Thursday, January 20, 2011

a vest pattern

If you are already working on a sweater, just ignore this post. . . the most needed item right now is sweaters, so keep going!!

If, though, you're looking for one more thing to make in time for the February 14 due date, and know there's no chance of finishing a whole sweater, here's a vest pattern. It is long enough (Afghan kids tend to be tall and slim), and the neckline is completely in line with the requirements for modesty for girls and boys. Gauge is 4 stitches per inch (16 sts/10 cm), so it will be fast to knit. This gauge is perfect for the heftier worsteds I love, such as Peace Fleece, Maine wool, Beaverslide, Cascade's Ecological Wool, or various yarns categorized as heavy worsted or chunky. (If in doubt, knit a swatch. Really. It will save you time in the long run.) I don't have any variegated or patterned yarn in that gauge, so I plan to insert several wide stripes at the bottom, just to keep it a little more interesting. And I'm giving some thought to working neck and armhole bands in a contrasting color.

The smallest size in this pattern comes to 39 inches around. I recommend sticking with that size rather than one of the bigger sizes -- in fact, I'm thinking of taking out 4 stitches from the front and 4 stitches from the back to get a 37-inch chest measurement. I will keep the neck shaping exactly as written, though -- it's important to make sure the kid can get it on!

I wish I had a long car trip -- with somebody else driving -- coming up. . .

7 comments:

Nancy said...

Thanks for the pattern link. I hope to find time to knit this vest for the campaign, but knitting it in the round to eliminate seaming.

Judy said...

That looks fast -- I would also do it in the round to the marks for the armholes.

PghCathy said...

I'm knitting like a fiend to get another sweater finished before I have to get a package in the mail for the Feb deadline. But I like this pattern and am bookmarking it for a future campaign. I also was thinking about how to knit it in the round. Thanks for the link, Elizabeth.

Afghan Ann said...

Thanks, Elizabeth, for nudging on the sweaters and the tips, and thanks for the encouraging comments from everyone rallying. As of Wed., we had about 150 sweaters -- all beautiful, but the low count is a bit of a surprise. Count was higher on vests, but can't remember at the moment. We have more boxes of blankets, which fit only 12/box. We'd like to clothe a few thousand kids. We're packing again tomorrow (Friday). Maybe the incoming packages are increasing as we sleep. If the past is a guide for us, 1/2 the packages arrive in the couple weeks before the due date. I will try not to panic. Teresa -- your blog admin co-pilot -- is packing with us on her day off ... we're looking forward to seeing her in real life! I have been trying very hard to save the Frango's for heartland Ann R (the other Ann R), who is also helping tomorrow.

Kathy said...

I hear you, Afghan Ann! I just frogged the ribbed armholes of an almost complete vest and am adding sleeves. I've got the yarn, and the time, so count on one more sweater, a bulky weight big kid's version of the "Orphans for Orphans" sweater in my favorite book "Knitting for Peace."

Kathy said...

As for Elizabeth D's luscious pattern, since there's stitches picked up at the armhole, a fast knitter could keep going for in-the-round sleeves.

Afghan Ann said...

Kathy, I just looked up the "orphan" pattern in the book. Please be careful with fit on this pattern. Only the largest size will work for our current campaign, and the sleeves and torso tend to be short when we have rec'd sweaters made with this pattern. Hope you can modify some as needed. This is not quite one of those side-to-side or t-shape patterns, but similar, and, while the pattern itself is simple, extra care seems to be needed in terms of underarm/armhole space to move the arm and torso and sleeve length. Hope you don't mind my mentioning, but based on years of experience with thousands and thousands of sweaters! Thanks a lot, Ann

PS: Our own In-VEST for Peace pattern in the same book is not one of our favorites, frankly. There are just better vest patterns out there that don't have the issues of buttons not closing well, the difficult decreases on the neck that cause puckers if not careful, and sometimes too much depth on the v-neck. This can be rectified with additional ribbing added. I guess the point is that some of the simplified patterns need extra work!

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