Saturday, February 27, 2010

FO Report: Knitting Olympics Gold-Medal Winner, Estes Vest

Yarn: KnitPicks Swish Bulky in "Cypress," 100% superwash merino wool, approximately 6.5 137-yd skeins
Estes Vest by Hana Jason, Interweave Knits Fall 2008

US10.5, US9
aimed for a 44.5," came out with a 42" (guess I didn't have gauge after all!) but it's perfect

I can't say that I can't believe that I finished this sweater in such a short amount of time because I chose it for my Knitting Olympics project knowing that I could do it. I'm just so flippin' crazy excited that I did do it and absolutely adore this sweater!
As per most of the notes on Ravelry about this project, I discovered that it is a very fast knit, but the finishing can really slow you down. I love a challenge and I love a mission so I set out to knit this thing with a schedule in mind, allowing for lots of extra finishing time at the end. I knit the back piece in about 4 or 5 days, the left front in a couple of days and then whipped out the right front all in one day last Saturday (starting very early and staying up way too late). The pockets were knit and assembled at one very long coffeeshop outing last Sunday and the pieces were blocking by Sunday night.
That allowed a day or two of rest before seaming, knitting the collar and finally tackling the attached I-cord edging. Sure enough, the I-cord edging proved a bit difficult and I had to undo 5 hours of work when I realized that I had picked up 50% less stitches than needed down the button bands, making the sweater pucker like a kid eating a sour lemon drop. Luckily (really?), my adorable 1yo daughter pulled that I-cord off the needles for me, so I could start over on the arduous process of picking up stitches down the left front, all around the bottom and up the right front for a do-over. At one point, I had three seperate circular needles (16," 24," and 32") all going at the same time. I don't even want to know how many stitches that was...

• I lengthened the sweater quite a bit. The pattern had it at 20" long, but I made mine 23" long and blocked it at 26" long. The extra 3" from blocking was a surprise (didn't know the yarn was so springy) but a welcome one. I prefer longer sweaters after having had two kids!
• I moved the pockets out closer to the side seams, so my whole hands could actually fit in them instead of just my fingertips. I'm thrilled with the pockets overall, just don't look too closely on the wrong side of the left one where I knit too much pocket trim and ended up stitching it to the backside. (Can't tell from the front!)

I could point out exactly which three hexagon pattern repeats are wonky, would have preferred a cleaner selvedge line going up the side seams and really should have proceeded with the cable pattern at the neckline during my bind-off row so it wouldn't just end in Stockinette stitch weirdness, but I am willing to ignore these minor errors and claim my gold medal in the Knitting Olympics anyway. As the Yarn Harlot says, there is no bronze or silver in this event and we're only competing against ourselves. I set out to knit a complicated (for me) cabled sweater vest in a 17-day period and I accomplished this. It's a major bonus that it fits me perfectly, is comfy and cute and that we're heading into vest season in the Northland! It will be worn often.
I didn't get to watch the Olympics on TV nearly as much as I'd hoped (don't even get me started on how annoying it is that NBC requires you to have a cable TV password to view the games online--I don't have a TV, I don't have a cable provider, therefore [!!] I want to watch the games on my computer!) but the "highlights" were inspiring and did definitely make me knit faster. I really picked up speed when Evan got his gold last Friday night (that must be why the right front was knit all in one day on Saturday! Thanks, Evan!).
Yay Olympics! And yay Knitting Olympics! Up next: a teeny-sized version of this sweater for that adorable 1yo who "assisted" me along the way with mine. This is gonna be so cute...

P.S. Yes, those are crocheted button toggles. Yes, I do hate crochet but it was part of the challenge/mission.

P.P.S. Yes, I am getting a haircut soon (today!).


Heide said...

This looks amazing! Great job and congratulations on the gold medal!

a day in the life of a davis said...

You look awesome! The sweater is beautiful. I cannot wait to see the Amelia sized version! Way to go!

Jen Samec said...

Wow...this is beautiful...I can hear the olympic trumpets when you put your hands up. Way to go!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh! That is beautiful! Good job! Congratulations on your Gold!

Kristina said...

Sooooooo beautiful!!! Congratulations!

Ruth's Place said...

Congratulations, it's stunning!

Becca said...


Jolene said...

Well done -- wear that medal proudly!

Aunt Jenny said...

Just medal for sure!!!

sarahmeowmeow said...

It's beautiful- congrats on your medal!