Amber’s Blaithin — Yay for Yokes!

Blaithin progress

Hello again from Blaithin land! This is an exciting post for me for several reasons. The first one can be seen in the two photos sandwiching this post: The sleeves are done! Not only did I successfully live through the knitting of a pair of things again, but they are exactly the same size and shape and everything. (No, I am not a sock knitter — how’d you guess?)

Blaithin progress

Another happy bit is the unique and lovely fabric this yarn is knitting up into. An ideal amount of floofy, underspun bits make a superbly varied texture, made even more perfect by the fact that they are spaced in a most pleasing way, aka: No giant islands of fleeciness in a sea of otherwise orderly stockinette. Hooray!

Blaithin progress

Super high up on the best thing list is finally finishing the body.

Blaithin progress

Don’t get me wrong, this has been a thoroughly pleasant knit so far, but I did start to get just the tiniest bit tired of nothing but knitting in circles for those last six inches or so. When I finally got to the point of attaching the sleeves on Saturday night, I considered throwing an impromptu party, but it was late and I was very tired so I went directly to bed instead. I can’t say for sure, but I may have drifted off to sleep with the sound of distant party blowers dancing in my ears…

sleeves attached!

After a busy Sunday morning and early afternoon, I finally had a chance to jump into the yoke chart. Because I guess I was really afraid I might freak out and destroy the colorwork section, I put in a lifeline before I started. Sometimes I can be a responsible knitter when it really counts.

starting yoke

Oh, before I go any further, I remember someone requesting to see my backside (my goodness!), so here’s that so far. As far as I can tell, I seem to be staying nice and even and not pulling or going too far the other way and being droopy. Now here’s hoping I can stay consistent!

9-15 (3)

I didn’t get very far up the chart that first day, but I am pleased with what little I have so far, and cannot wait to share the rest of the yoke next time! Provided the knitting winds keep blowing my way over the next few weeks of course. Fingers crossed that they do, because I am so in love with doing colorwork right now!

oh boy!


Amber resides in sporadically idyllic Berks County, PA with her husband and three children.

She can most often be found knitting, making soap, sewing, or puttering around in her garden. She should probably leave her house more often.


  1. Looking great Amber! I can’t wait to see it finished. Knit like the wind!

    • Thanks Kristen! Your yarn is knitting up GORGEOUSLY as the yoke background! I am 99% sure I will be okay for yardage, even with the extra color bit I plan to do at the bottom, but if I send you a message in a panic in a few days, you’ll know why. 😉

  2. Lovely knitting, and the color work, nice to see what it is supposed to look like on the back side…

  3. Beautiful Amber! This is going to be a great sweater !

  4. Beautiful colour choices.

    As a beginning knitter, I was interested in seeing you use a lifeline. I’ve read about them, but haven’t used them yet. Is there a particular brand that I should invest in?


    • Generally a lifeline is just scrap yarn. You can use a lighter weight so you don’t stretch the stitches, but that’s it. :)

    • Thank you!

      As Erin said, a lifeline is usually just some sort of yarn scrap. I usually use something thinner than the yarn in my project, and not too fuzzy or grabby so it isn’t hard to remove later and doesn’t leave a lot of itself behind.

      A quick Google search for “guides to putting lifelines in knitting” brings up a lot of resources, both written and video, so you should be able to pick one that helps when you’re ready to try!

  5. Oh, I LOVE it! You are wonder-woman that you can make such great progress with your three little helpers.
    Thanks for the photo of the backside – yes, it was my request. Looks like a nice steady tension – any tips on how you maintain that?

    Keep knitting – the yoke will be beautiful with your color choices and mods.

    • Thanks Bonnie! Hardly wonder woman though (but I do wish!). I think I am a faster knitter than I have been giving myself credit for, and perhaps more importantly, I am very good at ignoring my housework for a day or two when the knitting bug bites especially hard. 😉

      My tension is generally pretty even, but one important thing I have been doing during this project is spreading the stitches out on both needles as I knit, especially when I have longer floats in a row. Since my sweater has been crammed down to about half its size on the only length cable I had in the right needle size, I wanted to make absolutely sure I wasn’t knitting any stitches while they were too close together and having a puckery nightmare later. It only takes me an extra second to spread them out as I go, and so far it seems to be doing the job.

  6. So Amber, do you go up a needle size for your stranded colorwork? I have heard that this can help avoid tension issues.

    • You know, I considered it, but since my swatch came out well, I decided to just stick with the needle size I was already using on the body and see how it went for a few rows (hence the lifeline before starting the yoke).

  7. Those colors look terrific with the natural of the rusticus! And you colorwork is looking great!

    • Thanks Anna! I must get a picture in the daylight today. The yarns just look so perfect together, and the yoke is really starting to glow (and grow)!

  8. Melissa (SheCrochets)

    September 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Oh, Amber! It’s truly lovely!! I am jealous of the beautiful even tension on the back. That’s always been a problem for me. I can’t wait to see this finished!

    • Thanks Melissa! I am lucky to have pretty even tension, but I do sometimes find myself getting tighter and having to remind myself to ease up a bit. Definitely not a project to work on when stressed! or, you know, more stressed than usual. 😉

  9. It’s looking GORGEOUS!!! You must be sooo excited to be at the colourwork section! I LOVE how the rustic yarn looks in the body of the sweater, and the colours are just sooooo so perfect for the season :)

    • Thank you Sarah!!! I am so super excited! I have been waiting for this part the whole time, and it does not disappoint! Color work is SO satisfying. Like a good cable pattern really. Just seeing the pictures emerge more and more with each row is like magic. :)

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