Seamless Yoke Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Seamless Yoke Sweater

Summary: A seamless yoke sweater based on EZ’s percentage system. Includes information on joining the body and sleeve by weaving, sample color pattern with chart, back of neck shaping and changes in percentages for children’s sizes.

NO GAUGE IS GIVEN. The pattern is written so that a knitter can make this sweater with any gauge, accurate measurements and a little math. However, EZ uses 200 stitches as her example.

Additional technical information: Located in chapter 4 on pages 66-73 of Knitting Without Tears. If using Knitting Workshop see pages 34-53, and this pattern may be found on pages 20-24 of Knitting Around.

Color pattern variations in Knitting Workshop include:

  • Hawser Sweater (graphs on pages 45 & 47)
  • Shetland Yoke Sweater (photo only page 53)
  • Medusa Sweater (graph on page 52)
  • Fair Isle Yoke Sweater (photo only page 53)
  • Aspen Yoke Sweater (photo only page 53)
  • Icelandic Yoke Sweater (graph & pattern in appendix pages 146-147)

Pattern Note from Knitting Without Tears: “Materials depend on your size and taste. If you are using knitting worsted (very advisable for beginners), five to six 4oz skeins are usually enough; in finer wool you will need less by weight. You would be well advised to consult the salesclerk. You will need a 16” needle for the sleeves and neck, and a longer one (I prefer a 24”; one) for the body and yoke. Needle size depends on the wool and on the way you knit; for knitting worsted anything between a size 5 and a size 8.”

From Knitting Around:

  • Size: 38” around widest part of body
  • Gauge: 6 stitches to 1”
  • Materials: 8oz Shetland Wool in main color (silver grey), 1 oz each Bressay Blue, Cornflower Blue, Cream, and Lovat Shetland Wool. 11.5” (or a set of d.p. needles), 16” and 24” circular needles of a size to give you the above gauge. About #4-5, + 1 or 2 sizes smaller for the ribbing.

Pattern description from Knitting Without Tears: “There are two great advantages to seamless sweaters. First, and most important, they are comfortable, as they will stretch in all directions. You can take your arm out of the sleeve, elbow first, without any ominous sounds of popping threads. Secondly, having no seams, they demand no sewing skills at all. After you have made your first one you will possibly discover another advantage; that of mindless manual activity, which, with a little patience, will leave your eyes free to read, observe the landscape, or glue themselves to the tiny screen. So keep an open mind, and venture into the territory of the seamless sweater.”

Pattern description from Knitting Workshop: “Now that you know the techniques involved, we’re actually going to make a garment; a seamless yoke-sweater. REALLY -- no seams at all, unless you count the woven underarms, which will be totally undetectable when completed….”

The version in Wool Gathering #65 and Spun Out #46 has no colorwork.