It's done! And I love it! Huge sigh of relief....because there was a lot of trepidation going into this year's Fringe and Friends Knitalong. Although I love the pattern that Karen had chosen for many reasons, I am basically a lazy knitter at heart. The thought of tackling a stranded project knitted flat while trapping every other float and written in the Japanese style in one size using super bulky yarn....well, it kind of left me dizzy. But every once in a while, you need a project that has the potential to kick your butt, so to speak. Knitting on the edge and all that.
I went into this project with an unusual-for-me amount of planning and preparation. Here are some of the mods that I found made the process more enjoyable to knit and the finished vest more wearable:
* I down-sized the pattern to fit my petite frame by shooting for a gauge of 3 sts per inch versus the 2.5 sts per inch called for in the pattern. My row gauge was also smaller in order to make the length shorter (13.5 sts per 4 inches vs. 12.5 sts). Also knitted the bottom ribbing a little shorter.
* I knitted the body in one piece to the underarms, which kept the amount of yarn ends to a minimum and made for less fussy finishing.
* Although I knitted all of the armhole edgings, collar and front bands at the same time as the body as called for in the pattern, I took advantage of my Addi clicks & switched out the size 13 needles (used for knitting the body) for size 11 needles (used for the edgings, collar and bands) as I went along. This worked like a charm to neaten everything up.
* Believe it or not, the easiest and most enjoyable part of this project was learning how to trap floats on right & wrong sides using just my right hand. Pretty proud of this: