Aran vest

click for closeup view

Yarn: Cascade 220
Gauge: 5st=1”, 7r=1” (over stockinette)
Status: finished

Click photo for closeup views

Jan 28 2007

I am calling this done. The first thing you may notice is the skirt, or bottom ribbing, is much longer than in previous photos. The sad story is I neglected to measure my vertical gauge and make appropriate adjustments for the yarn shrinking up as well as in. The result was a vest that was a few inches too short.

My solution was to knit an extra 3-1/2” of ribbing and graft it. I thought about cutting off the ribbing and reknitting downwards from the body, but I wouldn’t have been able to match up the cables. Luckily, E likes long ribbings. This one is extra long.

The problem I now face is a slightly dark line where the new ribbing was grafted. Bottoms of garments, even unworn ones, tend to get a little dingy. The new ribbing is also bigger than the existing ribbing because it hasn’t yet been washed and shrunk. I’m hoping that a good washing will even everything out.

Like they say, it will all come out in the wash.

Dec 27 2006

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The end is in sight. All that remains is the ribbing.

I was nervous about cutting the steeks for the neck and armholes. Once they are cut, it’s all over.

I spent an entire day working the shoulders. The problem with fitting for a barrel chest is there’s more fabric in the front than in the back. Before it comes time to join the the shoulders I have to decrease enough of the front to match the back.

To make it more complicated, I sloped the shoulders. I first tried to work the shoulders in the round, but that just didn’t work. Instead I had to work the shoulders back and forth in a more normal fashion. I’m too lazy to bind off a set number of stitches at the beginning of each row – I leave them live for a three-needle bind off.

Dec 6 2006

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I’ll curse myself for trying to photograph textured knitting, especially in such a lovely cream yarn as this.

That odd thing in the middle that looks like a foreskin is the neck steek. I like fairly generous steeks, no less than 9 stitches. It gives me much more to work with. Anything less and I come uncomfortably close to the cut edge when picking up the side stitches.

The interesting thing to note in this close up is the central panel is now split. Look closely and you’ll see it consumes the 4-stitch cable and the pretzel braid to either side. Of course in the photo you’re only looking at the right side of the neck.

This gradual decrease will make the v-neck when I finally cut the steek.

I’m about half way up to the neck. I just haven’t been knitting as much as I used to, so the project progess slower.

Nov 02 2006

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Now we’re getting somewhere.

I finally stopped ripping and redesigning and got on with the knitting. Now you can see the pattern developing. The center pattern is actually two symmetrical cables paired. I tie them together in the middle by wrapping paired ribs.

The cables pulled in more than I planned for, but the back feels pretty loose. I know the yarn will shrink a bit when it is washed, from having done my swatch. What I didn’t do was swatch out the cables I ended up using to get accurate measurements. Instead I used rules of thumb for how many stitches I needed to increase at the base of each cable to account for its pull.

I will guess at where to place the underarms to accommodate E’s barrel chest. Most people have equal measurements for front and back, but E’s chest measurement is about an inch greater than across his back.

Sep 13 2006

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This is the kind of mess I make.

I decided I didn’t like the arrangement of two of the cables at the very edge of the patterned front area. Rather than rip the whole thing out, I took out the section and began reknitting with a couple dpns.

It’s a bit loose at the end and tight at the beginning, but all that can be adjusted.

But now I’m having second thoughts. I think I want to rip out the entire thing down to the cast on so I can knit the ribbing with size 3 needles like it should it be.

Sep 6 2006

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It’s not knitting unless I rip it out three times. I have two more times to go with this.

I didn’t like the arrangement of cables, so I took it out. Since the front ribbing extends up into the body, I had to take it all the way down to the cast on.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my size 3 needle I originally used for the ribbing, so I had to use the same needle size (5) I use for the body. The new ribbing bows out a little along the bottom, but I think it will be okay once it is actually worn.

Besides, that’s what blocking is for.

Aug 29 2006

click for closeup view

I almost forgot to post this. E has “grown out” of the first aran vest I made for him (and I’ve “grown into” it) so he asked for a new one.

Cascade 220 is lovely to knit with, and it fulled beautifully in the swatch. Good thing I washed the swatch before measuring the gauge, as it shrunk just a tad, to get me the correct gauge on size 5 needles. For cables I’m using Aran braid, XO cable, Ensign cable (an oversized variation on the 4-strand braid), Spearhead and Chain, and Pretzel braid. The two mirrored Pretzel braids at the center of the body will interweave before splitting for the v-neck.

Naturally, the yarn is “natural”, which is just the dickens to photograph with sufficient depth to show the cabling.

Page updated Sun Jan 28, 2007, 13:39 PM