Wednesday, April 3, 2024

The Yoke Phrancko pattern

What you need to know!

The Yoke pattern is the newest addition to the types of Phrancko Sweaters. It may be the simplest to knit or it may be the one requiring the most design expertise, depending on what you want to do with it. Like all of the Phrancko pattern types, there are no color changes or other design elements in the pattern. If you work it all in one colorway of yarn, then the pattern is probably the simplest of all the patterns to work and you will get a single color, yoked sweater with set-in sleeve architecture. It is the simplest to knit because there are no picked up stitches, and no flat knitting at the sides of the neckline, and, if you work the line-by-line instructions, there are no "meanwhile" sections that need to be worked simultaneously. 

If you simply change colors from time to time as you work the yoke and the upper body, then you can also easily create a multi-colored, striped yoke design. An example is the first Yoke sweater I published in Cast On magazine which you can see here

On the increase rounds, you can place the increases wherever you think works best. The default pattern (see "three choices" below) says "Inc 3 on front and on back." These increases can be worked at random locations across the front and across the back if you are simply working each round in a single color.

However, if you want to modify the pattern to produce a more complex multicolor or stitch patterned design, things can get complicated.

Choose one of three choices 

In the box at the top of the pattern (when viewed online, not printed or downloaded), you will see three links that present different options for the number of increase rounds. Each of these options produces essentially the same yoke with the same number of stitches in the first and last rounds of the yoke. The difference is how may increase rounds there are and how many increases to do on each round. For instance, a pattern may suggest increasing 3 times on front and back 20 times. Then if you choose the second option, the pattern will re-write itself to suggest increasing 6 times on front and back on 10 rounds. And the third option will then suggest increasing 12 times on 5 rounds. Each of those options result in 60 increases being worked on the front and back. 

If you are a designer who wants to work a charted pattern into the yoke, you may select the option that best suits your pattern. A horizontal chart design may work better with fewer increase rounds so the charts may be worked between those rounds. A vertical chart may work better with more rounds of fewer increases. You may also select an entirely different number of rounds with different numbers of increases just as long as the yoke grows at approximately the same rate as the pattern specifies and ends with the same number of stitches after the yoke is completed.

Line-by-line or more concise instructions

The pattern as initially written provides line-by-line instructions. This means that every line of the sleeve caps, whether an increase line or not, is specified in the very same instructions as the lines of the body which also specify occasional decreases on the body of the sweater. It is my intention to provide an alternate version of the pattern that specifies the sleeve cap shaping more concisely in a separate section to be worked at the same time as a separate body section that specifies just the decrease lines. 

This alternate version is coming soon, I hope! But I am making the Yoke pattern available publicly before finishing that alternative.

As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me at Or better yet, come to our weekly meeting of Phrancko Sweater knitters that meets at 2:30pm Pacific Time every Saturday. The group will welcome you and have lots of advice for you there.