Thursday, June 14, 2007

Provincial Waistcoat.

My blog is apparently celebrating "Pioneer Days" this week, between the "Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman" sweater (aka Puffed-Sleeve Feminine Cardigan) and this vest.

Before anyone gets to thinking that I am some sort of knitting machine, please note that I finished this back in December. I just didn't figure out how to wear it until now. I took pics for Ravelry, and figured I'd add a blog entry to catalog my mods and give people a finished Provincial Vest to look at (not many of them on the web).

Pattern: Provincial Waistcoat, IK Winter 2006, Size XS
Yarn: Karabella Super Yak, Garnet, 3.75 skeins
Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars (borrowed from Mom!), US 10 (body) and US 9 (bodice)
Notions: Needles, and 3 1" buttons (these are heavy-duty metal ones I got at a shop in NE Ohio)
Time to Complete: About a week over the holidays in December.

I eliminated the ribbing in the bodice. I hated, hated, HATED the way it looked. I mean, I saw the pic on IK's website, thought it was gorgeous, then took a gander at the back and just had to shake my head. No. You can somewhat see what I'm talking about here. Anyway, my solution to that problem was to just eliminate the ribbing and continue in pattern. I switched to smaller needles to help cinch-in the waist.

Did a three needle bind-off and short row shaping for the shoulders.

I also had some issues with that herringbone-esque stitch pattern -- I think the instructions there were lacking in clarity. My sweater looks different than the one in the magazine (I think there's a "ktbl" or something that should be happening, but I don't have the mag in front of me and it's been so long since I made this...), but I gave it a lot of thought and decided to keep it this way. It still looks good.

This is a very cute pattern, but I think it's very hard to wear in a flattering way. I was so disappointed when I first finished it, because...well, because I looked terrible in it. Narrow-shouldered, flat-chested and hippy. The trick, for me, to making this look decent is a fitted blouse with puffy sleeves (and there I was, just one post back, talking about how un-girly I am). I believe that this would be much easier to wear and style properly for a woman with a bigger bust and wider shoulders.

Other than that unfortunate bodice ribbing, I love the generic look of this thing -- even before I found a way to wear it, I was pretty proud to have made it, and loved looking at it (when laid out flat). I adore the ribbing details on the sides, up around the armholes.

Karabella Super Yak, while expensive (I got mine from the Patternworks end-of-year sale), is an incredible yarn. It was lovely to work with, but after washing the vest? It honestly feels like cashmere. It's incredibly lightweight, too. For a bulky yarn, it sure doesn't feel bulky. It doesn't have the elasticity of 100% wool, but it does hold its shape fairly well. I have about 1.25 skeins leftover, which I think will become a hat someday.

One last pic: I feel oddly responsible and professional in this thing. Heh. I'm thinking this'll look really good with a pair of wide-leg trousers, actually, which is good, as I'll (hopefully!) be entering the work force in a matter of months...

ETA: I've seen some comments (not here) that people apparently think that I think that I don't look good in this (that was convoluted). Not to sound vain, but I know I look good in That's the distinction. You'll have to trust me that before I tried this particular shirt/waistcoat combination, it didn't look very good on me. I'm happy with my body as it is, but, like everyone else, I also like my clothes to flatter me!


Stitchy Witch said...

Your vest is so cute! It looks beautiful on you. I tried to make that pattern, but it made me want to poke my eyes out with a needle... I agree, the directions were vague. Yours is so nice though!

Amanda said...

Thank you! I think I wrote down more notes while knitting this than the amount of print in the magazine making-up the instructions.

jenna said...

It's absolutely cute! I love the way you layered it with the puffed sleeve shirt. I like it with jeans, but with dressier trousers it'll be perfect for the work world!

Octopus Knits said...

I love your version of the Provincial Waistcoat -- and you're right, the poofy sleeved shirt goes well with it!

Marti said...

Wow! Great job! I love this vest! I have oogled the IK and this is one of the pages I get stuck on.

itsjustmeghan said...

so cute! again, another perfectly flitting sweater! and no matter what you say, you ARE a knitting machine!! when do you do all of your knitting? lunch? breakfast? before bedtime? whenever it is, you must enter a time warp or something! amazing things come off of your needles!

Amanda said...

Oh, you're too nice! The answer is evenings (and I go to bed laaaate) and weekends. I don't bring my knitting to work anymore, since I'd rather knit than work on my dissertation...d'oh!

Rubys & Purls said...

I have loved this pattern from the first time I saw it. You did a great job!! I really like your version and thanks for the tip about the vague pattern. Your's is just gorgeous! I think it fits you perfectly!

itsjustmeghan said...

i'm just posting to say sorry! my spelling/grammar the past couple posts have been pretty bad!

all that in the evenings? while writing a dissertation? my goodness! you are a very productive knitter!!
someday i'll be like you! hahahaa

Amanda said...

No worries!

And unless you're just talking about the knitting, you soooo don't want to be like me! Graduate school can really suck the life out of you. I think that's why I like knitting so much. Even if something doesn't come out right, the percentage of successful projects is so much higher for knitting than it is for science! And I can't really wear my experiments (unless there's been an accident)...

itsjustmeghan said...

touche! hahahahaha

Robin said...

I think that turned out great - I didn't see the previous version, but I like the way you styled it now and think it looks very flattering.

Jen said...

You have got to be kidding me! People have said that you don't look good in this?!?!? I am shocked! Shocked, I say!

You look so fabulous, and your modifications are so right-on. Indeed, you have inspired me to take another look at this pattern -- and Karabella Super Yak. I think it will look smashing with that white button-down and a pair of tweedy grey pants come Fall.

Amanda said...


Thanks so much for the compliments!

D'oh! I clearly suck at getting my point across -- nobody said that I don't look good in it, but basically, I've read some comments that took my saying that it didn't look good (which it honestly didn't until I found the right shirt to wear with it) to mean that I have some sort of body image issue. Just because something didn't look good on me doesn't mean that I'm unhappy with how I look!

Anyway, you should definitely check out the Super Yak. It's such a lovely yarn. It's also really expensive...I'd love to make something else with it someday, but I'll have to find another good sale!

Desiknitter said...

Hello, came here via Ravelry, where I was looking for pictures of the Provincial Waistcoat. Yours looks gorgeous, the colour as well as the fit on you! The shirt is perfect for it. You've convinced me to go ahead with it, esp. since you mentioned that bit about the bigger shoulders and bust... :)