by Sarah Stanfield November 08, 2020 3 min read

Sweaters with a contrasting colourwork yoke seem to universally loved by everyone, and not just knitters! Whether you knit from the top down so you get to start with the colour play of the yoke, or prefer to knit from the bottom up to get the satisfaction of the sleeves suddenly joining up with the body and then colourwork to the finish, you'll have a stunning and unique statement sweater to take you right through to Spring (and beyond, in Scotland...)

A white woman with long curly brunette hair stands on the beach smiling at the camera with the sea behind her. She is wearing an earthy green knit sweater with a dark brown and light grey colourwork yoke. Her left arm is folded up and her hand is near her neck holding the cuff of her sweater.

Recently we've re-released Threipmuir, a stunning colourwork sweater knit from the top down that's been incredibly popular since it first started making its way on to knitters needles. Have you made Threipmuir? If you loved it we have some suggestions of patterns that we think will inspire you to dive a little deeper into colourwork as well as developing your skills. Or if you just finished your first colourwork sweater and aren't sure what to knit next? We're here to help.

cut on images displayed on a white background of a colourwork yoked sweater, a colourwork vest, a cowl, hat and hat and mitts set


A white woman with long fair hair wears a fair isle vest in greens and blues, over a checked dark blue shirt and jeans. She is sitting looking out to the side, with sea and a hilly landscape behind her.

If it was the colourwork that you particularly loved about Threipmur, then a garment design with all-over colourwork would be a great next project to try. Cruden is a traditional Fair Isle vest worked from the bottom up. The pattern uses seven colours, though this can be varied and if you've never tried steeking before (cutting your knitting to make space for the neckline and armholes - it's not as scary as it sounds!), this would be a perfect project for a first time. We even have a tutorial to guide you through it!

Cruden would knit up beautifully in Rauma Finull PT2, which has over 100 colours to choose from. We've written more about why we love this yarn so much on the blog, and you can read that here


a colourwork cowl in blues, browns and earthy tones lays flat on wooden surface.

Do want to explore colourwork a little more but looking for a quicker knit? Pyukkleen is a stranded colourwork design with geometric patterns, short floats and no steeking. Ideal if you're looking for a project with a soothing repetitive rhythm and in an aran weight yarn it creates a fabulously warm fabric with plenty of body - perfect to protect you from chilly winds at this time of year.


the back and crown of a traditional fair isle hat in neutral, browns and red. It is worn slightly slouchy by a model in front of a red door.

If you enjoyed the traditional 

Icelandic Lopapeysas style of Threipmur and want to delve deeper into traditional colourwork, Elska could be just the thing. The stitch pattern of this Fair Isle hat is from the endlessly inspiring A Shetlander's Fair Isle Graph Book. Although it has traditional patterning, Elska has a less traditional slouchy shape to give it a modern feel and there's always the option of adding a pom pom for a little more whimsy. Find the pattern for your version here.


a white woman with fair hair wears a tradional yoked sweater in grey with a yellow pattern around the yoke. She stands in front of a rugged landscape and has a red and black camera strap around her neck as she smiles and looks to the side.

If you're looking to get very, very cosy this winter and need another yoked sweater on your needles, our Strokkur sweater pattern may solve all your problems. The construction is different to Threipmuir - it's knit from the bottom up - which means that you get the magic of joining the body and sleeves in one go, and then marvelling as the colourwork appears. It's knit up in Lett Lopi, so a heavier weight than Threipmuir, and perfect for winter. We have kits available as well as the individual pattern and you can find those here.


A white woman wears a colourwork hat and fingerless mitts in grey, teal and yellow. She wears a black t-shirt and looks to the side with her hands raised and tucked into her neckline.

We know lots of knitters can't get enough of stranded colourwork, and the Rhodiola hat and mitts pattern gives the fun of combining colours along with an interesting technique - mosiac knitting. This is an easy technique that uses multiple colours but only ever involves working with one colour at a time. The pattern is created by slipping stitches to carry the previous colour up a row. Intrigued? Find the pattern here.

Need some help getting started?

If you're looking to refresh your memory with colourwork techniques, we've put together a handy guide to get you started. Here you'll find some of the basic skills you'll need, tips and links to free tutorials, as well as even more pattern suggestions.

Have you knit any of these patterns? We'd love to know why you chose them so please do let us know in the comments.

Sarah Stanfield
Sarah Stanfield

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