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Come Spring Lacy Vest

Jane Thornley Knitwear
Knitting
April 2008
Any hand-dyed DK or sport-weight yarn
DK / 8 ply (11 wpi) ?
US 8 - 5.0 mm
300 - 350 yards (274 - 320 m)
Medium
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Spring opens up with a lacy little flourish of joyful greenery. Celebrate with this little vest worked side to side in lace ribbing and seed stitch featuring alternating colors in dk or sport weight yarns worked on size 5mm/8US needles. The lace stitches are simple. The textural detail comes from the mix of yarns and textures.

Knit your version in blue….or cream…or shades of pink. Do you have a collection of favorite hand-dyed yarns just waiting for a project? This could be the one you’ve been looking for. The design shows off single skeins of such hand-dyed lovelies to perfection to which you could add a few less expensive yarns as fillers.

The bottom edging is picked up and knit afterwards in a leaf stem lace pattern.

It’s an easy wear suitable for dressing up or down and those roomy armholes and absence of buttons offer an added dash of comfort. The back features a center panel in seed stitch worked in a glorious hand-dyed ribbon.

The vest can be knit in two ways: modular style by knitting lacy strips singularly or in groupings sewn together or, for those deep into sewing avoidance, by knitting side-to-side in either one or three pieces: back and two fronts. I’ve provided instructions for the latter version. Consider this pattern as a guide only, designed to be a blank canvas on which you can experiment.

This is side-to side knitting. Cast on at the underarm seam and work either across the back or to the front (it’s worked in three pieces). Sizing is as simple as holding the piece (after knitting the first couple of inches) to your own body or measuring against a favorite, well-fitting garment, and knitting until you reach your desired width. Shaping is simple, the armholes are roomy, there’s no button closure and it’s not even meant to close, all of which simplifies sizing considerably. Also, it’s very close to being one-size fits all with minor adjustments.

Sizing this way is so easy that once you’ve tried it you may be reluctant to go any other way. I have a difficult body to fit, one which may have been called ‘hourglass’ when younger but for which I now have less kinder descriptions like ‘lumpy’. I look for visual sleight of hand all the time and take particular pleasure in vertical lines!

If you have ample bits like me, this design creates vertical lines which serves to draw the eyes past mountainous ranges such as those I carry around on my chest(!). Experienced knitters might want to go modular by knitting the lacy strips individually and sewing them together afterwards. I made an earlier version with strips of cable interspersed with lace but this design is much simpler in that you alternate bands of simple lace stitch with seed stitch using a few hanks of hand-dyed yarns with ribbon.