Design A Circular Yoke Sweater with The Art of Circular Yokes

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Hey readers. How are you doing? I know it’s a weird and crazy and anxious time, but remember, it WILL get better. What’s the saying? This too shall pass. It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass. 🙂

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What have you been doing to pass the self-isolation time? Here at the megaptera household, there’s a lot of knitting going on. I want to share my latest project with you and the tool I used to create it.

Art of Circular Yokes

I’ve been calling it my pandemic sweater, since it’s the thing that’s been keeping me somewhat grounded and sane during this crazy time.

Art of Circular Yokes

The wool I used is Tenderfoot by Baby Euro. It’s a nice rustic mixture of merino wool and nylon and would be perfect for socks also. In fact, I bought this wool because I had socks in mind, but the yarn wanted to be a sweater instead. Oh well, you gotta let the wool do what it wants sometimes.

I didn’t follow a pattern, but rather found a chart online that I modified. I then constructed a circular yoke using the instructions in this book:

Art of Circular Yokes Book
The Art of Circular Yokes: A Timeless Technique for 15 Modern Sweaters

The Art of Circular Yokes

You don’t need to be a designer to create your own custom circular yoke sweater that fits you perfectly. The Art of Circular Yokes: A Timeless Technique for 15 Modern Sweaters , by Interweave, provides step-by-step mathematical calculations (because let’s face it, knitting is mostly math anyways, right?) for all the measurements you’ll need. Incorporate a color-work chart or your favorite stitch pattern. Or not.

Or, knit some of the sweater patterns from top designers, that are provided in the book. There is so much variety, you’ll be sure to find something that appeals to you.

I had so much fun making this using the calculations in this book. But I also had time. You do too.

Take some time out from worrying and watching the news and social media to create your own sweater. I loved it so much, I’ve started my next one. Stay tuned..

 

Take care everyone. Stay home, stay well, and keep on knitting. Love to you all.

 

 

 

 

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Winter Woods Knit Hat Pattern

Christmas came with a blanket of snow in the Seattle area for the first time in almost a decade. It didn’t last long. Soon after, the familiar rains returned, melting it all away. But during it’s stay, the beautiful snow-covered trees in the forest behind our house inspired me to create Winter Woods Hat.

Winter Woods is knit in the round. It is a mosaic or slipped stitch pattern, with only one color worked each round. I used the same stitch pattern that I used in Joy Comes In the Morning,  making it potentially reversible if color changes and weaving ends are done carefully. The stitch pattern includes yarn-over’s that are dropped on subsequent rounds to allow for more vertical stretch. Blocking is a must to open up those squares.

Gauge and Sizing

4.5 stitches = 1 inch

Sizes:

  • Small (19.5 inches)
  • Medium (21 inches)
  • Larger (23 inches)
Materials

Yarn: Aran or Worsted weight wool blend in following amounts.

  • Main color – 80 (95, 110)  yards
  • Contrasting color – 40 (55, 70) yards

I used Louisa Harding Esquel, which is a combination of wool, llama and silk. Colors are Natural and Moss.

Needles:

  • Size US6 16″ length or Double Pointed Needles
  • Size US8 in 16″ or Double Pointed Needles
  • Size US8 Double pointed needles or long one for Magic Loop
  • Tapestry Needle for weaving ends
Abbreviations
  • CO: Cast on
  • MC: Main Color
  • CC: Contrasting Color
  • P: Purl
  • K: Knit
  • Sl1 wyif: Slip 1 with yarn in front
  • Sl1 wyib: Slip 1 with yarn in back
  • YO: Yarn over
  • rnd(s): round(s)
Winter Woods Hat
Winter Woods Pattern

With smaller needles and MC, CO 88 (96, 104) stitches. Join for working in the round. Work 1×1 ribbing for an inch.

Switch to CC and Knit one round.

Switch back to MC and P one round, then K one round. Repeat these two rounds.

Switch to larger needles.

[Stitch Pattern]

Setup Round: CC: P1, *YO, P4. Repeat from * to last 3 sts. YO, P3.

Round 1: MC: K1, Drop YO, Sl1 wyib. *K3, Drop YO, Sl1. Repeat from * to last 2 sts, K2.

Round 2: MC: K1, Sl1. *K1, YO, K2, Sl1. Repeat from * until last 2 sts, K1, YO, K1.

Round 3: CC:  *P3, Drop YO, Sl1 wyif. Repeat from * to end.

Round 4: CC:  *P1, YO, P2, Sl1. Repeat from * to end.

Repeat Rnds 1-4. Then work Rnds 1-2, EXCEPT don’t work the YO’s in Round 2. Next, P one rnd in CC.

Switch to MC. P one rnd, K one rnd. Repeat these two rnds.

Switch to CC, and work Stitch Pattern Rounds as follows:

Work Setup Rnd, and Rnds 1-4 in appropriate colors. Work Rnds 1-2 again, but without the YO’s in Rnd 2. Next, P one rnd in CC.

Switch to MC. P one rnd, K one rnd. Repeat these two rnds.

Switch to CC, and work Stitch Pattern as follows.

Work Setup Rnd. Work Rnds 1-2, Except skip the YO’s in Rnd 2. Next, P one rnd in CC.

Decrease Section (Switch to double pointed needles or Magic Loop as needed.)

Switch to MC.

P one round.

For Large and Small Sizes (For Small size, begin with Round 5):

  1. K11, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  2. P one round.
  3. K10, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  4. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  5. K9, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  6. P one round.
  7. K8, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  8. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  9. K7, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  10. P one round.
  11. K6, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  12. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  13. K5, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  14. P one round.
  15. K4, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  16. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  17. K3, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  18. P one round.
  19. K2, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  20. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  21. K1 K2tog. Repeat to end.
  22. P one round.
  23. K2tog to end.

For Medium Size:

  1. K10, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  2. P one round.
  3. K9, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  4. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  5. K8, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  6. P one round.
  7. K7, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  8. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  9. K6, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  10. P one round.
  11. K5, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  12. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  13. K4, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  14. P one round.
  15. K3, K2 tog. Repeat to end.
  16. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  17. K2, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  18. P one round.
  19. K1, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  20. P2tog to end. (7 sts).

Cut yarn and thread through live sts and pull to close top of hat. Weave in ends carefully.

You’re going to want to block the heck out of this puppy. Soak hat in cool water with a bit of wool wash for half an hour. Gently squeeze out excess water and block, being sure to gently pull hat vertically to open up the squares in the stitch pattern.

Winter Woods Hat

Have a Blessed New Year.

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My Cowl version of “Where Feet May Fail” Shawl

Well, kids, it’s been raining here in the Seattle area for the last 8365837458 days. I finished my cowl a few day ago, but haven’t been able to get outside to take any pictures without fear of drowning. The sun came out briefly today, so I took advantage of it. Unfortunately, I think this may be the only partially sunny day for a while. :/ (For the record, I LOVE rain, but after 8365837458 days of it, I’m ready for some dryness.)

Where Feet May Fail Cowl

As I previously mentioned, I used the same stitch patterns that I used in my Where Feet May Fail shawl, hence the name.

I think it turned out pretty great. I like working with sport weight wool and Cascade’s 220 Superwash Sport is one of my go-to yarns for these kinds of projects. It’s relatively soft, comes in great colors, and is not too pricey. The reversible garter stitch pattern is very cool. Each side is the reverse of the opposite, and it has a amazing squishy texture. I really like this particular lace stitch pattern too, so added a few panels of those, like in the original shawl. The lace pattern looks completely different on both sides, but again, both are attractive.

Where Feet May Fail Cowl

I added an I-cord-looking edging to the cowl. At first, it was difficult to maintain consistent tension with it, especially in the stripes sections. I had to slow down and concentrate on how tight or loose my edge stitches were. It was also too easy to create loose stitches in the lace sections. After some practice though, I barely had to think about it. Of course, any edging could be used: a garter edge, slipped stitch edge, or any other that you like.

Change the pattern with your own ideas!

The pattern is extremely flexible. It can be made wider, thinner, longer, shorter. Add more lace if you like, or leave out the lace sections and add more squishy stripes. Endless possibilities. 🙂

I’m writing up the pattern now, and hope to have it done in the next couple of days so I can share it with you. It feels so great and squishy (I am loving that word), and I want to make a lot more in different colors.

Don’t  get washed away, Pacific Northwesterners! :O

UPDATE: Free pattern available at Ravelry.

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Reversible Two-Color Knitting, aka Making Your Knitting Look Cool on Both Sides

I am fascinated by reversible two-color knitting. There’s reversible knitting. There’s color work. Put them together, and you can make some pretty awesome creations.

Reversible Two-Color Knitting

I’m not talking about double knitting (which is pretty cool too). Double knitting produces a double-thick layer of fabric that creates “negative” images on opposite sides. I’m talking about stitch patterns that may or may not look similar on both sides. But both sides look great and either can be used as the “right” or outside.

Reversible Two-Color Knitting

If you want to try out two-color reversible knitting, I have to highly recommend this book: Reversible Two-Color Knitting  by Jane Neighbors. Originally published in 1974, it’s currently out of print, but can be found second-hand on sites like Amazon or Alibris.com. Jane divides the book into chapters on stitch patterns, items created with these stitch patterns, and ideas on how to use them. The first chapter of stitch patterns is called “Simple Reversibles.” It contains a ton of stitch patterns that use only knit, purl, slipped stitches, and yarn overs. I had no idea there were so many ways to manipulate these 4 stitches.

I’ve used a couple of these in my designs. Where Feet May Fail uses a reversible garter stitch while Joy Comes In the Morning uses one called Shadow Boxing. Shadow Boxing is a lightweight, but warm pattern, perfect for scarves and shawls.

The technique took some getting used to. The reversible garter stitch (like most of the patterns in the book) involves a circular needle, and sliding the work to the other end of the needles at a color change. This is done to keep both edges of the item the same. Color changes occur at both sides, so you don’t have alternating yarns running up only one side of your garment. I needed to watch my tension too. When sliding the work to the opposite end of the needle, the stitches may be tight due to no “give” from the previous color. This can be remedied by adding some well-placed yarn-overs, and dropping them on subsequent rows. Or just consciously keep the edge stitches loose.

Where Feet May Fail Cowl
Reversible Two-color Knitting

I’m currently working on an infinity cowl using the stitch patterns I used in Where Feet May Fail. This pattern uses the reversible two-color garter stich and an open lace pattern. Unlike the original shawl, where the lace is incorporated with short rows, this one will be easily modified. I hope to have the pattern available soon. Just in time for Spring, haha. 🙂

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Knit Socks: My lastest Kai-Mei Pair

I’ve been on a knitting hiatus recently, but the cold snowy weather we’ve been getting lately has kicked me back into gear. I started a third pair of knit socks from one of my favorite patterns back in November, with only a few rounds completed. It sat until a few days ago, then I whipped out the entire pair over the weekend.

A post shared by @megaptera11 on Feb 23, 2017 at 2:06pm PST


These went pretty quickly since I had knit the pattern a couple of other times. By the time I started getting bored with the 3×3 ribbing on the leg, it was time to begin the heel flap and heel turn (my favorite parts, knitting-wise!). The lace stitch pattern that winds its way across the top of the foot is a bit fiddly to work, but well worth it. I ended up working 8 repeats of the stitch pattern before starting the toe decreases. (The pair I created back in 2011 had 9 repeats, but I’ve lost the needle death grip since then, and don’t knit as tight.)

Because I have the tiniest feet ever, I used size 0 circular needles with the Magic Loop method.

I’m not entirely sure of the yarn as it didn’t have the original label. It was marked as a Wool2Dye4, sock weight 3-ply. It’s beautiful and incredibly soft.

Kai-Mei Knit socks

Check out the many other projects that knitters have created on Ravelry.

The Next Projects…

Of course one of them will be another pair of socks. This weekend, I visited Tolt Yarn and Wool and picked up some Cestari Traditional Collection for my Hyak socks.

A post shared by @megaptera11 on Feb 27, 2017 at 10:07am PST


I like rustic yarns, and this one is no exception. Made of 100% worsted weight wool, this should knit up quickly into some warm, thick socks that will keep my feet warm when tromping through all this crappy snow we’re getting. :/

I’ve also got a couple of ideas for a cowl based on one of my other designs, and a top based on a project I did a while ago. Stay tuned…

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