Let's Steek: Yoke and Colorwork

Hello again! Okay, we’ve got ribbing, we’ve got a steek, time for short rows and to start the yoke.


If your pullover pattern has short row shaping, you’re probably going to have to do some adjusting. A CONFESSION: this the part I really haven’t figured out all the way. I find short row shaping kind of mystifying so um, I’m fudging it. It took me ages to understand it conceptually and I still don’t get how to modify it so here we are.


Pullover patterns knit in the round often have you place a marker (usually over a shoulder or at the center back), and you’ll start your short row shaping by knitting past that marker, turning your work, and purling back the same number of stitches past the marker. That may have been the single worst explanation of how to work a short row ever. This pattern uses German Short Rows which are my preference anyway, so yay, Jessie!


This pattern considers center back the beginning of round, and that marker is the reference point for the short rows. HOWEVER, because of the steek, my beginning of round is actually the center front (after the steek is worked). I placed a marker at center back and when I was ready to start my short rows, I knit from the center front past that marker the number of stitches the pattern called for. I turned my work and went back the other way and then worked everything as written in the pattern.


I THINK this made the front left of my sweater a row longer than the right but I don’t think you can tell. When I was done with short row shaping I knit to the end of round (before the steek), resolving the double stitches. On the first round of the yoke, I worked the double stitches together and everything seems to be fine.


We’re ready to start the yoke!


I was terrified of stranded colorwork when I first started knitting—it seems SO complicated and there are some uptight knitters in this world who act like if your tension isn’t perfect you might as well light your knitting on fire. Such people are no fun and not welcome at this Sweater Party.


Stranded colorwork takes some practice, and as many colorwork projects as I have done (dozens, at least), my colorwork always looks lumpy until it’s blocked. It’s FINE.


 Going up a needle size helps (this pattern even gives you the size!), as does remembering to relax. I’ve never had colorwork look bad even if it’s not perfect.


I knit colorwork two-handed. I’m a continental knitter (I hold my yarn in my left hand). I knit colorwork I hold one in my left hand (as is normal for me), and I hold the other color in my right and flick. It’s like a mirror of continental style, and makes sense to my brain. Color dominance can be a thing in colorwork, so I tend to hold the contrast color in my left hand so it pops more in the final project.


Everyone does what works for them- I’ve recently invested in a Norwegian Knitting Thimble (here’s a video of one in action) for when I need to do more than two colors in a row and…I don’t hate it, but it’s not really My Thing.


I made y'all a video so you can see how I knit colorwork! 


We’ll tackle sleeve separation and knitting the body next time!

Leave a comment