Sunday, November 09, 2008

See my (questionable?) vest

I love Malabrigo yarn. It is super-soft and smooshy, one of the most pet-able yarns out there. There's a reason why it's the 3rd most popular yarn used on Ravelry.

A few years back (June 2005, to be exact!) I bought 2 skeins of Malabrigo in the Loro Barranquero colourway, a gorgeous mix of maroons and reds with some pinks and yellows and greens and white thrown in. I originally used the yarn to knit a hat and scarf set, loved how the colourway knit up, but hated the actual finished products themselves. Here's a photo of the hat-that-didn't-really-fit, see all the pretty colours?

Loro Barranquero hat_02

Earlier this summer I decided that the yarn was being wasted as never-to-be-worn winter accessories, so I frogged the hat and scarf and cast about for something else to make with the yarn. I only had 2 skeins worth (~420 yards), so it definitely wasn't enough for a sweater. I couldn't find any coordinating solids that would have matched well. Eventually I came across the Scoop Neck Vest pattern from Blue Sky Alpacas, which only required 400 yards or so of yarn for my size.

Making sure I didn't run out of yarn required some reworking of the pattern on my part. I cast on provisionally and knit the top parts of both the back and the front first (i.e. the stockinette portions), then joined both pieces together and knit the bottom ribbing in the round. Then I picked up stitches around the neckline and armholes to knit the ribbing there. I have a very small ball of yarn left.

Malabrigo Scoop Neck Vest_02

I'm not sure how I feel about the finished product right now. It hasn't been blocked yet, but currently the fit is a bit off, and I feel like the scoop is too low, especially given my lack of, um, assets in that area. The straps are rather curly and the neckline is a bit wonky, but that will probably (hopefully) go away after blocking. In the photo below, I'm wondering where my waistline went, and why plain white shirts are flattering on everyone else except me.

Malabrigo Scoop Neck Vest_01

In general, I think I've realized something about Malabrigo. It's very pretty yarn, but there's something about it that feels a to me when I knit with it. Maybe it's that it's too "floppy" when knit up, I always feel like I like it better in the skein than as an FO. In this situation, I'm sort of feeling like the vest doesn't do justice to the gorgeousness of the colourway, and that it didn't necessarily live up to the promise of the original skeins. I mean, aren't these prettier than either the hat or the vest?

Loro Barranquero_01

So, who knows. Maybe blocking will "fix" everything. Or maybe this will go into the pile of knits-I-never-wear. In either case, I am NOT knitting this yarn up again for the third time. =)


Liz419 said...

You are being too critical. It looks wonderful on you. You look curvy (aka with assets!) and hot in it. The scoop shows off the assets that you have.

Where it to knit group and I'm sure others will agree with me!

I agree that the skeins are gorgeous on their own and that the vibrancy is a bit muted when it is knit up, but I don't think that can be overcome.

Nell said...

I agree with liz419. It's cute. And I bet it's soft and cozy. Great job!

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

No, they are not prettier than your vest!

It looks really cute on you. Maybe if you did a crochet edging around the scoop neck it would firm it up bit and also reduce how low the scoop goes?

Karen said...

I think the vest looks great, and that you're being overly critical. Remember the photo I took of myself where I thought I looked like a house, and you convinced me that I didn't? If the curling is bothering, adding a border might help, but I don't think the scoop is too low at all. Block it, and see how you feel.

The vest really does look awesome on you, but I think I know what you mean about the floppiness of Malabrigo. I still love it, but I've never tried making anything bigger than a hat with it.

Esoteric Knitter said...

I think it looks great on you! I would've totally bought that colorway too. It's sooo pretty.

Katy said...

I like the vest, and you are wearing it just right over the plain white blouse. It will keep you warm and cozy this winter at work and add some color to plain outfits. Liz is right that it accentuates what assets you have, though I sort of think that you should give it a swift tug down to get the stockinette-to-ribbing transition to land right under your bust and that might also smooth out your strap issues.

Yay for finished garments!

Marie said...

I think you did the yarn justice. It really does look wonderful in the pattern you chose.

I've never been entirely happy with how knit sweaters fit me, so I can sympathize. Have you tried wearing the sweater over something heavier like a turtleneck? If nothing else, you can always go back and add a few darts to the sweater to make it more tailored.

Karen said...

By the way, nice reference to the Simpsons there :) I loved that episode.

And hopefully I'll have stuff to blog about soon!