Pattern: Deep V Argyle Vest
Yarn: Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK
Needles: Clover US 4 circular
When I knit my gauge for swatch for this, I was spot on. Right yarn, right needles, right tension. Perfect! Right? Well, not so much. After a few rounds, I noticed that the stitches looked slightly longer in the actual project than in the swatch. I took out my needle gauge and sure enough, my stitches per inch had gone up ever so slightly. Thankfully, the the width of the garment didn’t change too much. It is slightly less fitted than intended but the length was the problem. I have a short torso as it is and I could tell the vest was going to be way too long.
I’m not sure why this happened but I do have two theories: The first being that the combination of small circumference knitting and DPNS allowed me to knit at a tighter gauge. With DPNS, I tend to be more careful because I don’t want my needles flying everywhere and to drop stitches left and right. I was probably keeping a tighter tension out of fear of messing up. On circular needles, there is a slim chance your work will slip off the needles and you can stop mid-row more often. In other words, I got lazy.
My second theory is that the the circular needles and DPNs were slightly different in size. In my experience, bamboo needles wear down with use and become slightly smaller in width. I checked both sets of needles and honestly, I can’t tell. My eyesight is not that good. Let’s just go with theory 1.
I decided to keep knitting on and improvise later. Which, worked out just fine. After I started the armhole steeks, I decided that once the armholes were long enough to fit, I’d begin my back neck decreases early and decrease at the front neck with more frequency. In the end, I left out about 10 – 15 rows of the pattern. My original plan was to do the crocheted steeks but after several attempts on my gauge swatch it looked like the yarn I chose was way too slippery. I even used a sticky mohair blend to set the steeks but still no luck. That’s when I broke out the sewing machine. Keep in mind, when I sewed the steeks, I had not sewn in years so my lines are a tad bit crooked.
Click the photo for a larger view. You’ll be able to see just how poor my sewing skills were. On to cutting the steeks. My favorite part.
There is something just SO satisfying about cutting through your knitting. Maybe because it is absolutely the worst thing that could ever happen to one of your knitting projects. After cutting all the steeks and seaming the shoulders, I wore the vest and started stretching the neck and arm holes. I wanted to be sure that the sewn steeks would hold up. They did…in retrospect, I wonder if that was a bad idea. Whatever! I ran out of the black yarn after knitting up the arm bands. Jaeger Extra Fine Merino is a discontinued yarn so I after scouring the net for a good three hours, I finally gave in and went on Ebay. It’s virtually impossible to find just one ball of a discontinued yarn. You either forget it or order about 9 more balls of yarn than you actually need. Which, is what I ended up doing. Long story short I ordered from some place in the UK and it took a little over 2 weeks to get here. 2 weeks of waiting for a neckband. And here is it:
My FINISHED Deep V Argyle Vest. Probably the most difficult project I’ve taken on. It is also the most wearable garment I have ever knit.
Next Up: Blustery