Friday, November 27, 2009
How could I not participate in an event so appealing as Vestvember? It has all the hallmarks of a perfect knitting scenario for me: a proscribed time-period (the entire month of November), a specific type of project (vest) a nutty name (Vestvember?), and finally the communal daisy chain aspect (hey we're all in this together). The time frame makes the whole endeavor seem time-sensitive which does tend to light a fire under me, and the fact that a vest had to be made makes it a knitting with constraints project, similar to the writing with constraints concept, which I find completely freeing, and I just love me a group project. So it had been written even before the Flickr & Ravelry groups came to be: Vestvember was ON.
I had set out to initially do the Honeycomb, but the finer gauge and the stitch pattern sank my battleship in no time flat. And the increasing/decreasing non-directions didn't help much either. Come on! We're paying you to be explicit in your directions, pattern writer. Oh wait it's Kntty, nevermind:) You know that feeling of futility that washes over you and lets you know that something is not to be? Welcome to the Honeycomb experience. NEXT! [I will add that given that I had to make an xl, I was dissuaded from this pattern, but I know all you size 0s in the crowd would make mincemeat out this lovely pattern.]
Luckily I had a back-up project in the offing and set about making it happen. Last year I bought some Ella Rae Classic to make Leslie's Libby sweater (wizard pattern from a love of a person) but Peeper-Lou's initial enthusiasm ("oh yes, please make it for me!") quickly turned to lukewarm wavering ("I might wear it to church") to downright refusal ("take me to Abercrombie so I can spend my gift card"). Yes, consumer death culture has our children in their grips and doesn't seem to be letting go any time soon. I am now left with the sad realization that the knitting for my own kids window has closed. Leslie: I love you , and my child is not worthy of your greatness. This meant that I had 4 skeins of yarn, i.e., the perfect vest amount.
Pattern: The Back-to-School U-Neck Vest by Stefanie Japel in Fitted Knits
Yarn: Ella Rae Classic, color #117, 3.25 skeins. The yarn is a perfect sub for Cascade 220, which is to say that it's nothing you are going to ohh and ahh about, but it will do you right.
Needles: Size 7
Mods: None! Not a one.
The pattern is a lot of fun and it has it all: ribbing, waffle stitch, hubba-hubba bust darts and a funky garter/stockinette edging. The u-neck is a fun, unexpected touch. The directions are among the clearest and easiest I've ever read. The book also has several other super enticing projects as well, so I highly recommend it.
This past week my parents have been visiting for the holiday, which has afforded me the opportunity to do a father/daughter vest photo shoot. Last Christmas I made him the Dr. G's Memory Vest, a pattern for which I have nothing but laudatory praise and high esteem. The money goes to the Alzheimer's Foundation. If you are looking for a special vest project, this deserves your attention. Madame Kapur is a raving made genius, as evidenced by her newest vest, which has me gasping for breath...