Sunday, September 7, 2014

Vested Interest

Well, it took four hours, but I pulled this one back from the edge:

Forgive the armscye ribbing. It hasn't been blocked yet so it's doing its own thing. It will definitely lie flat once it's been washed.

Here's a shot of the new "shoulder" I created out of picked up stitches which then I knit in k2p2 rib. After that, I k2, p2 ribbed the armscye to add extra span...

You can still see how the fabric torques slightly because my tension on one side was MUCH tighter than on the other and I had to do some surgery on the left side to get it to block to the same width as the right. It's not notable in any other way, however.
 Do I love this thing? Um, no way. Did I enjoy knitting it? Not so much.

About the only thing that I can tell you, happily, is that it's done. And that linen doesn't need to look like your granny's fabric.

About The Pattern:

What can I say? I didn't really follow the instructions so I cannot weigh in on them. I sense they are good, for what it's worth, and without error but my original concerns about the inability for most to get gauge most definitely stand. I don't know that I'd recommend this. I think the issue here is in the drafting, truth be told.

About My Version:
  • Well, I'm probably the only one on the planet whose version is on the verge of too small... On the plus side of all of my challenges (mainly caused by my own stupidity): the lower back garment (where everyone else's is way too large and ripply from too much fabric) fits really nicely. It's not too wide at all.
  • The shoulders are still too narrow - which gives this thing a bit of a racer back feel. I should have made the tab (that add on which gives more circumference at the shoulder and more room in the neck) longer and wider. Oh well, it is what it is. Since I haven't blocked the new bits (shoulder and neck tab ribbing), I really don't know if they'll grow. It's possible they will and then it'll all be fine.
  • The length is good and I do feel that my workmanship is adequate. But I sense that this isn't meant for those of us with the boobs, even if we're narrow and small elsewhere. I haven't tried to style this yet but it wouldn't surprise me if Andrea (who also wants to make this vest) becomes the recipient of a version she didn't have to construct.
About the Yarn:
  • Quince Sparrow knits up nicely, though it does easily turn into a stringy mess at a moment's notice. Winding it is challenging.
  • I weighed my skeins and they all came up short. I estimate I was out almost 100 yards but when I requested an additional hank, gratis, from Quince, I was told no dice. My option was to send all the yarn back and get 5 new hanks or to buy a new one. Needless to say, halfway through the project, I wasn't going on that path. I can't tell you I was thrilled with the customer service I received, given that I've patronized (and promoted) this brand on numerous occasions because the implication was that I was wrong (or lying). Eventually I was offered free shipping on the extra skein and I declined. I found that offer more insulting than useful, though I know that's not the spirit in which it was intended. FWIW, I've been told this hasn't happened before with Sparrow, ever, and that they'll be paying careful attention to the weight of the lots they receive from Italy in the future.
  • Will I order from Quince again? Very likely yes. The product is generally without issue and the price is right.  Will I be singing its praises any time soon? I doubt it.
  • The blocked yarn is not as inclined to grow as I'd been led to believe linen is (although, it's early days, I haven't been wearing it). I also knit this garment side to side, so one imagines it's more likely to grow in width than length. The finished fabric is lustrous and strong. Earthy, but in a chic way. It looks like something all those French ladies in Montpellier would wear.
So, there you go. Finally a finished object. I'm going to wait till the next Brooklyn Tween lookbook comes out, apparently tomorrow or the next day, before I decide on any new patterns.

Today's question: Whatcha think?


  1. You made it work!!!! I'm doing a happy dance for you. I think you should wear it on Monday or Tuesday or whenever, and get other opinions, because I'm pretty sure it's fabulous on you!

  2. I like it and think it's very pretty. I'm not much into vests now, but this feels to me like the sort of item that represents why we go this.

    The customer service you got was pretty bad. I hope they fix their supply chain.

  3. It's really striking, despite all the frustrations, and I sense that fabric will only get more lustrous with wear. Earthy and chic is a sexy combo, no?

  4. I think its beautiful and I'm sure once you've forgotten about how annoying it was to make you'll love it too.

  5. On your dress form this looks beautiful and the lacework is lovely! But of course whether you find a way to style it is another question - I hope you do.

    I've actually been trying to knit up a cotton-linen blend yarn for a few weeks on and off and just this morning decided that I'm going to give it away. I just don't really like working it, how it looks and am struggling with the gauge, which is an anomaly for me. Oh well. I will stick with wool!

  6. Hide it in the cupboard until you're less irritated with it then pull it out with a flourish, style the heck out of it, and no doubt you'll remember that it's absolutely stunning.

  7. Ha! I guess I should have gotten a bit farther in my reader before commenting on the last post! Anyway, it's a great save, and someone will love it. :-)

  8. K, this is beautiful. Seriously. Are you sure you can't make if work for yourself? If the answer is no, then of course I will take it (and will stand by the deal we just made via email). As for linen's growth quality, I don't find the Sparrow grew that much for me either. Maybe Sara has blocking super powers that we lack?