Thursday, February 28, 2008

Diminishing Cables yoke, knit again!

I'm still working on the Diminishing Cables sweater by Annie Modesitt (Interweave Knits, Fall '03).

As I was trying the sweater on again this morning, K walked in and said "Wow, that's nice." Which was gratifying, especially since this sweater is tied together instead of being properly sewn and has a partial ball of yarn and numerous loose ends hanging off it. At this point, I think I can see it all coming out ok. Let me tell you what I've done with it so far. This photo was taken this morning, after I reknit the yoke.

I was able to get into the sweater, and was encouraged. As you can see, it sat an inch or two too high. The neckline was higher than I'd like, the division between the yoke and the body should rest about an inch or two lower, and the armholes were too high.

I ripped the yoke out to the cable crossing that lines up with the garter ridges, the one in the sleeve and side cables. I've had some thoughts about those ridges, explained here:

The cables that start above the garter ridges in this first version were cabled too soon, but that's the only way the crossings would line up. About those ridges--what you see here follows the pattern instructions. Of course, I'm not using two different colors, so my garter ridges are monotone. Also, I am continuing the side cables up the body and the sleeves, so the garter ridges are only used to divide the center three yoke cables from the body. Now that I've seen how they look knitted up, I've decided to eliminate the second two ridges. I'm starting the knits and purls for the cables earlier, so that they have the proper length before the cable crossing, thinking that this will eliminate those puckers in the garter ridge.

Once everything was ripped out, I measured the beginning of the yoke and found it to be 44" . My shoulders are 42", so I think that it might work. I just need to space out my decreases more. To do that, I'm knitting more of the chart before decreasing and more rows before cabling. Just in case that's not enough to give me the extra inch or two, I've switched to a size 8 needle (I was using size 7, and getting gauge, but the cables throw the gauge out of wack.)

This is how the yoke looked after being mostly done. I have just decreased to a 6-stitch cable following the 7-stitch cable crossing, with 3 purls between each cable.

Switching to a size 8 needle made a big difference, as did spacing out the cable crossings. The yoke is much larger now, even before blocking. I am just hoping that blocking doesn't make it too big.

The sweater sits better on me--the armholes are low enough that I don't feel them, but high enough that I worry how they will feel when the sweater is sewn together and I try to raise my arms. I am concerned that blocking will make the top too loose, so I've undone the bind-off and put it back on the needles in order to add one more cable crossing, about 6-8 more rows. This will tighten up the neck some and lengthen the yoke a little more. I hope it is not too much, but I can always rip it back out if I don't like it.

Here, the multiple garter ridges are gone. Notice how that's not a focal point now. That's a relief. I think the front cable transition looks smoother now.

The sleeves end at my elbow now. All that's left is to remove the 'provisional' cuffs and finish the sleeves. I have enough yarn to do this and will probably cut the cuffs off today after I finally finish the yoke.

I left the cuffs turned down for these photos, because I think it represents a decent sleeve length. With the sweater sitting lower, the cuff will end just above my elbow. Yes, I think that's where I'd like the sleeves, though I wouldn't object to longer ones if I had the yarn.

This project has taught me a lot about yoke sweaters. I think I like them on me, and now that I understand more about the construction, I plan to make another one soon.

One thing about this one--the yoke decreases are evenly spaced. That means I can't have a lower neckline without having one that is a little too wide for my shoulders. I have seen at least one yoke pattern that have more decreases similar to a raglan, but I wonder if there are any that have decreases that produce a scooped neckline. That would have been my preference here. Even decreases all around don't do it. After all, seen from the top, I'm not round, I'm a rectangle.

Enough of the green sweater for now, though. I'll take another week or so to sew it together and take final photos. In the meantime, I'll leave you with a little shoulder action.

Edited to add: This was an absolute obsession for me. I just finished the cuffs. If I sew it up tomorrow, it will be a 12-day sweater. That says something for project monogamy. Although I wasn't completely monogamous. I've started the Citrus Yoke Pullover from the Winter IK. When I say I want to knit another yoke sweater, I mean it!


Kathy said...

That looks so good! I like the changes you made from yoke1 to yoke2. And the solid color and short sleeves is a great improvement over the original pattern.

liz419 said...

Thanks for sharing all of your modifications and pictures. I really think your changes dramatically improved the look of the yoke on you. See what went wrong and how you've improved it really give me hope to do so on my own sweaters. I've been contemplating a sweater like this and yours may be the one to push me over the edge. Thanks again!

Sam said...

Wow! The swetare is gorgeous! I mush prefer the lower neck line. Very flattering indeed. I can't wait to see the final shots when it is all sewn up.

vlb5757 said...

I really love that shade of green that you picked. I have only done cables once and I really enjoyed doing them. I like this pattern and think that you did a great job.

Marjorie said...

I think the modified yoke looks perfect on you. That is a beautiful sweater design.