Sep 26, 2014

Sweetness KAL Part 2: Upper Yoke

It's time to start knitting! Last week in the knit-along, we gathered our yarn and figured out gauge, so now we're ready to begin knitting in earnest.

Your mission for Part 2: knit at least 2/3 of the yoke by Friday, October 10th (that's 2 whole weeks!)

The yoke is super fun because it has a lot of different parts to it. You begin by casting on for the ribbing at the neck with needles one or two sizes smaller than your gauge needles. Be sure you choose an elastic cast on method. I used a version of the long tail method, and that worked out just fine. After you finish the ribbing you will switch to the larger circular needles.

After I worked the ribbing on my sweater, I immediately wished I had gone down two needle sizes instead of just one. I decided not to frog it though because I was determined to just enjoy knitting the pattern. Refraining from my usual second-guessing-the-pattern routine is strangely difficult for me, but I'm starting to get used to it. I'm very glad I forged on, because the ribbing looks totally fine now!

Directly after working the collar, there is a choice to make. The pattern includes some optional directions to raise the back of the neck. If you choose not to do this, you will skip a section of short rows that cause the neckline to angle forward a bit. This looks fine, but the fit won't be quite as nice without this little detail. I only mention omitting this detail because doing so will greatly simplify the pattern for a beginner-sweater-knitter.

Of course, I encourage you to give the short-rows a try because they really add a nice touch. I even made a couple videos about short rows to help you along your way:
Knitting Short Rows: Wrap and Turn

Knitting Short Rows Part 2: Incorporating Wraps

After the short-row section, you encounter the first increase round. The yoke gets its wide conical shape from a series of 4 increase rounds, spaced periodically from the collar to the arm level.

Though the increase rounds are fairly straightforward and simple to work, I found this to be the most challenging part of the pattern. This is only because it required me to turn off the television and concentrate for a few minutes!

The increase sequences have a rhythm to them and I found myself singing the numbers aloud like a total weirdo. It helped me keep track of the pattern repeats, so I guess whatever works, right?! The repeats go something like; knit 5, make-1, knit 6, make-1, etc.… I'd sing the lower numbers in a lower voice, and the higher numbers in a higher voice. It's probably hard to know what I mean unless you try it for yourself. I only recommend trying it in private though, because it looks completely insane to anyone else!

After the first increase round, you will move on to a section of color work. This is my favorite part! If you're rusty on your Fair Isle skills, I've created a little how-to video that will help you.

How To Knit Stranded Fair Isle

For Part 2, you should work most of the way through the second FI section by Friday Oct. 10th. We will pick up the pace for Parts 3 & 4, so if you finish early feel free to work ahead to get a little head start.

I would love to see your progress pictures over in the Raverly Forum. It's a great place to ask questions and get tips from other knitters, or just come on by to say hi!


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