Monday, November 13, 2017


What is fashion to you?
For me it is a strong motivator to change.
My clothes definitely reflect my mood, and at the same time they help creating it. And I refuse to feel old, shapeless, and fashionless. I think modern fashion is so multifaceted and multilayered, that anyone can find there a little niche, a place for him/herself.
That is why I love looking at fashion collections, especially from the designers who make clothes that I could wear or at least adapt somehow to my wardrobe.
This year many fall collections were full of knits with amazing new interpretations of lace, cables, and color work. Ethnic prints are very much "in vogue" this fall/winter season.

I couldn't help myself and picked as examples 4 looks from the Fall 2017 Collection by Jean Paul Gaultier - I've been a huge fan since the Fifth Element!
Sweaters with round yoke - so called Icelandic sweaters - experience a true revival on runways and on Ravelry.
From left to right and from top to bottom: 1. Tory Burch 2. Prada 3. Anya Hindmarch 4. Loewe.
I don't remember ever seeing on Ravelry so many amazing round yoke patterns before. And so different - you can find one for every taste: top down, bottom up, thin or thick yarn, few or many colors.

From top to bottom and from left to right 1. Telja by Jennifer Staingass 2. Birkin by Caitlin Hunter 3. Captain Rex by Natela Astakhova 4. Bjork Icelandic Summer Top by Katrine Hannibal 5. Blafjoll by winterludes dolls 6. Threipmuir by Isolda Teague.
I've said and written many times that I don't like seamless garments: they don't fit me well and have a tendency to stretch in an ugly way. But I couldn't help myself. To be honest, I love working with colors and do appreciate a quick knit. A round yoke sweater is a quick knit by definition - the only difficult part is the yoke but, if its design is good and all calculations are correct, you don't have to worry about it. Just follow directions and pay attention. Otherwise - no seams, no fuss, no problems with yarn - too much or too little - it doesn't matter because you can always stop or make an extra inch depending on how much yarn you've got left. Or you can add more color work on sleeves and bottom - for fun and to use up all the leftover yarn. In other words, possibilities are endless.
This kind of patterns are good if you are in a hurry and I am behind in my gift making process. Making North took too much time and I am a little worried since Holidays are approaching quickly (if you listen to the radio or go to a store it looks like Christmas is already here!). Making a round yoke sweater looked to me like the best choice at the moment - it could be a great gift for a young person and it would satisfy my cravings for a color work garment.
For my first round yoke project (yes, I got hooked and am frantically planning more colored yokes in my life) I picked Arboreal - very popular on Ravelry now for its clean lines and simple design.
Plus I brought from London (remember all those trips to John Lewis?) Rowan hemp tweed in Almond shade that would look great with the leftovers of this same yarn in Granite. And they would go well together - Arboreal and North (after long discussions with myself I decided to give North away - there is no place for me to wear it and my child definitely can use it).
Arboreal's designer - Jennifer Steingass - is producing ravishingly looking round yoke sweaters with cosmic speed. That is why, even though Arboreal was my first from her, I had a lot of faith in the design. My reservations were about the concept of round yoke in general though.
You see, over the years I've made quite a number of round yoke sweaters. And gave them all away. The fit was wrong, and they made me look very muscular and athletic with big shoulders and upper arms. Especially the ones that were fitted in the body. I didn't want to draw too much attention to shoulders and I wanted my garment to have an oversize, loose shape. To reach this goal I used the notes of this Raveler and made it A-shaped with 4 body increases at the sides in every 20th row.
For the yoke and body I made size B but for the sleeves I picked up 70 stitches following directions for size C. And I almost never make sleeves in the round so this was no exception.
I used twin stitches for the short rows - suggested by this Raveler - and it worked well.
Finishing with Kitchener cast off - my favorite - stretchy and polished.
But my main modification was the neckband. I used provisional cast on because... well, one never knows. When the yoke was finished I tried it on and the neckband seemed to be on a narrow side. Both my children prefer to have some space between the neckline and the actual neck in their clothes (no turtlnecks, please) but I didn't want to unravel the whole yoke and start with a bigger size (especially since the yoke size was roomy enough). Instead, I unraveled the provisional cast on, picked up stitches, and started 1x1 ribbing in the round with every knit st through the back loop while making two stitches in every third or fourth stitch (108 stitches total). Ribbed for 9 rows, folded in half and cast off from inside in the first row of ribbing. This way the neckband is stretchy and comfortable. And will look well with a t-shirt or a shirt underneath.
This is what I like about seamless knits - they are so fast to make and, in this particular case, very satisfying. And give me more round yokes - don't you think that, when well made, they are timeless classics?
Here are my Arboreal and North: they look so well together like it was meant to be.
I am happy because I finished the second gift in no time and don't have to rush my next projects. I've been working on two stylish but warm cardigans for my other child for a while now and was worried that time will be the issue. My next post will be about about these projects. Hopefully soon...

Happy knitting!


No comments:

Post a Comment