I have been having some Yarn-Harlot-level difficulties in getting my completed pullover photographed, but today I managed to find a few minutes of (indoor) sun with my HLM, and we got some passable shots.
I kept the yoke pattern pretty top-secret until I got that far, partly since I knew that knitting the body (stockingette black sock-weight around and around and around, in case you forgot) would take forever, and I didn't want everyone to be anticipating the yoke for months on end. I cast this one on in the beginning of October, and I knew it would be a bit of a sleeper project, while I worked on much flashier items. The yoke design, in case you don't recognize it, is from the old video game Space Invaders. You can find the charts here, if you are so inclined. It has been used for a sock pattern in Knitty, as well as a lot of other stuff, which you can find on Ravelry. When I first thought of using this for a yoke sweater, I thought I was ingenious. I wasn't the first one to do it, though. Turns out there are a lot of us knitting geniuses out there.
Nothing terribly exciting about the construction of it -- I used Elizabeth Zimmermann's yoke pullover design (from Knitting Workshop) but rethought the numbers a lot to make it fit everywhere just the way I wanted. I made a good-sized gauge swatch and did a lot of math. The circumference has a bit of negative ease at the hip and bust, so it looks like it has some shaping, even though it doesn't. There is a nice broad garter stitch hem at the bottom, and matching cuffs for the sleeves. The sleeves are a little bit long, as is my preference. I did some short rows in the back of the sweater, to lengthen the back a bit, and lots and lots of short rows for the bust, to allow the sweater to hug my assets. It also ensures that the sweater won't ride up in the front because of the extra distance it has to travel over that area. After I knitted the stranded yoke, I did a few more short rows along the neckline, sides and back, to raise it up a bit. I hate it when the back of my neck gets cold, don't you?
The only real challenge, as I mentioned somewhere along the way, was the math for the stranded yoke. I had envisioned little columns of marching alien invaders, as you see in the game, but of course there is room for so few invaders around the neckline, and if I followed that scheme, it would have left long stretches of black between each invader at the bottom of the yoke, which isn't at all right. So I had to re-envision the whole thing, and let go of the perfect video game image. The original game image would also have had a different colour scheme, since it would be two rows of Granny Smith aliens at the bottom, then two rows of Mermaid blue aliens, then two rows of Grass green. Since I decided I could only fit five rows in total, and I was rethinking the spacing of them, I also decided to mirror the colours from top to bottom. I think it ended up looking pretty good.
I love this sweater, because it is everything that I wanted: lightweight but warm, a cute nerdy design that makes me laugh, a comfortable and fitted sweater that is flattering. Isn't it great making something exactly the way you want it to be?
Living life somewhere in the grey area between Liz Lemon and Nancy Botwin. I live with my beloved Heterosexual Life Mate (HLM), no kids, two beautiful feline ladies, and what I can only assume are self-replenishing stacks of fabric and yarn.
rstovin on ravelry