Friday, September 18, 2015

With Grief And Love

Serendipity Vest gave me great grief.  Re-knit more times than I like to think about,  due to what I found to be a pattern  severely lacking in clarity.

Missing information and poorly described instructions  were just a few pattern problems.   Mind you. It could be me.  Just me.  I am a graduate of the "Brevity is the soul of wit' school. Serendipity contains 8 pages.  My old school teacher days taught me to always start with the simple and work up to the complex.  Serendipity served to confuse me from the get-go.

Despite all the grief, it is finished and I love it!  Grief and love - all in one vest.

Pattern:  Serendipity Vest.  Enough said.
Needles:  4mm.
Yarn:   Selridge Yarns, DK weight, Superwash, Hand dyed wool.  Gorgeous touch.  Gorgeous colours. Gorgeous to work with.

Mods:  Two mods that are all combined into one.  From the Patternfish photo in the link above, you can see that the vest, as designed, has borders.  Mine doesn't.
Why not you ask?  Well the pattern, as written, is a shorty design.  On me I thought it might look too boxy, giving my profile the appearance of more pounds that I care to carry.  For that reason, I wanted mine longer.  But  - and this is a big but -  with this design, the pattern is knit in two pieces only.  Centre back to centre front,  times two.  The knitting starts at the underarm with an invisible cast on.  The front and back are widened and the bottom lengthened with the working of each row, through the use of mitered corners. 
 The  cast on and beginning of the vest is just beyond my finger - the green row with gold on each side, right under my arm.  You can see the  front miter flowing from that start point.
What the two piece, mitered construction meant is that unlike most patterns, where adding length is no problem, with this design, length and width are Siamese twins.  I could not  add the length I wanted without also adding width. 

Having decided on the extra length, when finished, I already had enough vest width. The borders would have added another two inches  and that would have made the vest way to wide for my liking. 
What I did instead, was to work one ridge of garter, then work the three colour cast off as suggested in the pattern.  I really like that cast off.  You simply knit one stitch with main colour, knit one with contrast colour #1, cast off.  Work one stitch with contrast colour #2, cast off.  Repeat.   Very clever and it is the perfect cast off for this three-coloured vest.

Notes of Interest:  Both the underarm seams that started with the invisible cast on and the centre back seam are joined together with a Japanese Three Needle Cast Off. A new one to me but easy to do and it gives that extra row of joining-colour as a great design feature.

Despite the pattern confusion, it was a fun knit and I am very happy with the end product.  The colour combo I chose specifically for fall wear and I love it.  The fit is great. The slip  stitch pattern was easily memorized and easily 'read' when decreases or increases altered the row ends. My no-border look gives my version  a more trendy, au courant  look, I feel.  I like that.  The yarn is deliciously soft, didn't split at all and has given me a great end product.  So - grief forgotten, I love it.


Anonymous said...

Great accomplishment,Brenda. And the colors are perfect and just in time for autumn

Unknown said...

The vest looks great Brenda! The colours you chose really work well for you :) Glad to see it finished in time for fall.

Sel and Poivre said...

I cannot, for the life of me, seem to understand how this thing comes together but no matter it looks fabulous - especially the back! Wow!

Liz in the States said...

Victory! It looks great, Brenda. I'm seriously spatially challenged, so I can't see how you figured it out, but good for you, not letting the pattern win!

Sigrun said...

I'm so happy it came together. Great outcome.

Linda said...

Gggosh, Brenda, I'm impressed: by the FO, by the fall colors and by the way you worked out the confusingly written pattern. Victory all around! said...

A vest is of enormous beauty! Your arms are gold, Brenda! I'd like to be able to make at least something similar to that!