Knitted Vest: The Seaside
Designing the Vest
Recently I wrote an article entitled 'Knitting an Aussie Retro Sleeveless Pullover.' it was for one of my sons-in-law. That inspired me to try designing my own sleeveless pullover, or vest as it was called in the pattern.
It did not seem so very difficult. All I needed was some graph paper and a pencil to begin with, and then some felt-tip colours when I had the design. I decided to make it for Christmas for my younger son. As he and his family live near the beach, it would be fun to make it a seaside design.
As you can see, the chart is 10 squares wide. I made the star and the place name, RYE, 9 squares high and a multiple of the ten, that is, 30 squares wide. If you want to use another place name, incorporate it in the rest of the design as I have done. It needs to be a multiple of 10 squares wide and any change can be taken up with adjusting the size of the star.
The basic instructions were for a garment that would be 97 cm (approx). However, I had already discovered from my first effort that it was very approximate and was more likely to be at least 101 cm.
The yarn was to be 5-ply and I chose a practical dark grey wool for the waistband. Using a 3.00 mm (No. 11) circular needle, I cast on the 208 stitches.
I continued on and knitted the K. 1, P.1 band for about 5 cm. I found the circular needle a little cumbersome to begin with, but the band looked fine as you can see below.
Everyone seems to have a different way of casting on. I think that my favourite way helps to make the edge firmer and stronger.
I make the first loop, and knit into that to make the second stitch.
After that I put the right hand needle in behind the whole stitch, not just into the loop. I continue to knit that way for all the rest of the casting on.
Adjustments to the Design
Having never designed a pattern like this before, as I knitted I found that some adjustments were necessary. My design was only for 125 rows, but I needed about 100 rows up to the armholes and 60 for the armhole.
As you can see from the finished article, I made several adjustments and additions as I went along.
- Instead of one row of the Main Colour between each pattern, I substituted three rows each time.
- Above the yachts I added a pattern that looked like the sun and this added eight extra rows.
- I discarded the seaweed pattern below the dolphin and substituted another pattern of eight rows.
- Above that I added six rows of blue waves with a seventh of white foam.
- After the dolphin I commenced another eight row pattern, but as it incorporated the shoulder shaping, much of it disappeared in the shaping.
Try This Poll
Designing your own pattern makes a garment really personal. Have you ever tried to do this?
Following the Chart
I soon found that following the chart was not difficult, as with circular needles only plain knitting is needed to achieve a stocking stitch effect. It had taken time to make the design and I thought it looked really attractive. However, I had not designed the chart as well as I thought I had.
1. There were not enough rows. There needed to be around 100 rows (or rounds) for the body and another 60 for the armhole and neck shapings. My body design only had about 85 rows.
2. In some places I had three colours and these were inclined to tangle and be difficult to manage. Two colours at a time were much easier to handle, so as you may notice, in some places the garment pattern differs from the design, e.g. The rays from the lighthouse begin horizontally and do not dip down. I omitted the seagull's eye and beak for the same reason and worked them in by hand later using a lazy daisy stitch for the beak and a small backstitch for the eye.
The shaping of the armholes and neck can be found in my article, http://blossomsb.hubpages.com/hub/Knitting-an-Aussie-Retro-Sleeveless-Pullover.
I hope you have much fun designing your own personalised vests.
Although it was a considerable amount of learning as I went along, I was quite pleased with the final result and hope that my son will be, too. Actually I was about to design one for my older son, but a granddaughter came along with a pattern she would like me to make for her and it looks quite complicated, so that might take me right up to Christmas. Just as well that my older son lives in a much warmer climate. Maybe the Christmas after!
© 2013 Bronwen Scott-Branagan