New Year, new vest

I’m extremely happy with the amount of knitting I accomplished in 2009. The number of projects is not particularly impressive compared to years past, but I did manage to crank out some very large items, ones which required hours of dedication and patience, and hundreds of yards of yarn. It’s only fitting that I finish the year with one such item:

Pattern: A basic women’s vest with input from Her Llama Cardigan (Knitting Classic Style), Portland Tweed Zip Vest, and measurements my mom took of some of her clothes. Described in more detail in this introduction.

Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in Butternut (#419), 9 skeins (that’s about 1300 yards, for those who are counting). My thoughts about this yarn are in the abovementioned introduction, but to summarize, I really love it :).

Needles: Addi Turbo and Susan Bates circs, US 5. I used slightly smaller needles to get a denser fabric, to combat any potential stretching and loss of shape. My gauge was close to 5 stitches and 8 rows per inch. I used the same needles for the ribbing (as opposed to going even smaller), because twisted rib condenses itself nicely as is.

Finished dimensions: About 51″ across the bust, 47″ at the waist, 49″ at the hips. It’s a very long vest, as you can see: 20.5″ from armpit to hem, and another 10.5″ armpit to shoulder (31″ total).

Here’s a picture of the vest in indirect light (though the model is the wrong size), which I think showcases the true color much more accurately: it’s a warm caramel with pink undertones. Taupe can be a harsh color, but I think among all the different shades of taupe, this is the best possible scenario.

And here are some details:



Pictures on the left: twisted rib armholes and button bands, picked up from edges which themselves had a narrow column of ribbed stitches. Pictures on the right: some twisted rib stitches at the seams; pretty dark brown buttons with light centers from Windsor Button (sorry it’s buttoned a little crooked).

My mom was very happy with her new vest, and even suggested that I knit another! I’m not sure I’ll follow through, as my stockinette willpower has been exhausted for the foreseeable future. (At least the color suggested for the second vest is deep teal, which is a whole lot more interesting than taupe.) However, were I to knit another, the vest could be improved in the following ways: work a few decreases in the armhole ribbing right at the armpit, and shorten the whole thing a few inches, as this vest peeks out from under my mom’s lab coat.


40 thoughts on “New Year, new vest

  1. kerry

    Nice work! I hear you on the endless s/stitch. While it’s nice to have a bit of mindless knitting, it can get very tedious quickly.

  2. quinn

    I think I’ve said this before, but in case I just thought it instead: fantastic job on this vest! Congrats on an all-round great year of the knitstuff. And here’s to 2010 šŸ™‚

  3. carolyn

    It looks fantastic! The picture of your mom makes me smile…grumperina;) She must love it because it looks just perfect on her. That yarn is one of my favourites. i’ve knit a few big projects with it with great success! Happy New Year!

  4. SallyA

    Wow! You do such amazing work, such attention to the little details. You’ve taken a plain old vest and made it really special. Congratulations!

  5. alke

    Happy new year to you and your whole family.

    This vest is amazing – I’m always astonished at the attention to detail you have and the way you execute it.

    Very well done again!

  6. Carolyn

    Congrats on a wonderfully-executed, beautifully-fitting vest! When do we get a shot of the vest “in action” under your mom’s lab coat at work? : )

  7. mai

    oy. you really love your mom! šŸ™‚ as usual, it’s beautiful and so well-made. i really like the side seams. it almost looks like a pocket!

  8. Sheila

    Superb job!! Now – my money is on a second vest – soon – just alittle shorter so it doesn’t hang out from under her labcoat. Or else – maybe a longer labcoat? till the second vest is done! Always enjoys your blog – what will be your next project for 2010?

  9. JanieB

    Great job, & what dedication from a daughter. Thanks as ever Kathy for the close up shots & detailed commentary. Belated Happy New Year to yourself & Mr Sweetness.

  10. Mandy

    Great vest! I’m glad your mom likes it and even requested another! Even if you’re not ready to knit another. šŸ™‚

  11. angelarae

    Very nice work:) I have to knit another vest for DH. So I’ll have to look at the Silkroad DK. The color is especially gorgeous, and I love tweed:)

  12. Melissa

    Beautiful vest. This is the sort of project that, to me, looks like it cries out for a mid-gauge knitting machine to zip out the St st. Then you can do the more interesting stuff by hand, and have a vest very very quickly.

  13. susie

    I love your necklace! (oh wait, wrong object: I like the vest too!)

    Are you going to post a “dangerous projects 2010” or new year’s knitting resolutions?

  14. Karen

    Love the photo of your mom. Like mother like daughter? (No smile!) And I really love the vest–like the length of it very much! Great job!

  15. Jenny

    What a beautiful gift! My mom is probably the only other person that I’ll knit sweaters for other than my husband. I know she’ll appreciate all the time that goes into a knitted sweater. It seems like your mom appreciates that as well. Can’t wait to see what you work on next…I really appreciate your love of the “details”.

  16. Jenny

    What a beautiful gift! My mom is probably the only other person that I’ll knit sweaters for other than my husband. I know she’ll appreciate all the time that goes into a project like that. It seems like your mom does too. Can’t wait to see what you work on next…your love of the “details” makes your blog so enjoyable to read!

  17. mari

    You are the sweetest, most thoughtful daughter/granddaughter ever!! I love both photos, great seeing how the vest fits on both of you. wonderful as always!!!

  18. StellaMM

    Dear Grumperina and Mr Sweetyness

    Congratulations on your wedding anniversary from the other side of the world – not yet anniversary time in Boston Mass. – being 9.00 am here in New Zealand, but in anticipation, happy anniversary. I hope it is a good one. Love to you both.

  19. Mimi

    It’s beautiful! I bet it’s keeping your mother warm both on her body and in her heart. Best wishes for another wonderful year.

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