Elara Makealong Week 4: Continuing the Yoke

Welcome to Week 4 of the Elara Makealong! If you missed the previous week's tutorials, see the Casting on, and working in the round tutorial, as this week's tutorials build on the stitches learned in that post.

Last week, we cast-on for our Elara Pullovers, and learned how to crochet in the round. Now, you should be ready to work Rnd 5 of the Elara, which features a new kind of stitch we haven't yet touched on: a cluster, or decrease stitch.

In crochet, as with knitting, there are stitches which "decrease" during a decorative stitch pattern, and the remainder of the stitches in the pattern compensate for the decrease, so the total stitch count isn't affected. Such is the case with the next round of the Elara, which features a dc3-cluster, with chain stitches. The below photograph shows the complete version of this round, where you can see the cluster together as a little triangle, worked into the ch space below, with chain stitches side-by-side. 

Working cluster stitches is ultimately as simple as working a regular version of the stitch. All of the stitches in this pattern as written instructions for how to work each at the beginning of the notes section, but even without the instructions, we can figure this stitch out. The full abbreviation is "dc3-cluster" - dc=double crochet, 3=the number of stitches in the cluster, and cluster is self evident, in describing what type of stitch this is. 

All decrease stitches are worked as follows: work the first stitch up until the last step of the stitch, so the first loop stays on the hook. There should always be two loops left on your hook after working the first stitch of a cluster. Continue this for as many stitches are in the cluster. In this case, there are three. Your cluster should look like the below photograph.

Yarn over, and pull the yarn over through all four loops on the hook. The first dc3-cluster is complete! There are four chain stitches paired with a cluster, and this should look like the photograph below.

You will continue working the dc3-cluster, ch4 repeat until the end of the round, closing the round with a slip stitch into the first dc3-cluster. 

The next round is probably the trickiest in this section. It features stitches we already know how to do, but the placement of this stitch is new. 

The first stitch is a ch5. The next, is a FPQuadTr2tog, worked into the ch6 in Rnd 4, and the next FPTr in Rnd 4. In the above photo, I'm pointing to where that round is on the pullover. This stitch is incredibly similar to the dc3-cluster, you're working the first FPQuadTr stitch until there are 2 loops left on your hook, and then working another FPQuadTr stitch into the second indicated stitch in Round 4. This stitch should look like the below photograph.

Yarn over again, and pull the yarn over through all three loops on the hook. The final stitch should look like the below photograph.

The FPQuadTrtog stitch is paired with 2 chain stitches, and a dc stitch into the ch4 space in the previous round, so the total stitch count is not changed. As the round progresses, it should look like the following photograph.

After working this round, you know how to work every single round that comes after! We thought it might be helpful to show each of those rounds once they're finished.

Round 5 complete

Round 6 complete

Round 8 + 9 Complete

Round 10 Complete

This is the completion of the Elara yoke! You should start to notice the yoke no longer becoming a flat circle, bowed a little at the center. The next week, we'll start to work on the raglan shaping.


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