Shetland Yoke Cardigan for Autumn

Many months ago I blogged about the blue Shetland cardigan I found at a vintage clothing shop. Earlier this year I posted pictures from a Shetland cardigan I was knitting myself. Today I’m finally able to show you the finished garment!

This cardigan has had quite some setbacks. The projects was set aside when I went adventuring in the highlands. Later it was put aside again as I lost my DPN’s and had to order a new set. Finally, when everything save for the button band was finished I ran out of yarn. Luckily I was able to order new yarn in the same colourway, but the package got lost in the mail. When trying to solve this issue with J&S, the internet thought it would be helpful to eat some of our email correspondence. So… Given all of that, I appreciate the miracle that the cardigan actually got finished at all.

Traditionally, Shetland yoke jumpers are both hand and machine knitted. The body is knitted on machine and the yoke is knitted by hand. I was quite surprised when I learned about this earlier this year. For a hand knitter, it is a bit odd to think about machine knitting as traditional. Kate Davies has done a cardigan in this traditional Shetland way of knitting for her forthcoming book Yokes. I’m keen to learn more about this way of knitting. My version is entirely knitted by hand, as I can’t machine knit to save my life, but it is something I’d like to know more about.

Pattern: Hairst Cardigan
Designer: Sandra Manson
Yarn: Jamieson and Smith 2 ply jumper weight

The yarn is Jamieson and Smith 2 ply jumper weight, and it’s the first time I’ve used it for a garment. After the package with all the yarn got in, I spent about a week admiring all the colours each time I passed the box. Jamieson and Smith sell this pattern in a kit. It came a bit short for me due to my gauge, yet the kit was very useful nevertheless. You get the pattern printed on durable thick paper (it kinda feels like a short paperback novel). With your order you usually get the standard colours, but if you add a comment to your purchase, you can get the kit in any colour you’d like.

Hairst means Autumn in Shetland dialect so I opted for colours that reflect this season. Autumn is my favourite season, and I’ve always liked autumnal colour palettes. This combination was meant to be. I haven’t made a cardigan or jumper in this colour combination before, and I wonder how I’ve been able to live without it! The only change that I made, apart from the colour palette, was knitting button holes instead of using popper buttons.

Despite the few setbacks I enjoyed knitting this cardigan immensely. I can see a couple of more Shetland yoke cardigans in my future!


9 thoughts on “Shetland Yoke Cardigan for Autumn

  1. Dat ziet er weer goed uit.
    Heb je altijd wat te vertellen over de totstandkoming van de Yoke Cardigan.
    A lovely story.
    Zal lekker warm zijn,zeker de komende dagen.
    Groeten aan iedereen.


  2. Wow, gorgeous sweater, and great photos, you look smashing! Such great colours, they match the sweater name well. In Norwegian autum is "høst" or "haust". I know some of the Scottish words that are of Norse origin, now I know another one.
    Guess I'll have to check out that yarn as well. The brown shade I think is especially lovely.
    And Kate Davies is just genious. Her thoughts have changed the way I think about yarn and its origin.

  3. Thanks for the lovely comments everybody! You are all so sweet!

    @Veronika Cool! I figured there would be some Norse influence on Scottish Gaelic instead of only on English, but I never knew the examples. The Dutch word seems vaguely related (Herfst, pronounced "hairfst") as well, though I didn't realize it until you mentioned this!

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