Two Easy Peasy Knitted Vests

When I got back into knitting nearly two years ago one of my aims was to knit a stack of vests for winter. Here in Brisbane it doesn’t get too cold in winter so vests are ideal as they keep your chest and back warm so you only really need a long sleeved shirt underneath. Perfect for workwear in the office.

I started off with good intentions and actually made a traditional vest – front, back, pick up stitches around the neck….you know what I mean.

And then in July last year I started another one. I’ve finished the back and am about a third of the way through the front. Using size 4mm needles and 8ply (DK) yarn just seems to take forever!!!

So it was with great excitement that I found the Keep Me Warm Vest on Ravelry. It’s knit in the round and doesn’t have any of that pick up stitches around the neck. Hooray!!

This is my first attempt….my Keep Me Warm Vest in mauve.

Vest Mauve 01

Vest Mauve 02

I’ve already worn it to work a couple of times and it’s kept me as snug as a bug in a rug! The yarn I used was bought on Ebay ages ago. It’s Moda Vera Mousse and it’s a 12ply (bulky) 70% wool / 30% soy blend. I used 4.5mm for the band and 8mm needles for the body of the vest. I was a bit worried the 4.5mm was too small and that I was going to have trouble getting it over my head but it worked out quite well as there is a bit of stretch in the band but not enough to make it saggy. I used seven balls of yarn.

Moda Vera Mousse

My second Keep Me Warm Vest is called Autumn as it’s knitted in Moda Vera Spinnler which is a 12ply (bulky) 34% wool / 33% rayon / 33% acrylic blend. I used seven balls of this yarn. I absolutely fell in love with this yarn when I saw the colour.

Vest Autumn 01

Vest Autumn 03

All those lovely autumn shades. I featured this yarn in a previous post.

Moda Vera Spinnler 01

Despite the fact both these yarns are listed as 12ply (bulky) the Spinnler didn’t seem as thick so I used 6mm for the band and 7mm needles for the body of the vest and cast on 150 stitches rather than 140 stitches. I have a phobia about my vests being too tight and showing every bulge so I’d rather they were a smidge loose so I have freedom of movement. And you know how much I hate knitting tension squares. So far both these vests fit perfectly. They’re not supposed to be a dense knit either.

I am nearly finished my third vest which is knitted in an 8ply (DK) yarn but I have used size 6mm needles so the vest grows faster than when using the traditional 4mm needles. All I can say is I’d much rather spend about a week knitting a vest (which is how long it’s taken me…and that’s only knitting at night time) rather than over a year knitting a ‘properly constructed’ vest.

You can easily add some cabling into the front of the vest as well to jazz it up a bit. I may try that when I knit my next one in a solid colour.

I am so thankful I found the Keep Me Warm Vest pattern. Let me know if you decide to knit one of these vests too.

Until next time…


Commercial Yarn v Artisan Hand Painted/Dyed Yarn

I have quite a bit of commercial yarn at home as well as quite a bit of hand painted/dyed yarn that I have sourced from some really quality suppliers here in Australia. I have blogged about them before but if you’re new to my blog, my favourite Aussie hand painted/dyed yarn suppliers are Dyed By Hand Yarns, Augustbird, Skein and Shorn Fibers. All these artisans produce beautiful yarns that are to ‘dye’ for!

Now generally when purchasing anything a few things come into play…..the cost, the need, the look…

When it comes to yarn what counts as the main thing for me is the colourway….if the colour jumps out at me I will generally buy it regardless of the cost (unfortunately for my bank account!!). In most cases I buy yarn before I know what I am going to knit or crochet because I am so taken with the colours. Hence my burgeoning stash!

The following pictures are of some yarn I purchased recently at Spotlight….yes, good old Spotlight. May seems to be the month when they have a yarn sale and then offer a $40 off voucher when you purchase $100 or more on anything (and that includes all sale items too!!)

So I have been carried away this month and used this voucher twice! They reprinted another voucher in yesterday’s paper so of course, I had to slip down to Spotlight today to use it. And don’t discount the fact that I won’t be visiting Spotlight before next Sunday as that’s when the sale finishes as I have another spare voucher!!

When I first saw this yarn on the shelf I almost fell over as I was just floored by the beautiful vibrant colours. It’s Cleckheaton California 8ply and the colourway is quite appropriate – Mackaw (and that’s how it’s spelt on the label). Isn’t it simply divine. I bought about six balls and I have no idea at this stage what I will make but I just couldn’t resist it!

Cleckheaton Mackaw 01

Cleckheaton Mackaw 02

Simply stunning don’t you think?

Cleckheaton Mackaw 03

This yarn is also Cleckheaton California 8ply and the colourway is Storm. Again, gorgeous colours that I couldn’t resist!

Cleckheaton Storm 01

Cleckheaton Storm 02

And this yarn is also Cleckheaton California 8ply and the colourway is Swirl. By the way, it retails for $9.99 but with all my discounts I managed to pick each ball up for just over $5. I love a bargain!

Cleckheaton Swirl 01

Cleckheaton Swirl 02

Who’d have thought all these colours would look so good together!!

Cleckheaton Swirl 03

This yarn is just a solid colour although with my orange/tangerine phase I’m in at the moment, I was immediately attracted to it. It’s called Moda Vera Pure Wool 8 ply – Tangerine. It retails for just over $3 and I’ve managed to pick up a stack of it for just over $1.

Moda Vera Pure Wool 8ply Tangerine

Now generally I’m a wool girl however this colourway caught my eye. It’s Moda Vera Harmony and it’s a 50% wool / 50% acrylic mix so I am getting some wool! You know how much I love my autumn shades; well this yarn has those shades in copious amounts.

Moda Vera Harmony 01

Moda Vera Harmony 02

And finally…….I was totally blown away when I saw this Moda Vera Spinnler 34% wool / 33% viscose / 33% acrylic mix. It sneaks in by the skin of its teeth when it comes to wool content 🙂 Look at those colours, I mean how could I walk past it? Talk about autumn shades; this yarn takes the cake!

Moda Vera Spinnler 01

I picked up 15 balls for $3.70 each. I’m thinking of making a rustic type vest with it if I can find the right pattern. I’d love an adult sized vest based on the Milo child’s vest which is knitted in the round. Has anyone got some suggestions for an easy adult’s vest that would show off this yarn? If not, I’m seriously thinking about adapating the Milo to an adult’s size.

Moda Vera Spinnler 02

I practically cleaned out Spotlight’s supply of this yarn. I don’t think anyone dared to come near me to try to get some as I was a woman possessed as I filled up my basket with Spinnler!

Moda Vera Spinnler 03

I couldn’t stop taking photos as I am so enamoured with this yarn.

Moda Vera Spinnler 04

Spotlight also have lots of free patterns on their website so I might even find a pattern or two for some of my yarn.

Well that’s how I spent part of my weekend. How about you? I hope you had lots of fun. Oh and by the way, my feet were toasty warm this weekend as I’ve started wearing my lovely hand knitted socks. They feel divine and I have sooo many to pick from too.

Until next time…