It feels good to wear and, being shades of red and grey, matches a lot of things already in my wardrobe. It'll be fun to find new combinations of layers to wear it with.
So far it's been the red leather skirt and my new black linen A-line skirt, both with my grey and red plaid tights. I'm waiting for a little cooler weather to try it with my red leather pants (I know that combo will work) and when I need to be a little more sedate, I can pull out the grey dress pants which have been waiting for this vest to complete them.
When I first wore it, I noticed that the sizing is a little off. From the waist down, it feels a half-size too small, and from the waist up, it feels a half or full size too big.
With the long neck steek, I think it's almost impossible to know exactly what size you're getting, making it very difficult to know if you have to make adjustments. I chose one size larger than my measurements since the pattern called for zero ease and I wanted a little room for the shirt underneath.
The other possibility is that my gauge changed as I went along. I made quite a sizable gauge swatch which should have given me time to even out my tension in the pattern, but I may have continued to change my tension without realizing it. Some of the strands I left on the wrong size are quite long, and this is worse on the top than the bottom. Overall, however, I'm happy with how it looks from the inside:
If it still looks new enough to enter in the fair next year, I may get docked for some of the long loops, but I think it will wear just fine. The key is that the pattern looks even from the front side.
The long colour changes are the main reason why I wanted to use this wool. I was inspired by this version [Rav link]
that I saw on Ravelry. It was knit by ekittie with Kauni Effektgarn 8/2. (At first I thought she painstakingly chose the colours and planned the stripes. When I realized the wool did all the work, I said, "Let me at it!") In my version, I'm not ecstatic with how the red colours lined up against the grey because there's not always a maximal contrast, but it's certainly good enough.
I'm happy the brightest red (my favourite) ended up near the top, around my face. And I love that the neckline echoes the same switch from dark to light that the lower ribbing has. I saw that coming and managed to make that happen by knitting the neck ribbing before the sleeve ribbing.
Being able to pick up the neck stitches and knitting just a row or two before it switched to light grey allowed the neck ribbing to blend with the grey in the garment where I was picking up the stitches.
For the sleeves, I preferred a dark over the light. So instead of continuing with the light that I had just finished the neck with, I knit from the other end of the ball. Simple, right?! I also wanted to make sure the two sleeves matched as well as possible so I knit four rows on one, broke the thread and knit four rows on the other. Then went back to the first to finish with four rows and then return to finish the other. I used a
I was also very pleased with how the neckband lies flat and does not distort the shape of the vest. As I was studying all the versions of this vest on Ravelry (and there are a lot of good ones!), I noticed that number of them had the problem that the bottom edge of the neckline pulled at the waist of the vest. It ended up looking up bunchy. I'm not sure I did anything specific to solve the problem, but I'm glad I don't have it!
One thing that may have had an effect was that I took the live stitches from the front that were supposed to be sewn to the side edges of the neckbands and did more of a grafting stitch. In effect, this would have added an extra row and allowed me to adjust the tension on the "seam" as I went to keep from pulling up too tight. In any case, I like it.
On the reverse side of the neckline, you can see the facing from the steek (the long vertical lines of light red and grey).
The dark red is the reinforcing crochet stitch done along the edge to be cut.< There are steeks along the neck (back and front) and the arm openings. This was the first time I've done a two-strand steek, and the designer had you knit alternate colours through the steek. It was a little wider than some of the others I've done--9 stitches versus as few as 5 that I've done before--presumably because each colour only gets half as many stitches. I'm sure this has come through in the post, but let me state plainly that I am really happy with the vest! I've been itching for some argyle for a long time.
PS: Many thanks to ekittie for letting me share her work and, of course, for being an inspiration in the first place!