Thursday, June 14, 2012

A couple years ago my son and his wife gave me a vest which I dearly love.  It fits great and its cream color goes with just about anything I wear.   I get compliments on it whenever I wear it.   So, I was looking over my stash of yarn (which wasn't dwindling) and my eyes lit on a yarn that I've had for quite a while.  Every time I looked at the yarn I would think...I need to weave something with this yarn.  Its a French Boucle mill end.  (Unknown fiber but probably rayon and acrylic).
 So I got out my Brother 970 standard gauge and dusted it off.   I looked in Stitch World II book and found a pattern that I liked and gave it a try with my yarn.   OHMYGOSH!  I loved the swatch I made with it so immediately decided to make a vest just like the much-loved one the kids gave me.   I got out DesignaKnit 7 which I haven't really used since I bought the upgrade and pretty much copied everything about the one I loved into DAK's Shapes, I measured the neck width, front neck drop, back neck drop, height of collar, armhole measurements, etc.   I had it copied in DAK Shapes right down to a "T".   Then I started knitting.  I had a picture in my head of exactly what I wanted to do with it.   I wanted rolled trim instead of ribs and weaving throughout the entire body of the vest.  Here's a picture of the vest and the notes I made for myself as I knitted--and often took out and knitted again, until I had it exactly the way I wanted it.  I took pages of notes as I knitted (for once in my life).  After the vest was finished I  wrote down all my notes into a pattern for myself.  The shape is saved in DAK  so that now whenever I want to make another vest I have the shape file handy.
If you'd like to make one like it, I suggest you do as I did, get a fabric vest out of your closet, one that you love how it fits and using the directions below, chart out and knitweave yourself a vest.   Keep in mind that its knitweave which means it will not have the give a stockinette piece will have, add enough ease that you can wear something under this (which is why I suggest you measure a woven article rather than a knitted article for your vest measurements).

Roz's Knitwoven vest
Yarn Diamante
Weaving Yarn, French Boucle Mill End
Knitted on the Brother 970 standard gauge machine
Knitweave pattern is Brother Stitch Pattern 388 in Brother Stitch World III modified to eliminate the first and last rows which made an ugly stripe when repeated vertically.  I’ve put the pattern as knitted below.
Main Tension = 6
Gauge: 7.10 spi , 12.30 rpi

RC 00
Cast on and knit waste yarn and ravel cord (or hang cast on rag/ravel cord)
With garment yarn K 15 rows stockinette tension 6 for hem. *
RC 00
On row 15 set up machine for pattern, this will knit another plain row and ready the needles for weaving the next row.
Continue knitting in weaving pattern. Latch tool bind off back neck to create a firm neck edge that won't stretch out of shape because the fabric is heavy.
Knit back and 2 fronts. Then Hang shoulders on machine, right sides facing each other and latch tool bind off tightly so that there's no space between the woven sides.
Armhole and center front Facing: Hang armhole with knit side facing centering the seam at 0 and making sure you have the same number of needles on each side of 0. K 1 row garment tension then transfer every other needle to ribber. Set tension 2 whole numbers less than garment tension—and rib 3 rows. Transfer stitches back to main bed and knit 15 rows stockinette. Latch tool bind off loosely.
Center the fronts at 0 and just as armholes, make sure you have the same number of needles on both sides of 0.
To make neck band, hang entire neck on the machine wrong side facing you, centering it on the machine at center back. K 1 row at garment tension then transfer to ribber. Rib 40 rows 2 numbers less than garment tension. Transfer rib stitches to main bed and cut yarn 3X the width of neck stitches thread your rib transfer needle (tappet tool) and take each stitch off on the yarn making sure you are lining up your stitches as you go across. You’ll be taking off the open stitch and a bit of the yarn where you joined to start the neckband. Don’t let it gather by pulling it too tight. (This is a Joyce Schneider neck finish and I have always thought it made the neatest finish possible.
Lay the piece on the table and mark your garment at the hem every 2 inches or so with a little piece of contrast color yarn, Then hand stitch the hem matching each stitch with its cast on edge so that your hem lays straight, this takes time but makes the hem lay perfect.
*I wonder if it wouldn't be easier to mark that last hem row before starting the weaving since its right there on the needle bed and easier to follow the stitch up. You'd just have to be careful not to weave the marking thread in with the weaving yarn not to weave the marking thread in with the weaving yarn.

Zipper was pinned and basted with contrast thread to make sure it hung straight and then hand sewn.  After I sewed it I sewed a backstitch seam (by hand) on the woven edge of the zipper rather than sewing it on the sewing machine. 
Modified Stitch World III # 388 from Brother 970 machine:

Copyright Rosalind Porter, June 2012
Please feel free to use the directions above but do not copy and sell the pattern as yours.   Copyright remains with designer.