A vest in two weeks flat, and I could not be any happier with it! Do you get that feeling when you are plugging away on a project and you can actually visualize yourself in the future using/wearing that project? You see yourself so happy that it is now in your life. You look at it admiringly and try to remember life before it. You could easily wear it everyday – making it part of your “uniform”.
My Tess Wrap Vest is this kind of garment. My own personal uniform.
…A beautiful lightly variegated moss stitch vest uniform….
Tess Wrap Vest
Pattern: DROPS vest, originally titled Sleeveless Jumper with Belt
Yarn: Tess Designer Yarns Superwash Merino, 1.2 hanks (~650 yards)
Source: Maryland Sheep and Wool, May 2007
Needles: Size US 7 and 8 circulars
…and just because I love it so much – more photos! this time with a yellow top…
Can you tell why I like it so much? It is just so darn wearable! If you are familiar with the original pattern, you will notice that I made a few modifications. The original pattern has a 2×2 ribbing for the hem, and the front panels and neckline. While the ribbing looked okay (enough to attract me to the pattern) I thought it looked a little odd at the bottom when (inevitably) the picked-up stitch rib portion is shorter than the hem rib section. I opted to go with a double moss stitch pattern – it keeps the spirit of the original, but adds more depth, in my opinion. It also did not draw in severely at the bottom edge. The collar is one of my favorite features of this knit: I knit it for about 9 centimeters on each side, so I had enough of an edge to turn the collar up or down. I could have knit even more for a more dramatic flare collar, or even put a few short rows in there for some more differentiation… but I am happy with how this looks the way it is now.
The yarn was great to work with – Tess Yarns have been a favorite of mine for several years, and this was my first time working with this weight (worsted) rather than the sock weight. The deep brown was what drew me to this yarn back at the Festival stand in 2007, and it is what I still love about the vest. There was a little dye transfer on the needles and on my hands, but nothing too major. The yarn is sold in huge 570 yard hanks, so, I only ended up using about 1.2 hanks, approximately 620-650 yards of the yarn with the Medium size vest. I still have more yarn – it would make some great hat/mitten/scarf combos, I think. I am looking forward to May’s Festival so I can pick out another color of this yarn for another future project! Tess Designer Yarns is always on my list of places at MDSW!
When I first started this vest, I knew that I didn’t want to knit over five feet of knitted i-cord for the belt, so I decided to try my hand at some braiding techniques that I read about in one of my Christmas gift books. I picked up 200 Braids to Twist, Knot, Loop, or Weave with a gift certificate to the bookstore. It is an Interweave Press publication from 2007: “profusely illustrated” (as one reviewer noted), spiral-bound, and very informative. I see this book as a great resource for all sorts of trims and finishes for knitting and weaving projects. As I flip through the pages, I wish there had been something like this available when I was a child – my sisters and I were obsessed with making friendship bracelets out of DMC floss when we were young, and this book has so many designs that we would have loved!
There are so many techniques discussed in the book, and it has great photos to illustrate each step of the process. Yarn is used in several of the samples, as well as ribbons, thread, beads, satin cords, fabric strips, etc. There is so much you could do with this!
Following some of the models outlined in the book, I decided to braid some sample yarns I had in the stash alongside the Tess yarn for this belt. Of course, once I started going, I had to make another… and I probably could have kept going to make more and more belts!
I love how they turned out – simple, quick to make, and uses up some stash! Funny thing is, after making two of the belts, I figured that I preferred the vest without a belt… I like the way it looks open. I have the option to wear the belt if I want, but in the mean time, I can use these braids elsewhere – as hair bands, or as straps for my yoga mat!
Vest-uary Vest #1 complete!