Sunday, November 12, 2006

Oh Drat

I should have known better. In an effort to get the vest done ASAP, I didn't pay close enough attention to what I was doing. I've been working on my Dad's vest for a long time and I really want it to be done for Christmas. Plus, I want to knit some sweaters for me, which I won't let myself do until the vest is done.

Saturday morning I finished knitting the vest and I bound off the shoulders with a three needle bind off.

With a bold hand I cut my steek.

Do you know, I wish I had added a guide line, because I cut it a little close on the one side. To compensate, I tacked down the iffy area so I could knit my button bands with confidence. Next I picked up the stitches for the button band. I ended up picking up one stitch for every row.

I had a little twinge of apprehension while doing so. I know it's a 3:4 stitch vs row gauge proportion, but I had also read that diagonal two colored knitting has a magical 1:1 ratio. Somewhere, my head thought that all two color knitting is the same. It is not. It was only when I got a significant amount of the button band cast off that I saw the error of my ways.

This button band is just not acceptable. I hate admitting to this. I feel stupid and like I should know better. But I also know that finishing is a task that I need to improve at. Ignoring or hiding this problem will not help me to learn better. So I have decided to leave this vest until next weekend and then I will rip the button band and start over.

On the plus side, I tried Elizabeth Zimmerman's one row button hole for the first time and I really like it! It's very clever and neat. And it fits my buttons perfectly.


  1. For the button band. (Well, all of them.) Knit up a sample of the fabric you want to use for the bands -- it looks like seed stitch. Figure out its stitch gauge.

    You have to knit up along the edges of opening(s) of your vest to match that gauge. The knit-up rate may vary as you go ie along the vertical edges it may be different to the horizontal edges and different still to the diagonal edges of the V-neck.

    People say to knit up at 2:3 or 3:4 and stuff like that, but those are all very general. The only way you'll really nail it down is to work at the gauge of your bands' fabric.

    Gorgeous Fair Isle.

  2. Yeah, what ted said. ;) I never seem to get it right. I almost always have to fudge it twice to get it right.

    Your colorwork looks fabulous! Your dad is going to really appreciate all your hard work.

  3. I simply assume that it will take three tries to get a button band to sit the way I like. Finishing *is* important and it makes or breaks a garment. Nothing wrong with putting in a little time and doing it right.

    I, too, do Ted's swatch edge pick-up thing.

    Btw, GREAT buttons! Where'd you get them? --Syl

  4. mary jane9:13 pm


    I suggest that you pick up 3 st for every 4 rows on the straight front edge and 7 st for every 8 rows on the lower part of the V-neck working towards the 3 to 4 ratio as you get to the upwards curve for the neck. Later if the edging is still a little loose you can tighten up the cast off edge to pull it in a little tighter.

  5. Thanks for the advice everyone. I feel better knowing that other people take more than one stab at it too. I've ripped out the band already, but I haven't started picking up stitches again yet. Let the sting wear off first.

  6. When I read "oh drat" and then saw pictures of scissors and steeking, I got *really* scared. I'm glad its just a matter of the button band and not a slip up with the scissors. Its gorgeous, and I'm sure it will be a much appreciated gift.

  7. Oh that's what all the ratio thing was about, was it? Couldn't suss it out. Me I go straight at it like a rat up a drainpipe, then find it's totally wrong in two different directions, swear, rip it back, start again, get it wrong the other way round, and stuff the whole hellish mess in the WIP basket (no, not that one, the DWIP basket for Disastrous...)
    But I couldn't take the steek cutting. I had to look away. If you ever catch me seriously considering steeks, send for the white van... You're a better gal than I am, Bunga Din!
    Celtic Memory Yarns

  8. You are a brave woman. A friend of mine does steeking. I think she's brave too. I mean, to take your cutting shears and crank away with them on such painstaking knitted work!

    I feel woozy just thinking about it.

  9. the vest is spectacular and those buttons adorable - it will be worth the effort to redo the buttonband, finishing is so important i think.