Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Closing 2013 with the Christmas vest

To balance out my blog content of late—which has featured a lot of fabric, needle and thread—I decided to close the 2013 year with a "yarny" post. Life, after all, is about balance, now isn't it?
The makings for my Christmas vest.
So, here is how the planets aligned for my new Christmas vest: 
I got encouraged to pick up yarn and knitting needles after seeing the Show and Tell from my former knitting students at our holiday get-together. About that same time, I came across this free pattern for the Lone Star Fitted Vest by Mary Lynn Patrick. Then, coincidentally, my stash re-org endeavor unearthed a bag of lovely red Granite yarn by Nashua. Knitting kismet! 

Granite is a thick/thin single [70% wool, 30% acrylic] with tonal variations in the coloring. I was drawn to the red color at the initial purchase, and once again, it inspired me for this project. I thought the red was quite appropriate for the holidays, as well.

The project—a vest—was sleeveless [read: less to knit], the stitch pattern was a basic k1, p1 rib, and the 17 sts/4 in. gauge would make it a relatively quick knit. Could I possibly have something new to wear for Christmas? Nothing like a deadline to keep one motivated and on task.
Knitting both front and back of the vest at the same time.
I decided to try the technique of knitting front and back [or two sleeves, or two socks] simultaneously so the gauge would be consistent and the row count easy to track. Note: this is an excellent concept and it worked very well!

Although I didn't quite finish the Lone Star Vest in time for Christmas, it was ready for a try-on on December 26. Today, the 3-needle bind-off and weaving in the ends were completed—just in time to welcome in the new year. Here is the finished piece—my new Christmas vest.
"Lone Star Fitted Vest,"
my 2013 Christmas vest.
So, as we close the book on 2013 and crack open a new calendar for 2014, I wish you encouragement and support from those around you, abundant inspiration for your passions, motivation to grow in experience and wisdom, and a balance in life so you may be open to serendipity and enjoy the good things that come your way. Remember to believe in yourself, and believe in those worth believing in.

Happy New Year!
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