Well, it is time to introduce you to the first yoke from my new collection. Meet Epistrophy.


Epistrophy is the title of a Be Bop “standard” composed and popularised by Thelonius Monk in 1942. The tune is characterised by its repetition and modification of a single, imitative phrase (or epistrophe). If you’d like to hear the tune, press play.

(Monk with Charlie Rouse, Butch Warren, and Frankie Dunlop)

Like Monk’s tune, as this yoke progresses, the diced pattern imitates, repeats and modifies a single motif.


The result is a yoke with a graphic monochrome necklace. Shaping is integrated uninterrupted into the colourwork, and the yoke is designed to sit across the top of the shoulders.


Epistrophy is worked in the round from the bottom up, and then steeked open. . .


The steek edges are trimmed, and covered by a ribbon facing . . .


. . . and the cardigan fastens with buttons and buttonholes that are worked into the rib.


The yarn I’ve used is Toft Ulysses DK – a wonderful British wool – that comes in two muted shades of grey (silver and steel).


The yarn is wonderfully soft and springy and knits up to create a beautifully even fabric. The finished yoke has quite a luxurious feel, but the yarn is such that it will also last and wear well.


I loved the whole process of designing and knitting this yoke (much of which was accompanied by the tunes of Thelonius Monk), and its one of the garments that I have found myself unable not to wear. My samples are often used for trunk shows etc so I’m not really supposed to wear them, but I confess I did pop Epistrophy on to take my driving test a couple of weeks ago. Do you think it might have helped me to pass?epistrophy21

These pictures were taken just round the corner from where I live, by the bonnie banks and braes of Loch Lomond.

Every pattern in the new book has been photographed in a different location – I wanted to give each garment a distinct style and feel, and knew that I needed a cloudy evening to photograph this design.


If you’d like to know further details about the yarn quantities, gauge and sizing for this pattern, do nip over to the Epistrophy pattern page on Ravelry. I have set up the Yokes source on Ravelry too, and will be revealing and adding more patterns as the days go on.

More to come!

89 thoughts on “Epistrophy

  1. I love this sweater ! I wear mine often!!
    Toft Ulysses DK yarn is divine ,but I know that pilling is inherent to this type of yarn. How do I keep it looking great? Ive used the stone, my fingers… do you have any suggestions?


  2. Ohh i do envy you kate living where you do ,i love scotland the autumn colours will be fabulous ,i love your new design also and can,t wait for your new book xx


  3. About passing the driving test: I didn’t think this until after I read that part of the post, but when I did, what I thought of is that the monochrome nature of the design and the geometric-ness of it reminded me of tire treads (in a good way!!)

    I agree with all the comments above – the sweater is lovely, the location is stunning, and it is so good to see you looking so joyful and serene!


  4. What a beautiful appetizer! I am looking forward to seeing the whole collection of yokes.
    The whole set-up of pictures and your outfits are just great. Thank you for sharing it all.


  5. What a truly beautiful design! I don’t often see designs I want to knit just as they are, without any alteration. This definitely is one of them – just perfect als it is: shape, colour, pattern – and the very beautiful photographs, too. Congratulations!


  6. I LOVE THIS! And I took a steeking class recently that I would love to put into practice on this beautiful sweater. I can’t wait to see the others in the collection!


  7. Oh swoon! I think I might have to make 2015 the ‘Year of the Yoke’ in my knitting.
    I love this, and the other sneak peek. I still have Paper Dolls on my to do list….definitely need a yoke knitting year.


  8. I’m so excited to see all of your new designs! I’m asking for the book for my birthday. p.s. congratulations on passing the driving test!


  9. Absolutely wonderful. You are inspired and inspiring. I can’t knit fast enough to make all the lovely patterns you design. :-) what a challenge it is.


  10. Not to negate your driving skills – but I’m sure wearing that beautiful cardigan would not have gone unnoticed. It is truly gorgeous and I cannot wait to buy the book x


  11. Oh, you are so clever! It’s wonderful and the yoke decreases as inspired as they are invisible.
    If this is a taste of what is to come I am so excited!

    And the styling of the shoot is perfect, I expect Tom is your photographer? An excellent team.


  12. This is absolutely lovely Kate. Simple but brilliant. I have a self-imposed ban currently in place preventing the purchase of any more knitting books but having seen this – the ban is temporarily lifted!!


  13. Perfection =you with the water behind you, wearing your amazing Work of Art! I love seeing you in these photos, Kate, with your lovely spirit showing in your face! Well Done, dear Kate!


  14. Love it Kate.do you think it would be available in a kit? It would be great if that option was available.
    Thanks and can’t wait for the next one.


  15. Oh, I am in love! Quite apart from the fact that I have a thing for soft grey, you have done such sweet things with the finishing details, the beautiful styling with the skirt billowing in the breeze, and the gentle evening light. Quite breathtaking!


  16. I have been a (silent) reader of this blog for years and admire the long way you came and the courage you showed. I love the wonderful English you write and I think, your skill to design (and wear) always the perfect garment for you is awesome: Nothing to be altered, nothing can be improved – it is perfect. This yoke once more is the striking proof of your talent: Not only are you an experienced and talented knitter, but a great designer. That is not current. Congratulations! My only drop of bitterness is that I cannot read English knitting patterns ….


  17. So nice to see you smiling! Loch Lomond is a place I fondly remember visiting and walking around in the ’80s. Looking forward to seeing the book.


  18. What a lovely cardigan, and such a clever design! Can’t wait for the book to be published! Just a small note, though: it’s a pity that the buttons haven’t been placed well on the photographed garment, the result being that the yoke pattern therefore doesn’t follow across the fronts.


  19. This is lovely…love the soft colour. Also love your style of wearing your works of art. Where do you obtain such beautiful skirts and dresses?


  20. oh my goodness! As always, a gorgeous pattern! I love how your patterns always have a back story to them. I never feel like any of them are just taking up space or meeting a deadline. They all seem specifically inspired and lovingly created to enhance the experience of the story. You are a true artisan with fibers!


  21. As a lifelong knitter and fan of thelonius monk, I must say that it was a pleasure to both view and listen to this most recent entry. Genius to be able to peruse a blog and listen to some brilliant jazz along the way!


comment here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.