Wool Sampler Vest
Not too long ago I acquired a spinning wheel. It has been amazingly fun to make my own yarn and I am pleasantly surprised that I've even managed to do it. After a few test ounces under my belt I decided I needed to do something with the yarn I was spinning. I wanted something simple that would showcase all the work I had done.
Here is what I came up with:
In the sketch below you can see the original design I made and then what I ended up with after some trial and error.
Each color is from a different breed of sheep- all natural colors, no dyes. I wanted to showcase some of the beautiful natural colors of wool and I think this vest really shows them well. To put the focus on the color and texture of the wool I decided to make the vest design as simple as possible. So in actuality this vest is basically a rectangle with two arm holes and a few extra stitches to for the hip area.
I really like the raw edges and simple style of this vest. I think it really highlights the yarn rather than a pretty pattern and it is also super warm and cozy. Great for transitional weather such as spring and fall.
For the moment I am using a cloak pin (the two silvery leaves) to close it but I will probably add a button for a more permanent solution. Then I can use the cloak pin to close the vest at the neck if I so desire.
The pattern started with a simple sketch and then some measuring. I decided to make the right front a little wider than the left front so that it would overlap and be asymmetrical. I figured out my stitches per inch and then started knitting. I knitted as I spun. After I would spin a skein of yarn I would knit it into the vest and decide if I needed more yarn or if that was enough for that section.
I eventually finished the vest as a basic rectangle but found that it gave now allowance for my ample hips so I frogged it back up, almost to the white yarn, and added a section of stitches in the back. This made it flatter my body much more but did make it a bit shorter because of the increased width.
Overall this was a really easy vest to knit. And spinning the yarn gave me enough practice that I now feel comfortable trying more advanced techniques. If you are new to spinning I highly recommend doing a project like this so that you can experiment and really get a feel for the fiber. If your goal is to make something funky then you don't have to be so hard on yourself when your ideal garment doesn't materialize the first time around. Just have some fun!
Following Blog Posts-
Four different breeds of sheep were used to make this vest. In the next four blog posts I will break down what it was like spinning and knitting with each breed to give you a better idea of the wide variety available. I will also share staple length and other information when available so you can buy similar fiber online.