Do you remember my love for Concrete cardigan by Nicole Feller-Johnson?
It has this lovely textured back panel and I thought it would look smashing in thick handspun yarn, back when I preferred to knit vests beginning from the back panel, not top-down or bottom-up.
I casted on, back in November 2016, and elongated the back so it could become a proper length vest or even cardigan:
I then put it in hibernation about a year ago because the neckline was way too wide at the back and the arm holes were not functional enough for me and I didn’t know how to fix it. I could have guessed these issues by looking better at the pattern photo’s:
Concrete is knit sideways and meant to be decorative first and functional second and looks best on elegant and flat chested nymphs. I guess a year ago was still delusional about my knitting skills and my nymph like nature.
Here we are today. I’m at the cabin, the mushroom yarns have been rinsed for the final time:
I brought the sparkly Sunshine on Snow pullover (Crazy Stripes) in fingering weight to work on and I have worked on it but now I’m want a break and it’s cold so I feel all adult-y and ready to pick up a thick vest WIP and knit for my real body:
This panel is too small. Do not think this will be wearable. This I have learned from Mushroom Dyed Vest. This piece of knitting here really is just the back panel of a vest, without the side bits with the decreases for an armhole.
These armholes do not work for me. I want normal armholes. Shaped armholes. “Decrease, increase. Pick up stitches, knit a sleeve, if you must.” kind of armholes. I will not be distracted by the holes in this piece of fabric, this panel has no armholes. Yet.
I could add side bits to this back panel for that but that would require sideways knitting. Which I think is a bit too weak a fabric to have at this point in the garment. I will knit the side bits the regular way, top down, while I knit the front bits.
That leaves me with this existing back panel that has two vertical slits in it. Vents. A bit cold for me. I cannot rip them out and reknit because the panel is knitted outwards from the centre and then continued at the bottom. I have no tail to pull. Two vents…. a good place to insert fairy wings I guess.
pattern Enchanted Ivy Wings by Lisa Jelle
Still a bit cold though and me being such a practical wool nymph… I’ll sew them shut.
OK. Next problem. The neckline is too wide and I get cold there —> I would like a normal vest shape, with two shoulder straps. How do I give that to this piece?
Well, in these wool woods there’s no stitch marker police. I am allowed to rename the existing ones at the top edges “shoulder point stitchmarkers” and add new ones in I’ll call “inner shoulder seam point”. Voilá, shoulderstraps created.
Right. Final problem: what is the front going to look like?
I’ll be descending into the front panels from the two shoulder seams/straps. I need a neck line shape (I usually do V-shape). And I need a decision about texture. Large horizontal ribs like the lower back? The bottom border will be high and ribbed, just like the back. The sleeve cuffs too.
I won’t mirror the square panel on the front, I don’t think that is flattering on me.
I could do a wide collar? And by that I mean a wide lapel. I’ll think about all this as I sew the vents shut. In the mean time I’ll ponder this yarn because it’s an old and dear one.
It is 400 grams, 700 meters, of a short stapled organic fleece, from a breed akin to Zwartbles. I spun it back in January 2010, all in one weekend for my very first spin-along. I was still fairly new to Ravelry and spinning and still very ill. I had just moved into the cabin with Lillepoes, who helped with the spinning:
Spinning short staple longdraw on a Louet S10 without modifying its pull! Lucky is the beginner who doesn’t know she’s working against the grain.
Since then I’ve tried to knit the yarn into a Wrenna Cardigan but the open lace work looked horrible in the thick round yarn. This pattern needs soft bulky yarn that fills up the yarn overs:
pattern Wrenna by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes:
For Concrete Cardi the yarn is perfect. No holes, just play with knits and purls. I’ll see where all this inspiration takes me for the front panels.