‘Cotton Neat’ Vest with Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Aran

The first knitted garment for myself was completed last night with both a sense of acheivement and relief. This vest is based on this pattern from Ravelry (I got from Eleanor). It was knitted using Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Aran on 4.5mm. Like all my knitting projects so far, this one also has its hair-raising moments….

The pattern is for a Men’s vest (which Eleanor tells me Alex is knitting). I was looking for a project to take advantage of the Blacksheepwools’s free shipping sales so I decided to adapt this pattern for me. That was earlier in my ‘knitting career’ when I was unaware of the pitfalls of pattern modification. As the Japanese patterns (on the Ravelry site) have dimensions as well as stitches, scaling down wasn’t too difficult. The knitting mostly went well apart from the fact that I probably should have bought one more ball of yarn but I just made up for that by making a shorter collar.

The pattern specifies the ‘3-needles bind off’ technique for joining the shoulders. I assume thatI would finish knitting before joining so I casted off the shoulders stitches to finish knitting the collar (for both both back and front). When it came to joining the shoulders I realised the shoulder stitches needed to be on the needles to be joined and casted off using the said technique. One shoulder could be undone easily but the other could not be undone without unravelling the collar first. So I had to unravel (and later re-knit) the collar so the shoulder stitches could be put back onto needles for the 3-needles bind off (shown above). If you are knitting this pattern: put the shoulder stitches on stitch holders.

When I finished joining the shoulders and the collars, I had a moment of disbelief: I realised there was no way that my neck would fit through the neck opening. The way I scaled down the pattern only took into the account how it would fit my body but not how it would fit over my head! I was dispairing. I thought of undoing all the binding and unravelling the collar down to the shoulders to allow for a bigger opening. But it came to me that I could perhaps borrow a common method used baby’s clothes manufacturing: to use buttons for the neck opening.

I undid the binding on one shoulder, casted off half the stitches, put on buttons and added button loops. Then I decided not close up the collar and make a feature out of the asymmetric collar. I wore it to work today!

Question: Does anyone know anything about pressing hand-knitted garment? (The armscyes curl up and I would like to flatten them but am too scared to iron it.)

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