arms. I find it helpful, when trying to figure out where the sleeves should go and how many stitches I should use for them and so forth, to draw myself a little diagram, like this:

yoke chart

Of course, that drawing probably only makes sense to me as it is, so let me explain the thinking that’s behind it. I had 208 stitches to work with at the base of my yoke, after doing the increases laid out above. I wanted my sleeves to be somewhere around 30-32% of my K, because I have skinny arms and a broad ribcage (ie, I want to save more stitches for the body than others might…EZ recommends sleeves be 35-40% of K). I wanted the body to be about 34 inches around, given my gauge of just under 5 stitches to an inch.

Some basic algebra later, and what you see above is what I worked out as the ideal numbers. Each front consists of 33 stitches, while the back has 66 stitches. I placed 38 stitches for each sleeve on waste yarn, and cast-on 18 stitches for the underarm/sides of the body in place of them, helping to make the sweater fit nicely around my entire body, which is in fact 3-dimensional.

The next exciting part is waist-shaping, but I’ve got a few inches to go before I can start that (I’m high waisted, but not that high-waisted!). Happy Yoking, everyone!

Happy New Year, everyone! I’m pretty excited about 2009, I have to say. Why’s that?

Because I’ve declared 2009 to be the Year of Yokes!

This year, I’m hoping to knit up all of the yoked sweaters for which I have yarn in my stash. It’s a rather large number (if you’re on Ravelry, you can see my list of such sweaters here). I thought it might be fun to see if anyone else wanted to join me, and so I created this blog as a place for us Yoke Appreciating folks to write about knitting the sweaters we love so much. So whether you’re just thinking of making a yoked sweater, or you’re planning to knit an insane number of them like me, I invite you to join us here! I’ve posted a note about how to request an invitation to blog here, under the “About” tab at the top of the page.

This is my first time moderating a group blog, so you may have to cut me a bit of slack the first few weeks while I figure out what I’m doing. But I do hope you’ll join me here!

Oh, and a note: if any of you have better graphics-creating skills than I have, feel free to make us a better looking header!

Happy Yoke-ing, everyone!