Sunday, June 20, 2010

Top-Down Design Tutorial 11: Figuring the Standard Yoke

Standard and saddle-shoulder yokes are relatively straightforward to calculate.

First, you need the back neck measurement, the shoulder measurement, and the sleeve cap measurement for the size you're making.

You'll start by making front right and left shoulders. Multiply your shoulder measurement by your stitch gauge. Cast on that number of stitches using a removable cast on for each shoulder. Knit until your front shoulders measure about one-third of your sleeve cap measurement, usually an inch or an inch and a half.

Leave your front shoulder stitches on a holder. Pick up and knit the right shoulder stitches from the cast-on edge. Multiply your back neck measurement by your stitch gauge and use the long-tail cast-on to cast on that number of stitches for the back neck. Pick up and knit the left shoulder stitches from the cast-on edge. These stitches together form the back of the sweater.

Work the wrong side row.

Work 1-3" of short rows across the shoulders and back to shape the shoulder slope. This puts more rows in the middle of the back than along the edges of the shoulders.

After you've finished shaping the shoulders with short rows, work even until the shoulder edge is the size of your sleeve cap measurement.

Your sweater will look like this:

The next step is to pick up the sleeves along the shoulder edge. Multiply your sleeve cap measurement by your stitch gauge. Pick up that number of stitches along each shoulder. Place markers to separate the sleeve sections from the body sections.

The corners at the edges of the sleeves are tight for the first several rows. You might need to pull your cable through at those spots in order to make that turn.

Next you'll need to figure out your arm increases. To find how many sleeve increases you'll need, take your desired sleeve width at the bicep and multiply by your stitch gauge. Add together the number of stitches you picked up for the sleeve cap, your underarm cast-on, and 4. Subtract that number from your desired sleeve stitches to get the number of sleeve increases you'll need. You'll do two sleeve increases on every increase row, so divide your sleeve increases by two to get the number of increase rows you need.

Subtract 2 from your underarm depth and multiply the result by your row gauge. This is the number of rows you have to do your sleeve and body increases. We'll call this number of rows the raglanline.

Divide your raglanline by your increase rows. Round up to the nearest even number.
That's your increase frequency. Now multiply your increase frequency by the number of increase rows and subtract that number from your raglanline to get the number of plain rows to be worked.

Subtract 5 from your sleeve increases. Work that number of sleeve increases at your calculated frequency. After that, you'll work the number of plain rows you calculated. Finally, you'll work 5 more sleeve increases at your calculated frequency.

Having figured the sleeve increases, you now calculate the body increases. Multiply your upper chest measurement by your stitch gauge. Subtract your back stitches from the desired upper chest stitches to find your upper chest increases. Divide by two to get the number of upper chest increase rows. Make those increases every other row at the beginning and end of the back and front sections of your sweater.

You'll work the back and front even (once you've filled in the front neck line) until just before the underarm. Take the desired full chest measurement, divide by two, and subtract your upper chest stitches from that to get the number of full chest increases you'll need. Divide by two to get the number of full chest increase rows.

Add the upper chest increase rows to the full chest increase rows to get the total increase rows you need. Subtract this number from the raglanline to get the number of rows to knit plain.

So, like with the sleeves, you'll first do the upper chest increases every other row. Next, you'll knit the plain rows even. Then, you'll work the full chest increases to the underarm.

As you're shaping the body, you're also shaping the sleeves and working the front neck:

See how the sweater is shaping up? Once you've joined the neck, you've done all the tricky knitting in the sweater.

And here's the neck being joined up:

And the sweater with half the body knit:


AlisonH said...

Oh wow! Oh, that's cool. But darn if it doesn't make me want to go knit one of those right now when I have other things to finish. Thank you for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

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lornabecky said...

Very helpful, I'm designing a lacy vest in the round at the moment and have been looking everywhere for free advice on how to calculate and construct it, thanks.

lornabecky said...

Very helpful, i'm designing a lace sweater at the moment, and because a pattern will run down the side hem area i'll have to construct it in the round, but until now i had no idea how to go about it. Thank you very much.