Ta-da! (and the scary bit)
OK, I’ll spare you the suspense; the vest is done!
But the scary bit was, well, sort of scary. The scary bit was the steeking. If you’re not a knitting geek, or you are but have never been bothered by seaming pieces together, steek is just a funny word that you may have heard but never bothered getting to know. But for those of us who cringe at the thought of seaming, steeking allows knitting the body of a sweater, or a vest, in one tube and then cutting (yes, CUTTING) the front and arm openings. This is achieved by clever crocheting that keeps the whole thing from unraveling into shreds.
It looks like this:
I know, you’re wondering what’s scary about crocheting. Well, that’s not the scary bit. THIS is the scary bit:
Gah! Scissors in knitting!
Oh wait, it’s OK:
See those nice edges, curling away from the front and armholes? And not unravelling? They result in little flaps that are tacked to the body, resulting finally in nice clean edges, ready to pick up stitches for the button band and sleeve trim.
Which you can see here, on the finished garment.
So, you may ask yourself, why go to so much bother (because it really does entail a fair bit of extra work) just to avoid a few side seams? Well, first of all, it’s also very handy when you’re doing colourwork, or using self-striping yarn (so your halves match), or if you’re like me and just don’t want to knit three pieces when you can knit one big one.
So, yeah. That’s steeking in a (very small) nutshell.
I’m fairly happy with how the vest turned out. It’s definitely very soft and warm, and I love the colours (don’t bother telling me about the mistakes in the stripe pattern; I know and don’t care), but I’m a little worried that it won’t actually fit. And since I didn’t slope the shoulders, they have a tendency to kind of wing out like some kind of sci-fi costume. Hopefully that will ease up with wearing.
The moral of the story being that there’s a reason people write and use patterns, and that I should really consider actually following them instead of approaching them like I do recipes and just kind of taking some bits from one and some bits from another and improvising the rest. Then at least if it didn’t fit I could pretend it was someone else’s fault (though it would probably still be mine since most errors are the result of bad following, not a bad pattern). But where’s the adventure, the DIY-ness in that?
But the buttons are cute.