See part 1 here.
Once I had selected the yarn, I sat down and wrote a chart for the zig-zag pattern. This was the important feature of the original that I didn’t want to change and probably the easiest figure out.
In order to plan the sweater, I needed my gauge and I wanted to make sure the chart translated well from fingering (original) to DK (my tribute). It’s a good thing I did, because I realized that I needed to make the ziz-zag stripe a little wider. It was super important to block the swatch, because it grew in size and filled in. Without blocking, the fabric looked a little loose, but I knew after blocking the swatch that I had the right needle size. I measured the swatch, blocked it, then measured it again. I knew I needed a 42″ sweater, so I was able to determine the number of pattern repeats would fit based on the width of the swatched pattern (14 repeats!).
I went to my local LYS and they looked up the amount of yarn I needed for a 42″ DK sweater vest using this handy guide ( it estimated slightly more than I needed, which I appreciate).
Then the true research came. I needed to decide the best way to construct the upper torso, so I read many free online patterns. The three most popular methods seem to be:
- Knitting the front and back flat and seaming the entire vest.
- Knitting in the round until the arms, separating the front and back, then knitting flat (knitting the two sides of the v-neck separately).
- Knitting the entire project in the round and steeking.
I didn’t want to do option 1 (the wrong side would be a pain). Since I knew I would do the bottom half in the round, I had a lot of time to plan the exact execution while I worked on the main body.
I changed my mind about three times. After talking to a lot of people online and in my LYS, I found out that possum wool is slick and would have been a poor choice of wool to learn to steek with. I ended up choosing option 2.
The only other choice was the shape of the V-neck, which I did on the fly. I read more patterns to determine the best way to execute the decreases and then continued until it tapered down to the correct width.
I chose to graft the shoulders in pattern. Tip: don’t do this, it wasn’t worth it and didn’t look any better than adding a row, binding off then sewing together with a mattress stitch.