Posted in FO, knitting, made with handspun, spinning by tchemgrrl on December 21, 2011

I used up some stash-aged handspun to knit Theo a vest.

First, the yarn.


This is some Blue Faced Leicester top that I got as part of Susan’s fiber of the month club a while back. Her club comes with recommended patterns, but I spun this at a point that I was in no mood to pay attention to consistency or spinning to spec. It’s worsted weight 3-ply. The yellow and green were separate colors, but I split the fiber I had into thirds, spun the singles, and plied it without worrying overmuch about when and where they came together (see: no mood to pay attention to specs). My thought at the time was that I could use that transition point as a point of interest in whatever I knit with it. That’s still the case, although I avoided that part of the skein entirely in the vest. I’ll use it in something else, though; the yarn came out nice in spite of my lackadaisical spinning.

New Zealand Corriedale

This is some 3-ply Corriedale that I spun up a while ago. It was interesting fiber–might actually have been roving, now that I think of it. My mother-in-law has exceptional taste in craft items and found this at a farmers’ market, if I remember correctly. (There’s that thing people say about people with little interest in a craft who buy craft stuff for other people. It is not true in this case. Without fail she has found very nice stuff. I picked a good family to join.) It’s very bouncy, and a similar thickness as the BFL.

I was pretty sure that I didn’t have enough of either to do a significant project, so I hoped that putting them together would go okay (I had plenty, but wouldn’t have been able to finish it with one or the other, so I was right on that count.)

I looked over a number of patterns, but surprise surprise, I wasn’t too taken with any of them. I had a little old man sweater in my head–v-neck, with buttons, because anything I can yoink onto Theo while he’s running is much more likely to get worn. He’s not a big fan of the detail work of arms-through-sleeves, so a vest made sense.

One other element to making up my own pattern was sizing. Theo is what is known in the medical community as a “big guy”–tall and broad and sturdy. The patterns I found that I liked didn’t give enough sizing information for me to feel confident that their “12-18 months” was MY “12-18 months”. Instead, I did some measuring, and looked at how a bunch of different patterns approached armscyes and borders and things, and mostly winged it. I took some notes that my iPod ate, so I don’t have a ton of stuff to say about the pattern writing.

birthday vest

The green yarn had some slight variegation that was made even more slight by the 3-ply structure. It’s just enough to be interesting, I think. Any more and the unmatchability of the shoulders would have bothered me.

I bought the caterpillar buttons in San Francisco on a trip there mid-pregnancy; at the time I was working on this Baby Surprise Jacket and thought they’d be perfect. There’s a secret in that picture, though, which is that I hadn’t sewn on the buttons, and never did, because the kiddo grew out of the sweater before he had a chance to wear it a single time. But I couldn’t let the buttons go to waste. C’mon! Little old man vest with caterpillar buttons! The opportunity was too good.

reading a magazine

The sweater perfectly fits the bill. He wears it quite a bit. I suppose it’s “dressy”; they’ve commented on his fancy outfit when he comes to daycare in it. But I knit it knowing it would get toddler messes on it, and having had the experience of knitting something that went straight into the “too small” pile, I’d much rather it get worn. And it’s not super fancy, it’s just a warm woolen stockinette sweater with seed stitch edges that he actually lets me put on him without kicking up too much fuss.

For buttonholes, I just did yarnovers, but they are still a little big. About half of them are popped out at any given time, but he doesn’t mind.

The size is just about perfect. The vest fits snugly but not tightly over his round tummy, giving him an overall impression of being a very tiny capitalist. The vest is long enough that I’m confident he’ll be able to wear it all winter, but not so long that it looks sloppy. It keeps him warm and cozy and doesn’t hamper his movements. I’m sure I’ll knit something similar next year.

Who is this person?