Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Knitters & Spinners Vest Challenge, No. 2

The Knitters & Spinners group evolved through a complex combination of circumstances and knitting/spinning experiences. We came together as a group due to the illness and subsequent passing of a very wonderful woman, Elaine. We were all friends and acquaintances of hers, and after the diagnosis of her cancer we began meeting at her home every Tuesday night in what we called Elaine's Salon. We brought food, our knitting, spinning, and companionship, shared our time together and with Elaine and developed a deep friendship as a result of these special Tuesdays spent together. After Elaine passed away we then used her left-behind yarns, mostly handspun, to weave and knit pillows for everyone as memorials to her generous spirit. We have kept meeting long after the memorials were done and have formed a bond that has been very special to me. And now new faces have joined our group who didn't ever know our mutual friend but who recognize the great spirit we share.

So the Vest Challenge is more than just a group project. It is the outgrowth of a shared experience between those who knew Elaine for many many years, and those of us who knew her little or not at all. Some of us have knitted for years, and some have never made a garment before. The real purpose of this project is to celebrate a craft we all love as well as our friendship. So here's the next wave of vests from the Vest Challenge! It looks like there will be one more installment after this one to get every one's pictures in so stay tuned.

Lindy made a beautiful and very simple vest that, like Carol's jacket, looked different on everyone. Photo #1 shows the vest being worn, while photo #2 shows what the actual construction is - it's really just a rectangle with two large slits for the armholes. Lindy used a beautiful novelty yarn with lots of colours in it so the finished vest can be worn with almost anything.

She's adding a crocheted border in one of the colours to give it a little more finished but it is done and wearable as it is. My recollection is that she had a pattern and adapted it in some way but I didn't note what pattern it was.

My vest for my mom is almost there - I finally got the entire body together and the side seams done but still have all the borders and bands to do. Until I have a chance to try the vest on her and feel secure about the sizing I don't want to do anything with the borders - I've ripped and reknit oodles of times on this vest and am ready to get it right at last. I will hopefully have a chance to do that this weekend so it might be done before the year is out. The design is based on the Dineh Blanket Vest from Folk Vests, loosely interpreted to fit the yarn I had available.

Ruthie's vest is just about to the armholes so she's on the home stretch! It's being knit in one piece so there are no side seams and the biggest section of knitting is done. Her yarn is Elsbeth Lasvold's Silky Wool and the pattern is one that was suggested to the group as a starting point for the Challenge, but as it had several significant errors in it I will not name it here. Regardless, Ruthie's efforts are terrific and having used this yarn myself I can say it is a fabulous yarn for anyone who likes knitting on smallish needles (size 4 or 5 US). I'm looking forward to seeing the finished vest on Ruthie in December!

No comments: