Yoke Redesign

jenjoycedesign©yoke-redesign

Well folks, my smug happiness at being done ahead of the equinox for these sweaters did not last long.  In the post two weeks ago of my nieces modelling in Calistoga their new sweaters clearly shows how way off I was on the mark. I thought they were just accidentally ‘big’  and ‘tunic length’.  What I did not know, and what I know very well now, is that one doesn’t arbitrarily decide to knit so many decrease rounds because it ‘looks good’… no, I’ve learned the hard way (as usual) that these things are mathematical considerations, not entirely artistic. Yoke shaping is math. This is the difficult fact I’ve had to learn, and have been working with sharpened pencil , calculator and reams of paper in the last week, after it came to me a little over a week ago, in the early morning hours before waking, just why those sweaters were hanging on my nieces. I had to ask for the sweaters back, meet their mom Patricia in St. Helena yesterday, and there is no more hiding my head in the sand. I’ve ripped back now, and am going to make it right.

So,  I have redesigned a theoretic yoke , and now I am going to test knit my redesign of last two weeks by knitting the yokes of the Autumn sweaters over again from the sleeve join.  Fingers crossed, wish me luck.

Autumn Cardigans Arrive !

jenjoycedesign©nieces-Autumn-cardigans(2)

Posted on the actual Autumnal Equinox,  officially it occured locally at 1:44 a.m. today.  I am a passionate yearner for Autumn, the cooling temperatures and moist air I waited for all summer long.  Its here . . . Autumn has arrived !   And so have the cardigans !

jenjoycedesign©nieces-Autum-cardigans

In a celebration of the season, I gleefully post the Autumn cardigans I’ve knit for my nieces over the summer (all posts here).   First, the one for eldest niece who is Thirteen, who’s eyes match exactly the colorway of her cardigan ~~ light turquoise & oyster shell . . .

jenjoycedesign©turquoics-cardigan

And this time I embroidered little name labels for them, on bits of calico print I had about.

jenjoycedesign©name1

And next, for one who is Ten , a real live mermaid who likes to dress in coral & sea moss . . .

jenjoycedesign©coral-cardigan

And her name label . . .

jenjoycedesign©name2

And I happen to have more than enough shell buttons saved up for both, and didn’t have to buy any!

However, in the case of the coral/moss cardigan,  the camera  definitely favored the red tones and would not ‘see’ the richness of the green, and so it looks much more muted than it really is ( as shown in this post HERE.)  Odd thing about light and cameras, some color matches just won’t show up as with the human eye.  You’ll just have to take my word, that the warm slightly terra cotta pink and moss green are lovely together.

In the weeks ahead we are planning the seasonal photo shoot in Calistoga ((crossing fingers it will cool significantly and not be an Indian Summer heat-wave to torture heavy tweed-wearing nieces)) so you’ll just have to sit tight until then. In the mean-time, here are the cheerful & colorful still-life photos, patiently awaiting the beautiful girls they will adorn.

jenjoycedesign©nierces'-Autumn-cardigans-2013

Introducing Really Red !


At last “Really Red” is finished.

And she is my own design !


A detail of her yoke’s beautiful colors of Autumn , from the back . . .

A detail of my moss stitch rib with vikkel braid, and vintage wooden buttons . . .

Red’s yoke sparkles with the very same red, gold, and brown tones of leaves turning in  Autumn on the grape vines near by, where we walk . . .

And in the greyish dark woods, she really pops out !

And in the very very near future . . .

leftover yarn means a matching tam !!!

(I’ve already cast on !)

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In closing, a spectacular view of mist-covered mountains,

from yesterday’s Knit~Walk,  overlooking Autumn colors of what I like to the “North Bay Highlands” of California.

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All posts about Really Red Cardigan ~~ here

Details on Ravelry ~~ here

Autumn Sweater Success !!!

(  Autumn Sweaters 2011 in same location click here  )

My nieces in their new Autumn Sweaters.  We photographed in the same colorful Calistoga nooks we seek out each time we do the Equinox Sweaters.  In front of Calistoga Coffee Roastery, in front of the mint-green building on the corner of Lincoln and Washington streets, against the terra-cotta painted wall outside Brannon’s restaurant, and the best, the most amazing painted mural in the alley across  Lincoln from the coffee roastery ! These places just never get old, and they will be the back drop every time we photograph the Equinox Sweaters.

” Happiness is a new sweater knit especially for me ! “

Sweater success !

Luckily they fit, and luckily the yarn which I over-dyed became colors they both approved of !  Oh, and can you believe we were having a major heat wave of the Indian Summer?  I wanted to get the pictures taken before it got too hot,  and the unrelenting sun was bleaching bright, and nipping at our heels the whole way. . .

Autumn Sweaters 2012

(( Compare with two years ago ~ click for  Autumn Sweaters 2010 ))

And now, for a slideshow of the fun sweater frolick we had in Calistoga . . .

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 You may see all posts on the progress of the Autumn 2012 sweaters by clicking  here

Knitting details about sweaters are posted over on Ravelry here.

Percentage Systems

Rip…rip…riiip…

I would love to discuss the established Percentage Systems of Seamless Yoke Construction. Anybody game?

Here’s the deal,  the sweater heaped on the chair, getting ripped back was because I mistakenly went along my merry way starting the decrease rows from the method I’m use to , a ‘percentage system’ of a kind that I came up from the charts I’ve used,  completely forgetting how this time I wanted to try out strictly Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Percentage system.  (no hybrid!)  Feeling a little bit unsure with the over-all fit of another way, I am trying to anticipate the difference.  I’m laying the math out and taking a close look.

Elizabeth’s Percentage System, or cute little title of “EPS” as it is known among the Zimmermaniacs of the Modern Knitting World, I will extract from her book which I bought recently (used) called “Knitting Around”.  In EPS, the depth of the yoke is to be approximately half of the width of the main body before the sleeves are joined on (not circumferance, but laid flat, measured-across-width-wise measurement~  and then half of that is the “yoke depth”).  After joining the sleeves to the body, all on one circular needle, EPS has you knit up half of the entire yoke depth before beginning the first decrease row, and continueing with only 3 decrease rows total, dividing the upper half into halves, (quarters of the total depth, actually) with the third and last decrease at the neckline.

EPS is roughly as follows: On the first decrease row , the total stitches are decreased by 25% , with *K2,K2tog* repeat. One knits up to I suppose about another quarter section of the whole yoke depth (perhaps after a decorative pattern allows), then begins the second decrease row, where the new total stitches is decreased  33.3% , with a *K1,K2tog* repeat.  The last and third decrease, right before the short-row shaping at the back of the neck, is a decrease row which is a *K1,K2,K2tog* repeat which decreases the new total of stitches 40% and which then leaves the remaining total of stitches to be finished off method of choice.  The last remaining stitches also is around 40% of the original casted-on total of stitches.  That is roughly, a condensed summery I think, of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Yoke decreasing which I am about to try for the first time.

Now,  the other yoke-decrease method , percentage system if you like, that I’ve been using up until now, is what I’ve come up with by following the instructions of the charts of the book of Ann Budd’s called “Handy Book of Sweater Patterns”,  a great book loaded with charts so one can design just about any kind of sweater from any yarn and needle combination (within reason of course).  This book has been my ‘bible’ up to now,  along my adventure thus far of seamless yoke sweaters.

It goes something like this : The total yoke depth is likely the same as EPS,  but one begins the first decrease row after only about 1/4 , or less, of the total yoke depth (instead of half). If you factor in the fourth decrease row at the neck, you’ve got the whole yoke depth divided into thirds, with the last and fourth decrease being at the neck. So far , are you with me ? That’s one extra decrease row than EPS,  but different ratios of decrease.

The way I’ve managed to figure the math from the charts , and from my own ‘imaginary sweater’ which employs the EPS as a template ~ has had the first row decrease of 20% total stitches, with a *K3,K2tog* .  The second decrease row , about half way up the yoke,  decreases the new total of stitches  25% with a  *K2,K2tog* repeat.  The third decrease row about 3/4 or thereabouts up the yoke depth, (depending entirely which pattern one might design into the yoke) decreases the new total of stitches  33.3% with a *K1,K2tog* repeat.  The last decrease row, just before the short-row shaping at the back of the neck opening,  repeats the *K1,K2tog* pattern to arrive at the final neck finish total of stitches.

Are you still with me?  Have I made any outrageous math mistakes yet? (If so, please point them out).  So what I’d like to know, is if there are any of you reading, who has tried different yoke shapings, and can enlighten me to how the end result actually fits being worn.  Until then,  I will finish off my nieces Autumn Sweaters using completely Elizabeth Percentage System, and see for myself.  I will no doubt, be anxious to spill the beans when the finished sweaters are all blocked out.    I have a sweater which I haven’t finished (haven’t steeked yet) which is shaped through the decreases from the Ann Budd charts to compare the EPS yoke shape to.

Sit tight, and see me get giddy with my newly discovered math abilities (Yes, I’m suggesting that I always was a very bad math student).  I’ve quite astonished myself actually !  See you back on the subject in a few posts.