Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Mina’s Tuxedo Vest – update

on March 13, 2012

After my struggles with my tension swatch (see previous post Tension headache) I was excited to get started on my vest and learn the new techniques involved. Because I’m working on quite large needles, it’s growing really quickly and I soon finished stage one of the back.

I should probably explain, here, that I like to think of projects in stages. It helps me set targets for myself beyond the usual ‘x number of rows’

So, this design is knitted top down, in one piece.

Stage one: provisional cast on, knit back to required length, shape armholes

Stage two: undo provisional cast on and pick up stitches (end stitches required for fronts onto needle and middle stitches for back neck onto waste yarn)

Stage three: knit fronts to required length, shape armholes

Stage four: join fronts to back

Stage five: shape neck

Stage six: shape waist

Stage seven: ribbing and cast off

Stage eight: armhole ribbing

Stage nine: collar

Stage ten: finishing, blocking and buttons

Right now, I’m working on stage five, which meant I needed to make a decision on the cardigan vs. jumper issue. For a cardigan I need to continue working back and forth but for a jumper, I need to join and work in the round.

I still think a cardigan will be better. As much as I hate sewing on buttons, I think it will be easier to put on over other tops.

I still haven’t decided what to do with the collar but I have some ideas so I’ll keep you posted.

The biggest problem I had was undoing the provisional cast on. It was really easy to do: using a contrasting waste yarn, cast on using the long tail cast on technique; instead of having the end of your working yarn over your thumb, join the waste yarn with your working yarn using a slip knot and have the waste yarn over your thumb. The end result should be stitches in your working yarn with a chain of waste yarn along the cast on edge.

Wendy Bernard (author of the book Custom Knits and the blog Knit and Tonic) has written a brilliant tuorial for long tail provisional cast on.

I was so excited but when it came to taking it out, it was a lot more difficult than I thought and didn’t really go so well…

I think I must have picked the stitches up wrong because I ended up with one too few and when I continued knitting the picked up stitches didn’t (and don’t) look quite right.

I’ve had to go with it though because I couldn’t bear the thought of taking it out, doing it again and ending up with the same result.

My main concern is that the row of picked up stitches look a little flimsy but they seem sturdy enough so I’m thinking of it as a design feature rather than failure!

Unfortunately progress has slowed a little now as I’m working on over 200 stitches! Also, stocking stitch has never been my favourite and the twisted stocking stitch used for this design is just as repetitive to knit.

So, I’m learning some extra patience as well as new knitting techniques!

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