One of the hottest yarn trends of 2018 has been the resurgence of the yoke sweater. We’ve been feeling the vintage vibes from the 80s and the 90s for several seasons in the fashion world, so it’s no surprise this look is back in style. Whether you’ve always been a diehard fan, or you’re jumping on the bandwagon for the first time, welcome! Here are 13 gorgeous yoke sweater patterns, including two brand new patterns from our Northern Lights lookbook.
The yoke sweater conjures retro fantasies of weekends at the chalet, or ice skating, or really any classic wintertime activity. It’s also got that timeless ‘cool’ quality that vintage items inspire in our wardrobe. But the intricacy of a yoke pattern hints at a thoughtfulness that defies the traditional concept of ‘cool’. We can tell someone took great time and care to create each of these projects, so that’s what makes them truly timeless.
While yoke sweaters seem very of-the-moment, us crafters have known & loved this style forever. From the brilliant construction, which allows you to work top-down, or bottom-up, to minimal finishing, we’ve always been fans. And historically, it seems that every culture has some example of an intricate pattern they incorporate into the tops of their sweaters. Whether it’s because now knitting machines can achieve the circular construction, or we as a global fashion community are sharing inspiration more than ever before, we’re glad to see the yoke sweater having a ‘moment’. Even if we loved it first.
Our new Folke Pullover (Knit) is a bold rendition of the yoke sweater. If you’re hesitant about this vintage style, then this chunkier pattern and these strong color choices are sure to revamp this trend for you. Plus, this pullover will be very chunky, since you’ll be using Wool-Ease Thick & Quick to stitch it up. For a slightly lighter-weight project, what about the Aspen Sweater (Knit)? The pattern is slightly more minimal, and the grey-scale palette can be worn with anything. Even though the Wool-Ease yarn is a CYC 4 Medium, it’ll still be plenty warm because it’s a wool blend.
Here are three beautiful but very different button-up yoke sweater options. The first, the Petrine Cardigan (Knit) is from our Nothern Lights lookbook and works up in almost all the Jeans Yarn colors. Jeans will make this a cozy cardi that can withstand washing while maintaining its beautiful colors. The second cardi pattern is our Circular Yoke Vest (Knit) is also a very cozy project, because it calls for Wool-Ease Thick & Quick. This piece would be cute either on its own, or layered over a long-sleeved tee. Then finally, our Canarsie Top Down Cardi (Knit). This pattern is a surprisingly accessible one – it’s only a Level 2 – Easy (Beginner +) project, so even newer knitters could give it a whirl.
There aren’t too many crochet yoke sweater options, but these are two stellar options. The Ladylike Pullover Pattern (Crochet) is a very unusual style, using an open-weave to create the yoke sweater look. This is a Level 5 – Experienced pattern, so beginning crafters might want to start elsewhere. For instance, the Curvy Girl Openwork Top Down Pullover (Crochet) is a Level 3 – Intermediate pattern, so it might be easier to tackle first. And you could definitely substitute any of the other Vanna’s Glamour colors for this project.
How cute are these three little yoke sweaters? If you’ve got a little in your life, then any of these sweaters would make a very sweet gift. The Snow Bunny Tunic Pattern (Knit) features that classic yoke look, with zigzag colorwork around the neck. While it does include a couple discontinued colors of Vanna’s Glamour, you could definitely substitute another Topaz and Sapphire. The Leaf Yoke Cardigan Pattern (Knit) features a textured yoke, another classic yoke sweater style. The Round Yoke Baby Sweater Pattern (Knit) also has a textured yoke. You could substitute our new ZZ Twist Yarn for either of these patterns.
Whatever your sweater style, we encourage you to embrace the yoke sweater trend this year. Early fall is the perfect time to start stitching your sweater to wear later in the season. Have you tackled this trend before? Let us know in the comments below if you have any helpful tips for crafters trying one for the first time. And let us know if you’ll be crafting a yoke sweater, especially if you choose one of these 13 patterns!