Mental blocks are a curious thing. Why can I breeze through a pattern in a matter of weeks only to be waylaid for a month by something so simple as picking up stitches for the armbands and sewing down the neckband ends? The very thought sent shivers down my spine. A couple of weeks ago I had enough, sat down to my Eighties! playlist in i-tunes and finished that baby. Nothing like a good dose of Morrissey to get the hands moving.
Pattern: Deep V Argyle Vest by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas melange, 4 skeins of pesto and 3 skeins of relish (though I prefer to call those colors olive and green)
Needles: US 4
Mods: Plenty. I knit a big gauge swatch in the round, it made all the difference. My row gauge was off, instead of getting Eunny's 7.5 rows, I got 6 rows. Having to knit less rows is great, though I had to do a fair amount of adjustments to get a perfect fit. I divided the chart into three areas (beginning to waist, waist to bust, bust to end) and converted the actual number of pattern rows in each area to my gauge. I also wanted a little less plunge on my vest and moved the start of the neckband further up, and used tubular cast-on for better looks and more stretch. I'm very happy with my changes, my vest fits perfectly. It wasn't all beer and roses though. The steeking was easy, yet I didn't really trust the whole idea and ended up running a few seams with my sewing my machine along each crocheted edge, just to be safe. Blue Sky Alpaca is supposed to felt well (at least the scarf I saw at my lys made of BSA sportweight felted really well), but melange seemed a little slippery. It's beautiful yarn though, so soft, and really made me look forward to knitting.
Opinion: This is a great pattern, especially if you're new to fair-isle. Make sure you pick the right yarn and take the time to swatch and adjust the pattern to your stitch and row gauge. I put my vest on scrap yarn and tried it on multiple times to make sure it was ok. BSA is usually not within my budget, and I didn't want to mess it up. I love the warmth of the vest, worn with a thin silk blouse underneath it's perfect for SF climate.
The next couple of weeks will be devoted to my secret knit, but after that, I'll be working on the lovely Flicca coat by Anna. I've also been itching to sew again, thinking about quilt patterns.