Minor variations from the standard Jumpstart Vest:

  • piping along the front band
  • bias shoulder band (instead of band a la front band).

I would like to add that the entire vest was made from stash. The fabric was woven in January for this project from yarn in stash. The lining is silk charmeuse, also from scratch. Once I got to this point, I got stubborn and used thread from stash as well. I had to resort to a brown for tacking down the lining because I didn’t have anything in the right eggplant-y purple.

Finished several weeks ago but just got around to photographing and posting.

I finally got around to photographing some of the finished items sitting around. They will be posted over the course of the next few days as a way of extending blog fodder.

New Vest

As I said in my last post, the CMF Superwash 3 ply in “The Beat Goes On” colorway wasn’t pleasant to knit as sock yarn.  I did wear it for a couple of walks (purl side out), and it wasn’t too bad to wear, but my fingers were still cramped from knitting it on little tiny needles.

So what else can you do with 8 oz of 3 ply sock yarn? Make a vest, of course.

Except, of course, a scant 8 oz (less whatever I used in the anklets) isn’t enough for a full vest.* So I dug into my stash to see what other handspun, superwash, sock weight yarn might be around. Lo and behold! Another skein of CMF superwash in “I Feel Good” colorway, spun in an effort to get into speaking terms with the Lendrum (post here).  The grist is vastly different than from the main yarn, but the pink worked well with the purples in the main yarn.

The vest pattern was based on Barbara Walkers “Knitting from the Top.”  This is the second time I attempted to follow her directions for a top down sweater. The first one was frogged. I’m still not 100% happy with this one.  The problem isn’t with her instructions, but my measurements.  I can’t seem to get my measurements down right. Then there’s the fact that my swatches lie.

The first time, I measured my shoulders from the outside edge to edge instead of at the shoulder bone. So the top was about 3″ too wide. And when you add the fact that my actual knitting was looser than the swatch, I had a sweater that was about 5″ too wide at the shoulders.  Hmm.

This one was better, but still not what I wanted.  Let’s start with the swatch. My swatch said 6.5 sts/in on 3.5 mm needles.  Actual knitting ended up being 6 sts/in.  This vest was designed to have negative ease because I wanted it to be a snug middle layer for winter walking. Instead of negative ease, I have no ease, neither negative nor positive.  It fits, but still not quite what I was looking for.

I would like the shoulders to be a bit narrower. This will reduce bulk when worn under fleece jackets and/or rain coats.

Also, because of the difference between the actual gauge vs. swatch, the neck is too wide. I fixed it by knitting a generous ribbing at the neck to pull it in.

I tried some shaping at the sides, but I think I will forgo that in the next go around. Instead, I will use the staggered 4×1 rib instead to pull it in as needed.

All in all, I’m happy with it, but I’ll likely make another one in an attempt to make it “right.”

* So just how much yarn is needed to make a vest for me? This one weighs out at a generous 8 oz. But I would like it another couple of inches longer (to keep the lower back warm). That plus spinning waste, I would plan at least 10-12 oz for a vest.

** There are a couple of places where the yarn was chain plied in my attempt to squeeze every last yard out of what I spun; once in the pinks and once in the green/purple. They really stand out from the surrounding yarn. Having seen how they pop out, it is unlikely that I will do this again. It may not matter much in socks, but in a larger project, it’s an eye sore.

Hiker’s Waistcoat


Pattern: Hiker’s Waistcoat
Yarn: Cascade Rustic (3.5 skeins), purchased from Island Wools, Friday Harbor, WA

This was a quick knit.  It took less than a week. The neckline didn’t quite work out as the pattern stated so I winged it a bit.  Otherwise, I followed the pattern exactly as written.  The problem was that the vest came out really baggy, especially at the underarms. The fabric was also sleazier than I liked.  Today, I fixed that sucker by tossing it in the washer with some hot water and soap for 5 minutes.

Yup. I fulled it.  I like the fabric much better now and it fits snuggly.  I like.

Hmmm. Looking at this picture, the left underarm looks kind of funny — curvier than the right. Perhaps I should go back and revisit.

The only thing missing is a zipper.  (I guess that’s a mod. I wanted zippers instead of buttons.) That may be a while.  I hate installing zippers.

Cold Weather Knitting

The weather has turned COLD since I returned from SOAR. I don’t know if it’s been cold all along, but because of my self enforced confinement due to the cold pre-SOAR, I just didn’t notice it. In any case, the whispers in the back recess of my brain are now shrieking…Vests! Hats! Mitts! Something, anything, warm and snuggly.

I started the Hiker’s Waistcoat with Cascade Rustic from my stash. I’m going to put in a zipper instead of buttons.  This should have been a quick knit except I keep thinking I know where the pattern is going and knit merrily away, only to find out several inches later that my interpretation was off. Waaay off. So, I’ve done quite a bit of unknitting.  Why not just rip? I’m trying to keep track of row numbers so that the seaming will go easier.

The wool/linen blend is amazingly soft. I’m loving it so far.  The soft flowing of pure white to gray is mesmerizing. I can’t wait to wear it. I should have enough for a hat or something to go with.

Maybe some pictures after the most recent unknitting session.

Artisan’s Vest

It’s been cold. I just want to wrap myself up in something soft and warm. I can’t stay in bed under the comforter all day, so…

Artisan’s Vest

Pattern: Artisan’s Vest by Green Mountain Spinnery (I have both the single pattern and the book)
Yarn: Handspun of unknown source and vintage; approximately DK weight; chain-plied. The fiber is most likely from Dicentra Designs, but I can’t be absolutely positive.
Needles: US #6/4.00 mm and crochet hook E
Size: 40″ (because it’s all about layering)

I followed the pattern exactly as written, even down to the needle size and gauge. The only change is the yarn. It’s a little loud, but it’s soft, and warm. It’s also bright enough to cheer up any gray day…too loud for me to comfortably wear outside the house. No matter.

There are random spots where the color is long, and they happily occurred in the top front areas. I didn’t go looking for them, they just happened. I love it when that happens. I even like the fact that they are not the same colors.

For the crocheted edge, I picked up 3 out of every 4th vertical row. I need to find 5 buttons to finish off the front. Any suggestions on colors? I’m thinking a potpourri of colors. What do you think?

I have enough yarn leftover to make a hat or fingerless mitts or both.

I’m now digging through my handspun stash for more yarn that I can turn into winter warmers.