New Favorites: Round yoke sweaters

New Favorites: Round yoke sweater knitting patterns

There’s so much discussion of the relative merits of raglan versus set-in-sleeve sweater construction that it’s easy to forget about the raglan’s discreet, seamless cousin: the round yoke sweater. Unlike raglans, where the yoke-shaping increases or decreases* line up visibly along the seams, round-yoke sweaters have them evenly distributed around the yoke, making them all but invisible. For me at least (but I believe generally — you’ll correct me if I’m wrong), round yokes are chiefly associated with Nordic sweaters, where the round-yoke approach means the increases/decreases can be disguised within the characteristic colorwork of the yoke rather than interrupting it. But the method has its merits, colorwork or no colorwork.

Hannah Fettig recently released a small collection of round-yoked patterns, called Knitbot Yoked, and there are also a couple of great ones in yesterday’s Wool People 6 collection from Brooklyn Tweed (which of course is full of all kinds of loveliness). But ever since trying it on, I’ve been obsessed with the round-yoked cardigan from their previous collection, BT Fall ’13, which fit me around the shoulders like no other sweater I have ever had on. So these are now all on my official to-knit list:

TOP LEFT: Trillium cardigan by Michele Wang is the one I tried on and can’t step thinking about. Flat body and circular sleeves are knit separately from the bottom up, joined at the underarm, and the yoke — ringed with texture instead of colorwork — is knit seamlessly from there.

TOP RIGHT: Willard Fair Isle Pullover by Hannah Fettig is my favorite from her aforementioned Yoked collection. Top-down seamless with a minimalist’s version of colorwork. AND! It’s designed for Quince and Co.’s Owl yarn, which I’m dying to knit with.

BOTTOM LEFT: Skydottir pullover by Dianna Walla is a more traditional stranded-yoke design, showing just how beautiful a single contrast color can be. Body and sleeves are each knit circularly from the bottom up, joined at the underarm, and knit seamlessly in one piece from there.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Rook pullover by Kyoko Nakayoshi is my absolute favorite from Wool People 6. Top-down seamless with gorgeous cables and a doubled neckband.


*Increases if you’re knitting from the top down; decreases if you’re knitting from the bottom up.

9 thoughts on “New Favorites: Round yoke sweaters

  1. I always find round yokes do not fit me as well as raglans or set-in sleeves; there’s often a big bunch of fabric at the underarm. Somebody on Ravelry explained to me that this is because round yokes make essentially an upside-down cone shape around the shoulders, which isn’t the shape of our bodies.

  2. I don’t think I’ve made a round yoke sweater but there are several in my faves, a couple of which you have here. I am glad to hear a thumbs up for the fit. They look beautiful in the photos too…no apparent bulkiness under the arms that I can see, anyway.

    I love the few designs Quince recently put out that use Owl, so I ordered one skein to try. It is sitting front and center on my desk….but I’m not going to swatch it until I finish this Pebbles stole….hopefully some century soon…

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