Tag Archives: vest

Switchy Swatchy

OK, I totally hadn’t planned on going forward with the Helge Doppler sweater vest from last week. Sure, it was cute, and I really liked the texture, but lord knows I’ve got enough half-finished projects sitting in my studio right now.

But, well, it kind of got stuck in my head. Like a weird knitting version of an ear-worm. An eye-worm maybe? Ew. A knit-worm?

Anyway, one thing led to another and I was swatching before I knew it.

I started with US2s and some leftover Hawthorne Fingering. (I’ve since come to the decision that a kettle-dyed yarn is not right for this pattern, and that I need to go down at least one size (maybe two) to get the stitch definition I want. The swatch isn’t super clear, but bear with me.)

And just to remind you, this vest is my goal: (Again, sorry for the poor-quality picture- it was the best screenshot I could find.)

I began with the pattern I sketched out last week, and rapidly discovered that it was wildly wrong. (It’s the bottom section of this swatch.) What I thought was diamonds of stockinette and reverse stockinette clearly was not. The diamonds were super small and squished- hardly even diamonds.

So, I went back to the drawing board and tried using garter stitch instead of reverse stockinette, which looked a lot better (the top part of the above swatch). I wasn’t sure about the transition from one repeat to another, so I tried a few different varieties (you can see that each repeat is slightly different) until I landed on one that looked more or less the way I wanted it to.

I sketched up the new design, and here we are:

Now I’m off to swatch this new pattern out with finer needles and some machine-dyed sock yarn. Wish me luck.

The only question left is, “Do I want to knit a sweater (even for a 2-year-old) on US0s?” Eek!

Knitting on the TV

It’s been a minute since I’ve gotten really excited about knitting in a movie or on TV, but I think I might have found my next project. (Ha! Like I need another project.)

Ya’ll know I’ve been watching Dark on Netflix. It’s very moody and (well) dark. There’s lots of rain and nighttime scenes, and of course lots of knitwear and very good coats.

Plus, part of the story takes place in the 50s- the heyday of knitting, in my opinion. Knitting in the 50s was all vests and sweater sets worked on tiny needles with fingering weight yarn. It would drive me nuts to do it, but man, I love how the finished product looks.

Speaking of the finished product, look at this amazing sweater vest! (And don’t worry- no spoilers here, unless you consider a kid with a very good sweater vest a spoiler.)

And a close-up:

I mean, that color, that all-over texture, the 1×1 rib edging, the v-neck. It might be the perfect sweater vest. So stinking cute. I kind of want to make one for everyone in my family. Or at least for my kid. After all, making a vest for a 2-year-old on US2s is much less daunting than making one for myself. I’m thinking I could even use sock yarn to make sure it’s machine-washable and can stand up to a very busy toddler.

The thing I think I like most about this sweater is the geometric knit/purl texture. It doesn’t look particularly tricky, but when it’s worked all over the whole piece, it really packs a punch.

In fact, I like it so much I couldn’t stop myself from “sketching” it out and making up a little chart. (Empty squares are knits, dots are purls. Also, for what it’s worth, I haven’t actually swatched this out yet, so it might be wildly off. It’s just my best guess, based on obsessively looking up screenshots of this vest.)

I’m not sure if I’ve got the time/energy/follow-through right now to actually make this sweater become a reality, but man it’s fun to daydream. Maybe it’ll become a pattern?

Has any TV knitting caught your eye lately?

Inspiration: Silicon Valley

Sometimes I search out knitting;  I go to the library and look through books.  I spend hours scrolling through Ravelry or visiting yarn shops.  I’m not complaining, obviously, I think it’s fun, interesting, and a pretty pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

But, sometimes knitting just jumps out of the weirdest places, without any warning.  For example, I was catching up on last week’s episode of Silicon Valley (episode 36, “The Keenan Vortex”), and BAM! Knitting!

Jared, my favorite character, the dorky business manager with a heart of gold, was rocking some great knitwear this week.  (There was a whole subplot where there was a cold snap, so everyone was getting out their winter gear, but Jared’s was my favorite.  Everyone else had boring ski jackets on.  Why wear a ski jacket when you can wear an amazing wool sweater?  But I’m getting ahead of myself.)

He starts out slow, with a simple ribbed-scarf-and-pea-coat combo.  Classic.I need a nice simple scarf- maybe I should follow Jared’s lead and knit up one of these.

Fisherman’s Rib Muffler in Three Gauges by Churchmouse Yarns and TeasThen he stepped up his game with a mustard sweater vest. Now, I’m not usually a fan of a sweater vest, but if I really wanted to stay true to the Jared spirit, I’d knit up one of these bad boys.

Nathan by Jones & VandermeerBut the best knitwear is definitely saved for last- Jared comes out of nowhere with this amazing cabled gansey turtleneck.  The guys on the show tease him for it, but I gotta say- I love anyone who can unironically rock a cabled sweater.  Those are my people.It’s not as great as Jared’s sweater, but this one’s pretty good, too.

59-6 Sweater by DROPS DesignHave your favorite TV characters ever shown up in knitwear?

Inspiration: Leap Day

Happy Leap Day, everyone!

Has Leap Day William visited you yet?  Once every 4 years, he comes from deep in the Mariana’s Trench and brings candy and rhubarb in exchange for children’s tears! (What? That’s just a weird thing that I think about because I watch too much 30 Rock?)db34caa16f10394fd0836c17844e5951Maybe Leap Day is a silly made-up TV holiday, but I’m going to celebrate it.  It’s the one day, every four years when you get magical extra time to do all the things you don’t usually get to do!  After all, “Real life is for March.”

So, in honor of Leap Day and Leap Day William, let’s talk about the blue and yellow projects that I would never normally make!

First off, a dog sweater.  I know some dogs need sweaters, but mine is not one of them (in fact, he has so much fluff that he needs haircuts every two months… it’s ridiculous).   That being said, dogs in sweaters are the cutest/dumbest things in the world.  And, I’m trying really hard not to be that kind of dog owner.  So, Ollie will never get one of these (unless I make an exception).

Dachshund or Small Dog Sweater 2 by Copper Llama Studiodog_sweater_020_medium[1]I also firmly believe that ponchos are dumb (I suppose some people can pull them off, but I am not one of them).  But I will run around the house trailing three blankets from around my shoulders, because that makes more sense, right?  Although, I have to admit that this poncho is actually kind of attractive.  But, no!  I refuse!  No ponchos!

Golden bough/Gyllene grenverk by Ann Linderhjelmponcho2_medium[1]And, of course, I think socks should be comfy, cozy, and above all, practical.  (After all, they’re the things you wear on your feet and stuff into shoes.)  You definitely should never spend weeks and weeks making beautiful cabled brioche socks.  (Uh, oh… I can feel my convictions starting to slip- they’re so pretty and squishy…)

Cushy Cables Brioche Socks by Kirsten HallIMG_3400_medium2[1]And, you know what else?  Vests.  Vests are really stupid.  Why make a whole sweater, and not make the arms?  Don’t your arms get cold?  Mine do.  But, this one looks nice and comfortable, I suppose.  With all those cables?  And those super cute toggles…  Sigh…

Estes Vest by Hana Jason3108957975_2cce62321b_z[1]

Apparently my Strongly Held Beliefs about what I should and should not knit are not so strongly held, after all.  Maybe I’m being moved the spirit of Leap Day?

What’s on your list of “Never-Knits?”  Would you ever make an exception?

(Ooh!  And don’t forget the 52 More Weeks of Dishcloths Giveaway!  You’ve got until Wednesday to enter!)

Inspiration: Inspector Jack Robinson

Have you guys watched Miss FIsher’s Murder Mysteries yet?  If you haven’t, go watch it now.  I’ll wait.  For real.  Go watch it.  The first two seasons are available on Netflix, and you 100% need to watch them. Do it.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is a show about Phryne Fisher, a lady detective living in Melbourne, Australia in the 1920s.  She is a “thoroughly modern woman” (read: she carries a golden gun, fights for what she believes is right, and entertains a series of “gentlemen callers”).  With her faithful sidekick Dot, and the help of the charming Detective Inspector, Jack Robinson, Miss Fisher kicks butt and takes names, taking down dozens of Melbourne’s worst murderers.  And she does it all with a smile on her face and a sassy quip on her tongue.

And, her outfits.

Capture 3Oh God, her outfits.Capture 4I mean, honestly.Capture 5Just look at them.

Capture 6So gorgeous.

But, while Miss Fisher loves her fur, silk and feathers, she doesn’t wear a lot of knitting.   So, I haven’t been able to bring her up on the blog.  Until, that is, a friend of mine pointed out a  beautifully knitted vest in Season 2, Episode 11 “Dead Air”  (Thanks, Jenny!)

In this episode, Detective Inspector Jack Robinson goes undercover to find a serial arsonist who’s targeting local radio stations.  He “lets his hair down,” which in his case means a tweed jacket and fair-isle vest instead of his usual three-piece suit.

Capture 2They even oblige us with a close-up of his fantastic sweater.  (I suppose they’re really showing a close-up of some evidence, but we can pretend.)CaptureI’m usually against knit vests, but this one might have me changing my mind.  I might even make one for myself (or my husband, though I don’t think he’d wear it).  Let’s look at some Jack Robinson-inspired patterns.

Vaila Slipover by Ann Feitelson

This one’s super classic, and based on a pattern from the 1910s.  I always enjoy historical accuracy in my knitwear.  (Yes, I know that makes me a dork.  I am OK with that.)

 

4894284696_f6c85cef52_z[1]Abbey Mill Farm Vest by Anne Podlesak

I love the color scheme on this one- rich browns, cinnamon reds and sage-y greens.  So pretty!

Front_medium[1]Luke’s Diced Vest by Mary Jane Mucklestone

But this one might be my favorite.  I like the buttons, and the use of three different fair-isle patterns across the front and back.  The styling-not so much.  Why would you wear a knit vest with a T-shirt and jeans?  Come on.

 

lukesvest_z_500_small_best_fit[1]Now, go get your fair isle yarn and turn on Miss Fisher.  I’m not even joking.  Do it.  You’ll thank me.