I have finished the major pieces of Older Daughter’s khaki waistcoat (adapted from the 1940 pattern hosted by the V&A Museum). Once I had the right gauge and measurements, they knit up quite quickly. Before I begin sewing them together add the edging, some serious industrial-grade blocking has to take place. Right now they’ve got that larval curled-up caterpillar look. Here is one of the two front panels:
I am quite pleased with the way the cable on the neck edge worked out.
The cable itself is one pictured in Stanfield’s New Knitting Stitch Library. I’ve got quite a few stitch treasuries on my shelves. I leaf through them all, but when time comes to actually employ a stitch – this is one of the few that gets knit from most often.
The next step (after blocking) will be to knit and apply the bands around the armholes and the front. The original pattern suggests that the knitter work 8-stitch bands with slip stitch selvages right and left – 20 inches long for each arm, and 60 inches for the front. The bands are supposed to be folded in half and steamed flat, then sewn on, leaving periodic gaps on the appropriate side to create the buttonholes. Very labor-intensive.
I think I’m going to experiment. I’ll knit a body-like sacrificial swatch and some pilot-project edging to test out various configurations for creation and assembly.
For example – why not knit the edge onto the body pieces on the front side, incorporating a column of purls to make a turning edge down the center, then fold along that line and baste the free selvage down on the inside?
Or why not experiment with an extra-wide i-cord style strip, knit directly on?
Or how about picking up along the edge and knitting out, using mitering to make the waistcoat corners?
And while I’m at it – why not figure out how to move the buttonhole so that it’s centered in the edging rather than floating between the body and the border element? Lucy Neatby has an ultra-nifty buttonhole and band trick I’ve been dying to try. She sells leaflets and videos and holds workshops explaining the technique, and wrote a summary of it for the Fall ’04 edition of InKnitters.