Friday, July 9, 2010

Knit vest with Inkle woven collar

This vest, the Four Seasons Vine Lace Vest [by Classic Elite], is a one-piece, knit-up-the-back-and-over-the-shoulder vest that was fun to make. The only finishing you have to deal with is the side seams, which makes it quick to finish.

The pretty lace motif is a four row pattern with purl on all the wrong side rows. My vest was knitted with Vickie Howell's ROCK (5 sts/in; 50g/100m), a soysilk-wool-hemp light worsted yarn. I picked up a 10-pack of this yarn at the Stitches South Expo at a good buy. (Nearly 5 skeins were used to complete this project.)

I decided to deviate from the pattern by dusting off my inkle loom to weave the shawl collar. The original pattern has a ribbed collar, but I chose to mix my fiber techniques.  The even, woven texture of the collar contrasts nicely with the organic openwork of the lace knitting. The woven collar also provides stability and structure to the garment. The band was woven using the same yarn and then sewn to the knitted fabric with an all-purpose sewing thread.

I like the combination of different techniques in a single piece—knitting with crochet, weaving with knitting, quilting with weaving, quilting with knitting, etc. Using different techniques to their best advantage can make a stunning and unique piece. Take the road less traveled every now and then. It's liberating and exciting to "color outside the lines."

What combos have you experimented with?

Inkle WeavingKnit & Crochet Combined: Best of Both Worlds

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