Friday, July 12, 2013

Three Blox Vest (four, if you add the collar)


 Three Blox Vest

The concept:  This works well with a loose gauge, a soft drape.  Start by making a rectangle as wide as the shoulder width and as long as you want the vest to be. The rows can be oriented horizontally, vertically, or on the diagonal.  That is the back.  Figure out your gauge.  Make two more rectangles, both the same size but narrower than the back, for the fronts, so that the back and the two fronts together are big enough to go around the waist.  A fourth rectangle is the collar.  Join seams.  Add edgings and buttonholes.  Add buttons.  That’s about it.

Measurements that matter:
Across back measurement
Waist (mainly to make sure the fronts and back together are big enough).  In my case, the back was 15 inches wide, and each front was 10 inches wide – notice that the front is wider than the back.  If you have an idea of the size but don't know the measurements, refer to a body measurement chart like the one on the Craft Yarn Council website.

Notes:
1. Join half the top front edge to the matching back edge for the shoulder seams.  Stitch a collar rectangle:  join the yarn midpoint of the remaining front top edge, stitch around the neck to the matching point on the opposite front neck edge, increasing about 10-20% so it will lie flat.  Work even for a few inches, then fasten off.

2. If you don’t want to sew shoulder seams, start at the bottom of the back and stop at the top.  Mark the top of the back in thirds.  Work across one third and add the same number of stitches again – so, for example, if the back had 60 stitches, work across 20, then increase another 20 to make 40 stitches for the front width.  Then continue stitching along that shorter width for one front side.  To make the other front side, make a base chain of the added stitches, join to the top of the other side of the back along the other shoulder.

3. Alternate collar:  On the red version, I made a shawl collar by stitching along the remaining stitches of each front top edge, making rectangular strips that joined at the center back .

4. Mark the armhole depth, taking into consideration how deep it should be to fit over a shirt.  Join the side seams.

5. Add a couple of rounds around the open edges:  For the armholes, single crochet around one row, decreasing 10 percent to avoid the ‘50’s sci-fi shoulder look – the loose gauge helps with that, too.  Then crab stitch a finishing row.  On the front edges, mark where buttons and buttonloops will be.  Single crochet one row, adding button loops where you want them.  Depending on how wide you want the edging to be, sc another row, reinforcing the buttonholes, then crab stitch 1 row to finish.

The samples were made with worsted-  to bulky-weight yarns.  DK weight works well, too, but takes longer to make.

The blue vest was made in Fantasy Naturale, a bulky weight cotton by Plymouth.  Pattern stitch:  Base row: (sc1, dc1) across.  Pattern row:  (sc1, dc1) into dc of pr r.  Skip the sc.

The red vest was made in Cotton Classic, a light worsted weight cotton by Tahki Stacy Charles.  Pattern stitch:  (sc1, dc1) across, with sc into dc of previous row and dc into sc of previous row.  This one is different because the rows are worked up and down:  Make a base row as long as you want the garment to be, then work the pattern stitch until the piece is as wide as the across back measurement.  Make two more blocks the same way until each is about 2/3 as wide as the back.  Join the shoulder and side seams.  This one does not have a notched collar.  Instead, for the collar, join the yarn at the front neck corner of one side.  stitch across the short row, back and forth, joining the end of every 2nd row to a row end on the back neck edge, until you reach the middle of the back.  Finish off, and repeat for the other side of the front.  When you reach the center back on the 2nd collar piece, finish off, leaving a tail long enough to sew the last row of each collar piece together.  For the edging:  Attach pins on the front edges where the button loops should go.  Join the yarn at the middle of the lower edge on the back, with the right side facing.  Single crochet around the whole piece, making a (sc, ch, sc) increase as needed at outside corners, and making a ch-2 loop at each pin marking a button loop.  Next round:  crab stitch around, making 2 stitches into each button loop.  Finish off and tuck in loose ends, and sewing a button opposite each button loop.

The variegated vest was made in Encore, a worsted weight acrylic/wool blend by Plymouth.  Pattern stitch (worked over an odd number of stitches):  Row 1: sc1 (ch1, skip 1, sc1) across.  Row 2: *Dc5, skip 1, (dc1, ch1, dc1) in next st, skip 1. Repeat from * across.  Repeat these two rows for the pattern.  A pattern that alternates tall (dc) rows with short (sc) rows can be really good with variegated yarns because the color changes in the tall direction are highlighted, and the color changes in the short direction are minimized.


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