button box sweater vest

by longtallyarn

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Around Christmas I finished the Buttonbox vest. I am behind on tracking projects on this crafting blog. Someday I will make some time to reveal my new year’s resolutions for 2014!

The pattern was free on knitty.com, written by Elizabeth McCarten. I give it 4.5 stars. Two things I loved were that the pattern was clearly written and I got to try out some new techniques while knitting it. The little pockets are cute and are added in an interesting way. The stitch pattern gives it a nice neat texture. The shaping is cleverly accommodated and does not interrupt or displace the texture. The front shoulders were joined to the back by a 3-needle bind-off, a technique new to me, which looks much better than a seam made out of yarn.

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One thing that displeased me was that I didn’t end up with the cute stand-up collar shown in the illustrations.  This may be my own fault but I did struggle with it and rip it out and reknit it once, so I feel that some information or guidance was lacking.  The first time I knit the project I followed the suggestions of the designer but the collar only stood up properly when the sweater was wrong side out (as I found out when I tried it on in a dimly lit room).  When right side out, the collar laid down and had a wavey look, and someone at the local knitting circle suggested ripping it out and knitting on slightly smaller needles or using slightly fewer stitches to make it a little smaller.

Maybe I should have tried blocking it before I tried ripping back but I didn’t.  Anyway, the collar/button band strip was knitted onto the rest of the vest in one piece, by picking up stitches along the existing edge.  Hundreds of stitches.  I ripped out and reknit the whole strip.  It still didn’t behave quite like the one in the illustration but it looked nice enough that I decided to leave it alone.  My version of the vest has a flat collar that does not fold over.  I suppose maybe the collar needed to be larger instead of smaller…

I like wearing the vest.  I have knit 3 sweater vests and this is my favorite by far.  It’s funny to say this, as someone who likes crafting and likes the idea of wearing hand-made clothing, but I wear this one with more confidence because it doesn’t look lumpy, sloppily joined, ill-fitting, or “handmade.”

I’ve included one gratuitous photo of my family members who are the reason I don’t do as much crafting these days and also the reason I am behind on my documentation of projects.

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