a plain knitted vest

I knew it.  I bloody knew it, the moment that I saw this vest on the Pickles website I knew I would have to make it.

I ummed and ahhed about it for ages though, with my usual pre-knitting jitters.  Wailing "I can't, I can't do it" is never a good look and Mr P just rolls his eyes now as if I'm some ridiculous attention seeker requiring a bolstering of confidence that he just can't provide given that he still thinks knitting is some form of dark magic performed by witches underneath a full moon.

So with a few morale boosting emails and tips from my blog and Ravelry buddy Sarah, who told me it was easy but came up small, I decided to just do it and worry about the results later.  I already had the two yarns, this is the first time I've knitted with two strands of different yarn and I like it - it creates a pretty marled effect, not at all what I expected. 

It starts of easy, really easy until you get to the armholes.  Now because I had been told that the armholes were on the small side I tried them as per the pattern the first time - just to be sure.  And yep, they were tiny.  Plus my casting off for the armhole looked hideous!  I am a really crap knitter.

So I frogged back and tried again, this time using a technique for casting off that I found suggested on ravelry where you kfb the last knitted stitch in order to create a spare stitch to make the casting off look neater - this worked!  So I tried again and this time I adjusted the stitches to create bigger armholes (perfect) but tried out a new method for casting on the new stitches above the armhole and it looked awful - really, really BAD!  So frogged again.

Third time lucky? Nope.  Made another mistake, dropped a stitch.  Whilst trying to fix this dropped stitch I got into a holy (oh the pun!) mess and ended up with a massive gap and so frogged again.  This time I had to go quite far back because I had fannied about so bleeding much.  I decided that I would give it one last try and if I couldn't sort myself out then I would frog the whole lot.

Race face on.  Check.  Knitting fingers at the ready.  Check.  Arse in gear.  Check, check, check.

This time I nailed it.  Mission armhole completed.

Next problem, yep this project wasn't quite as quick and easy as it probably should have been huh. 

Decreasing?!?  The pattern basically says decrease evenly across the next row.  That is it.  No instructions, nothing.  Erm.  Okaaay.  And how do I do that??  It makes my head hurt how difficult I find knitting.

After much trawling through the other plain vest projects on Ravelry, I found some helpful folks who told me exactly how to do that with the general opinion being I could k3, k2tog all the way along.  Fine. Fine. Did that. Fine.  Only trouble is I ended up with uneven sides (so one side finished on a k2tog and the other side didn't) and it meant that the finished article looked squiffy.  See.

yes, yes dear that's what we call an uneven yoke!
In true crap novice knitter fashion I didn't notice the squiff until after I'd cast off so I'm stuck with it.

However I am turning into a bit of a whizz at fixing my knitting blunders when sewing in ends and finishing off and I decided to crochet a trim just to the top few stitches of wonky yoke to make it look more even and then I bunged on some buttons I found in a jar and ta da!!!  Betsy has got a new vest.  I am awesome after all.

Technical stuff
:: Yarn :: Drops Baby Merino, shade 22, light grey and Rowan handknit cotton, shade 341, mist.
:: Needles :: 5.5mm
:: Pattern :: free from Pickles via Ravelry
:: Buttons :: wooden ones from button jar - have no idea where or when I got them.


  1. Its gorgeous Emma and even more so the wearer. I know babies grow but having not seen a pic of your little one lately I was surprised to see she has done that .......grown:-) What a cutie in her new top. If I had tried to knit it I dread to think the results probably a rubbish bin end.

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

  2. You are awesome! And Betsy is an absolute darling :)

    Emma if you get stuck with a knotty knitting problem again pop into the knitsofacto Ravelry group - link at the foot of all my posts - and ask us there. We're always happy to help :)

  3. Its just lovely, and super cute on Betsy, i like the marled effect of the two shades too. Did you check out that link for decreasing and increasing evenly? www.thedietdiary.com/knittingfiend/Tools/Evenlyspace.html. It's very helpful if you get stuck as the pickles pattern assume you know alot about knitting... thank god for you tube its great for teaching techniques you have never done before. Except your husband tuts 'what's she up to now?' sarah x

  4. I can visualize myself throwing the needles and the yarn out of the window. My patience is very limited. That's why Im always happy to tell you how talented you are!

  5. Amazing Emma! Well done :) and looks gorgeous on your little Betsy. Xxxx

  6. ...really awesome you are!!!!!
    ....and such a sweet mama!!!!
    Betsy is soooooo cute!!! Lucky girl!
    happy weekend, xxxxx Ale

  7. This is so cute. I love the colors and the simpleness of it! Perfect fit too.

  8. i have been eyeing this vest as well. i'm more into crochet than knitting. i like here your take on this. I think i'm getting closer to attempting it as well. your vest is very lovely!

  9. This is gorgeous! How lovely. Am I crazy for wanting to make this in a Women's sized version? I am a beginning knitter, though, so who knows. :)


Hey there

Got something on your mind?

Did I make you laugh, cry or even spit feathers?

Tell me, tell me, I appreciate all feedback and love a good chat. I even turned that stupid word verification off to make it easier for you to do so.