I think vests are my favorite item to create. I love playing with different colors, throwing in an unexpected color here and there. I'm usually pretty good with my measurements, but not this time!
I have knitted so many vests that I have memorized the pattern. I adjust for different sizes, by adding more stitches for a wider vest or longer vest, and less stitches for something smaller.
One day, while at my LYS, I spotted a bag of this odd yarn on the sale shelf and fell in love. I absolutely love the puffy, thick and thin feel and look to it. Orange, tan, gray, white, its a perfect combination! And I knew I had yarns in my stash to fill out the vest! I couldn't wait to get started!
While knitting, I could imagine all the different outfits that could be worn with this new vest. My first thought was to a Giants Baseball fan because of the orange. Or it could be worn with a white dress, or jeans, or. . .see, you can wear it with just about everything!
My vests are based off a photo of a "ruana" I saw in a book my mother game me. So, the way I knit my vests is, I'll cast on a certain number of stitches creating the length I want. Then once I have the length set, I start knitting each row to establish the width. I knit a row, cut the end, and tie a knot creating a fringe, then picking up another strand of yarn and knit back a row, cutting the end, tying a knot for the fringe, then pick up another strand of yarn knit back again. I'll continue in this fashion until I get the width I want. Then I bind off half way up a row, creating a front side and a back side, then casting on to create the opposite side of the vest.
I know, it sounds confusing, and it always it for me to, but they turn out so beautiful each time!
I had finally gotten to the middle point of the project, where I could cast off one side. It's the point where I typically try the vest on to check the length. Usually I can cast on anywhere between 100-150 for small, 150-200 for medium and 200-250 for large. But I wanted this vest to be long, so I cast on 350 stitches.
Yeah, I should have thought about that number before I started knitting.
"Look honey, look at my new vest. I'm half way thru with it. What do ya think?"
My Faithful Sherpa looked at me and busted out laughing. Even though I'm 6' tall, and was standing on the second step of our boat, the vest was so long that it puddled on the floor!
"Babe, I think you've made a mistake."
Oh well, its just yarn and time.
The other morning I spent an hour on my front porch, sitting on my antique camp bed my sister Doreen gave me for my birthday one year, with a warm cup of coffee on the table in front me, unraveling each strand of the vest I had knit.
Sometimes things don't quite turn out how you thought they would, but there's always a lesson in there somewhere. So what did I learn with this project? Listen to that little voice in your head. It was telling me that I had cast on too many stitches, I just didn't listen!