Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


#project vest: the conclusion

I went a bit more slowly finishing the second half of this vest.  It actually didn’t take very long because there is less fabric in the front!  If you count all the hours I spent knitting and finishing this vest, the result will equal about 24 hours. Maybe a bit less.


I’m a bit hot and bothered from mowing the lawns in this picture.  Do not worry – I didn’t wear my brand new vest doing the mowing!  Had to get that pic before the light went though!

I thought I’d show you how it looked before and after some blocking:

Prior to blocking

Here it is awaiting its bath.  Notice how the bands twisted and would not lie flat?  The fabric itself also felt quite stiff and a little oily for some reason.


Here it is in its bath with a small amount of wool wash added.  See how the water has made the fibres much more relaxed and even.

Blocked vest

Blocking has brought out the true qualities of the Stansborough Grey wool.  The fabric has become beautifully lofty, with a gorgeous fluidity, lustre and drape.

This yarn dries extremely quickly.  This wool seems to shake off moisture much more quickly than other fibres.  I put it on a rack to dry outside, and it was dry in two hours!  I think being non-washine washable has also helped to preserve the moisture-repellent properties of the wool.

It’s going to be a great work vest as soon as the weather decides to make wearing wool a good idea!

Yarn:  Stansborough Mithril

Pattern: V-neck or rounded sleeveless tunic

Amount used:  approx 325g (for size 40″) of DK weight yarn.

Last weekend, I also finished my Golden Hall socks.  Here they are!

Golden Hall socks

These socks were cast on with many more stitches that I would normally use, and I was convinced at one stage that they would be too big for me.  Those cables sure do eat yarn and suck in the width though… I finished this project with only 6″ of yarn to spare from an entire 100g skein!  That was close.  I used 30% more yarn than I normally need for a pair of socks.

The only mods I made for this sock were to decrease across the instep on the first row of the toe shaping so that all the cable endings were K2tog.  This also conveniently brought the stitch count back down to my the usual number I begin with:  64 stitches.  By doing so, I knew that the toe would be the right length for my foot.  I also decreased the sole down to 32 sts during the gusset shaping which helped with width issues (and yarn quantities!)

I didn’t find the intense amount of cabling on these socks particularly intuitive (some cable patterns hardly need looking at once you’ve done the first motif, but not this one).  This made it slow to knit because I was glued to the chart. I know others were much more comfortable with the pattern.

The yarn is more of my very favourite super twisted 100% merino sock yarn.  This colourway was dyed by the talented James of Fibre Alive, another sadly no longer indie dye business.  I cry a little every time I use one of his yarns because they are so lovely and I won’t be able to get any more!!

However, very pleased to now have another pair of yummy socks to add to my drawer!



#projectvest. 50% will do for now.

Half way

Well, that was an interesting scientific experiment.  Clearly, I cannot knit as much as I think I can in a ten hour period! After ten hours of solid knitting, I have finished the back of the vest. That’s just over 300m/328yd of yarn.

It is 50% less than I thought I might be able to do.  Clearly, sock knitting has addled my brain.  Although it is entirely possible to finish a pair of plain vanilla socks in ten hours, it appears that garments are not as quick to knit as socks!

In another way of looking at it, I now have a half-finished project, and now I only have the front to do, and I have a nice new vest to wear to work!  My fingers feel really good after that work-out.  I haven’t done that much concentrated knitting in a very long time!

Thanks for following along with me.



The last day of our holiday at home together dawns tomorrow.  The lawns are done, the house is clean, and the groceries are in.  The boy was not happy to be dragged out of the house to do the grocery shopping today.  “Do we HAVE to go out?” he growled, glaring at me from the comfortable depths of his bean bag.  To mollify him, I promised that we would stay home tomorrow, all day, and not go out anywhere if that’s what he wanted.  This is what happens when your child spends all his free time locked into after school care or in holiday programmes.  Staying at home seems like the best thing since sliced bread.

The prospect of being able to grow roots into my own chair was also quite pleasing, to be honest.  The past few days at home have invigorated and refreshed me, and I feel ready to face life’s challenges once again!  It has also brought about a burst of Startitis!!!

In the past few days I have started:

  1. Eternidad – a beautiful dropped stitch cowl/scarf thing that will look great with my work wardrobe.
  2. EternidadThe final test of a lace cowl that I designed a while ago, but never publicly released.

Lace cowl

3. Finished one Golden Hall sock and started the second and started the leg of Clandestine.

Sock WIPs

Then I read about Woolen Diversions’ finished vest and I remembered that I needed one too.  The only vest that I love and wear every time I need something to keep the chill off has been worn to bits and is not suitable for work.  I need a new work-suitable vest.  A very silly idea began to brew as I sat and knitted this evening:  how about a little competition with myself to see if I could knit one in a day??

I’ve had this vest queued for ages.  It has always been my intention to knit it using Stansborough’s Mithril.  It is a simple pattern, but it’s exactly right for what I want it for, and Mithril will make a beautiful vest.  If I give myself some pressure to get it done, it will make the stocking stitch more fun. So what do you reckon folks?  Can I do this in 24 hours?

If you want, follow along with me on Twitter @Kiwiyarns, where I’ll be tweeting my progress over the next 24 hours under #projectvest (you can also see my updates in the side bar of this blog).

Should I fail to complete it by 8pm tomorrow, at least I’ll have had fun trying!

The 24 hour vest