First, a celebration of a past project – the 1941 vintage vest redaction I knit for The Resident Male. Pre-season golf is an iffy thing in Massachusetts, but he and some pals went out this weekend past. His new vest came in handy:


I had to take a sanity break last night from my thundering herd of deadlines. I managed to get a whole half-hour’s worth of knitting in before exhaustion triumphed. Just enough to figure out that my piece was too narrow (the point of knitting the back first), and rip back to begin the whole thing again from scratch.


I discovered that the fabric of my 1940 waistcoat-style vest draws in more than I thought it would, and that to ensure that there will be enough width in the final product for the buttons to close without gapping, I need to tinker a bit with the stitch count, adding a few to the original specifications.

Sometimes swatching just isn’t enough. It wasn’t until I had the entire width of the back on the needles and knit to about 6 inches deep that I was able to get a good feel for the behavior of this particular yarn and its larger gauge in the designated rib pattern. My swatch measured out o.k., but my 6 inch square turned out to be less representational of the final fabric than is the norm. Which isn’t to say swatching is a bad idea. Instead it’s good to remember that changing as many variables as I am doing multiplies risk of ripping back, and if you do such things, you should be prepared for unexpected results.

Since the bulk of the body (front and back) is done in a simple K2, P1 broken rib, I added two ribs (6 stitches) across the back, increasing my cast-on number from 73 to 79. I think I’ll also have to add length. Target daughter is on the tall side, like me. The original dimensions plotted out on her frame look like she’s wearing something intended for her 8-year old sister. I intend to keep a fit on the snug side, and not lengthen the piece more than her height calls for. So all in all, I’ll be preserving the proportions of the original, but scaling it up a bit in all dimensions. Given that the original looks like a size small (33 inch bust and a very short bodied 16 inches collar to waist), and I’m both changing gauges and rewriting the thing to fit a 5’7″ tall size 14, such adaptations should be highly expected.

Now if only I hadn’t ripped out the swatch (I am a frugal swatch yarn re-user) and the back before writing this post. I could have illustrated this with a comparison between the two. Trust me to think from frustration rather than forethought in the middle of this hectic week…

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One response

  1. Resident male looks quite handsome in his new waistcoat. It’s just the thing for a quick round around the green.

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