Thursday, June 01, 2006

Gimme 5 - Or Seven - or Ten Hours - Vest?

This entry might also be called, "Why a Supposedly 5-hour vest turned into a Four Year Dilemma."

It is downright uncanny. My knitting bud and co-Sip N Knitter, Laura, had me really FLOORED last night when I came home from work at 9 p.m. and read her blog post. Reason why? Remember that 41-item list of projects I made a few months ago and divulged in confidence to fellow SNKers? Well, guess who ELSE had the same project on her list? Yep, Laura. And how do I know? Because she finally made the darned thing, in a lovely green (I adore green)and she'd bragged . . . err . . . posted about it on yesterday's entry. She whipped it up the other day after having it on her "projects to do" list for the past 3 1/2 or so years. And I'm outing her only because I've been intending the same thing. Here's her story - go read it then come back, 'kay?

Believe it or not, when I started knitting EXACTLY 3 years ago (Mom and I took our beginner's class at Knitcraft in May of 2003) - well, right around that time, I was feverishly hitting every yarn store within driving radius and buying up every kind of yarn and accessories to go with any project that I found remotely knittable for the foreseeable future, up until retirement maybe? Yeah, during that feverish interval, I went over to the Studio and found a Fall 2002 issue of Knitters Magazine with this lovely vest on the cover - and they temptingly called it "Gimme 5 Vest." It was supposed to be one you could knit in 5 hours, yes 5 hours. I was further enthused by the fact that the editor said that nearly everyone on their staff and knit this thing up, even rank beginners sported this drop-stitch vest in super bulky yarn. Sounded easy, right?

So why did I never try to knit it after that? It just got shoved away in my closet and I kinda, sorta forgot about it until last spring, when I created that defunct project list. Only by then I wasn't sure that 3 skeins would do it. I had enough knowledge of yarn requirements by then to question whether I'd really be able to make it with that amount of yarn - only 228 yards for a large vest? Hmmm, not sure. So the yarn, buttons and magazine had just sat in the bag idle while I angsted in "indecision" mode.

Here are the 3 skeins of the yarn in Hip Hop #7232, I even bought the buttons. See?

Here's a closer view of the buttons for the really button obssessed readers . . . what do I have now, 2 readers? Yep, I think so.

Excited, even though it was 9 o'clock at night, I immediately called Laura and bothered her, demanding to know details, details. She suggested that the vest does indeed knit up quickly. Not five hours, but maybe 7 if you were doing other things at the same time. Now that she's become a co-instigator, I'm blaming this craziness on her. Normally I would have exercised self-restraint and waited to start this project only AFTER I had completed the socks already on needles. (I am so darned close to being done with those). But Laura BEGGED me, yes BEGGED me ya'll, to immediately get out the circular size 19 needles and cast on. She said we could be twins and wear our vests to the Sip and Knit right before she gifts it away to her Mother, whom the vest is really intended for.

In a frenzy, at 10:30 p.m. by then, I realized that I didn't have any circular 19 needles, and I was worried I hadn't bought enough of the now 4-year-old yarn in the discontinued colorway. But she did her math and believed I'd still have enough, with (3) 76 yard skeins - (barely enough but probably enough).

So what's a gullible, highly influenceable (is there a word "influenceable" - no but it fits) girl like me supposed to do but fall under the spell of the Grand Enabler? I brought out my biggest guns, err needles, size 17 circular and cast on. Knit row 1, 2 and 3 of the pattern. I'd already used up 1/2 skein of yarn. Scary. Then I started to drop those stitches. Let me tell you, they don't drop easily. I'm already having trouble. Going to unravel this and start again on straight needles. What happens in that once you shove your yarn past the fat part of the needle, and you slide it onto the skinny cable? It doesn't want to fit back up again on the fat part. So I'm starting over.

Also, for safe measure, I found an extra skein of the yarn on eBay and I ordered it. So hopefully, even if I start to run out, I may have enough. Fingers crossed! Will update you later on the grand vest caper. Laura, it's all your fault. Again, you unleashed a latent 4-year desire of mine to knit this silly vest, which probably won't even be flattering on me and I'll wind up wondering WHY??? Oh well, here goes nothing. I will probably start it again on the weekend, or maybe this evening, I don't know. I'm not sure when I'll do it since it's morning now and I have to go to work. But I'll report back later. I wish I could just stay home and knit today. See what you started, Laura?


Laura said...

Bothered? Never! You're a joy to chat with.

Great Enabler, huh? Ok! (I like the great in there, ha!)

After seeing the yarn you picked, consider that begging up a notch. It's lovely, and the enabling is reciprocal. Between Gefrida's Gigante and Berroco's Hip Hop, I'm wanting to make another.

Considering I had to take Calculus over again in college, I'm glad you found another backup skein. What if I'd miscounted how many skeins I'd used??? I was thinking after I'd hung up last night that maybe I should have warned you about the dropped stitches being 'sticky'. It takes some coaxing, but the drops even out just fine.

I'm not keen on circulars for the reason you've discovered, but considered that my own bias. The straights work ok, with the 'row 3' near the armpits being the worst hurdle. Once you've done the row 4 after, it's all smooth.

I'll need to take another look at your list, just to see what I need to do next. ;)

ChelleC said...

Well, guess what? That skein, it turns out is NOT available. She emailed me back to let me know today that they are completely out of it. Wah!!!

Laura said...

Oh crud.

Hm, well, I really DO think you'll have enough. Let's do the math, (because I NEED the practice).

Point 5 yards for a large short version is 4*54, equalling 216 yards.

Berocco's Hip Hop is 76 yards and you have three, so thats 228 yards.

Considering those figures, you'll have more left over than I did, which was 6 inches. I was sweating it. :D Gefrida's Gigante has 33 yards, I had six, so the 198 yards were just barely enough. I really do think you'll be fine. You can get started any time. ;)

ChelleC said...

Well, you know, it just might be ANOTHER 3-4 years. Heavy sigh. I started this vest - 3 times. Once on circ needles, had trouble with the wraps fitting back over the fat part of the needle. Then went to long stick needles, not enough room to fit all the wraps. Then I went to even longer huge stick needles and when I dropped the wraps, they looked like . . . sh** (bad). So I don't know if I was meant to ever knit this vest. I'm clearly doing something wrong.

Laura said...

Worse case scenario? You bring it to an SS&K and 'accidently' leave it near me. Ooops! Oh man! I didn't MEAN to knit it up for you!

It'll save me from buying the stuff for another vest, anyway. ;)