Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Round Yoke Notes

Have you ever knitted a round yoke fair isle sweater? Here are some more tips and ideas:

  • Usually, the round yoke is knitted first. I remember, many years ago at a Newton's Knits Spring Fling, hearing Joyce Schneider (who really blazed the trail on MK round yoke fair isle sweaters) say that she did a number of yokes ahead of time and then knitted the sweaters for people, matching the size they needed with the yoke design they liked best.
  • The yoke is a decreasing-evenly-across-the-row job. Yes, it can be done with waste yarn, but the best way to do it is with the garter bar. If you did a round yoke trying to increase, say knitting from the neck down, there would be too many increases and it would be too stretched. For instance, this teddy bear sweater has a decrease every 3 stitches. I don't think the yarn will pull out that far.
  • After you do the yoke, you do the neck ribbing. The easiest way I know is to transfer some of the stitches to the ribber, add the heavier weights, rib, and cast off. I almost never add a ribbing by binding it off with the body, because I dislike the looks of that seam. Because I have to cast off in ribbing, and that's going to show, I use a loose row and then a loop-through-a-loop bind off on the main bed.
  • Bottoms Up! Once the yoke is done, the other pieces will be knitted upside down by picking up the stitches on the yoke and doing the shaping, then the under-arm increases, knitting on down and finishing with another upside-down ribbing and manual cast-off.
  • Because the yoke is rightside up and the body pieces and sleeves are upside down, it works out that every ribbing cast-off is alike.
  • However, if I want the sweater to be warm, I often do a doubled ribbed neckband by knitting longer, folding it for a hem, and sewing it down.
  • A round yoke sweater is a variation of a raglan sweater. The round yoke replaces some of the raglan shaping. Therefore, follow the shaping for a raglan.

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