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Sunday, August 10, 2008

My First Knit Vest

You last saw this vest blocked without buttons. I know it's been a while since I finished this vest, it just took me quite a while to type up my final blog post about my very first knitted vest. I wanted to get all my knitting notes in here for future reference, but I had such a hard time sitting down and concentrating on this. Well here it is. Better late than never, eh? :-)

(Yes, I'm still working on typing up the row-by-row instructions for my Hera Scarf and Triumph Scarf. It's next on my "todo" list. Really! ----- And I've cast on for my Triumph Scarf and will post progress photos soon!)



Pattern: Patchwork Textured Vest from Lion Brand
Yarn: Elann Highland Wool, Allspice color
Needles: 4 mm, 4.5 mm

This is my first big shaped garment, a vest for Mom. She wanted a vest and it had to meet certain criteria: straight hem all around; not too long; v-neck. After showing her a few potential vests, she chose this one. She also chose the color. We were looking at lavender shades at first, but then she later decided on this yellowish Allspice color telling me that, "it's a good color for older people." Ok, whatever. She always had her own ideas about things. I thought the lavender would have looked great on her. Although the pattern is relatively simple (I think), I found this to be a challenging and difficult knit for several reasons:
  • Not really grasping "knitting to gauge".
  • Having substituted a lighter weight (almost DK weight) Elann Highland Wool worsted weight yarn in place of the heavier weight Lion Brand Cotton worsted weight yarn specified in the pattern.
  • Having a hard time comprehending the instructions as written, especially the shaping sections where while doing A, you also do B.
  • Knitter stupidity and lack of common sense.


Buttons for mom's vest

I would have to say that the funnest part of knitting this vest was choosing buttons for it. I had no idea what to get and it was a good thing I brought the vest with me while shopping so I could try them on and see how the buttons looked. Some buttons look nice on the rack but not on the vest. Thank goodness the vest pattern specified the size to get, otherwise I might have chosen larger buttons. I was aiming for 5/8 inch. Oh and thank goodness the button sizes were labeled too cuz there would have been no way for me to eyeball 5/8 inch. The buttons I chose seemed to match ok. They're not very exciting buttons however I think my mom will find them acceptable.


Buttons, not so evenly spaced

I sewed the buttons starting from the bottom. For some reason it wasn't until I was sewing on the penultimate and last buttons when I realized that I should have used the vest pattern to determine where to sew the buttons so that they would match the button holes. For example, if the button hole is on row 16 of the pattern on the right front section, then I should sew the button on row 16 of the pattern on the left front section. You can see how uneven the buttons are when you look carefully at the photo above.



Vest on me

Here's what the vest looks like on me. At first glance it may look okay, however I still believe it is a tad bit on the short side. And I don't know how to describe how strange I think the armbands look. They stick out in an odd way, don't you think?

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Personal Notes:

Personal Notes for future reference, in case I knit this again using the same yarn. I wouldn't want to make the same mistakes twice. These notes apply to casting on 92 stitches for the medium size, using US6 & US7 needles, using Elann Highland Wool yarn.

I know that the following sounds really dumb and obvious to the more experienced knitters. I need the details written out because I had a hard time understanding the pattern instructions as they were written.

20 rows = 3.5" tall block section
Work 5 repeats (4 rows each) of each Pattern Block.

Remember to keep 1 stitch stockinette selvedge on edges
I kept forgetting this!

Work WS rows in reverse pattern order
This messed me up at first when I started working the WS rows in the same order, working WS Pat I, Pat II, Pat III for the 1st Block section. This is wrong.
1st Block
RS rows: Pat I, Pat II, Pat III
WS rows: Pat III, Pat II, Pat I

2nd Block
RS rows: Pat II, Pat III, Pat I
WS rows: Pat I, Pat III, Pat II

3rd Block
RS rows: Pat III, Pat I, Pat II
WS rows: Pat II, Pat I, Pat III
End each Block Section with Row 4
At first, I ended on Row 2, and it didn't look good after working the next block section above it (see photo here). It definitely looks better ending on Row 4.

Binding off
Leave a long enough tail to use for seaming the shoulder seams.
Hakucho had suggested doing 3-needle bind off, will have to try that next time.

Use vest pattern as guide to where to place buttons
If a button hole is on Row X of pattern on one side, then sew button on Row X of pattern on the other side.

Keep track of shaping decreases with checklist
I had a hard time focusing on maintaining the block pattern while trying to remember when I should decrease and where it should be done. I found it easier to jot down the decrease instructions next to the block pattern row I am working on, then check them off as I go.

Start shaping when piece is 10" long = 3rd Block row 17 (= row 1)
That is, when you work the 3rd Block, work it for 16 rows, then start shaping/decreases on row 17, which is 3rd Block row 1.
BACK SECTION SHAPING
Block 3, Row 1 -- BO 7 at beginning
Block 3, Row 2 -- BO 7 at beginning
Block 3, Row 3 -- SSK ... K2Tog
Block 3, Row 4
Block 1, Row 1 -- SSK ... K2Tog
Block 1, Row 2
Block 1, Row 3 -- SSK ... K2Tog
Block 1, Row 4
Block 1, Row 1 -- SSK ... K2Tog
Block 1, Row 2
Block 1, Row 3 -- SSK ... K2Tog
Block 1, Row 4
Block 1, Row 1 -- SSK ... K2Tog
Block 1, Row 2
Block 1, Row 3 -- SSK, K2Tog (64 sts, end shaping)

FRONT LEFT SECTION SHAPING
(Note: decreases are labeled as SSK or K2Tog, but actually do whatever is needed to create a knit or purl stitch to maintain pattern)

17. Block 3, Row 1: BO 7 ... K2Tog, K1
18. Block 3, Row 2
19. Block 3, Row 3: SSK ...
20: Block 3, Row 4

1. Block 1, Row 1: SSK ... K2Tog, K1
2. Block 1, Row 2
3. Block 1, Row 3: SSK ...
4. Block 1, Row 4
5. Block 1, Row 1: SSK ... K2Tog, K1
6. Block 1, Row 2
7. Block 1, Row 3: SSK ...
8. Block 1, Row 4
9. Block 1, Row 1: SSK ... K2Tog, K1
10: Block 1, Row 2
11: Block 1, Row 3: SSK ... (this ends the "dec 1 st every other row 7 times" part)
12: Block 1, Row 4
13: Block 1, Row 1: .... K2Tog, K1
14: Block 1, Row 2
15: Block 1, Row 3
16: Block 1, Row 4
17: Block 1, Row 1: .... K2Tog, K1
18: Block 1, Row 2
19: Block 1, Row 3
20: Block 1, Row 4

1. Block 2, Row 1: .... K2Tog, K1
2. Block 2, Row 2
3. Block 2, Row 3
4. Block 2, Row 4
5. Block 2, Row 1: .... K2Tog, K1
6. Block 2, Row 2
7. Block 2, Row 3
8. Block 2, Row 4
9. Block 2, Row 1: .... K2Tog, K1
10. Block 2, Row 2
11. Block 2, Row 3
12. Block 2, Row 4
13. Block 2, Row 1: .... K2Tog, K1
14. Block 2, Row 2
15. Block 2, Row 3
16. Block 2, Row 4
17. Block 2, Row 1: .... K2Tog, K1 (this marks the 10th time of "AT THE SAME TIME, cont to dec 1 st, 1 st from neck edge every 4th row")
18. Block 2, Row 2
19. Block 2, Row 3
20. Block 2, Row 4
then Bind Off next row.

FRONT RIGHT SECTION SHAPING
(Note: decreases are labeled as SSK or K2Tog, but actually do whatever is needed to create a knit or purl stitch to maintain pattern)

17. Block 3, Row 1: K1, SSK ...
18. Block 3, Row 2: BO 7 ...
19. Block 3, Row 3: ... K2Tog
20: Block 3, Row 4

1. Block 1, Row 1: K1, SSK ... K2Tog
2. Block 1, Row 2
3. Block 1, Row 3: ... K2Tog
4. Block 1, Row 4
5. Block 1, Row 1: K1, SSK ... K2Tog
6. Block 1, Row 2
7. Block 1, Row 3: K2Tog ...
8. Block 1, Row 4
9. Block 1, Row 1: K1, SSK ... K2Tog
10: Block 1, Row 2
11: Block 1, Row 3: ... K2Tog (this ends the "dec 1 st every other row 7 times" part)
12: Block 1, Row 4
13: Block 1, Row 1: K1, SSK ...
14: Block 1, Row 2
15: Block 1, Row 3
16: Block 1, Row 4
17: Block 1, Row 1: K1, SSK ...
18: Block 1, Row 2
19: Block 1, Row 3
20: Block 1, Row 4

1. Block 2, Row 1: K1, SSK ...
2. Block 2, Row 2
3. Block 2, Row 3
4. Block 2, Row 4
5. Block 2, Row 1: K1, SSK ...
6. Block 2, Row 2
7. Block 2, Row 3
8. Block 2, Row 4
9. Block 2, Row 1: K1, SSK ...
10. Block 2, Row 2
11. Block 2, Row 3
12. Block 2, Row 4
13. Block 2, Row 1: K1, SSK ...
14. Block 2, Row 2
15. Block 2, Row 3
16. Block 2, Row 4
17. Block 2, Row 1: K1, SSK ... (this marks the 10th time of "AT THE SAME TIME, cont to dec 1 st, 1 st from neck edge every 4th row")
18. Block 2, Row 2
19. Block 2, Row 3
20. Block 2, Row 4
then Bind Off next row.

ARM HOLE BANDS

I knit 6 rows to get 1 inch.

BUTTONHOLE SECTION

Knit 6 rows to get 1 inch, while doing the following for the button holes (in the 58-stitch section):

Row 3 (RS): K2, BH #1, K11, BH #2, K11, BH #3, K11, BH #4, K11, BH #5, K2.
Row 4 (WS): K2, BH #5, K11, BH #4, K11, BH #3, K11, BH #2, K11, BH #1, K2.
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Previous blog post mentions about this vest wip:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/07/vest-blocked.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/06/short-vest-or-long-shrug.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/06/dh-is-good-with-knitting-math.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/06/do-what-i-mean-not-what-i-tell-you.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/06/our-new-bird-family.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/06/hera-scarf-sneak-peak-vest-progress.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/06/vest-sections-done-yay.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/06/cant-walk-and-chew-gum.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/04/18-miles-per-ball-of-yarn.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/04/monotonous.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/04/learning-mandarin.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/03/vest-progress.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/02/eyelet-bead.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/01/last-sunset-of-2007.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/12/good-habits.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/11/merino-alpaca-wool.html
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/11/zara.html

Ok, is this a ridiculous number of posts mentioning my vest wip?!?!


.

9 stitch(es):

Aunt Kathy said...

Well it's pretty darn good for your first try. I still haven't even tried. I do like the checkerboard look, and really I like the buttons.

I bet your mom will love it.

CatBookMom said...

Overall, I think it's a good FO. I understand the learning curve, having gone through it myself with a vest for DH - in that case, I couldn't get gauge, and his size wasn't one of the multiples given in the pattern. There was truly fearsome math involved, as in figuring stitch count for each row so as to maintain the pattern stitch.

My vest FO has the same problem as yours with the armbands flaring. I think it needs fewer stitches around, so that the bands lie closer to the arms. In my case, having now washed and re-blocked it after several wearings - in which it 'grew' a bit - I'm going to frog the armbands and re-knit them. I'll pick up the 'right' number and then decrease evenly around in the 2nd row.

Georgi said...

This looks like a very difficult pattern, but I like it and I think you did a great job on it, especially when you consider that it was the first one. I think I am going to take all of your hints and do one for my daughter. I think my biggest problem will be finding where I stopped when I start to work on it again (and I do not have any small children running around). I do think you should cut yourself some slack.  How does your mom like it?

Rachel said...

Very nice job!

V. said...

Nice job. Love the necklace ;)

Libby said...

FANTASTIC@!!!! How does it feel to complete such a great project? Great I'll bet cuz thats how I feel every time I finish a sweater! I'm sure that your mom will love it!

Libby

Anonymous said...

Marie,
That is a terrific looking FO and ambitious for a first one! When you consider that you are intermixing different stitch patterns (with possible gauge variations) and non-stockinette seaming you had real *argh* potential there! Also, as far as the armholes go, I think you are catching the latest swing of the fashion pendulum; I've noticed store ads lately where the vests armholes are not indented, they extend out. Anyway, good job, it is really cute! Your mom chose a good color to show off the texture too! Sandra

junior_goddess said...

"Good color for old people!" Laughing sympathetically, yet rolling my eyes at the same time. Burgundy, eggplant, navy and blackbrown are also good old-people colors! Very dignified!! Heh.

If your mother is shorter than you are, it will be fine. And once it's worn a few times, the arms will settle down.

I think it came out just great, and your mom will wear it proudly.

Good going!

hakucho said...

Your Mom will love it, I'm sure of that! Just in time for the fall...perfect color :)

Thanks for taking the time to share all your notes:)