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Monday, June 30, 2008

Short vest or long shrug?

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Mom's vest, almost done

I truly do believe I can see that light at the end of the tunnel. My mom's vest project is very similar to watching the grass grow.

The photo above shows my current progress. I have finally managed to seam the sides. I could not believe how long this took. Weaving ends afterward was a walk in the park compared to seaming the sides! I couldn't believe I actually enjoyed weaving in ends. I never liked doing that before. It's all relative I guess.

SIDE SEAMS


Vest left seam

I started with the left seam (above) then did the right seam (below). I've heard that it is better to seam going from bottom up. I did my seaming top down, since I had long tails at the arm hole end which I wanted to use for seaming instead of tacking on a separate piece of yarn and having more ends to weave in later. Seaming is tricky business when you want to end up with the same amount of on both sides when you approach the end.


Vest right seam

FRONT BAND SECTION

In theory, the front band should be straight from hem to the beginning of the neck shaping section and then it should form a "V" from there upwards to the shoulders. Now look at the two photos below and tell me whether anything looks straight to you.


Left Front band curvature


Right front band curvature

Both front sections have this annoying curvature to them. I'm hoping it'll straighten out when I block the vest.



Ruffling or flaring in the band

Why do I have this ruffling effect on the front band? It doesn't look flattering at all. I'm hoping to minimize this too when I block the vest.

The pattern said to pick up 50 stitches along the "V" sections. I wonder whether I should have reduced this number. Although I'm not sure how one is supposed to figure out how many stitches to pick up.


Button band section

The ruffling effect isn't as noticeable in the button band section, which is 58 picked up stitches.


VEST LENGTH

So we think we're almost done. Right?

Wrong.

Here's what the vest looks like when I wear it. Is it a short vest or a long shrug? I know it's hard to get an idea of how long it is with what I was wearing when I took this photo. I can tell you that the bottom of the vest doesn't even reach my belly button!



Short vest or long shrug?

I haven't yet blocked the vest. My only hope now is to be able to block it longer without adding too much width. My mom is petite like me, so if will most likely fit her if it fits me.

So far I find this the most discouraging knitting project ever. And I have an even greater respect for knitters who can knit perfect vests and sweaters.

Mental note: DO NOT attempt any patterns labeled "intermediate" level.

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On a happier note, our Dove Family is doing fine despite the dark brown neighborhood cat's interest in them. I've noticed more scrambling sounds on our roof, particularly at night. We hadn't seen the cat loitering around the yard since the Finch Family moved out.

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6 stitch(es):

MicheleLB said...

I love the different textures on this vest. If you block it longer, it will make it narrower; the extra fabric has to come from somewhere. I think that's what you want, though, so it's all good.

Picking up along a vertical edge, I usually pick up 3 out of every five stitches, or 2 out of every 3. It's related to your stitch vs. row gauge. Mathy!

If you're not happy after blocking, you could redo the bands. Did you use a smaller needle than on the body? And a ribbed band would pull in some, and not ruffle.

I agree, it's disheartening when the picture we have in our head isn't the knitted garment we have in our hands! But you did a good job; you just may need to tweak it so it's what you want.

Anonymous said...

I always learn from your website, thanks for sharing your creative process with us. This is especially useful as my next project will be a vest. I've only been brave enough for socks, scarves and hats until now.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you on the mental note. That's why my knitting pretty much is only about scarves and hats :( But definitely this is an encouragement for me to try new "knitting adventures" and go the extra mile!!

CatBookMom said...

The ruffling on the bottom hem is due to the difference in how stockinette (and other stitch patterns) spreads compared to garter stitch. You've probably found this with the bottom hems on your cabled scarves. The solution is to use a smaller needle for the hem (perhaps 2 sizes?) or, if knitting the hem first, to knit fewer stitches in the hem and then increase to the # you need for the body of the garment. If you're knitting the hem last, you need to decrease across in the first row or two, to have fewer sts in the hem. You've already had good advice about stitch count adjustments in the front or neck and sleeve bands.

Looks good!

Pulling the length out in the blocking should work well, and it will also reduce the circumference.

TracyKM said...

I almost always disregard what the pattern says for picking up sts, and use the row to stitch gauge ratio. If you don't want to rip the entire band out (ugh), you could rip out a couple rounds, and then use gradually smaller needles, or gradually decrease some sts on each row. Measure your gauge of the garter section, figure how long you need the band to be, and do the math :)

hakucho said...

Good for you!! You did it and you did not give up! Good luck with the blocking :)