Happy Vestvember, y’all! (handspun Alberta-ish vest)

Yeah, I don’t know if anyone is doing Vestvember anymore, but hey, it’s November, and here’s a vest, and I’m pretty super-duper excited about it. Also, hello there, blog! It’s been awhile. I had a hard time remembering my blog password.

So I have this thing about posting my projects chronologically. And when I fell behind this summer and didn’t get my summer skirts posted, everything else backed up, and then I felt silly posting little cotton skirts in September. And now here we are, November. Maybe I’ll just ditch the whole chronological thing. Or maybe I’ll start with my most recent project and work backwards, also chronologically? We’ll see. At any rate, I knit this vest:
Happy Vestvember, y'all!
This is Cascade Elite Skye Tweed in oatmeal, striped with my handspun Hello Yarn Romney in “Alpine” (a little less than 8 ounces), trimmed in Cascade 220 Heathers in “Pumpkin” (or something like that). Those two really light blue stripes at the chest kind of drive me crazy because of how they disappear into the main color, but I am trying to pretend that part of it away.

The handspun was some of my earliest, 299 yards of heavy worsted two-ply:
for Rav: Alpine
I love Romney!

I started this in February 2010 as a 9th anniversary gift for My Old Man. I started it 6 days before our anniversary (ambitious much?) and finished it 20 months later. I was following the loose instructions in the book Knitting in the Old Way , which gives measurements in percentages, and when it got almost time to cut the steeks, I got nervous. Not about cutting, but about cutting if I didn’t have the measurements right. It looked wrong to me somehow, and I was particularly unsure about the short row shaping I’d done at the shoulders, and I felt I should rip back and redo but wasn’t all that sure. At the time, Jared Flood’s Alberta pattern wasn’t widely available – it would’ve been a big help with the shaping (short row and otherwise).

Anyway, I set the thing aside for a couple of weeks, which turned into several months, and my poor husband, who never asks for anything, started asking me about his vest. I felt terrible, but then I felt paralyzed by uncertainty. So it continued to sit and wait, patient, just like my husband.

In the 20 months that I did not get this vest knitted, I did all sorts of other things:
We celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary, me without a present to give him:

We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, and still no vest:

the whole family wanted in on this shot

I turned 40:
40to40.40 - today I am 40
I started running again, and ran my first race since high school:

I made a whole bunch of stuff:
finished :: 2010

But still no vest.

And then I took the vest with me to Rhinebeck last month, to get advice from knitting goddesses like Elinor Brown and Elspeth Kursh, and I determined that: a) I had set the steeks up right (though Elinor did suggest that stitch markers would be a helpful idea! – I’m pretty sure I had them in at some point, but who knows – it’s not for nothing that My Old Man calls me Miss Approximate), and b) the armholes were going to be WAY long. Which made me super-glad that I hadn’t cut them way back when.

So I took the vest home, ripped it all the way back to below the armholes (in other words, I ripped back roughly half of what I’d already knit), then I knit it back up – this time following the shaping from the Alberta pattern (though my stitch count was much different) – then I cut the steeks:
cutting the steek!

WHOA. I had no idea how much fun that would be! It was just so satisfying, in a way that I can’t really explain. Just, yum.

Then I added the trim, which I thought would never end. Et voila! 20 months later, a vest!
Happy Vestvember, y'all!

Happy 9th Anniversary, sweetie!


11 thoughts on “Happy Vestvember, y’all! (handspun Alberta-ish vest)

  1. It’s a fantastic looking vest. Also, that bright red maple is a beautiful backdrop — I’m California and there have been absolutely no seasons this year. My japanese maple has gone from red to green three times this year because it’s been so weird. Vestvember with vest wearing weather sounds perfect about now!

  2. I didn’t notice the light blue stripes on the chest until you pointed them out. I did notice his satisfied smile though.

    It looks like beautiful work.

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