On Christmas day, with a serious case of startitis and not wanting to wait for the yarn for my Squam sweater, I started a bulky vest from Vogue Knitting I had been eyeing for a while. The original was done with Rowan Big Wool which I have used for a couple projects and is nice, but doesn't come in the colours I was thinking of and would have been a little pricey.
So instead, I decided it was time to ravel my ultimate find at Goodwill--a bulky cashmere sweater.
I also was kind of waiting for the perfect something to come along. Because, really, the sweater it was already knit into was pretty good as it was. But at some point on December 22, I decided long enough was long enough and started raveling...
Then I realized that since I was planning to knit the pattern in the round, most of it would be purled and I was swatching by knitting and purling. Although I haven't noticed a big difference in my own knitting, there is often is a difference in the knit tension and purl tension. (Some people exhibit such a wide difference that they use a different size needle for purl stitches than knit stitches. Of course this only works for stocking stitch, but that's a pretty big percentage of knitting.)
So I started a new section of the swatch and only purled. At the end of the row, I would slide the stitches to the other end, leave a long loop at the back and purl the next row.
While I was knitting the swatch, I debated about the colour. I've always been a bit conflicted about it. Nice pale blue, or horrible off colour? I don't know. Troy saw me knitting the swatch and, without any prompting on my part, said, "You need to dye that a new colour." That settled it--I had to at least consider what I could do.
The only option I was really considering was dying with Koolaid (yes, that's a real option). People are loving it because Koolaid is readily available, food safe, and needs no additional colour affixer (or whatever it's called). I considered it for quite a while and asked about it on Ravelry, but eventually decided to just knit the vest. I was never going to risk this bulky cashmere, and I didn't want to wait until I had learned on other samples. I had serious doubts that I could dye the whole lot the same and I really didn't want the vest to be made out of a multi-colour or multi-toned yarn. There is the option of dying the entire garment once it's knit, but realistically, that has even less of a chance of success. So I will be wearing icky blue and hoping for the best.
I've noticed lately that my cast offs are a lot better than my cast ons--it's easier to get the tension right for one thing--so I decided to start with a provisional cast on, and to finish the bottom of the garment later.
The pattern is done from the bottom up with the front and back in separate pieces. I decided to do it in the round (hence all the purling). This also helped with the sizing because the medium size was just a touch small. By doing it in the round, four stitches will not get caught up in seams and with a gauge of 10 stitches/4" that will add more than an inch. Just what I needed.
With such bulky yarn, it was quick work to make it up to the armholes. Here's the back:
Yesterday I finished the back up to the shoulder shaping. When I laid it all out to admire my work and see how it was going, I found a mistake. Gah!! Can you find it?
It shouldn't take too long...
Otis and his TAW quilt top......... - Here is my 86 year old friend Otis with his finished Trip Around the World quilt top. It is 78" x 98" and you can see by his smile that he is very please...
3 hours ago