Friday, 28 August 2009

Vests galore

WIP: Square dance vest
Originally uploaded by

I seem to be on a vest high this month: one frogged, one finished and one back into favour. I knitted this vest early this year, but was unhappy with the shoulder joins and the neck when I tried it on. It didn't look like what I had in mind, and it wasn't as comfortable as I wished (neck not low enough). Three-needle bind-off combined with neck gussets didn't work this time, unfortunately. (Done it before: here and here.)

Since then I've been thinking saddle shoulders would be the best solution, but I wasn't sure what how they should look. What's more, I wanted to try to knit them in place instead of sewing (done here) to learn something new, and I probably wasn't up to all these things at once – then.

The straps are 15 stitches wide and I knit them back and forth, knitting them together with back and front pieces. (Somehow similar to knitting a sock heel.) There are a couple of rows knitted with waste yarn first: I'm going to remove these and pick up the stitches to be part of the neck band. The strap pattern echoes a chain pattern I've knitted instead of side seams.

The vest is knitted on circular needles with steeks for armholes and is my own design. I decided to call it a Square Dance vest; dance for the small dots that surround many squares. First they were everywhere, but that just looked messy, like overly decorated gingerbread. Now they're only in every other section, a simple "rhythm" but definitely an improvement in my opinon. Perhaps it still resembles gingerbread, though – but I like gingerbread, so that's fine with me.

Here's the odd man out, the vest that is finished. It is my own design, the two pieces knitted back and forth and shoulders grafted. I couldn't resist this yarn when I spotted these colours (a not uncommon phenomenon) and tried to come up with a varied strip sequence where I wouldn't have to cut the yarns all the time. It worked!

I liked the wrong side of my swatch, so it was promoted Right Side. There are vertical lines of knit stitches in the sides, partly for decoration, partly to improve the shape. I do like circual knitting, but can't help thinking my sweaters without side seams resemble barrels unless I knit, say, a cable where the seam would have been.

Who knows, this might be a good time to do something about the unfinished blue vest that's been hibernating for two years.


Anonymous said...

Both vests are beautiful. I have always been a big fan of Faroese design and the top vest reminds me of that. I also like the striped vests and what beautiful colours. Did you find a mathematical formula for the number of rows for each colour our did you experiment? Such wonderful knitting.
Ron in Mexico

Asplund said...

Aren't the colours wonderful? They were what attracted me to the yarn, so I just bought it knowing whatever I made with them would look nice.
There isn't really a formula, but there are 2,3,4 or 5 rows before a colour change. Or, the formula is that two colours are always knitted an even number of rows (2/4), one colour uneven(3/5).

That way I realized I could always "catch" the next colour without having to cut the strands. The three balls tended to get tangled, though!