Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Very Different Vest

The current vest on the needles is nothing at all like the Clock Vest, although it, too, is a Cheryl Oberle design. When finished it should look like something like the picture below.

The attraction of this sakiori pattern – aside from the fact that it just looks nifty and different because of the side panels that connect up the front and back without actually filling in the entire side – is that it uses two strands of fingering weight yarn. To me that spells leftover sock yarn. And I have a whole lot of that. In addition, due to some mental confusion about my sock knitting goals and some incredibly poor service from a yarn retailer who generally performs quite well and thus shall not be named, I had on hand 6-8 50-gram skeins of tweedy/marled sock yarn in subdued hues of light, medium, and dark grey/brown. Some of it is Scheepje's Invicta Extra in an unknown colorway, and the rest is Paton's Kroy in Glencheck from sundry dyelots (did I mention the truly dreadful customer service?).

These are just a few of the leftovers I have been using to create the random striping. Some bits had already been completely used up by the time I got around to taking this picture. It has been tremendous fun to contemplate the various colors and decide which ones to use where and for how long. And then there was the question of which ones to strand together. Usually I mixed a bright color with one of the grey/brown tweedies, but sometimes I combined two of the color squibs. The goal is to have the vest look delightfully colorful in a random and varied sort of way. My fear is that it will look hokey and stupid.

These are the two backs. They are knit separately to follow the sakiori tradition, according to "Folk Vests," and then sewn together. Since they are long and narrow (only 40 stitches) and knit in plain stockinette, they curl like crazy, and it took some steaming to persuade them to lie flat enough to be photographed. I'm going to wait until all the knitting is done before I attempt the sewing part. There isn't a great deal(the backs and the side pieces), but it seems a lot to me. I've been knitting in the round for a looooong time, and have completely forgotten how to sew things together.

Since this is the only non-sock project at the moment it is moving along rapidly. The left front was about two-thirds done when I took this pic; now it is completely finished and I am working on the right front. Two little side pieces, some seed stitch edging, and then (ulp!) the sewing, and that's it. Quite soon I will know whether the completed vest is lovely or dorky. Seriously have my fingers crossed (when not using them to knit) for lovely.


Luni said...

Well, it's lovely to knit, I'm sure. I have a project with self-striping yarns that is similar. I get to decide which color goes where, so even though it is garter stitch it is fun to knit. However, I'm afraid it will look so 'old lady in hand knits' when it is done that I may just sew the pieces into an afghan.
I'll be interested to know how you like yours.

beverlyanne said...

Wow, this vest looks amazing! This post could not be more relevent to me, especially since I just got the Folk Vest book on your recommendation. I love it. i have my eye on the Prince of Wales. I have always been slightly obsessed with that pattern ever since I saw it as a painting (reproduced in knitting books). It will be a while befoe I have enough left over sock yarn to make a whole thing. Beverly

Marjorie said...

That is a very interesting pattern, and I think that your panels are turning out very nicely.