Argyle Vest-Along!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ripping Sucks

I really hate to rip, but there was no way around it. I had more stitches on one side of the steek than the other and the pattern was getting thrown off. I don't know how I ended up that way and it wasn't anything I could ladder down to fix. So, RIP RIP RIP. About 4 inches or so, back down to the armscyes. I'm hoping to make up my lost ground over the rest of the week and weekend and get to the steeks early next week.

How's everyone else doing? I love checking in over here to see how everyone's progressing!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Gauge too tall

I just finished row 30 of the graph and my work measures 5" tall rather than the 4" called for! Any advise? I hate to give up, it's so hard to get gauge right with stranded knitting. Help! I'm using Knit Picks Merino Style.

Monday, April 24, 2006

world's slowest vest-a-longer

Blogger is being fussy today so I apologize if this gets posted twice. Anyway, I just wanted to pop in with an updated pic of my progress (such as it is). I've been suffering from an unfortunate lack of knitting time and have only been able to squeeze in one or two rows at a time. I'm maybe 6 rows away from starting the armhole steeks.

Argyle Vest Maths 101 pt. 2

I think I figured out the maths for my gauge correction... at least my much smarter neighbor, Lisa, did. Lisa
is an artist who works primarily with knitted fabric, so if anyone should know, it's her.

My gauge is averging out at 6.5 in inch, instead of 5.5. So, after doing a few whizz-bang calcuations, we decided
that I should cast on a 40" instead of 34" inch vest. This seems like a very dramatic jump up, but there is a 20%
difference in vest size (or almost 4 inches around) because of my gauge issues.

Casting on now, only God knows if this vest will be for a Giantess or a Dwarf!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Funny Story!

Yesterday, I called my sister while she was shopping at the mall. As we were chatting, she mentioned that there was a 'surprisingly tall' woman in the store. I immediately got excited, and asked, 'how tall?' and 'is she really slim, too?' She responded that the woman was about 6 1/2 feet tall, but that she was not slim, and then was very curious about why I was asking. I explained to her about the knitalong and the multitude of 'mini dresses' that we have made. I have been keeping my eyes peeled for the mystery woman who will fit into our vests... and I thought I had found her! Sadly, I had not. My sister had a good laugh over the idea of going over to her and saying, 'Do you like argyle vests? May I have your mailing address, please?' Can you imagine? Hilarious!

Argyle Vest Math 101

Many of you expressed interest in seeing the crazy math involved in adjusting the pattern on my Argyle Vest... Well, here's my attempt to explain it.

First, what's your row gauge? (I got stitch gauge, so I was only concerned with row gauge here.)

Mine was: 23 rows per 4" or approximately 6 rows per inch.
Eunny called for: 30 rows per 4"

What you need to do is look at every section of the pattern (decreasing, straight, and increasing) and calculate the amount of inches Eunny is calling for in each pattern. How many rows, according to YOUR gauge, do you have to knit to get the same amount of inches? When you have that, you can then figure out how often you'd have to decrease to get the same amount of increases/decreases. Then, get out a bunch of highlighters, and highlight the path you should follow in the pattern and note where you should increase and decrease.

As far as the steek placement--Eunny places it about 7.7 inches up from the bottom. How many rows, according to your gauge, is 7.7"? Find out that and that's where you start the steek. I ended up starting mine at row 44 instead of row 58, as the pattern calls for. Using the good ol' cross-multiply-and-divide formula works! I wish I could explain better, but I'm a math dummy!!

In all, I cut about 20 rows from the pattern, which with my gauge is close to 4 inches!, and it's looking perfect. I'm a few inches in on the arm steeks and rapidly progressing to the neck band. If I can knit, knit, knit today, I may be steeking this week!! Huzzah!

I have 3 more stitches on the right side of the neck steek than on the left!! Ack!! I suppose I should RIP...

Changing my mind!

I've changed my mind about the colors I want to use for the vest. I tried to post my new color combo choices on this blog today, but Internet Explorer won't let me post pics for some reason and my Netscape browser for some reason hates Blogger today. I tried three times to post it and it just kept quitting on me.
I need help choosing my new colors, so head on over to my blog - - and help me choose, will you? (yeah, I can't post a link on IE either! the little images are not anywhere showing for me, it's just this generic little posting box. What's up with that?)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A couple inches of progress

I've been working slowly on the vest, but it's coming along. Even though I changed from working with size US4 needles to size US3, my row gauge stayed exactly the same (about 24 rows over 4" !). It probably has to do with some wonky way that I am knitting or else the yarn that I'm using (2 different kinds for the 2 colors - Elegance has some silk in it and is therefore more "slippery"). I don't know - I just adjusted the number of rows and I think it'll be fine in the end. I can't wait for the steeks!

By the way, these colors seem to be hard to photograph correctly - they are actually not this bright in real life.


It's been a while since my last post here. I think I hadn't even begun yet.

And now the end is near. I've had serious row gauge issues and had to recalculate everything from about 10 cm and up. That is, that was when I realized what was happening. I also had to skip a couple of side decreases. If you understand Swedish, there's more of this on my blog.

Friday, April 21, 2006

decreases around the steeks?

just so i feel better about what i'm doing, could someone tell me exactly what kind of decreases they're working on either side of the steeks? i read the pattern and i think i'm working them correctly (basically i'm going against my instinct of how i would normally decrease) but i'd love some reassurance because some of them don't look so good. for the neck steek (i haven't gotten to the armholes yet), going across from right to left i'm working ssk, knit the steek, then a k2tog. my k2tog decs look good but my ssk? not so good...i can see the two colors of the stitches. i shoulda taken a picture to illustrate but didn't think of before i left the house. thanks, ladies!

My Second Swatch

This time I've used the same yarn - Brown Sheep Sports Weight - on a size smaller needle - 6s. The fabric
looks much better - the pattern is clearer (though this could be because I actually FOLLOWED the pattern this
time - and the tension is a bit more even. I tried a different color combo this time - brown and grey - but am
not thrilled with it. For the actual vest I'll go light blue and grey for that preppy (or Civil War ) look.

Not sure what the gauge is yet, but I'm guessing I'll just have to "make it work," as Tim Gunn would say.

Edited to Add: Well, my gauge is still troublesome. I'm basically getting about 7.5 stitches per inch, and
28rows over four inches. I'm thinking I should knit one size bigger, and add a few rows in to compensate.
Does this make sense? I am maths dumb as you may guess.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

My vest gauge

Ok... when I posted the pictures of my vest earlier (the pink & white one), a couple of people asked about gauge. I got out my ruler- and here's what I found:

My gauge is 28 stitches and 30 rows over 4 inches. Right on rows, wrong on stitches. I'm feeling ok about this gauge- the yarn I'm using (Knitpicks Merino) seems pretty stretchy, and I'm confident that I can block this to the width I want. I was more concerned with getting my row gauge right considering everyone's mini-dress dilemma.

I'm using size 6 (US) Addi Turbos, and am working with the main color (pink) in my right hand and the contrast color (white) in my left- so that the pink is being worked English style and the white Continental.

Hope this will help everyone a little!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Glad to see there are other Vestalongers still! I am re-swatching tonight on a size SMALLER needle on
Eunny's suggestion (my instinct was to go up a size). If that doesn't work I may attempt to tweak the
pattern to work with my eventual gauge.

It would be funny to run into another Vestalonger wearing The Vest. Has anyone ever seen a knitter
out in a sweater they recognized from a blog or a KAL?

Math makes my brain hurt

After seeing how many of you have ended up with longer-than-desired vests, I decided that drastic action was needed. I enlisted the help of my friends Stephanie and Veronique to puzzle out the math needed to adjust the shaping and placement of steeks and armholes. Check out my blog for the pics...

I wish I had researched my merino options more... Knit Picks Merino Style is a much larger DK weight than what Eunny used and I think I should have been looking for a sport weight merino, based on the gauge Eunny calls for in the pattern. I wish I had found this before I bought the Knit Picks. While it's much more expensive, I think it would have created a much less bulky fabric, and I would have been closer to the mark on gauge. If I make this sweater again, I might splurge on this yarn.

I'm chugging along on the body of the vest and I've already divided for the neck steek. The armholes are coming up soon. I can't believe how fast of a knit this was! Maybe I can actually get a wear out of it before it gets too warm here in NYC to wear a wool vest.

Happy Knitting!

A nailbiter...

Hi all... though this is my first post, I've been working on this vest for awhile, and am close to being done! Here's my progress:

Image hosting by Photobucket

I love it! Such a satisfying knit, and I really like the colors I picked. Now here's the problem:

Image hosting by Photobucket

That's all the yarn I have left! Ahhh! I don't think I'll be able to make it. The worst part is that I ordered from Knitpicks, so I'll have to wait a week for the yarn to come in. And I'm on a roll!

Oh well... if this is the worst problem I have with this garment, I guess I'll count myself lucky!

-Kelly B.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Open Letter to Knitpicks...

Hello, Knitpicks...where is my Asparagus? It's been back in stock since April 1...Where is my order?
Where oh where is my yarn???You can't swatch fair isle in one color.....



Thursday, April 13, 2006

What a hot ugly mess! I find knitting on DPN really tricky at the best of times,
but with Fair Isle it's really gone to pot. The tension is out the window, and it
looks like I didn't really follow the pattern that well. I know that once I start this
piece on circs it will work well though - I'm a pretty determined knitter!

I think I'm going to knit a few more rows, block it, and see what I have for gauge.
Wish me luck! I love this pattern, it will look fabulous over a little shirt with a
pencil skirt.

Yarn is Brown Sheep sport weight, and right now I'm getting about 5 stitches an inch


Here it is in all it's ill-fitting glory.

You may not be able to tell from the above photo but the vest would have worked were it not for the crazy wide and protruding armholes. I have more information and a close up picture on my blog. I think I am going to re-knit but maybe not until fall and until I truly understand how to fix the fit. This knit-a-long has been great though and I look forward to seeing future finished versions that hopefully benefit from the experience and folly of those who have gone before. Whatever you do, know your gauge. I still love the pattern. This is one beautiful fun knit. I just wish mine fit.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Cutting Yarn has Never Been so Fun

Hi everyone - this is my first KAL. I finally (re)started my vest. I'm not really figuring out the gauge by swatching, so I think I'm just going to start on size 4 needles and adjust the pattern as needed. I get really impatient just swatching all the time. Here is a swatch on which I tried out the crochet steeking - seems to be holding really well (awesome!). The colors are "Grass" in Elegance from Knit Picks, and "Fawn" in Palette from Knit Picks (double stranded). They are more muted in real life.

Eunny's comments

[Eunny's comments to the last post -- re-posted by me, Fi]

Hi ladies -

I've been following the -along with a lot of interest. I'm so sorry about the size/length/row gauge problems many of you are having - it's kind of been perplexing me, since 30rows/4inches is a pretty middle-of-the-road gauge for a DK-weight yarn.

I'm getting the feeling that many knitters are increasing the needle size to get stitch gauge (which, of course, affects row gauge), not knitting round swatches, or not blocking the swatch aggressively. The best solution I can suggest is to:

1) Swatch in the round!
2) Practice a little stranded knitting. Make sure your floats are consistently generous - if your floats are too tight, your stitch gauge will be way too tight.
2) Swatch for row gauge. That is, make your swatch work out as close as possible to 30 rows/4 inches, keeping your floats loose and comfortable, and see if blocking gets you stitch gauge with that same swatch.
3) Block aggressively. Seriously, soak your swatch in cool water for 15-20 minutes to get things completely saturated, and try to pin it to get gauge. You'll be suprised at how much give there really is.

Hope this helps! If you do end up recalculating the decreases, I suggest marking inches on the chart for your size - if your new row gauge is, say, 24 rows/4 inches, tick off every 6 rows as one inch. Using this "ruler", redrawing your decrease lines should be pretty straightforward - no math needed, just your eyeballs.

Now that I think of it, would someone be able to copy and post this as a new entry to the blog, so everyone's sure to see it? That would be great!

p.s. If you are really unhappy with how your vest turned out, and feel the problem lies with the pattern - email me, and we'll work something out.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Gauge woes

I slogged through the 2 x 2 ribbing this week and finally made it to the colorwork this weekend. I do mine with a color in each hand, which seems to work pretty well for me.

I have gotten through several rounds and my stitch gauge is right on, yay! The bad news is that my row gauge is WAY off... I'm getting about 11.5 rows over 2 inches (23 rows over 4").

This is a pretty huge difference. After reading about everyone's vests turning out way too long, I'm not sure what I should do. Should I somehow adjust the shaping so that I do the arm holes a little earlier? I need your advice, VestAlong-ers!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Finally starting

The yarn has arrived- I can finally start! From wonderful Östergötlands ullspinneri comes this incredibly soft Visjö-garn that I've only heard about but now will try out on this vest. And the colors... I've been thinking back and forth, and settled for this springy combination... I really hope it will work!

Steek cutting this weekend

Here is the finished body of my vest:

I will get to steeking this weekend so hopefully I will have a finished project soon. Can I tell you though...I am terrified it is too long. As I say on my blog, I think I knit an argyle mini-dress. Argh! I am so annoyed with my row gauge calculations. I have always discounted row gauge in the past but for this project, row gauge is critical.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

My first KAL

Hi! Just thought I'd introduce myself. I'm Sofie, and this is my first knit-along, and my first well as first bigger project really! Since I'm not an experienced knitter, I decided I would modify the pattern a little bit, making it in only one color. I know, it kind of takes the argyle out of the "Deep V argyle vest", but I'm hoping it'll turn out nice anyway. This is kind of what I'm hoping it will look like:

Right now, it feels like things are going ok. I started at my boyfriend's mom's birthday dinner (well, not until after the actual dinner), and to my luck his aunt was a "textile crafts teacher" in middle school (syslöjdslärare) , and helped me out! Right now, I've only gotten this far:

The only thing that's really bugging me is the size issue. I'm using the same yarn as Linn did, who now writes, "I shouldn't have gone for the Alpaca. Stupid." For her, the vest turned out much bigger than she thought. I'm thinking about changing to a smaller size (I'm usually 38'), and maybe making it less wide and shorter? Some people have also written that they wish they hadn't made the V so deep. I guess it's not too late to change that either... What do y'all think? Those of you who have finished; do you wish you had done it differently?

my GIANT vest

oh, it's just freaking huge. think 31" long huge. i'm suprisingly not as ticked off as i would expect. go to the blog to gawk at the picture. i'm going to go cry in a corner.

Monday, April 03, 2006

my tiny vest

oh man i really think this thing is going to be too small. i'm not ripping at this point because a. i'm not sure about the size and b. i'm really doing it for the learning experience. anyway, my goal for this evening is to finish up with chart a. Also, it seems that unlike most i'm going to wind up with more yarn than i need. i'm jusssst about through with one ball of the main color and still have loads left on ball #1 of the pink color. on top of that i bought an extra skein of each because i ALWAYS underestimate. this time though it seems i underestimated my girth. :( le sigh. let's all hope for a blocking miracle, ladies!

Binding off, finally!

I've had some argyle action this weekend, and tonight I'm having a knit-together at my place and will finish, secure and block tonight. Hooray!

But I must say I feel there's something wrong with the steeks. I know I've never been the most thorough reader of patterns, but I honestly think I got the steeks right and crotcheted with a very wooly mohair, but still it's like it doesn't stick together, and the crotcheted edge wants to slip away, slowly but surely. Maybe the alpaca is too soft for steeking? Does anyone else have these problems, or are everybody else's steeks just perfect and lovely?