The Art of Circular Yokes: L’Heure Verte

I love this current trend of circular-yoke sweaters. Yes, I know, they’ve been around for ages, but until recently they all seemed to be Icelandic- or Shetland-style colorwork. What if colorwork isn’t your thing? Sometimes I don’t want to bother with picking out multiple colors and making sure they both (a) go together and (b) are different enough to be seen. Not everyone is into traditional styles either. Icelandic sweaters are gorgeous, but dang are they warm; not everyone needs a heavy sweater to protect them from sub-zero temperatures. Likewise, I think Fair Isle sweaters are beautiful, but they don’t fit easily into my wardrobe. While I love the idea of dressing like a British Land Girl from World War Two, it unfortunately doesn’t really suit me (one of my many personal-style regrets).

The Art of Circular Yokes uses circular-yoke construction with a variety of textural patterns, cables, lace patterns, and (of course) stranded colorwork to create a wide array of modern looks and silhouettes. The patterns are a more contemporary, less traditional take on circular-yoke sweaters. There are loads of patterns that I love, but my favorite is the L’Heure Verte pullover.

circular yoke sweater

L’Heure Verte is a modern version of the classic circular-yoke sweater.

This sweater has a beautiful textural pattern that is created entirely with increases and decreases. The yoke pattern was a test of Jennifer Dassau’s knitting-engineering skills. “The increase rate was pretty set in stone for this design, so I had to work around that, as opposed to calculating all the increases and rates first, then fitting the patterning into it. I love a challenge!” she explained.

Like many circular-yoke sweaters, this pullover is worked from the top down. Once you make it past the pretty yoke pattern, there are a few short rows worked to improve the fit. After that, it’s worked entirely in stockinette stitch in the round to create a cropped, A-line silhouette. In other words, you get to do the fun yoke knitting up front, then coast through the body knitting. It’s the perfect combination of interesting and quick.

circular yoke sweater

The textured yoke is created using increases and decreases.

Curious about the name? L’Heure Verte is named for its pale green color. The silvery green foliage of the artemisia (or wormwood) plant was used to make the storied spirit absinthe. Drinking absinthe became so popular in French cafes that by the mid-nineteenth century, happy hour there was called l’heure verte (“the green hour”).

Which is your favorite circular-yoke sweater?

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