Lace Vest

I’ve been wanting to make this vest since I first saw it in the Early Fall 2015 Vogue Knitting. I finally got my chance this spring, and I’m delighted with the finished result. I do plan to wear it as a vest and not a pullover (it easily could be worn as a sleeveless pullover) as age is betraying me and my pale arms are not shown to their best advantage in anything sleeveless.

Pink Lace Vest 2It’s Pattern #18, Vine Lace Shell, and it was a fairly easy pattern to work up, with some nice detail at the ribbing. There’s a rolled edge there made with a reverse stockinette, and even though the pattern didn’t call for it, I added that edge to the sleeves. Debating now whether it was worth it, but I don’t plan to change anything.

The pattern instructions have you working the ribbing at the neck and the sleeves back-and-forth rather than in the round, but I chose to do it in the round, which meant I needed to alter the instructions for the rolled edge. It was easy enough, and if you choose to do the same thing, you’d knit one round, purl two rounds, then knit another two rounds. You’re starting on Row Two of the Rolled Edge pattern this way, as the first knit row would be the stitches you pick up around the edge.

Rather than have three reverse stockinette stitches on each side of the front and back — which makes for challenging finishing — I chose to add two stitches to each piece, one stitch on each side, and work it this way: K2, P2, then on to the 4th stitch of the pattern, ending P2, K2 (instead of P3 on each side). Of course I worked the wrong side P2, K2 and K2, P2 on the edges, in that order. That makes seaming a lot smoother!

Pink Lace VestI also made the body about an inch longer than the pattern calls for, and the pattern is fairly long to start with, but I thought the longer piece would be more in keeping with current styles. It’s also a little more flattering on me.

I made it with Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK in color 674, Shell Pink. I think I have enough pink in my wardrobe for awhile!! This yarn was wonderful to work with and I think worked well with this pattern.

It’s a very stretchy piece, and looks way too skinny when you first finish it. However, it pulls out quite a bit, so trust the finished sizes given. Just be sure to do a swatch!!



My Favorite Gift to Give

Alec in sweater
Alec (a few years back!)

I love to knit sweaters for my friends’ babies, and over the years I’ve developed a particular fondness for this cable knit cardigan pattern. I generally make it in a size 3 (they’re likely to outgrow smaller sizes in faster time than it takes you to knit the sweater!) and a gender-neutral color so future siblings can wear it, although exceptions have been made. My friend Brianna’s little girl Lydia looked so much like a girl who “needed” to be wearing pink, I couldn’t resist making it in that color for her. (I’ve never seen a picture of her wearing it so I have no idea if my choice was right.)

Amelie & Alec2
Amelie & Alec

The pattern is from Double Knits by Zoë Moeller. I usually knit it in Rowan Wool Cotton, which wears so beautifully and seems to be just the right weight for active toddlers. Here you can see the same sweater first worn by my friend Melanie’s son Alec and now modeled by her adorable daughter Amelie (that’s Alec by her side).

As always, I only give hand-knitted sweaters to those I know will appreciate the work that went into making them and will care for them properly. Obviously Melanie is one of those people!

I’m inevitably told by the moms who get these sweaters that cardigans are the sweaters of choice (as opposed to pullovers). They’re much more practical and versatile.

Of course there are always reasons to make other sweaters, but the practicality of making a larger-size cardigan in a gender-neutral color for a first born baby is overwhelming, so I wanted to share these thoughts with my fellow knitters who may find themselves knitting for the expectant moms & dads in their lives (rather, you’re knitting for the baby, but the gift is for the parents, too).