Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Vest

I started describing the vest process in the notes section on Ravelry and realized I should probably blog about it with pictures in order for my description to make sense and possible help someone else. I apologize for the not-so-great cell phone photography, but honestly that's the only way a post like this is going to happen right now. If I wait until I have time to photograph it in natural light with a real camera, all of the evidence would be gone because the vest would be finished first. :-) There are better blogs out there if you really want precise directions, but I still wanted to share!

And surprisingly, the color rendition of the pictures I got (especially this one of the back) is pretty accurate.

Next, we look at the front. Can you see the steeks?

The yellow lines show the edge of the steek area stitches and the blue line shows where I'm going to (gasp!) cut my knitting. I will do the crochet reinforcing on either side of the blue line.

The depth of the yellow lines is also the amount of my knitting that I ripped out last Friday night. I went all the way back to the armholes in order to properly center the v-neck on the fair isle pattern. I also changed the way I did my decreases. See the nice line of "V" stitches along the arm edge below? That's my standard decrease method for sweaters. It maintains the nice line of "V" stitches and the body of the sweater kind of dies into it.

Turns out, this doesn't look good in fair isle knitting. Blech. (I've got no photographic evidence, you're just going to have to trust me on this one...) So the opportunity to switch my left-leaning decreases to right-leaning ones and vice-versa was an additional incentive to riiiiiip back.

I started knitting again on Friday night right after pulling out what was wrong. I knew I was going to have some good car knitting time on Saturday and I wanted to be able to GO without having to think or plan. Knitting the next few rows after 10pm did mean that I could GO on Saturday, but it also meant another dumb mistake. At the bottom of the armhole, I bound off 6 stitches. I should have bound of 6 stitches on each side of the midpoint of the armhole. The wide yellow line shows you how far I knit before I realized this mistake and the width of my bind-off.

Unwilling to rip back again unless absolutely necessary, I came up with a surgical solution. On either side of my steek area, I dropped down three stitches to the armhole bind-off row and added in extra decreases in the rows after the bind-off as I picked the stitches back up again. So instead of having a decrease every other row, after the armhole there is a decrease every row...getting to my desired number of decreases within 3 rows of the armhole bind-off.

But leaving me with extra yarn between my vest and my steek area. (In the white area below)

So before I can reinforce and cut my steeks, I'm going to have to spend a little time pulling the yarn slack into the cutting area of the steek. Basically, once it is done, I'm going to waste a little extra yarn. But since I'm not worried about running out, I decided my time was better spent fixing these areas at the end rather than re-knitting several inches.

Clear as mud?

Since Amanda just documented crocheted steeks on her blog and I'm going to do the same thing, I might take one of those fun "scissors with knitting" pictures for you, but I doubt I will document the whole process.

I've only got 12 rows left to the shoulders, and I will be able to deal with the yarn slack and the crochet reinforcement in the bus/car. So I hope to be cutting my knitting and picking up for the ribbed edgings sometime this weekend!


Amanda said...

wow! that is a great vest. Love it. And I am happy you have resolved your issues. I knew it would make you happier about your finished item. It must be a steek filled fall. I believe Rachel will be cutting her first soon as well!

Kari said...

Hiya - new reader here. What's your ravname? I'm CraftyGinger & I love your knitting!

I'm a little scared of steeking, so I can't wait to see your photo with scissors!