I’m a seeker after beauty. I find it in the everyday, which is very useful. As a parent to small children who works from a home office, there’s a lot of everyday to be had! I manage to squeeze in a little exceptional between wiping sticky tabletops, clearing away Lego, and doing battle with the inbox.
One way that I find beauty in everyday things is dressing my children in handmade items. No matter how snotty and contrary they are on a given day, a hand-knit sweater can make it seem a little better. Not always great (I’m not gonna lie, kids can be tough), but better. Even if you can’t enjoy their behaviour, you can at least appreciate the great knitwear!
When we were developing the Strange Brew pattern, a year ago, I made a pair of little sweaters for Max and Neve to test the sizing and yoke shaping after we decided to add aran and sock weights into the recipe pattern.
A disclaimer : Jess, dyer at Ginger Twist Studio, is a friend of mine. So… obviously I’m gonna big up her sweet sweet product. But I wouldn’t be working with it if I didn’t love it! When Alexa and I decided to embark upon a colourwork collection, I’m not gonna lie, I knew that I’d need to amp up my stash big time. So I collected quite a great collection of colours, and used a little of each of them in these sweaters!
I LOVE the main colour I used for Neve’s little yoke. It is so rich, so vivid, but such a great ‘neutral’ at the same time. It’s called ‘crunchy leaves’ which feels so very appropriate for autumn days. Lately it feels like every day I have to stop to capture another photo of the brilliant morning light shining through the blanket of leaves in the park near my house that I run through in the mornings. Or perhaps I’m just stopping to catch my breath?
I made Max’s jumper first, and discovered that the ‘crunchy leaves’ colour played very nicely with the bright teal, the warm yellow, and both the cobalt blue, the deep grey-blue.
In making Neve’s yoke, I simply picked some lovely little colourwork motifs, and played with them, alternating colours quite often to add richness to very simple patterns.
The Strange Brew pattern is a recipe for designing your own unique colourwork yoke sweater, and it includes 3 gauge options and both top-down and bottom-up construction methods! Check out our in-depth tutorial on how to use the pattern to design a yoke, and our other posts on the process of knitting a colourwork sweater are listed here.
An Example Yoke, created using the Strange Brew recipe pattern
This little example was worked as follows, using top-down aran weight instructions in size 1-2 years:
- Neckline: Cast on per the pattern, worked 1×1 ribbing
- Increase Round 1: worked in MC following pattern instructions
- Pattern Section 1: Worked chart A (it is 3 rounds, not the 4 called for in the pattern)
- Increase Round 2: worked in MC following pattern instructions
- Pattern Section 2: Worked chart B (it is 9 rounds, not the 4 called for in the pattern)
- Increase Round 3: worked in MC following pattern instructions
- Pattern Section 3: worked chart A; but flipped it (it is 3 rounds, not the 4 called for in the pattern)
So I worked a total of 3 + 9 + 3 = 15 pattern rounds, whereas the pattern called for 4 + 4 + 8 = 16 pattern rounds. The increases fell at slightly different points than the pattern called for, but it WORKED OUT JUST FINE.
This is an important illustration of the fact that you can adjust the Strange Brew recipe pattern, moving the increase or decrease rounds up or down, and your yoke design will very likely still work out! The numbers are SQUISHY.