About yokes: new ones and 30 years old ones

I have a soft spot for stranded yokes and nordic designs. They often come togeter.

For some reason they always catch my eye, whether it’s on Ravelry, in a shop, on the street, I’ll NEVER miss them.

Surprisingly I’ve passed this love on to my son. When we’re out shopping, I can just tell he’ll walk straight to the stranded sweaters, preferably in traditional colors of navy blue, red, white and grey.


Recently I was very pleased when he asked me to make him one of these stranded sweaters. Oh, how much I enjoyed the moment of chosing the pattern and the colors together and I was surprised to see how cooperative he was … I mean for a 17 year old … right!

So here it is, his very own Grettir worked with Cascade 220. He’s very pleased about it and I’m really pleased about how the fit looks on him.



Talking about stranded yokes.

About two years ago my mother gave me this sweater. I was only 15 (!) when I made this and I can still remember how excited I was about finally starting the yoke. See, I already liked these yokes then and this love has never gone away.

This is probably the very first sweater I finished completely on my own, just reading the instructions from the pattern.



Back and front parts were knit flat and so were the sleeves. We weren’t knitting in the round in those days, except for the yokes of course. The seams at the underarm look a bit messy, but I think the yoke looks pretty good for a total beginner.

When I look back at this now I think it’s quite unusual and impressive for a 15 year old girl. Well, of course there was much more knitting going on then than today, so perhaps it wasn’t unusual at all. In any case, I couldn’t imagine my daughter doing this now.

My mother kept it as a treasure for more than 30 years, safely wrapped in a transparent plastic bag. My mother really isn’t the kind of person who endlessly holds on to things, really she’s NOT. More often she will happily toss things as much as she can.
But she could never throw this one. Isn’t this sweet and I think it’s nice to know how much she values this too.

I’m on a massive clean-up project here, so even if I kept it (still in the same plastic bag) for another two years, it will finally have to go. But not before sharing a last picture with you guys.

Bye bye sweet sweater!

Thank you for having been around so long and for installing a never lasting love for knitting, yarn, colors and yokes in my heart.


23 thoughts on “About yokes: new ones and 30 years old ones

  1. Well done you on your son’s sweater. It looks fabulous on him! And good on him for appreciating his mother’s knitting! Your first yoked sweater is very well knitted – I can see why all your knits are so amazing, with all those years of mastery under your belt. My mother did a similar thing to me recently – she pulled out a dress I had sewn when I was about 16. She had kept it all this time. I had done a good job of the sewing (I used to sew all my clothes), but the fabric had leached dye after I put it in the wash, and it had totally ruined the lighter colour contrasting panel. I quietly disposed of it, but the sweet sentiments of my mother remain with great gratitude.

    • That’s so kind of you to say! Sewing is something I could never do, or probably never wanted. My mother sew almost all mine and my sisters clothes when we were young. I think I needed something “of my own”, and therefore it couldn’t be sewing.
      But you’re so right, it’s the sweet sentiments that remain. πŸ™‚

  2. Neat! What a handsome sweater. Grettir’s been on my list to make for some time. Very inspiring to see yours. Thanks!

  3. I love your son’s sweater. Are you sure your first sweater has to go? It seems such a shame after all these years. (Guess why my house is overflowing!)

    • This sweater has been around for so long, but it has not been worn in more than 30 years and it won’t. I’d only keep it for sentiment. I’m doing a massive clean-up here and sentiment is just not good enough for keeping it 😦

  4. Oh how I admire your knitting skills. This sweater is beautiful. I am so bad at fair isle knitting as the yarn tension is never right. I’m sure you truly enjoyed making such a lovely garment. Greetings from California πŸ™‚

    • Oh thank you so much for your ever so sweet comment!!! I like fair isle a lot, I kind of like the rythm in the graphics. I hope all goes well in California. Greetings from a rainy Belgium today, but spring is really behind the corner πŸ™‚

  5. You obviously are an innately-talented knitter – that first sweater is gorgeous! Have you seen Kate Davies’ book Yokes? Full of beautiful patterns and articles. How wonderful that your son enjoys this kind of design.

    • I haven’t seen her book but I’m following her blog as well. She has the most fantastic yokes and I love them all. Ella Gordon (I think they’re colleagues) just posted a wonderful blogpost on yokes too. I think these designs are timeless, very decorative without being over the top and of course so much fun to knit!

  6. That is immensely impressive for a 15yo!!!!! Wow! You’re going to give it away? Hmmm, I have a similar sweater (nowhere NEAR as nice), that my grandmother knit for my father when he was in college (he’s 71 now). I’ve kept it for awhile now. It is terribly scratchy and a very unattractive color and too big for me….but I feel like I can’t turn it out. Or maybe I can? It’s so hard to know what to keep and what to send on its way.

    Your son’s sweater looks amazing. I love men in sweaters, well-fitting sweaters. They look so handsome and just plain nice. Nice boys wear rustic chic sweaters knit by their talented mothers. πŸ™‚

    • I recently read the book “The life changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo. It’s very helpful when deciding upon what to keep and what not. Marie Kondo would say something like “this sweater has done it’s job, it was fun making it and it grew my passion for knitting”. The job is done, so it can go but thank it first, which I did. This sounds a bit odd, but it helped me and I think it makes some sense.
      Perhaps I should write a post about the “Konmari” method πŸ™‚

      Gosh, that’s probably the nicest and sweetest thing I’ve read about boys/men and sweaters! I agree!! πŸ™‚

      Thanks for leaving these nice comments, as always!
      Enjoy the weekend!

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