Presenting, Leftovers designed by the incredibly talented Blue Blog Alison. I'm loving this vest, actually made out of leftovers, but it's for my Aunt for Christmas. She's about the same size as me, so I was able to try on the vest as I was knitting for fit checks. It was a super-fast knit. Until I put it in timeout (I hate hate hate picking up stitches) I knit all but the last arm band in under a week. That's fast, dear readers. This was a wonderful pattern that really lent itself to yarn substitution. In the spirit of Leftovers, I used the remaining yarn from my NoniBag (not yet blogged since it's, um, not yet presentable in polite company) and made some simple modifications to the pattern.
1. I never made gauge. Eventually, I decided I liked the fabric on 5s and decided to knit the vest body on those, with the ribbing on 6s at the arm/neck holes and 7s for the bottom. Since the bottom is knit double, it was torture for my hands, but working with metal Addis helped immensely.
2. Since I never made gauge, I used Alison's numbers as a guide, but manipulated them. I'm sure I should have kept notes, but that would have involved math. I don't do math. I'm a history major. My knitting was slightly looser than hers (even though I went down two needle sizes!) so I knit a smaller version of her size small. Before you think my family is astonishingly skinny, know there's some stretch inherently in ribbing and wool. However, this is a tiny vest. Alison's numbers within the pattern seem to knit fairly truly. I could make one calculation and carry it through the entire vest with little problem, which is the mark of a great pattern!
3. I used Harrisville 100% Aran weight wool, in five colors, Black, Grey (in between the stripes), Red, Pink and Fuschia. I used less than one ball of the three stripes and the grey. Since the black is knit double, I used what I think was about two or three balls, but certainly not four. I don't know for sure since I was using up bits and pieces. However, Harrisville comes in large skeins, about 215 yards. I really enjoy the yarn; it has pleasant spring and memory with a gorgeous color range. Plus, it's wool. I'm all about natural fibers. Give me your itchy, lanolin soaked balls, yearning to stitch free.
4. I knit fewer rows on the arm holes and neck facing. I didn't want my Aunt to feel like she was being swaddled and I liked the open look of the vest when I tried it on pre-borders. Plus, I'm lazy. I did, however, pick up more stitches than she specified in her pattern. When I picked up the specified numbers, I didn't like the look. After that, I picked up as many as I felt I comfortably could, and found the appearance better.
I wove in my ends as I knit, which was a big help in the end finishing. As it was, the vest sit in a bag for almost two weeks, waiting for me to pick up and knit the second arm hole. I can't imagine how long I would have procrastinated if I had to weave in all those ends. Well, actually, I know I couldn't have procrastinated longer than Christmas, but you bet your Turbos I'd be weaving in those ends on the plane.
And now, on to the Uncle Christmas Vest. This time, kids, we're using Rowan Plaid. I loves me some quick Christmas presents.