After an initial attempt when I accidentally used the wrong needle size (Public Service Announcement: check the size of the needle before you return it to whatever empty needle envelope happens to be sitting on the coffee table. The two don’t necessarily go together.), the vest went quite quickly. The ruching pattern is easy to follow and memorize and changing to a large needle for part of it means you can make lots of progress with little time.
The body is in knit back and forth, including the fronts and back, up to the armholes, which are finished with an i-cord bind-off.
The fronts and back are each worked separately up to the neckline, the shoulders are joined with a three-needle bind-off and then stitches are picked up for the collar. Like the bottom edge, the collar is knit to a fold line, then an inner flap is knit, with the live stitches sewn to the picked-up stitches, creating a hemmed edge. Once all the knitting is done, there is very little finishing to do! Weaving in ends, closing a few small openings and sewing on the snap tape are all that remain.
The yarn is so light and fluffy and smooth – it just glides along the needle with little effort or friction, although, as most alpaca yarns, it does shed. When talking to the gals at Blue Sky Alpacas in June, they assured me that after an initial period, the shedding slows down.
Although the pattern directions don’t mention anything about this, I went ahead and seamed up the openings made from hemming the body edge and the collar.