Friday, March 22, 2013

Big Bulky Cable Vest

Ready for a parade of finished projects? The combination of a deadline of leaving on a trip and the time during the trip to work on knitting has led to a great number of things being finished and/or photographed.

Of course, I also figured everything looks better with mountains in the background. (Or if it doesn't look good, you don't notice because Look! There's a mountain!)

Last time I wrote about the Cable Vest, I had finished the neck bands and was working on the armhole trim. Or I had picked up the stitches, but hadn't knit them. It took me a while to pick it up again--I'm not sure why. But with this trip looming, something got me going and I knit both sides pronto. I did three rows on each side, so that didn't take long. Turns out that's a good thing because I'll be redoing them, but I'll talk about that in a minute.

Project Stats
Started
: 25 Dec '12
Finished: 8 Mar '13
Pattern: Ruffle Trim Vest by Shiri Mor
Materials: 574 grams raveled bulky cashmere (~$5-$7)
After that, I had to deal with the bottom hem. I had done a provisional cast on so I had a bunch of live stitches to deal with. I wasn't sure what I was going to do when I started, but when it was time to work on it, I had decided to do a cable around the bottom, much like the neck trim.

I put all the stitches onto a cable needle and started at the bottom of the front center cable. I took half of the stitches and added a couple more so that I had six stitches--enough for a four-stitch cable with a purl stitch on both sides.
I then knit along the bottom, twisting the cable every six rows (like the neck) and working the one purl stitch together with a stitch of the bottom hem.
I think it turned out pretty well.

I threw the vest into my suitcase and worked all the ends in at some point on the trip. Probably the first night in the hotel, actually, because then I blocked it! Soaked it in the little sink and laid it out, first on the floor and then on a luggage rack.
At some point I thought maybe this was going to be a bad idea because it took all of the two days we were there for this to dry! At some point I thought it was never going to be dry, but finally it was.

And I could put it on, and pose with some mountains in the background.
I like the way the bottom cables come out of the center braid. (If you don't look too close, and really, who's going to be?)

And here is the back with its swirly twirly cable design:
I'm not too happy with the holes where the cables begin (bottom of the looping circles--see the very bottom of the design and the loops on the right and left sides). This was the first time that I had done this technique and apparently didn't do it very well. There's a "make 5" at that point, and that's a lot of stitches to get out of one stitch. I may be able to sew it up with a separate strand of yarn to get rid of the hole. I haven't tried it yet.

Also, I will be doing the armholes again, when I get to it:
I don't like the way it uncurls, especially on the back. It's supposed to roll to the front side (taking advantage of stocking stitch's tendency to curl to make it match the reverse stocking stitch on the main panels). But there aren't enough stitches around the hole and that is making it pull. I'm going to have to rip them back and add more stitches so it has lots of room to curl.

And that last thing is the colour. Since the beginning, I have not been too crazy about it. Pale blue is one thing, but this is just too washed out. I have determined I am going to dye it, at some point. (I'll wear it a few times first so that if the dyeing is a total disaster, I will have at least had that!) Although my calculations at the beginning made it look like I may be short on yarn, I actually only used half of what I had!

I will experiment with some KoolAid dyeing on the extra yarn, and hopefully have good enough results that I will dye the whole garment. KoolAid has a reputation for being splotchy and being "taken up" unevenly, but I am just going to have to risk it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that.

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