a few new yokes


as we know, one of my favourite things to knit is yoke jumpers. My most favourite way to knit them of course is to machine knit the body and sleeves on my machine. In most ways (fit especially) I feel each time I am getting better and finding the best way to make them, but in other ways (finishing and tidiness) i feel I still have a way to go. Today I have two recently finished yokes made in this way to show, both are made from Brooklyn Tweed patterns.. which I love despite their price..!


This yoke I finished in February is Sundottir by Dianna Walla, I remember seeing Dianna’s prototype on Ravelry ages ago so I was so glad to see it as a pattern, it gives the effect of Norwegian Marius sweaters but with a more contemporary feel.


the original jumper is of course knit in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, which I would love to knit a whole jumper with but A. i have much too much wool and B. I cant afford it.. anyway Shetler is a worsted weight yarn which we don’t really have in the UK and Aran weight is the nearest so I decided to go with Lett Lopi in this lovely orange and natural shades.


I do actually have a chunky machine, but I thought I would try knitting this on my standard gauge machine using every other needle which worked great although it is a bit fiddly trying to remember your not using every needles. I’m really pleased with how this yoke came out apart from one thing. Since I couldn’t do the rib on my machine (well you can by hand tooling but its tedious!) You need to pick up the stitches and knit down, I struggle to find a cast off which is not far too tight or too loose, this one is a bit loose for my liking but not too terrible. I love the colours and would definitely make this again.. perhaps when I come back from Iceland, no doubt with a larger stash???


The next yoke I finished this past weekend is Stasis by Leila Raabe. I have loved this pattern since it was released, I think its a really subtle but effective version of a yoke. Again I knitted the body and sleeves on my machine, I entered the cuff and hem chart into my DesignAKnit software and machine knitted the bottom Fair Isle. Usually with all the yokes I hybrid-knit I just knit to the oxters, join all the pieces and carry on as if I’m hand knitting but for this I sat and worked out the raglan shaping for each piece and machine knitted that also. I am really pleased with how that went because it meant I could go straight into the fair isle in the yoke.


I decided to go for Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight in 2009 and I actually used Brooklyn Tweed Loft for the contrast. I have bought bits and pieces of Loft (ahem) but this was my first time knitting with it. I had read that it was a very fragile yarn and that is true but I was amazed how well it went through the machine for the cuff and hem. I have come to realise that from the get go of my hand knitting rediscovery a few years ago I have basically only knit with real wool, be that from Jamieson & Smith or others I have used. This has made me a hardy creature because to me Loft feels so so soft, as it was quite fragile I wasn’t as rough with it in the yoke as I would usually be with J&S yarns which I know inside out. So although it looks good in the photos the yoke is a bit bumpy because I was reluctant to block it as hard as I would. I even boarded it inside out because I was scared in case a float in the yoke got caught on my jumper board!


I love the finished Jumper and I think I would knit one again, closer to the original colours, maybe Jumper Weight 203 and 81? This colour scheme is quite muted, but I do like it and I loved working with the Loft. The only negative is that usually with a yoke you strategically decrease in certain points so the knit begins to go quicker as you go, with this though the yoke has no decreasing and you do it all after the Fair Isle along with short rows to raise the back neck. Lots of the finished projects on Ravelry complained of the neck being to high so I did a bit of fudging based on some of the modifications (more details on my rav project page) I have read and I’m really pleased with how it came out.


My next machine knit hybrid project is well under way, I am making a Riddari using J&S Aran and Quince & Co Lark in the yoke, today I joined all the pieces and started the yoke so hopefully Ill be back shortly with another to show you!

(perhaps I need a yoke intervention? haha)

speak soon xxxxxx

36 thoughts on “a few new yokes

  1. How long does it take you to knit the body & sleeves on your knitting machine, compared to doing it by hand. I’m wondering if it is worth it to buy myself a machine.

  2. I love them both! I also have been hybrid knitting, like you found that casting off was tricky. Finally after trial and error (and there were many) I found that if I castoff with the conventional knitted castoff method using a needle (on the right hand) two sizes larger than the ribbing was knit with, the castoff is nice and tidy and not too lose nor too tight. So for US needle size 5 I cast off with US needle size 7 and so forth. Hope this helps.

  3. I did have a question and forgot. On Stasis you knit the yoke in four sections and seamed? I can’t see seams,,,and did not quite understand the way you described it.

      1. Thank you, Ella! Could you recommend a specific kind of a linking machine, please? Will it be suitable for seaming crochet projects as well or just for knitting?

        1. I have an old temperamental Hague linker with a hand crank. I’ve never done any crochet so I couldn’t be sure but it makes a chain stitch through the fabric. X

  4. NO INTERVENTION GIRL!! Carry on :) I do like the first but LOVE the second, it is the pattern and the colour…’my’ yellows and greens :)

  5. These are both such beautiful garments – you must have a struggle to decide which to wear each day! I used to have a knitting maching (many years ago – so perhaps very old-fashioned) and one of the things that intrigues (and impresses) me is that you can make the transition from machine to hand knitting so seamlessly. My machine knitting tension was always quite different from my handknitting – tighter, smoother.

  6. I love your color choices on both of these so much! The flecks of green and orange in the Sap you used for the Stasis yoke look amazing against the dark field.

    I have the opposite problem–I have lots of Loft and Shelter but haven’t worked with J&S yet, although I have a gift certificate I won to redeem…

  7. After a disaster at Christmas time machine knitting a body and hand knitting a yoke (my maths is terrible plus my tensions didn’t match) I admire your achievements immensely … perhaps you might consider publishing a pattern or two for machine knitting with hand knitted yoke, for those of us less able? (I use a standard japanese machine, not chunky) .

  8. Lovely work Ella. You are an inspiration. I dream of having access to all the lovely colors of yarn I saw in Shetland last year. I am slowing down on samples and revisiting my personal projects, two of which are made with J&S yarn. I do love the color and texture of it! Thank you for sharing your work.

  9. Your sweaters are so lovely, Ella. I’m always intrigued by your machine knitting. If it wasn’t for the fact I don’t have room for a knitting machine I would love to have one.

  10. Love all those yokes. I spotted you are on an Icelandic knitting trip this year. You probably know already, but Icelandic wool is so heavily subsidised you’ll find you wished you’d brought a bigger suitcase! You’ll even get an extra 10% discount in the Hand Knitting Association Shop if you go in with Helene and if you buy enough you’ll even get the tax back at the airport (approx purchase over £30 I think) Hope you have a lovely time!

  11. Hi Ella, I always love to read your posts and enjoy your knitting and the beautiful Shettland landscape. So different from here in Bavaria! And I am especially glad I saw this post with your beautiful yoke sweaters, especially your version of “Stasis”. This inspired me to try something similar with a blue-grey tweed yarn and some yellow … if you would like to have a look, you can find the finished cardigan here: http://www.meinstrickzeug.de/auf-umwegen-zur-lieblingsjacke/
    (The text that accompanies the pictures is in German, but I put an English summary at the bottom of the post)
    Thank you so much for sharing your work!

  12. Pingback: 2015 | ella gordon
  13. Do you sell your jumpers? I am not a great knitter and it would take me 6 months to do one of these. Might fund some more wool for you!! I love the grey one.

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