Circular yoke experiments

It’s almost too hot for knitting at the moment. Outside anyway. I’ve never been so grateful to be living in a garden flat. This is because I’m so English if I’m exposed to temperatures over 32°C I burst into flames and wither away with a dying shriek of “This is absolutely bloody ridiculous it issssss!”

My patented summer survival plan is two-fold.
1. Knit only lightweight projects (e.g. laceweight blouses)
2. A mixture of 4 parts gin, 2 parts sugar syrup, 1 part lemon juice, poured over ice and topped up with club soda.

Before the temperatures took off though, I had a good time whipping up an experimental top-down, in-the-round t-shirt in that awesome Yarnyard yarn I have kicking about.


This is just the main stockinette ‘body’ with no proper hems so the bottom edge is rolling like crazy right now. It wants to be a belly top but my stomach hasn’t seen the light of day since 2005. Let’s not start now.


What really makes this top an experiment for me is the armpit shaping. Once I knit the yoke, bound off the tops of the armholes and separated front and back, I knit in these little short-row triangle wedges at each armpit edge. These raise up the conical shape of the yoke and make it sit directly on the ball of your shoulders (if you get the calcs right).

I was trying to ape a vintage jumper pattern I knitted a while ago, which uses similar shaping to give you a circular yoked jumper and set-in sleeves at the same time. It lets you get super-fitted results if you’re so inclined.

Vintage schematic

It’s hard to find modern patterns that do this but Anne Kingstone is a designer that favours the technique in such garments as April and Mallorn. It seems like the main problem with knitting circular yokes is you have to be very sure they’re the right circumference for your own individual shoulders. If it’s too loose/the armhole is too deep the yoke slips down and you get rumpling by the armpit like so:


And then of course the opposite problem gives you all sorts of stress and stretching in the fabric at the sleeve cap bind off point. Luckily I think this turned out ok!

Now I’ve used up all that lovely bright green, I still have a whole ball of dark green to add for contrast. The only niggle I have at this point is I want the contrast bands to be pretty thick, which probably means ripping back both top and bottom until it looks right. Ripping is always just a tiny bit depressing!

Anyway. Stay cool guys, stay cool.


Filed under Projects, WIPs

5 responses to “Circular yoke experiments

  1. Ooh! That’s such an interesting construction method. I’ve never seen if before.

  2. Looks cute so far! I can count on one hand the number of yoked tops I’ve knit; now I’m feeling inspired.

  3. Looking good, looking good! Remind me to come and knit round yours next time, that gin cocktail sounds much nicer than Lambrusco! 🙂

  4. Q – With narrow shoulders, I have the slip down problem. Thanks for a helpful post!

  5. Pingback: Yoked! – Limescented

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