Monday, May 14, 2018

Wool-Aid Vest

I recently finished a vest for Wool-Aid. I had a bunch of Lopi wool in all the same colour. (My sister actually found one ball in a second hand store for me and it happened to match a few I already had!)

I did some figuring and was not confident I had enough for a sweater, which was my first choice to put it to good use. I also didn't have any more of this wool in another colour, so I couldn't "stretch" the wool by adding some stripes or other colour work.

Finally it dawned on me that I could knit a vest instead. The simplest of solutions are so elusive sometimes!
I based the design on the sweater I finished last fall, which itself was based on the Steppe Ahead Sweater by Irina Makarow. I've made a few more changes so I'm not sure you can call this the same pattern, but I did use her percentage system.

The new thing in the vest was the armhole treatment. I knit the edging along with the body of the sweater to save myself from having to pick up stitches and knit it separately. I did it in garter stitch to match the collar and because garter stitch would "pull in" compared to the stocking stitch of the body.

But there is the issue of what to do about the armhole shaping. I wanted the edging to curve around with the rounded shape.
The trick is that you have to decrease several stitches on one row to get the flattened shape at the bottom of the armhole. I decided to try some short rows in the edging to see if I could get the right fit.
I knit the body in the round (front and back at the same time), so when I got to the armhole I had to separate the front and back to knit them separately. Before starting the front, I cast on 5 stitches for the garter edging. Then I did 6 rows where I knit to the body of the sweater, knitting together the last stitch of the edging and the first stitch of the body (decreasing 1 st of the front), and then turned the work and knit back to the outside edge

The three stitches marked by red were decreased with short
rows, making them all happen on the same row of the front
body. The orange and yellow decreases were made on
subsequent rows while the front was also being worked.
(Note that the stitch marked by the right red arrow is
"off the edge" and can't really be seen from this angle.)
That completed the 3 decreased stitches (red arrows) on one row of the front. Then I worked across the front. I did the same thing on the other side, and then when I came back to this side, I decreased one stitch the same way (orange arrow) before continuing across the front to the other side. I did that one more time (yellow arrow), and that took care of all the shaping.


Here it is from the side with the coloured arrows marking the same stitches:
When I started the back, I did the same thing, but instead of casting on 5 stitches, I picked them up from the cast on edge of the front edging (white line).
I think it came out very well. (If you want more detailed line by line instructions to try it on your own project, see my Ravelry project page.)
I still have a little more of this wool so I'm going to see if I can eke out a pair of mitts.
Project Stats
Started
: 17 Mar '18
Finished: 3 May '18
Pattern: Loosely based on the Steppe Ahead Sweater by Irina Makarow
Materials: Lopi by Reynolds in 101 Teal (386 g)
Size: Chest: 32" / Hem to armhole: 13.25" / Armhole to shoulder: 8"

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