Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Bet you didn't expect to see this:

Fair Isle Yoke Sweater

I started it back in November, but had gauge issues and had to start over after knitting the body and one sleeve, and then the dog ate my yarn, but I've been slowly persevering since then. It just turns out that plain stockinette doesn't make good blog fodder, and then when I got to the yoke, it was like reading the last 100 pages of a good book and I couldn't put it down until it was done.

Elizabeth Zimmermann's Fair Isle Yoke Sweater (Henley Neck Variation) from Knitting Around
Jamieson & Smith Shetland 2-ply Jumper Weight yarn
US 4 needles (US3s for the hem facings, which, by the way, are orange)

I followed the pattern almost exactly, no added waist shaping or anything. I don't think the sweater needs it at this gauge, and I didn't want it to hug my curves too snugly. The only thing I did a little differently was to use the updated, more subtle, decreases from the non-Henley variation to avoid puckering at the decrease rounds.

The yoke background would have been all in brown, as per the charts, but I was afraid of running out of the brown yarn. I considered trying to get another skein in the same dye lot from Schoolhouse Press, but then realized that that's not what EZ would do. In fact, one of her listed benefits of starting a pattern from the bottom is that, should you run out of yarn, you can insert some color patterning into the yoke. So I opted instead for the dark orange as the background, and I'm so glad I did, even though I probably would have had enough brown yarn to squeak by. I think it really adds something.

The only thing I would do differently would be to drop to a size 3 needle for the garter stitch placket and neckband. It doesn't bother me enough to re-knit it, but I think it would have looked just a little neater if it had been knitted a little more tightly.

It's my new favorite sweater. I love the lightweight warmth, the color, and the way the yoke pulls the eye up and away from 'problem areas.' I see more yoked sweaters in my future. In fact, if I had enough yarn, I'd knit this one all over again.

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