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Entries in Vests (8)

Thursday
Mar202014

Laura's Loop: Purl Soho's Cardigan Vest

A light bulb more than went off when Whitney (yes, of Whit’s Knits) walked into our Bee meeting and proclaimed, “I’d make that vest!” I was trying on the Purl Soho Cardigan Coat mid-project, pre-sleeves, when Whitney pointed out that there was a vest pattern not so stealthily hiding in my coat pattern. Honestly, I was so focused on the sweater coat of my dreams that I hadn’t stopped to notice the sweater vest of my dreams!

In my defense, it was September when I made the Purl Soho Cardigan Coat; sleeves seemed smart at the time. But it’s six months later and signs of spring’s arrival are finally appearing. And so, rather than unravel the sleeves of my sweater, I thought a re-knit was in order. (Plus, for my vest I needed less room for layers and decided to go down a size for a more snug fit!)

Like the Cardigan Coat, the Cardigan Vest is made of Purl Soho’s delightfully soft and springy Worsted Twist merino wool. This time I used Oyster Gray, a luminescent neutral color, perfect for pairing with just about anything! -Laura 

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Sunday
Mar162014

Whit's Knits: Kid's Fair Isle Vest

For this Kid's Fair Isle Vest I used a technique credited to a tiny island north of Scotland (aka Fair Isle) and a stitch pattern from another tiny island, this one west of Estonia (Muhu). In times and places where, by logic, function should have ruled sweater design, instead, knitters seemed to have taken sheer joy in form. It seems to me that, when they cast on for a new sweater, the women from these cold, isolated island places threw all of life's hardships and frustrations right out the window.

Such knitting ingenuity from anywhere, anytime is awe-inspiring, and the creation of this vest was a wonderful opportunity to get inside the minds of the incredible knitting women who came before us. Armed with the beautiful book, Designs and Patterns from Muhu Island, I used a pared-down palette and design to bring a modern sensibility to this extraordinary traditional stitch pattern.

And since my son, the intended recipient of this vest, doesn't plan on spending the next few months aboard a fishing vessel, instead of thick, scratchy wool, I chose Anzula's soft and supple Cricket. A combination of merino, cashmere and a touch of nylon, this subtly hand dyed yarn isn't necessarily seaworthy, but it is what we modern city-dwellers have come to appreciate!

The Kid's Fair Isle Vest is a fun challenge and also a truly satisfying trip into knitting history. Thank you to all those inspiring women who innovated such beauty by lantern light! -Whitney

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Thursday
Feb202014

Corinne's Thread: Quilted Vest

There's a cartoon sketch I remember watching when I was a kid. A little boy looks out the window to see that it's raining, bundles up in all his rain gear and runs outside, only to find the sun shining bright. This scene repeats a few more times until it is finally revealed that the "rain" is actually the sprinkler going back and forth across the lawn.

In the upcoming early days of spring, this meteorological back and forth will be all too real: freezing in the morning, sunny and warm in the afternoon and cloudy by dinner time. I anticipate feeling like that confused little boy chasing the whims of a sprinkler.

And so, this Quilted Vest will be my go-to for spring's unpredictable days. A layer of Dream Wool batting will keep me cozy, but its light weight will never feel too warm. It’s like a comfy blanket that you get to wear all day long but with its clean lines and delicate collar shaping, much more fashionable!

Robert Kaufman’s Chambray Union Dot makes the outside of this vest as cool and versatile as a favorite pair of jeans, while Moda 200-count Muslin makes the inside as crisp as a spring pea! Get all of the materials you need to make your own with our Materials for Quilted Vest kit right here, and no matter how the temperatures dip, curve, climb, or tease, you’ll be prepared too! - Corinne

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Thursday
Sep262013

Laura's Loop: Brioche Vest

Rooted in my days of wearing school uniforms, my longtime adoration of vests is based in their practicality. Well, at least that was the case before this one… for a vest in brioche stitch is no longer just for logistical layering.

Brioche stitch has as decadent a feel as its namesake has flavor. Deep ridges and valleys give it a rich textural appeal, while wide, airy ribbing provides an unexpected loftiness. Plus, it begs for shaping details; even minimal decreases (like I did here) add a beautiful curve up and around an otherwise linear fabric.

Knit in Purl Soho’s sumptuous Worsted Twist, these soft ribs will hug your core toasty warm all fall, winter and into spring. There will be few times you won’t find an excuse to wear your Brioche Vest!

Even with its multi-seasonal layer-ability, I think the luxurious feel of cuddling into this generously turtlenecked vest trumps issues of practicality?!? Maybe I’m wrong? Maybe I should keep testing it out to be sure… -Laura

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Thursday
Sep122013

Laura's Loop: The Purl Soho Cardigan Coat + Vest

Whether stolen, borrowed or inherited, sporting a garment that once belonged to someone special brings a certain comfort or strength to your day. Maybe it’s because of the smell or the attached sentimentality. Whatever the reason, it’s why kids love to sleep in their dad’s shirts; why women wear the same oversized man’s sweater day in and day out; and it’s why I cherish my grandmother’s old clothes.

The Purl Soho Cardigan Coat + Vest was undeniably inspired by this phenomenon. If my grandmother had had this sweater, I would most definitely and most shamelessly have stolen it! This piece is meant to be worn a lot and by many, even by those who aren’t its original owner. Its timeless design makes it an insta-hand-me-down.

This simple sweater is knit in Purl Soho’s new Worsted Twist, a yarn-lover’s merino,  classic and hearty, but with an elegant loft and touch. Designing this Coat, I channeled my admiration for Elizabeth Zimmermann to create a modular vibe and a thoughtful construction. I strategically combined stockinette and garter stitches to add a graphic and modern edge to a seemingly vintage cut. 

You can pick up The Purl Soho Cardigan Coat + Vest Pattern right here! I hope you enjoy knitting this sweater as much as I did, daydreaming all the while of who will wear it after me. I have a feeling it won’t be in my grips for long! -Laura

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