Sunday 5 January 2014

What a lucky guy: Knitted men's vest

This will be a knitting post. So if you are not really interested,  just scroll down to the New Year Resolutions and there will be some more general thoughts about sewing ;)

Yep, I am still knitting! And this time not for me, but for Lescha. I am not sure how he convinced me to knit a vest for him, but I guess I felt bad that I still haven't sewn him his shirt. But it is so much more fun to make stuff for myself! He was not jumping happily around when I gave him the vest (maybe because he had to go outside in the garden, so that I could take pictures, hehe). So let's talk about the vest! I am not going to bore you with the detailed knitting, but if you are interested have a look on my Ravelry notes.

Thread: It had to be cotton, as Lescha doesn't like wool. So I used Rowan Handknit cotton in chocolate.

Pattern: None :P Lescha wanted to have a vest similar to one he saw at Ted Bakers. So, I had a look a Ravelry, but couldn't find one that I really liked. Thus I made up my own pattern.

Ted Baker vest, image source

Leschas vest

Construction: I measured Lescha (hips, waist, chest, shoulders...) and then calculated the number of stitches I needed corresponding to my gauze swatch. I knitted the vest bottom up and knitted fronts and back together, so that the vest does not have any side seams. Then I split fronts and back at the armholes and grafted them together at the shoulder seams. Finally I added a button band and buttons. But I have to admit, I got some ideas about the armhole and shoulder shaping from looking at other knitting patterns.

Next time: sway back adjustment

How long did it take? It took me only 3 weeks to knit the vest, including blocking, because I had loads of time over Christmas and even more on the airplane and train. I am not bothered anymore by people looking at me :P

See how that pulls? Makes me cringe. 

Does he like it? Yes he does! Not in the jumpy, happy, screamy way (my way, hihi), but he is wearing it.

Am I happy with it? I think it is a bit tight (he wanted it to have some negative ease and he also gained some weight over Christmas, buh) and tries to pull apart at the center front. It is an annoying sight, but hopefully with some time, everything will get a bit loose and fit better.

Side increases.
I know the vest does look different then the one from Ted Baker. I could have probably added the pockets and used different colored yarn, but honestly I just wanted to finish it so that I could start knitting a sweater for myself :) (Good that he is NOT reading my blog.)

New Year resolutions?
One thing that I noticed is that I am knitting more than sewing at the moment and that is not only because I like to snuggle on the couch. I think that is because I have so many sewing projects in my queue and so much fabric in my stash that I don't know where to start. But for the knitting, I am only having one project at the time at home and thus I don't have to decide with which one I should start next.

So, one of my New Year resolutions is to use up some more fabric from my stash and then try to keep it small, before buying new ones. Also, I will try not to buy any new patterns, before I have made the ones in my pattern box, ha! Have you seen Gails post (from today's agenda)? She and many other bloggers are currently on a stash diet and have set themselves some rules about using mostly stash fabrics and not (rarely) buying new fabrics. I really like that idea and will participate in the stash diet. What about you? Do you feel like you stash is crushing you?


  1. Wow - this looks fantastic! Well done on creating the pattern yourself too - the idea of creating a knitting pattern normally boggles my brain, but the way you explained it makes it sound really easy.
    Also, glad to hear that you're on the Stash Diet soon - mine isn't huge, but there's a lot of fabrics that have been lingering in there unused for far too long. It's going to be hard work but it'll be worth it :)

    1. Thank you! I am glad it was easy to understand, although I have to admit it was really scary to knit without a pattern for reference.
      My stash is also not that huge, but enough to scare me. I am glad you are joining in as well!

  2. Aww! That's so cute! I love the vest and the fact that you took all this time and effort to make it for your boyfriend.It looks amazing. I dont think the tightness will be a problem in the long run. After the first wash the vest will get bigger I guess.

    you're right...keeping the fabric stash small is a very good sewlution. Maybe I should join in and use up all the fabric I have before getting new stuff. But fabric shopping is so much fun isn't it? Especially with that great cake we had last time :P

    1. I washed the vest already, so my only hope is that it will stretch. But actually he has gained some weight over Christmas, so hopefully when this is gone, it will fit!

      I love fabric shopping as well! And I am happy to join you again and just do some "window shopping", hehe.

  3. Wow - you did a great job with the vest! I'm really impressed that you figured out the pattern yourself, I wouldn't think I'd be capable of doing that but the way you explained it makes a lot of sense.
    I'd like to use up some of my stash, but none of it is big enough or the right fabric for clothes really so I might have to kind some creative uses for it and still allow myself to buy new fabric for dressmaking!

    1. Thank you! It is really not that difficult, I am sure you could do this as well!
      Maybe you can do some patchwork and quilting to get rid of some fabric?

  4. I'm glad you're joining us, Ela!

    Love the vest - I think that slim fit looks great!

    1. Me as well! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to work on my stash :) I just have to join your group and add the button!

  5. That looks great Ela, and I am SO impressed that you made the pattern up yourself! I have the same problem as you with sewing - there are so many things I want to make that I just don't know where to start!

  6. Wow, you're already creating your own knitting pattern and you only started to knit a few months ago!
    The vest looks great!


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