Scalloway Yoke Jumper

1. This is a pattern from the book “The Art of Fair Isle Knitting” by Ann Feitelson. I love this book and I like this design. This is my first real stranded knitting project worth mentioning.

2. The knitting wool is from Jamieson & Smith in the Shetland Islands (Scotland) and they are lovely to deal with. Very nice emails and phone conversations and speedy service. Given the fantastic colour palette of their knitting wools, I reckon they have become my supplier of choice!

3. The Shetland knitting wool was so different from the knitting wools I’ve been using. It feels “hard” to the touch, just like the home-spun that I had purchased a while back. But, unlike that horrible home-spun, this wool knits beautifully. And, once washed in only water, it becomes very soft to the touch.

4. It’s my experience that Shetland wools need to be wound into balls. When pulling from the centre, I ended up with lots of yarn spew which usually was tangled as this wool tends to knot up easily. It was too risky to trust the skeins to pull cleanly.

5. It is a 2-ply that knits as a 4-ply. I know that there are several MWK members who will knit jumpers in nothing larger than a 5-ply. I can now see the advantages of knitting a stranded multi-colour pattern with a smaller wool. The pattern stands out so much better and there is a definition and intricacy of the knitted design that the larger size wools can’t achieve (in my opinion).

6. Tension/gauge was interesting. I was able to get gauge with 3.25 mm on the sleeves but I had to switch to 3.50 mm for the body! I can’t explain this as the entire garment was knitted in the round.

7. Speaking of circular knitting, I don’t see how anyone can do stranded knitting flat!

8. And, while I’m on the subject of size, I followed the pattern that would be far to large for me and yet it came out fitting perfectly. I knitted the sleeve length to be 1" more than usual but when I tried it on, the sleeves were 2" too short! However, blocking on the jumper board took care of that. The Shetland wools seem to have lots of give and take.

9. Meg Swanson says that every colour pattern has its own song. If this is true, then I must be tone deaf. I tinked over and over again!

10. I learned the hard way and started using lots of stitch markers. This made things so much easier, especially if I were interrupted during a pattern sequence.

11. Instead of carrying floats, I used the (so-called) Philosopher’s Wool method of stranded knitting (see their website for instructions if you’re not familiar with it). For me, this totally eliminated all tension problems (except my own inner tension when I’d stuffed-up the pattern!) and made for a lovely piece of knitted fabric. The only time I stranded a colour was the red because it was 1 stitch every 6th stitch and no matter how careful I was, the “caught” red stitches on the underside showed through the light-coloured background. It’s just an issue of a darker shade carried under a lighter shade background.

12. The recipe calls for some weird-ass sleeves which I’ve yet to suss why the designer did them this way. It calls for taking off stitches for the underarm and then doing decreases (I did a steek), then grafting the underarms (no problem) and then grafting “live” sleeve stitches to “dead” selvage stitches. It made for an interesting seam line and I’m not sure why I even have same. Would it have been better to have just sewn that area if I had to have this hole? Or perhaps, just doing the yoke like other patterns (eg see EZ) by grafting and then joining and reducing? I’m not an experienced enough knitter to know what’s up here. But, that having been said, I must admit the finished join looked pretty bloody good.

13. I wove-in all ends whenever I had to change colours. This was much easier than having to go back and darn them into the back.

14. I wonder if I’ll ever get good enough at following the colour pattern that I can do other things - like have a conversation at the same time?

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ronhuber's picture

Jessie, the sweater is beautiful. Am glad you are enjoying the wool. I understand all the points you are making. I often have different tension on the sleeves but I think it is becuase the forty cm circular has such short needles and I knit differently. Hope you have plans for the next.

kiwiknitter's picture

Ron, Thanks. I use the so-called Magic Loop method for my sleeves as I can't do continental knitting with the 40 cms needles as the actual needle is too short for me to get a good grip on it. I'm now knitting the corregated rib for the newest project. Jesse

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Bill's picture

...the big attachments were wonderful to look at...

kiwiknitter's picture

Bill, I wish I knew how I up-loaded those photos which can be enlarged. Thankfully, knitting is not a high-tech craft or else I wouldn't be doing it. I still don't have my head around how to use the DVD remote control (which is why I keep my 12 year old son around)! I think I need to purchase a new digital camera which is a bit more user-friendly. Jesse

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

TomH's picture

Gorgeous! You must be very pleased. I'm sure it's an eye-catcher.

MMario's picture

I keep telling myself I need to learn to do colourwork.And then I see something like this and wonder if I could ever manage it.


MMario - Can anybody tell me what year it is?

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

kiwiknitter's picture

Mario, Funny that; I say the same thing every time I see one of your gorgeous and intricate lace pieces! If you give stranded knitting a go, I think you'll find it is much simpler than lace work. Jesse

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Celowin's picture

Absolutely gorgeous. You mention how hard you worked to get the color scheme right, but the results are well worth the effort you put in. I particularly like the way the yoke decreases are worked into the pattern.

Kerry's picture

Jesse, what a great job you've done, the jumper looks beautiful. I agree with what you say about the feel of the wool, but it does wash up well. I've even knitted socks with Fair Isle motifs using this wool.

RCC's picture

What a beautiful work of art!

I'm envious of your products and the time invested in this craft. My next activity is to get some of my projects uploaded onto this site for some feedback!

Knit on!

kiwiknitter's picture

Rex, Yes, please do show us your work! Jesse

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Aaronknits's picture

Yup, you are the human sweater machine! That is one gorgeous piece of work!!! I'm jealous!

kiwiknitter's picture

Hi Aaron, It's not all that difficult. Here are 5 words for speedy knitting: continental, circular, seamless, steek, cutting. Give it a go! Jesse

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

kiwiknitter's picture

Everyone - Thanks for the positive feedback; it gave me a bit more encouragement to make a start on my newest Fair Isle garment (a sleeveless V-neck vest). I'm not all that happy with this Scalloway jumper and I'm hoping for improved results with the vest. I took a fortnight off from knitting; it was a forced hiatus as my knitting wools hadn't arrived from the Shetlands yet and I thought it would be a good time to rest my joints. I hope to have something to show soon. Jesse

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly