Sunday, November 18, 2007

Knitters & Spinners Vest Challenge, 1st Edition

The day of reckoning had arrived - participants in the Knitters & Spinners Vest Challenge had to bring their vests to Carol's house last Tuesday to show off what she had or had not accomplished over the past 5 months or so. The Challenge was simple - to knit a vest of any style of our own choosing beginning last June, I think - and we were to wear them to the November meeting. However, let's face it it- real life isn't so simple and we were all challenged in some way, even if not necessarily by our knitting. But we all made a great effort and great progress, as you can see by this 1st post about the Vest Challenge (as I can only include 5 pictures at a time there will be a couple of posts on this same topic.) And my apologies - I was so busy trying to get pictures of everything in the somewhat dim light available that I utterly neglected to note what patterns and yarns was used in each project and have only dim recollections of what people told me. But I can find out if there are any questions.

Firstly, our lovely hostess Carol. Admittedly she's wearing a jacket here, not a vest, but that's because she made countless items that went to Afghans for Afghans' October shipment. (Actually, almost everyone contributed something or many somethings to the Afghans for Afghans effort, thanks to Carol's and Giovanna's leadership). The jacket is entirely out of her own hand spun yarn and is really beautiful. It's one of those unusually constructed shapes that looks different on everybody who tries it on. If I recall correctly it was all garter stitch, and as she ran out of the original blend of wool she had to improvise to complete the jacket, which she did so perfectly it was not noticeable at all that she hadn't planned it to have the variations in it.

Aileen made a wonderful chevron-striped short fitted vest using a variety of yarns. Each half of the front has its own chevron, while the back is one larger chevron shape that meets in the center of the back. She chose colours that are perfect for her redhead colouring. Side panels in vertical stripes brought the fronts and backs together beautifully. I think the pattern was her own design.

Cathi is very close to finishing her long vest using a Dragon Skin stitch from one of Barbara Walker's books of knitting patterns. My recollection is that she's making up her own vest pattern or doing major adaptations to an existing one. Her yarn is Cascade 220 superwash.

Like Aileen, Lori finished her vest, which was a Rowan pattern, and maybe Rowan yarn as well. It's in a very open, mesh-like stitch that made for fast knitting and a very chic garment which really suits Lori's tall slim figure. The yarn has a little sparkle in it that will be very festive for holiday wear.

Giovanna, co-owner of our LYS, made a Japanese-inspired vest of her own design. She used a light-weight, self-striping wool in a variety of shades of green. She deliberately kept the darker sections of the yarn aside to use for the neck and front bands as well as the side edges. She also created the illusion of the back seam found in traditional Japanese garments by knitting with two separate balls of yarn at a time, changing them at the centre back to create the "seam. As the stripes varied on each side it made a much more interesting back than if she hadn't done the seam effect. The longer length was and overall style of the vest were very flattering on her.

Stay tuned for more on the Vest Challenge - it will take at least one more post to get in everyone, but it's worth the wait!

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