Monday, January 16, 2012

Consolation Gift for Joshy

I had started working on a Christmas gift for my brother Joshy last summer, and when I got it done, I was thrilled with how it looked.

It was amazing.  It was trendy.  It was practical.

Then I made the mistake of asking Handyman to model it so I could get pictures.  He did.  Then he refused to take it off.

(Now please understand that while I might act all huffy, in reality I was absurdly pleased.)

This was wonderful, because then I didn't have to knit anything for Handyman for Christmas, but then that left me without anything for my brother, and I had promised him something hand knit.  It was December 2.  Things were looking grim.

With flying needles and lots (and lots) of caffeine, I somehow managed to get his gift done in two weeks.  It's even better than I could have hoped, and I think he'll get lots of use out of it (he lives in Maryland, where I'm told it's cold.  I'm skeptical, as "cold" to a Hawaiian isn't the same as "cold" to insane people who live in the Frigid North like me.)

This is the Alberta Vest by Jared Flood, and what an amazingly well-written pattern it was!  It's knit in the round as a tube (for non-knitting muggles that means it's easy knitting and fast because there's no purling required) and then armholes and the neck are cut open using steeks.

I used some Cascade 220 in a dark gray that I already had in my stash, and purchased some Chroma Worsted from Knitpicks.  The yarns are striped every two rows, and it was fun to watch how the Chroma slowly blended colors.

(Chroma is a fantastic yarn and I'd highly recommend it.  I'm not sure how much it might pill though, so I'd recommend using a rather tight gauge if you're working with it for garments.)

For the ribbing on the bottom, armholes, and neck, I was able to use up some dark heathered black yarn from my stash.  Double bonus!

Learning how to steek (cutting into the knitting) was the last thing on my Bucket List of Knitting Techniques, and I was thrilled with how easy it was.  I have to say, I was definitely holding my breath while I did it, but once I got it done I was so impressed with how easy it was and how useful it could be!

Steeking can be done either with a crochet hook or a sewing machine, but since the steeks were for the armholes and neck, both of which should have some stretch, I decided to try the crochet method.  I'm very glad I did.  I love the way the inside looks!

Next time I do a steek, though, I'm going to use a smaller crochet hook.  It's nothing that anyone else but me would probably notice, but the crochet edges pucker a tiny bit.  It didn't make any difference once the fabric was tacked down.

I hope you like it Joshy! 


Anonymous said...

I love it :) I wear it all the time.


Renee Living Laughing Loving said...

Looks great!! Not bad for a consolation gift!!