You might remember that when I started this vest, I didn't even really want to make it.  I wasn't so much interested in the project as I was compelled.  I just couldn't get the idea of it out of my head. 

And so once I let go the question of whether or not I was going to make the thing, it pretty much leapt, fully formed, out of my head.  Not unlike sneezing.  You know it's coming, and there's not a darn thing to be done about it, except possibly to protect innocent bystanders by adjusting your aim.

My mother always told me and my sisters when we were growing up that we should avoid horizontal stripes because they are unflattering and make you look wide in all the wrong places.  Sorry, Mom, but I think I may have proven that theory wrong.

I love it when people say that stranded colorwork garments are unflattering because they are nothing but straight lines, with no shaping.  To those uninitiated, I offer the Violet Vest: Steek-A-Palooza.

And as for the style, I'd say it's somewhere between Bea-Arthur-As-Maude, and Bohemian Dirndl.  Stripes are not usually the first design element I think of, but I really dig the way they highlight the shaping, by bending around it.  I also love the peasanty bust gathers above the waist detail; very comfortable to wear.  

So now that I have that out of my system, I'll be returning to the Weasley jumpers, the second sock, and possibly some more Japanese oak leaves.  Just gotta locate the tissues first.

Did Somebody Yell "Cut!"?

Okay, based on some of the comments, I may have done an intellectual drive-by when I went off about sculpting with string, and all those steeks, a couple of days ago.  I finished knitting the bottom half of this vest today, so I thought I'd show you the rest of the gory details, blow by blow.  There is truly nothing mysterious or difficult about what you are about to see.  But if you are at all squeamish about scissors and knitting, you might want to grab something to steady your nerves.  No hurry; I'll wait:

Here's the patient, anesthetized and ready for surgery.  It's just one big oddly-shaped tube at this point.  Strategic slicing, adjacent to the decreases and increases I have already knit in will now cause it to become a shapely vest.  Honest.

Here you can see that the first two cuts are done, both the center front, and the front neckline.  Sort of like butterflying a sweater!

And now I have sliced open the back neckline.  Looks more like a garment all the time...

And finally, the armhole slashes are made.  Voila!  Kinda sweater-like, no?

Next I will perform a three-needle bindoff to join the shoulders, and then let the binding party commence.  Gobs of edges to cover with a swell binding.  See you on the other side!



"A curve is the loveliest distance between two points."

- Mae West

This is the vest I dreamt of when I was sick with the flu.  Honest.  It's really a vest.  I'm not sure, but this could be the steek-y-est thing I have ever made.  So far there are 5 steeks, and I'm anticipating at least one more.  Cool, no?  Here's a flat view:

Now you can tell it's a vest, right?  I know.  Me either.  So the stranded part is kind of an Empire-waist deal, above which are some increases for fullness over the bust, and then just garden-variety stripes.  At the armholes, things go a bit wierdy, where I hold off some live stitches (why cast off if you're just going to pick up again right above them?) for armpits, then cast on new steeks, shaping the armhole curves with decreases at their edges.  After a while of that, I did the same stitch-holding maneuver for a neckline, with some more adjacent shaping.  Then last of all, I held off the back neckline the same way, and shaped next to it.  By that time I had to change to DPNs, but I'm pretty sure it will work out the way I hope.  For those who have taken my steeks classes, this is a perfect example of how thinking in terms of CUTTING for shape will change the way you approach knitting the shaping. N'est pas?

All of which returns me to my grounding premise:  We all are sculptors of string.  Think about it: what could be cooler than taking a single string and turning it into fabric?  Nothing, except turning that single string into an actual garment, with real live tailoring that causes it to fit around human body parts.  No mean feat, that. 

So do me a favor, will you?  The next time you find yourself at some coma-inducing social event where non-knitters are passing around their business cards (I think this is the non-canine equivalent of butt-sniffing), tell somebody what you really DO.  And by that, I don't mean highway patrol officer, patent attorney, or neurosurgeon.  I want you to tell the next dumbass who tries to define you by your occupation that you are a Sculptor.  If you have ever turned the heel of a sock, you know I'm right.  You are Sculptors of the highest order, my friends.  And your medium?