This and That

Random bits of my life

Finished Blue Cotton Vest

Posted by Avital Pinnick on March 11, 2010

Blue Cotton Vest

Yay–I actually finished something! This is the third incarnation of this yarn. It’s a surprisingly heavy, dense cotton, part of someone else’s unfinished project, so this might actually be its fourth or fifth incarnation.

The first attempt was a short-sleeved top with a blue/grey variegated ribbon yarn in a stranded stitch pattern. The swatch that I knitted was beautiful. I knitted the bottom half of the front and then abandoned the project because I got bored. It sat in a plastic bag for about five years.

The second attempt was an adaptation of a design in Vicki Square’s Knit Kimono. I quickly discovered that a kimono style was unsuitable for such a heavy cotton yarn. Anything that drooped would become twice its normal length. Also, the weight of even a small sweater was not negligible!

To show off the best qualities — mainly luster, good stitch definition, and crunchy texture — of this densely spun yarn, I needed a simple, classic design in an interesting but not overwhelming stitch pattern.  The finished garment had to be close-fitting.

The vest pattern is from The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes & Gauges. This great little reference book that will tell you how to knit hats, mittens, gloves (yes — gloves!), socks, vests, and sweaters in almost any gauge and size. I concur with what Ann Budd says in her introduction: This is the book I wish I’d had years ago.

If you’re a knitter or spinner, there are times when you need a “blank canvas” pattern to turn into what you have in mind. And if you’re like me, you’d rather dive straight into the project than sit down with a calculator and figure out the armhole shaping (unless you happen to have sweater design software). I particularly like the fact that her sweater pattern has a fitted sleeve cap. Drop-shoulder sleeves and raglans are a breeze for any experienced knitter to figure out but fitted sleeves are a pain. It’s nice to have someone else do the math for you.

The stitch is “Mistake Stitch Rib”: *K2, P2* on an odd number of stitches, which eliminates the need for ribbing at the bottom.

Here I am wearing the vest. The fish-eye mirror on my computer monitor doesn’t produce the most flattering reflection because it makes me look shorter and wider than I really am. However, I didn’t want to hike over to the ladies’ room, with the full-length mirror, on the other side of the building. Why do I have a fish-eye mirror stuck on my monitor? Because I sit with my back to the door and a couple times I’ve been startled by co-workers sneaking up on me. I really like my co-workers but engineers are not renowned for their maturity….

Wearing my new vest

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4 Responses to “Finished Blue Cotton Vest”

  1. June said

    Had to laugh at your explanation of why the fisheye mirror was necessary. Great job on the vest! May it live long in its nth incarnation!

  2. pam said

    Actually I totally love the shot of you in the fish eye lens! And the vest is just beautiful. Bravo you for finally completing a project with the yarn. I can see why you never completely gave up on it!

    And thank you so much for pointing the way to “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns”. That is definitely going on my “birthday list”!

    • Avital Pinnick said

      It’s a good idea to make copies of the pages you’re working on and to circle the numbers. Otherwise, if you pick up your project again after putting it down, it’s very easy to follow the instructions for a different size/gauge. I had to redo the armhole shaping after I inadvertently followed the wrong column of numbers. But it’s a great little book, very handy if you want to jump straight into your own designs without having to do all the calculations.

  3. Ann said

    Really pretty shade of blue and fits you perfectly! The armholes look just right – not easy to do.

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