I’m now working on my first vest design. It’s in a lace rib pattern called Trellis Rib. The garment will have no ease, and no shaping, apart from a shallow rectangular neck line.
I had thoughts of shaping armholes and a v neck, but doing this in a lace pattern seemed a bit daunting. The fact that each knitter has their own row gauge has been troubling me. It’s one thing to achieve the correct stitch gauge, but achieving both stitch gauge and row gauge can be difficult. How will I know that the knitter will reach the shoulders at the same row that I do? I’ve since been looking at more patterns, with lace and without. I’m learning so much. In a lot of patterns the piece is knit until it measures ‘x’, the armhole shaping is done, and then knit even until piece measures ‘y’. Even with a v neck shaping, which I had always thought continued until the shoulders, there seems to be the instruction, and then knit even until piece measures ‘x’. So although the schematic often doesn’t show it, there is some knitting without shaping at the top.
I want my designs to be useful to all knitters, whether they can acheive row gauge or not.
I’ve just now gone Googling on row gauge, and the consensus seems to be that for v necks and raglan sleeves, getting row gauge right is mandatory. I’m not much for raglan sleeves, so that’s not going to bother me. V necks don’t have to slope all the way to the top.
The time where I can see it will be an issue for me is where a high row number pattern is used, and needs to finish at a certain point in the pattern. The pattern I have in mind is the Boxy Tops pullover designed by Lily M. Chin and published in Knitters Magazine Fall 2001 K64, which I have not been able to find a link to. The pattern repeat in this design is 40 rows, and part of the pattern forms the v in the v neck when it gets to that point. It’s a bit hard, in this case, to say knit until work measures around ‘x’ cm ending with row 6. I suppose there aren’t many designs which would have this kind of issue.
In the mean time, I’ve seen a number of vest patterns which are simply two rectangles, and they look lovely. I’ve decided that for my first vest adventure, discretion may be the better part of valour, and I’ll go with simple, rather than my normal habit of biting off more than I can chew.