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January 12, 2010

Knit a Vest

Noro Retro Ribbed Vest Green
[Ravelry] [Flickr]
Yarn: Noro Retro
Pattern: V-Neck Shell in Knitting Noro: The Magic of Knitting with Hand-dyed Yarns, by Jane Ellison

I've been wanting to knit a vest forever -- specifically, a ribbed, v-neck vest. I cleaned out my favorites on Ravelry last night and noticed SO MANY vest patterns in my faves. (Of course, viewing my faves was a mistake . . . this entry would have been written last night had I not gotten sidetracked viewing my faves and your faves too!)

But back to vests. I love them, but hadn't knit one yet. This was my first. I love that a vest keeps me warm but not too warm. And when I saw this deep green Noro Retro, I immediately envisioned using it for a ribbed vest. The Jane Ellison pattern book was the inspiration, but while I love it, it's not suited for knitters who like a lot of clear and accurate instructions. For that, I recommend The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges, by Ann Budd.

I'm planning to knit another vest soon -- but with a heathered worsted weight yarn and the basic v-neck vest pattern in this booklet. I'm looking at a lot of patterns I might have avoided had I not discovered that I really enjoy seaming -- specifically, mattress stitch. It's really kind of magical and I enjoy the process.

When I was a teenager, I remember falling in love with a colorful striped sweater I found in an upscale shop, but my mom pointed out that the stripes didn't match up front to back and that it was a sign of poor workmanship. If she saw this vest, it would probably drive her crazy. There's a subtle striping effect from where the fibers change and the stripes in front don't match the ones in the back. Although I could have knit this in the round, I actually wanted wider stripes instead of the narrower ones that would have resulted from circular knitting. Now that I know what I'm doing, I have another vest to finish -- the Gesta Vest that I started quite a while ago, but avoided finishing completely because it called for a single crochet edging around the neckline. I can totally do that now - easy peasy.