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We just had a visitor come through our knitting class. She told us that she was a knitter but that she could “never do what we were doing!” And all of the students exclaimed at once that of course she could!

So what are we doing that looks so complicated but is so based in common sense that we think this newcomer could totally handle it?

Well, here’s what we’re doing in the knitting room this week: Top Down Stranded Yoke Sweaters (without a pattern). Sounds intense, right? Sounds like you need a lot of experience? Nope! Really, all we are doing is the knit stitch and increasing.

We’re starting at our necklines, learning how to do the knit stitch with one color in each hand (stranded knitting), and then we are increasing as we work beautiful designs down to the widest part of our shoulders (the “yoke”). Since we each have different body sizes and proportions, and we each fancy different types of designs, we are going off-road and making up our own sweater patterns as we go.

It’s so much easier than it sounds: on the first night of class we started a gauge swatch, and on Monday morning we measured our swatches to figure out what gauge we were getting (i.e., how many stitches per inch). Then we measured our necks, shoulders, chests, and multiplied!

As we go, we keep trying on our sweaters-in-progress, taking careful notes of what we’re doing so that we can repeat the same process later for another garment (if we wish), or tweak it to make it even better. Hopefully by the end of the week, we’ll have divided for the armholes and then these knitters can go home and work on down the body of their sweaters (the easier part).

In the meanwhile, we’ve been chatting with the doors open, listening to birdsong and great contra dance music (the Syncopaths, the Mean Lids, and the Free Raisins).

Thanks for reading! Learn the knit stitch and come take this class!

Visit Jessica Kaufman’s website: happygocrafty.com or visit her on FB: facebook.com/happygocrafty and Twitter: @HappyGoCrafty twitter/Instagram