Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Knitting a Round Yoke

I love circular yokes, and I love to draw out the designs. I tend to draw quite a few designs at a time, and then choose my favorite. Here's the design for the teddy bear yoke that I'm making right now.

This teddy bear sweater follows the pattern at www.knitnatters.com exactly except for the heart design for the yoke. In fact, all those sweaters are alike except for the yoke design.

You might think it's a waste of time to knit a circular teddy bear sweater, but it's a great way to try a circular yoke before you put one on a big project. For most sweaters, you have to make a circular yoke for the front and another for the back because the machine only has 200 needles. These yokes are wide. Big sweaters need a taller yoke and more decreases, as well, but all the techniques are the same.

A circular yoke needs some blank rows where you can do the decrease shaping - that's what the white rows above and below the hearts are for.

A circular yoke needs a border design. It's a rectangle, like the design above, but the decreases will bend it into a circle. And, there's a certain math to a circular yoke. You need whole repeats to fit in the number of stitches for each part of the yoke.

The teddy bear year begins with 160 stitches + 2 stitches on each edge for seaming. 160 is evenly divisible by eight, the width of the scallops below the hearts. Then you decrease to 120 stitches + 2 for seaming, and the heart patterns are 24 stitches. 24 divides evenly into 120, so that's good. Then in the second white rows, the decreases take it down to 80 stitches + 2 edge stitches - and that scallop is eight stitches in a repeat.


  1. Celinda, I do use DAK but I didn't use it for the Teddy Bear Sweater. I believe I just wrote a pattern with a measuring tape and calculator. Of course, I originally wrote the pattern so long ago that I hardly remember.

    I just DAK and a KnitLeader and I also chart from scratch, just depending on what I'm doing.

  2. OH - Celinda, I did use DAK for the heart design! I'll bet that's what you're asking about. That's the DAK stitch view that I used for the picture.

    I think DAK is ideal for stitch designs, and especially like to do "view repeats" so I can make sure I have the edges right.