Julie knits and writes and knits.

Archive for February, 2010

Twin Fair Isle Sampler Vests

At last!

Finally finished these little buggers...

The short version: Started a small child’s vest. The child outgrew the vest before I could finish it. Then I realized I did have another child coming up who would fit it…. but this child had a twin sibling…. Reasonable people have stopped following this story…

We pick up half-way through the second vest before discovering that the yarn brand has been discontinued, and the red yarn, in particular hard to find, but finally found it through good old (I wouldn’t complete anything without

And so, at last, these babies went off with their Lala to my great-niece and great-nephew in Pittsburgh today. Very fun little projects. Maybe if my desk clears, I’ll fix the currently-imperfect Stitch-Painter paper pattern, below, though there should be enough in this schematic for you Fair Isle Freaks to go by if you want to reproduce one for yourself.

I really got a kick out of the huge difference in gauge between my first vest– my first Fair Isle project, and the second, several projects into my knitting life. I actually decreased the second vest by one full medallion in circumference (doesn’t match up nicely in the pattern that way, so I don’t recommend this if you’re taking it on.), but it ended up matching the first vest in width, perfectly. I’ve loosened up that much! Crimey!

I used these color patterns, but not the exact decreases to make these vests. See below...

This vest knits up to about a size 4T. I used Digit (which is JaggerSpun 2/8 Heather), and would do it again in a proper Shetland Jamieson’s.

I started decreasing for the neck and the armpits at the same time, actually, choosing a centerpoint of a medallion for the v-neck’s center stitch. Put 12 stitches on yarn holders at each armpit, 1 stitch on holder at neck. Backward-cast-on 5-stitch steeks at each armpit and neck, then decreasing 1 st. every other row at each side of each armpit, and one stitch every third row on each side of the v-neck.  All of that is to say, I ignored the whole top of the pattern except it reminded me to be careful to keep my medallions aligned as I knit on up the steeks. Shoulders are joined using three-needle bind-off on the outside, having ended the work in the middle of a gold perie pattern.

I locked the steeks in place using slip-stitched crochet before cutting them. They are barely tacked into place using just the threads that needed to be worked into the work. Blocking the vests already had those little steeked facings sticking nicely in place. That would be more the case if you used a real shetland wool, which I would do next time. The merino is soft and pretty, but it doesn’t hold as strongly as a proper shetland would.

Right. There’s another set of twins in my future. I think they’re getting blankets, though. Safer….