Donning the Yoke

Icelandic Pullover 001

Here we have my feeble attempts to design the yoke of my niece's sweater. Did I bother to figure out how many rows I need to cover in the yoke before doing this? No. Did I build decrease rows into all these patterns? No. Guess I was just too eager to whip out the colored pencils to be bothered with the technical stuff. Anyway, I'm going to synthesize these at some point soon (very soon... I only have about 10 days to finish this project!) into a workable pattern.

Here's the most viable candidate so far:

Icelandic Pullover 005

But I'm sure there's some part of the math I'm missing here. I didn't realize how spoiled I was by working mostly in Knitter's Almanac, which dissects each garmet archetype ("recipe") in detail before launching into the pattern instructions. The Opinionated Knitter contains the straight dope - EZ's newsletters - which don't dwell much on the details. Anyway, if anyone has good advice for designing Icelandic yokes, drop me a line (coughcoughHelloYarncough). I'm particularly concerned with getting correct math. The patterns in the EZ version are all 4-stitch repeats, but not all the decrease rows result in numbers divisible by 4, which puzzles me. (i.e., you start with 220 st then decrease to 147 stitches. What gives?). Also, from what I can figure out, there always needs to be a solid (non-colorwork) row in which to execute the decreases, correct? Are there general rules to follow when designing this type of yoke?

Posted by jess at November 21, 2006 8:02 AM | TrackBack

Ha! I am so winging the sweater I'm making. I am not, however, doing the decreases on a solid row. From what I've seen in EZ's books (maybe it's a fair isle thing), she does do them in solid rows. I'm incorporating them into the design, which seems more an Icelandic thing, and it left me feeling very anxious, but now that I'm in the home stretch, I am seeing that it worked just fine. I'll email an attach my chart so you can see.

Posted by: Adrian at November 21, 2006 9:08 AM

Lots of fun with colored pencils! I don't know how helpful it is, but Eunny's lates post has a great explanation for decreasing within colorwork and maintaining the pattern.

Posted by: lisa at November 21, 2006 9:32 AM

Ah, graph paper. Don't you love it? I can't wait to see the sweater!

Posted by: Elinor at November 21, 2006 10:04 AM

I just got through designing a yoke myself - as I was knitting I was even worried about using only one solid color round for decreasing, so I used two. I was afraid of the k2togs "pinching" the pattern in the round below. As for the decreases being divisible by 4, I think you have to take that into account and round up or down - like to 148 sts being left after decreasing from 220...that would work. Beats me - I'm new at figuring it out!! Surely someone more experienced will step in here!

Posted by: Lydia / Windansea at November 21, 2006 10:09 AM

Impresive but waaaaaaay too advanced for me!

Posted by: Aimee at November 21, 2006 10:33 AM

i wish i had some advice for you (as you know i've never done fair isle) but i like what you came up with in that last pattern! i think that it's nice to be a little more modern with the design. it IS for a young girl, after all!

Posted by: gleek at November 21, 2006 10:35 AM

oh, this makes my head spin... i've not tried it myself but i would guess decreasing on the solid rows would make life easier with keeping the pattern straight. good luck!

Posted by: amisha at November 21, 2006 11:28 AM

I cant help, but what a great opportunity to pull out the pencils and the Rhodia graph pads. (I am obsessed with Rhodia graph pads.)

Posted by: MeBeth at November 21, 2006 11:43 AM

No advice from me here, but it looks great, colorwise!! Also, congrats on passing the bar!!

Posted by: anne at November 21, 2006 12:47 PM

As I've never even dreamed of imagining to think about planning to attempt such a thing...I shall follow your progress with great interest. As for EZ's fudgy math...No help here.

Posted by: JulieFrick at November 21, 2006 3:13 PM

I think 73 is prime. I would see what length you need it to be and then distribute the decreases evenly, and throw one odd extra in to get to 73. She's not going to feel the difference when she wears the sweater, right? It's just important that it be evenly done. I think you're right about decreasing on the solid bar, looks like it's your best bet.

Some comment from the peanut gallery, I've never knited color work, but this seems like the most logical way :)

Posted by: craptina at November 21, 2006 3:23 PM

Man, this looks complicated!

Posted by: Chris at November 21, 2006 4:23 PM

I love your WIP it force of habit but I always love to see people's process drawings.
That doesn't help you with the charting math(s - plural, as we call in here in Aus) does it? But it looks like Adrian's stepped in with some useful advice.
Oh yeah, and belated congrats from me too.

Posted by: Carson at November 21, 2006 4:57 PM

I so need to get myself some colored pencils. I draw things out in gray and it doesn't quite look right.

Posted by: jessic at November 21, 2006 6:00 PM

I've been meaning to get myself some pencil crayons and now your graphs make me want then even more.

I think I like your sweater already, I'd like to help with the decreasing, but I'm not really sure how to do Fair Isle yet. I'm still at the Intarsia stage.

Posted by: Dorothy B at November 21, 2006 10:47 PM


what happend to your blog? Hacked by ... can't remember whatever his name was.
Did you do this on purpose or is it a real hack?

Love reading your blog and admiring your knits!

Posted by: Andrea at November 22, 2006 5:02 AM

Ha! I am absolutely NO help whatsoever. I only WISH I was stellar enough to have problems like this! :)

Posted by: jenna at November 22, 2006 10:06 AM

Looks like an interesting process - I'm so not there yet! :0)

CONGRATULATIONS on passing the bar exam!

Posted by: Charity at November 22, 2006 12:08 PM

Okay, I'm also offering no help or assistance with respect to your neice's sweater, but I am offering my warm congratulations to you on passing the bar. You rock! And I'm sure the sweater will turn out to be adorable, like everything else that turns up at chez Fig&Plum!

Posted by: kodachrome at November 22, 2006 5:42 PM

Good lord, I have no idea, but your colorful graphs sure are pretty!

Posted by: Jessica at November 22, 2006 10:33 PM

the only advice i ever got on designing a yoke sweater was from Maggie Righetti's book "Sweater Design in Plain English":

"By including this chapter I am not suggesting that you must or even should desing your own yoked ethnic sweaters. If someone else has already worked out the charted designs and the arithmetic, why tamper with perfection?"

That's a great pick me up, huh?!

She actually has a very good overview on how to design one though. Too much to write here, but well worth checking out.

Posted by: melissa at November 26, 2006 11:41 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Pretty please enter the code as seen in the image above to post your comment.