Since I made my first jumper embellished with a little bit of Fair Isle I’ve been desperate to try kitting one of those glorious garments with a lavishly patterned yoke. Finding a Debbie Bliss knitting pattern for a new born baby was just the thing. A nice little yoke meant I could have a go without investing too much time, wool or energy should it all prove to be a challenge too far. Once I got going I really enjoyed the rhythm, and I was often found sitting over my needles chanting “red,red, yellow, yellow yellow, red, red” oblivious of those around me.
It seemed to go well and a nice horseshoe of yoke at the end of it all looked promising. I then knitted the front bands (for the buttons and with the buttonholes) – just as the knitting pattern said – picking up wool for some 56 stitches. Disappointingly, the resulting bands looked much too puckered and stretched, so I undid them and re-knitted them but this time, in the spirit of nothing ventured, nothing gained, I picked up over 80 stitches! This looked so much better and, having increased the buttons from 5 to 8 the band looks less gappy. By the time I got this far, wouldn’t you know it, I had run out of wool so I had to experiment with different colours. Curiously in the end I settled on a slightly different grey which would have looked terrible if I’d had to use it anywhere else in the main body of the knitting but which for the front bands and in rib look surprisingly perfect. Very satisfying when odd bits of a random ball of wool are so useful.
Blocking was necessary. The slope of the yoke over the shoulders looked much too steep and even after blocking it still doesn’t look quite right. My tension is not usually a problem but perhaps I need to make sure the threads looping across the back of the pattern are just a bit looser. The cardigan in the pattern book certainly does look looser than mine. How glad am I that I began with such a small garment. I’d like to repeat the pattern in other colours but I’m just not sure whether even a looser tension would make a difference. I think a trip to Loop is called for so they can give me advice on the cardigan I’ve just finished and perhaps recommend another pattern to try. Any advice from any readers would also be appreciated.
Meanwhile I’m working on a simple band of Fair Isle around the bottom of a jumper for the three-year-old – infinitely relieved that I don’t have to think about such things as tension around curves.