As you can see, I’ve made a fair bit of progress on my 1941 man’s vest. Here is the completed back:
The color is a bit darker and more heathered with a touch of gray than is the virulent cranberry reported in the photo.
Now to go from the original size 30 to my customized 46, I did a couple of things. First I measured The Resident Male and one of his favorite store-bought vests. Then we sat down and discussed what he liked and didn’t like about the historical vest. We came to this set of observations
- He liked the ultra simple garter stitch texture
- He liked the wide waist ribbing in contrast with the narrow armhole edge and neckline ribbing
- He liked the K2 P2 ribbing texture
- He liked the close fit
- He wanted a deeper V because he’d be wearing the thing over golf shirts, and not over dress shirts with ties.
- A closer look at the dimensions of the original rather than the photo revealed that the piece was longer than we originally thought, so no adjustments there were necessary.
- He didn’t like the straight edge at the back of the neck, and preferred a tiny bit of contour there
So comparing his measurements and the original I come up with
|Depth of V||9″||10″|
|Armhole depth||12″||10″ (from fave vest)|
|Back neck depth||0″||0.75″|
So I plugged my measurements into the original pattern, multiplying by the original gauge (which I achieved), and came up with the piece above. I knit the back first so I could become familiar with the armhole and shoulder shaping before adding the complication of the vee neckline. I also knew that because it has no vee, the back would take more yarn. If I consumed more than half of my yarn while knitting it, I’d know that I needed to buy another skein. As it was, I used two and a quarter skeins out of five, so I should have enough to finish.
To confirm my noodling (and because I had the tool at hand), I pulled out Sweater Wizard and typed my measurements into that, too. I came up with a pattern that was very close to my own hand-tinkered one – minus the erasures and bogus false starts. If I end up sharing the redaction, I’ll use the Sweater Wizard product for clarity and ease of use.
One lingering worry – the shoulders. They seem wide although they are comparable to the target store bought favorite vest’s measurements. I may go back and rip them out, increasing the width of the back neck and decreasing the width of the shoulders to about 4.5 inches. More thought here is required.