Saturday, March 14, 2009

Knit One Below - Reversible Vest

The article about the new book "Knit One Below" in the Spring 2009 Knitter's and pattern in the Winter 2008 Knitter's have really been inspiring me. Yesterday my husband reminded me about some of the machine knitting yarns I've got, so as soon as I got home I started through my stash to see what took my fancy. These are all coned yarns, mostly Yarn Country. I found 3 different black yarns that I thought would be fun used together, 100% Tussah Silk, Designer 737 80% wool 20% silk, and CashWool which is 50% cashmere 50% wool. I thought they would be a nice background for some purples. The real interest yarn for the contract color is Violet Night, a variegated rayon chenille in purples, violets and green. With that as a base I added 3 other yarns for my first swatch, Hilcasa, a 20/2 waxed cotton in a dark purple, a Ming Blue 2/17 wool, and Concord Designer 737 WoolRay, a wool/rayon blend.

The vest calls for 14 st and 42 rows for 4 inch/10 cm square. The vest has a 2 stitch garter border and an odd number of stitches so I cast on 21 stitches (14+1 to be odd, +1 stitch per side so the garter stitches didn't distort the gauged, and 2 stitches per side for the garter border). This swatch gave me a chance to learn the pattern, learn how to cross these yarns at the edges to make the edges neat and pretty, and get used to correcting mistake. I recommend a crochet hook for this!

As the article said, this is a quick, fun technique that doesn't take long to master. The fabric is thick, but not stiff. Both sides are pretty, with very different but interesting looks. The first swatch is finished, measured and has been washed. I'll measure again after it's dry.

In the mean time I'm working on a second swatch, with only 2 yarns as the contrast, the Violet Night and Hilcasa. It is only a bit over an inch long, but is a much thinner fabric and drapier. I think I will like this better for my vest, but that remains to be seen after measuring, washing, and remeasuring.

I'm not usually one to do this much swatching, but since I'm not using a regular yarn, but instead just knitting 2 or more yarns together as one, and because I don't want to do all the various math to figure out my own pattern, it's worth it.

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