Another EZ Colour Work Yoke Sweater Plus Discovering Chart Minder

This was finished before Christmas and I planned to have this written up in January….never mind!

Once I had completed my first EZ yoked sweater I just wanted to do another one. I find that I just love colour work.

The colours of this jumper were inspired by a friend’s fair isle cardigan and I knew that I wanted a blue base. I chose to use an 100% wool  yarn this time and chose a King Cole DK quality. It’s one of the less expensive all wool yarns, the sweater has had quite a bit of wear and does already look slightly pilled in areas so I’m not sure I would chose this again.

blue yoke sweater (1824 x 1368)

For the colour work design I copied a chart from a knitting magazine I had. I had been looking for inspiration on-line before I remembered seeing a fair isle design in the Aran pattern book I had bought the previous year.

But whilst looking on-line I came across this great resource for colour work designing. Chart Minder. I had printed out some squared paper for myself to fill in with my design fully expecting it to be quite time consuming. But with Chart Minder you can do it all on the computer – adding colours to the squares, inserting rows – deleting rows etc. It took a little bit of time to get used to, especially when trying to add a row in but I got there and printed out my design.

fairisle chart

The design I created in Chart Minder


I found that the front neck on my first sweater was slightly too high so I counted how many rows of colour work were in that sweater and took off about 5 or 6 rows in the design for this one.

I was really happy with the fit on the body of the first sweater so I wanted to create the same size. I knitted a tension swatch but for some reason I decided to err on the side of caution and and added in a few extra stitches as I didn’t want it to be too small or if it shrunk when washed – which then once I knitted the body thought it was too wide – the circumference is around 3-4″ larger than the first sweater.

When knitting the colour work I did two rows of decreasing and I also knitted short rows across the back to to build up the neck. On my final row I did a little bit of decreasing on the back neck only. With regards to building up the back neck I read a post from Karen at Fringe Association where she mentions that if she knitted another colour work yoke sweater she would knit the short rows before the colour work. This would give you the look at the neck of the colour work pattern sitting the same distance underneath the rib all the way around. You can see from the picture below of my sweater that there is much more blue underneath the neck ribbing at the back. I don’t mind this but knitting the short rows under the yoke is an interesting idea.





side shoulder view (1824 x 1368)

Photo shows the building up of the back neck by working short rows across the back only.

I was on the home straight of knitting this when I suddenly went off it. I was annoyed with myself for knitting it too wide and then I also went off the colours I had chosen. My friends cardigan was lovely but I’m a different colouring and instead of thinking of what suited me I went for a group of colours that looked good together but not necessarily on me. There were a lot of ends to weave in and I nearly didn’t bother but I pulled myself together and got on with it!

OK, it’s note the fit I set out to knit and I need to wear a shirt underneath to give it the look I want and the colours have grown on me. It’s had loads of wear over the last few months and I wanted to start knitting another one straight away but I managed to control myself and maybe wait to later in the year in time for next autumn.


7 thoughts on “Another EZ Colour Work Yoke Sweater Plus Discovering Chart Minder

  1. Isn’t it odd what puts us off a project? You look terrific, fit and colour look spot on from here and I fmind it inspiring.
    I’m up to chest height with my colour work jumper and, like you, I think I’ve made it too big, hence it’s sitting in a basket looking very sad. My intentions were to take it off the needles and try it on for size but then I thought it might grow after washing and do I even have enough yarn. Really I’m just putting off undoing everything and starting again but then I think of the sleeves knitted in the bigger size and I sit, and think, and do nothing. ”Twas ever thus.

    • Oh dear! We invest so much time in knitting and it can take a while before we realize it isn’t working out as planned. Maybe like the jumper I made it wont actually be as big as you think it is going to be and still gives a good fit even if different from what you originally imagined/

  2. I was very interested to read about your latest knit and the Chart Minder that you refer to. I really love patterns like this in knitting. I once made a fair isle sleeveless pullover for my husband and really enjoyed the process. I would like to do more but I am working my way through my fabric stash.
    It is annoying when you invest so much time and effort in a project and then lose interest for whatever reason. It is something that happens to me quite often. Congratulations on completing your lovely jumper.


    • Finding Chart Minder was great. It makes working out your pattern so much easier than manually filling in squares on a piece of paper. I really enjoy colourwork now and will almost certainly do another jumper or even a cardigan later in the year. Good luck working through the fabric stash!

  3. I love this sweater and although I agree the colours are a little bit wishy washy on you it is a very beautiful piece of work. Your knitting is very nice, even and accurate. Thank you for including details on Chart Minder, but even more so generously including your design which I am very tempted to copy.

    On the short rows I have found you can add them lower down or between the colour rounds in the yoke or at the end (as you have done), after the colourwork, or even just at the ribbing stage, but it unless the jumper is in one colour they will show. Even with one colour you can see the shape, but I guess that is what darts do on a sewn item. I tend to think it is OK to show the shaping.

    • Thanks Kate, I was glad I found chart minder, I had printed off squared paper ready to manually colour in a chart when I found it. The design was from an aran knitting pattern booklet I had, I just had to reduce the amount of rows in the design to make it fit. I really enjoy colourwork, I’ve two jumpers now and I’m working on your striped raglan KAL so I don’t really think I need another this winter.

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