Saturday, January 17, 2009


I finished my Perfectly Plain Vest late Thursday night. It was one of those finishing experiences where, despite fears of making fatigue-induced mistakes, I just had to finish it that night. Luckily, things went off without a hitch.

I love this sweater -- it's warm, it's light, it's comfortable. The KnitPicks Elegance yarn from which it's made seems to change colors slightly depending on the angle and intensity of the light. Although it appears to be dark brown, there's a surprising amount of redness that pops out from time to time. The little wispy strands of Alpaca that work their way loose over time don't even bother me. I haven't worn a sweater vest like this since 1976, when my family moved to Texas from the Pacific Northwest. Nerdiness never felt so good.

I can heartily recommend this pattern. It knits up fast, and it's very uncomplicated. I was a little concerned that the body was knit on size 6 needles, while the edging was done with the same yarn on size 3 needles. I thought this would bunch things up, but this yarn seemed to handle it quite well.

I did have a bit of trouble picking up stitches around the armholes. The pattern called for picking up 175 stitches, but I could only find 162. I also wish that maybe I had added an extra inch before the armhole decreases. I've only steam-blocked this (and that fairly lightly), so I'm wondering if a full-immersion blocking might not allow me to stretch an extra inch out, even though it's already been seamed up.

I've made a little progress on the True Love Socks that I'm knitting for a silent auction. I already have the pattern across the instep memorized. One of the M1 moves is hard to execute, but I've managed so far. And the pinkness is no longer searing my retinas. Seriously, the first time I closed my eyes after knitting with this yarn, all I could see was pink. My biggest challenge will be to remember that the pattern is written for a women's size 8 and not for me.

At the risk of sounding like a perv -- are there any women with size 8 feet out there who wouldn't mind sharing with me how long their feet are? The pattern just says "Continue in pattern until foot measures about 3 ¼” less than the desired length." But I have no idea what that would be.

Follow-up note, 1/18/09:

Janna suggested that I check Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks for a foot sizing chart. It tells me that a woman's size 8 foot is about 9¾" long. Does this sound about right?


  1. Look in Sensational Knitted Socks - I think she's got a chart there that translates shoe size to inches. If it's not there, let me know - I know I've got a chart somewhere.

    The vest looks great -- you look very professorial in it!

  2. I'll have oolong. :)

    Uncle C

  3. I could not be more impressed with your spiffy new vest! You wear it so well. It's a little librarian-y, but in the best possible way. Very, very handsome.

    I'll have to check my "Sock it to me!" sock chart at home and report back about size.

    Man, that sock is PINK.

  4. The vest is gorgeous and it looks great on you! You did such a great job - and now I want to make one!

    On the sizing - I measured my daughter who is an 8 - her foot measure 8" toe to heel.

  5. My Sock It To Me laminated conversion guide (geeky, but of course I have it) says that a women's US size 8 is 9 5/8" long in the foot.

    Knit on!

  6. Love the sweater, so spiffy with the tie! Very handsome and neat. Do I detect a hint of maroon???

  7. You left your head in the shot!!!! You look like a catalog model with that cup o'tea.

    Oh, and the vest is divoon, dahling.

  8. both you and the vest look fantastic! can't help on the feet though, i'm an 11!