Saturday, August 25, 2012

Another Vest Knitted

A friend of mine came in one day with a pretty vest that I absolutely loved.  The vest was knitted with squares divided by reverse stockinette and hand manipulated stitches.  Some of the squares had a hand manipulated stitch in it and some were blank.   I asked if I could borrow her vest so that I could make a diagram of the details and that's exactly what I did but I ended up changing it a bit because hers was obviously knit on an industrial fine gauge machine and I wanted to make mine on my Brother 970.  That meant that I couldn't do as much hand manipulation as her vest had but that didn't stop me.

I went to my computer and brought up DesignaKnit (DAK) and brought up a built-in shape for a waistcoat (vest).  I changed it around a bit in Original Pattern Drafting and then after picking out my yarn from my stash, I made a swatch.   I chose Panama as my yarn and plugged the measurements of my swatch into DAK.  Once I had the shapes the way I wanted them I went into Stitch Designer and brought up a new pattern with the number of stitches and rows one of my front pieces was going to require.   Then I started drawing my hand manipulated stitches.   I used 2 colors, the background was of course, my Panama and the contrast color became my hand manipulation..

Next When I thought I had it the way I wanted it, I integrated my front pieces into the Stitch Pattern section of DAK and lined it all up the way I thought it would look best.   Then I went to integrated knit from screen and proceeded to knit the 2 fronts.  To the right is what my stitch pattern looked like before I integrated it with a shape.
Once I liked the way I had it set up I went into Knit From Screen and proceeded to knit the 2 fronts.  DAK's Knit From Screen is great, every row I knew exactly what to do as far as hand manipulation and what to do when I shaped the front V neck and armholes.    Below is a shot of my computer screen showing a sectionI was knitting and at the top right, the whole front piece.  The numbers at the top are telling me that I needed to cast on L 43 and R 44 on my needle bed and I had knitted 18 rows and was now going to knit row 19.  You can see the hand manipulated stitches and below them the needles I needed to do them on.

This vest could have been done without DesignaKnit but honestly, I tried drawing it out on paper and after working with paper and pencil all day I told myself...why am I doing this when I have DAK and can just draw the pattern on it and put the shape over it and knit!    Why did I buy DAK if I'm not going to use it for what it does so well?

The nice thing is, I have the pattern saved now in my computer and can easily change the gauge if I want to make it again with a different yarn, maybe on a different gauge machine.  I think I'd have to integrate the shape with the stitch pattern though to make sure the pattern is going to work with a different yarn, I was thinking I might like it done with a sports weight yarn on the LK 150 machine.

My friend's vest has flowers embroidered on the blank squares.  I'm seriously thinking of finding a lightweight  embroidery design, maybe something like an outline of a flower and doing that on my blank squares.  I have some solar active embroidery thread and I think it would be fun to use it for the flowers, there's about 5 different colors of thread so each flower would be a different color when I step out in the sun and be white when I'm inside.   Wouldn't that be fun?  Well...if I do that I'm going to try it on a swatch first to make sure it looks like I would want it to look.

If you have DesignaKnit, give hand manipulated stitches a try with yours.   Let me know how it worked for you.

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