the one that got away..

hello everyone, happy weekend! So although I have so, so many yoke jumpers and cardigans I am always on the lookout for more. I frequent ebay often and have a list of saved searches (I would tell you them but then you might start getting all the goodies..) When I was in Edinburgh for EYF I was outbid on a cardigan at the last second – the most frustrating thing on the planet!! The fact I can remember where I was when I didn’t win this cardigan shows that I did like it a lot.

As a general rule, after a couple of hours I will get over it and forget about it but with this one I couldnt.. it was a simple, classic yoke with the star and trees in natural colours… but somehow it hung around in my head until I couldn’t  resist and had to remake it..

This project was a good lesson in yoke problem solving – all I had was the pictures from the ebay listing, and I knew I would probably have to add another pattern repeat as the cardigan in the listing was a size 6/8 (which incidentally I am most certainly not so it probably wouldn’t have fit me anyway!!) So I just used my yoke cardis I have as inspiration for that as the pattern repeat rarely changes much between them. What I loved most I think is the gentle transition into the yoke with that zig zag pattern, I haven’t really seen it before but I will definitely use it again.

The colours were also slightly tricky as you can’t quite get the full palette of various poop coloured shades as you could at one time, shocking I know! But I was happy with how they turned out, The original had maybe two more colours in the yoke but I just used fewer shades –  I knit it in 2ply Jumper Weight and went for shade 5 for my main colour with shades 2, 78, 4 and 1A in the yoke.

I put it together in my old faithful way, knitting the body and sleeves on my machine and hand knitting the yoke. I have had a few more questions lately about how I do this – this post from a few years ago is pretty much still the way I do it except I now also knit the raglan decreasing if it’s there in the pattern on the machine. That sounds complicated but it’s not really. When it says in a pattern to decrease 8 sts per row that just means on each piece as you are knitting them separately, as I do on my machine, you just decrease 1 stitch at either end (or on one end if you are knitting cardigan fronts) so once I have removed all my waste yarn and picked up the stitches on my circular needle it looks like this:

You can see the raglan shaping there, and once I am completely finished the whole garment I go back and sew up those seams while I am grafting the underarms and sewing up the side seams. For this cardigan, of course, I needed to add in steek stitches so I could work the Fair Isle yoke in the round – you know me by now folks, if we can avoid purling we do! To do this I just added 9 extra stitches with a backward loop cast-on on my joining row:

I like to do my steek as stripes, changing colours in the middle of the steek so when I cut it open all those ends are cut away. From that point, I just knit in the round as usual and when I’m finished I have an octopus looking thing like this:

I like to knit my button bands before I cut my steek, I don’t know why – I have always done that – I think it means you are still doing all your knitting things before you finishing things. Anyway, I decided to just do 5 buttons at the top, I had knit the body a little bit longer as usual and I wanted it to be a bit more a-line, kind of like what I did with my Heritage Puffin cardigan (which I gave to my sister) I think it came out a very flattering shape and also less buttons to sew on which is always a bonus! I used buttons that I bought from the Shoard Charity shop on my trip to Whalsay.

So, here is my cardigan post knitting pre steeking, I usually do two rows of sewing machine on my steek then cut mainly because I couldn’t crochet but folks, I learnt and can now vaguely crochet!! so I thought I would try Kate’s crochet steeking method and shockingly it worked! (not shocked at the technique of course but at my successful application, haha!)

I did have to restart a few times because I’m left handed and seemed to go in the wrong direction, but I was very pleased with how the edges just curl away and sit very nicely, so after that all that was left was to sew up my seams and tack down my steek on the inside:

Guys, look how neat that is??? Mental, it’s like I’m getting better the more I knit.

So that’s my remake of the yoke that got away. I’m not going to do a pattern because it’s a copy from a cardigan that’s out there and I’m not really comfortable with that, also sometimes it’s just nice to make something without worrying about taking detailed notes and stuff, but I did want to take a few more pictures throughout the process so I hope it’s been interesting! Happy Knitting xx

also thanks to Kharis for taking the pictures of me in the cardigan, we took them in the Woolstore at J&S.

26 thoughts on “the one that got away..

  1. Great story with a beautiful result! I shared this with a friend who I met up with at Maryland Sheep and Wool she was thinking about doing this too. I shared the links to your old post and that will start her on her way.


  2. Beautiful cardigan, Ella. I love the way the zigzag edges frame the yoke, creating a lacy effect.

  3. I love this sweater. And yes, it’s those points on either border of the yoke. Please pleas make another pattern and use those points and then let us all buy it. I have picked out my yarn for your yoke sweater- J&S black and the yoke gray and pink.

  4. Particularly like this one Ella, not surprised that you kept returning to it. The transition from the main part to the yoke is so pretty and the overall shape you have created for this cardigan is very flattering.

  5. I love the colours on this and so interesting to see you in a different colour mode! I think that brown is a really underused colour these days and should be used more.

  6. Fantastic post Ella! I just purchased a kh840 and have no clue what I’m doing but you give me courage that I can create wonderful objects!!! Thank you! Jenny


    Sent from my iPhone.


  7. Ella, This is a wonderful sweater and your tutorial is excellent. Apparently, I missed your previous description of the way you load up your needles after you machine knit the bottom of the sweater. You are a wonderful teacher. Also, 10 years ago I searched eBay for Fair Aisle (inspired) sweaters (obsessively) and purchased two. One was from Norway and on the tag was written: Hand knit, wool, moth-proof yarn. I still wonder what makes that wool moth proof.

    1. Bravo, Ella , great newsletter. You should teach, So happy I learned the Shetland technical term in color work “poop colors”. You are so funny (and accurate)! Keep sharing!

  8. I love it, Ella! For me, it’s always good to hear and see the finishing of a project. And the sweater looks wonderful on you! Happy weekend!

  9. Hi ella! Thanks for this beautifull yoke and detailled explications! I have a question: concerning the two stripes you add on each side of the steek stitches, do you knit it with the machine ? Thanks à lot :)

      1. And did you already tried to knit in circular the sleeves (with the machin) ? This way there is no seaming to do.. Thanks for your answer :)

  10. Lovely work – the design is very flattering.

    I’ve found the information on the blog relating to how you use the knitting machine to knit the body and arms, and then hand knit the yoke really helpful, now to go for it, and have a go myself!

  11. Brilliant! I like the idea of knitting the button band before cutting the steek. Thanks and it looks great on you.

  12. I love seeing the schematic that shows how you put the pieces together. So interesting to think about conceptualizing the knit sweater in that way (for the machine knitting) and then seaming it together. Cool! Thank you!!

  13. I love your sense of humour! And so don’t I wish I would have had the forethought to knit a copy of a sweater, I really wanted and lost a chance to purchase….brilliant. I love the A-line form…I hadn’t realized how nice it can be with buttons at the yoke area and the rest of the cardi remains open…it works for so many reasons!

    I learned so much by working at a yarn store and repeatedly getting requests to design and knit pieces or ‘fix’ knitwear for customers…it taught me soooo much about the construction of knitwear…and like you say; the more you do, the better you get at it!

    Good on you! Another beauty off your needles.

  14. It’s beautiful, Ella, well done! I also like the transition to the yoke pattern as you describe.

  15. Ella
    Thanks so much for the detailed description of your sweater replication and construction techniques in this post. I’m in the process of messing around with my flatbed machine and have been anxious to try this!!! Did not think about knitting the button bands before steering…brilliant! Love your cardigan and you look lovely in it!

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