Vintage vest

Vintage vest

Vintage vest

Whenever I see this vest, I think it looks like it’s about 50 years too late in the making ๐Ÿ™‚ but I love it! It’s something that I started quite a while back, and with leftover yarn from not one, not two, but three projects! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I’m just really happy with how it turned out. ๐Ÿ™‚

At first, I’d picked only the pink and brown yarn, and I wanted the patterned part to be all over the vest, but from my swatches, I knew the yarn I had would not be enough for that. So I picked additional leftover yarn, choosing to only use it for the sides. In a moment of recklessness ๐Ÿ˜› I started bottom-up though there was the chance that I would run out of yarn before I finish the project… [fingers crossed]

I made the front and back pieces separately, and it was fun moving between four balls of yarn for every row — two for the two sides, and two for the stranded pattern. The pattern itself is pretty simple, as you can see.

That I decided on a closed vest made neck shaping easier. I’m improving with neck shaping, but I’m still not there — there’re always bulges at certain points along the neck no matter how carefully I calculate. Not for garments with a closed front; the necks in these come up pretty nice, regardless of what design I shape them in. When it comes to necks in open fronts that are meant to be buttoned up, though, no amount of modifications to my calculations seems to work… [Scream of fury! Then quite a few slow, deep, calming breaths.]ย  I’ve to research and think a bit more the next time I decide on an open, to-be-buttoned-up garment, and try to figure out what’s going wrong.

Anyway, after all that silent screaming, I should really finish what I started talking about — the neck shaping was a simple gently curving one, and obviously, was joined by armhole shaping after a few rows. I worked each side with three balls, one for the side and two for the pattern, and made an extra stitch along the neck — I would pick up this stitch later for the ribbing.

The back was a similar affair, with a shaping of the neck in the final few rows.

I joined the two pieces using grafting at the shoulders and mattress stitch at the sides. I experimented with adding sleeves to make it a top, but I didn’t like how it looked. So decided to keep it a vest / sleeveless top, and added ribbing at the neck and armholes.

My sister said that it’ll go well with a white shirt. (Now when I mention this vest to her, I say “the one that goes with a white shirt.”) I must say I like the combination! ๐Ÿ™‚

Vintage vest

I still have scraps of yarn left from this project, and they will go into a tiny project, or maybe something with crocheted squares.

Tiny triangles top

Hurrah! The top with triangles is officially done; I just finished weaving in the ends a few days ago. I’d kept thinking of this as my first multicolor project, but I realized when I saw an old, old tote bag that I’d knit — that was my first multicolor, stranded-knitting project. Of course, I didn’t know much about knitting then, let alone stranded knitting, and my now-‘experienced’ eyes see a few mistakes, but it’s still a beautiful bag, and kudos to younger me for experimenting so successfully. ๐Ÿ™‚

But I digress. That tote bag deserves a post of its own. (Add to things-to-post-about list — check.) Back to the tiny triangles top. Just in case you’re wondering — it’s the triangles that are tiny, not the top. Here’s a picture to prove that it’s human-sized.

Tiny triangles top

Tiny triangles top

Things looked fine while I knit the front and back pieces. I sewed them together using grafting at the shoulders and mattress stitch at the sides. Then, after repeated failed attempts with different bottom edgings,ย I realized that the edging just won’t sit well with this yarn, even if I made it longer. So I’ve just let the current short 1×1 rib be. It folds up but looks okay(ish), and I can always tuck it in.ย The compromises one makes, huh… And nope, the yarn doesn’t play well with blocking either. ๐Ÿ˜€

I still have a lot of the yarn left. I can’t think of any knitting or crochet project I’d want to use it for, since I don’t wear lacy stuff much (nor does my immediate family), and it’s too much work to make a non-lacy project with this thin yarn. So I’m making a different needlework project — a cross stitch one — from it. I still feel bad for the yarn that it’s not gonna turn into a clothing item. Any ideas for a quick-but-not-lacy project?

An earflap hat for my sis

My sis asked me to knit a hat that’s not too tight, covers her ears well and also has functional ties that she can actually tie up. We decided on an earflap hat with ties. I was dying to try out and learn intarsia in the round, so I thought this project would be suitable. I had some amounts of yarn left over from past projects that would work well for some small colorwork detail in a hat, so I decided to use those with the main yarn. I started out with a garter stitch border, and then was ready for some colorwork.

I’d looked for in-the-round intarsia methods from time to time, and hadn’t found many foolproof ways. Tip #1 always seems to be “If possible, just don’t do it.” ๐Ÿ™‚ Well I did want to, so these are what I tried:

  • Slip color-2 stitches while working color-1 ones, turn work, then slip color-1 stitches while working color-2 ones. I was pretty hopeful about this method, but it didn’t work for me because it resulted in some overly loose columns just before the first slipped stitch of a color.
  • Flat knitting simulation — Finish the right side, turn work, add an extra ‘reverse’ yarn-over (that is, with left-arm facing me), go through all stitches on the reverse side, work that extra stitch with the last stitch of the row, turn work. This resulted in a bumpy column where the extra stitch was knit with the last stitch.

There were a couple of other methods that seemed to me similar to these. I stuck with method #2, and my sis was considerate enough to ignore the bumpy column, but I’m still going to figure out sometime how to make the first method work correctly for me.

Before starting with the earflaps, I first confirmed with my sis where she wanted the colorwork column to be positioned. ๐Ÿ™‚ After marking out the spots for the flaps, I started out with knitting them, but then decided to crochet instead because I thought they would do well to be thicker.

I then strung yarn into the crochet edges and made 5-strand braids for the ties.

Earflap hat

Both my sis and I love how it’s turned out!

Triangles in the works

My first multicolor project (which I mentioned while talking about a different sweater) is still going on. Not the multicolor part — no, I finished that. Here’s how it looks…

Triangles top - front

I got the idea for the triangles when I saw a character in a TV series wearing a top that had a lot of triangles in it. And the only way I would get tiny triangles was if I knit using a fingering weight yarn. I did quick tests with some larger-weight yarns and didn’t like how they looked. The fingering weight yarn is silky, and as a result, my stitches don’t sit evenly, but I’m not too worried about that. Instead, I’m actually pretty stoked about the eye-catching stripes of triangles!

Anyway, that picture was of the front. I’m now knitting the back, and it’s not even multicolor, and that’s the part that’s pretty slow-moving. It’s made me swear that my next fingering weight yarn project (if ever there’s one) will be a lacy one. Something quick.

I’m knitting a few rows of this every day most days, and inching closer to completion. Kinda reminds me of the song Waves by Mr. Probz — “Wave after wave, wave after wave… I’m slowly drifting…” For this project — “Row after row, row after row… I’m slowly knitting…

More multicolor

I started on one multicolor project, and I liked it so much that I started on another one.

Multicolor

This is such a refreshing change from cables and eyelets. My only gripe for cables and other textured stitches is that they don’t show well unless the color and the yarn are a good fit. And eyelets — it’s difficult for me to think of patterns involving them so it’s more work than fun in the initial stages. Multicolor fits the bill in both aspects. As long as colors match, I can still dream up numerous patterns, they’re all (mostly) stockinette stitches, and best of all, they can use yarn that I didn’t utilize much for other projects — those where I decide to make a short top instead of an oversized sweater! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m learning fun techniques too — knitting with two colors in one hand makes me look like a pro ๐Ÿ˜› though it was a flop show the first time I tried to show off to my sister…

Horizontal cables cardigan

The horizontal cables sweater that I started quite a while ago is officially done today! And I โค it!

Horizontal cables cardigan

The wide button band that I had in mind eventually ended up being a thinner no-button band — just because the buttons I thought we already had for this cardigan weren’t actually in our stash. I’ve recently been jumping between dealing with things thrown at me and just relaxing when I get a breather, so I knew I wouldn’t have the time to go buy other buttons. And that’s why the poor button band had to be satisfied with being a regular band, stopping its growth when it got wide enough. Also, there’s still some scrunching near the bottom ribbing because of a slight miscalculation on my part. (I didn’t undo it just because…) Consequently, the cardigan doesn’t go completely around my body — there’s still space left along the front.

Horizontal cables cardigan

But. I have no regrets about the bands or anything else in this sweater. In fact, this has been one of the most satisfying of my projects so far. I’m elated to see that the two ends of the horizontal pattern align with each other pretty nicely after I made the final ribbing. And this is the first time my calculated seamless set-in sleeves turned out well-fitted! (There was another time a long while back when they fit right, but that was a lacy sweater, and could tolerate fitting mistakes like no one can. Speaking of which, I should write about that sweater some time.)

I also made the top-down sleeves taper more gradually by decreasing one stitch every N rows instead of two symmetric stitches every 2N rows. I think I’m going to continue doing that in the future for medium and larger weight yarns, because I’m pretty happy with how non-bumpy the sleeve ‘seam’ looks.

And remember the other project that I said in the same post that I would frog? Yeah, I frogged it, and am now making a three-colored triangle-patterned top with the yarns. That’s right, my first time on a multicolor project! I had all the rookie problems with tension, but it’s becoming easier and better-looking as I march on. And I love how it’s turning out. (Finally! A happy project for this fingering weight yarn. It must be heaving a sigh of relief that it won’t endure yet another bout of frogging.) These are two of the three colors —

Triangles pattern

I can’t wait to see how this project turns out! Soo excited!