Feature of the Week: March 12

Men’s knitwear patterns are not as common as those for women, so we get pretty excited when we find one that looks amazing and uses an amazing yarn. This Striped Vest from Blue Sky Alpacas fits into the amazing look and amazing yarn category – stripes! a vest! Alpaca Sport!

The vest is modeled with jeans, but could easily complement dress pants or a tie. Alpaca Sport is warm without a lot of bulk and feels soft next to the skin.  Since the yarn is so lightweight, the vest is a great layering piece, wear it under a jacket for a little extra warmth or as an outer layer on a cooler day when a shirt just isn’t enough but a sweater isn’t necessary.

Pattern can be found here.

Yarn can be found here


Apres Vest in Techno

I promised you this vest in Techno a few weeks ago, and here it is! The pattern is the Apres Vest from Blue Sky Alpacas by Olga Buraya-Kefelian.

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.

I can’t wait for cold weather so that I can wear this lightweight vest as a needed layer when out walking the dog, raking leaves or just sitting out around the firepit making s’mores.