Here we are in the middle of an extraordinary, flower-filled May and what do I find myself thinking about working on? Knitting. With wool. Yes, I am one of those season-less knitters that knits happily through all seasons and usually mid-July finds me sewing up the seams on a sweater I’ll be wearing in October. So although New York City seems poised for summer, I find myself thinking about the sweaters I’ll be wearing next fall. Allow me to introduce, Lady Yak.
This sweater was designed as a wardrobe staple with a sleek, simple silhouette and just enough detail to keep the knitter interested. When I was knitting the sample in the fading fall light, with yarn that is so charcoal it’s almost black, I affectionately dubbed the sweater “Nothing to See Here,” but if you look closely, there are a few areas of interest.
First, the essentials. The cuffs and hem are worked in 2×2 rib with tubular edges. The sweater has set-in sleeves with full-fashioned shoulder shaping to set the shoulder seam behind the natural shoulder line for a flattering fit.
A ribbed detail runs up the side seams for a slim profile.
And perhaps my favorite aspect is the asymmetrical fold-over collar which is knit separately and sewn to the neckline using backstitch. This is a technique that I really love to use for necklines and in addition to the written instructions in the pattern I’ll be posting a tutorial to illustrate how this is done.
Lady Yak became a design idea after I knit a hat for my husband using Lang Yak, a 50/50 blend of yak and virgin wool. Not only did the hat come out beautifully soft, but after several winters of being shoved in and out of winter coat pockets, it hadn’t developed a single pill. I was intrigued by the strength and beauty of this fiber blend and I knew I wanted to try it for a sweater. During the time I worked at Knitty City I earned a reputation for myself as a real yak-pusher as I tried to encourage every customer that would listen that it was the epitome of durable luxury.
Lady Yak was conveniently knit in my size and has indeed become a wardrobe staple. It feels better with each successive wearing (that yak halo practically hugs you while you wear it) and I haven’t had to shave it for pills once. The only danger of wearing a sweater this delicious is that people have to feel for themselves just how dreamy it is, so there is a risk of being pet like a small dog. Worth it!