Here is my new Crochet Vest inspired by the pattern book Beautiful Bamboo. Isn't it ultra-groovy? I'm a little disturbed that it took less than 1 minute to accessorize "hippy chic" out of my everyday jewelry - that's normal, right?
My maternal grandmother Flossie taught me to crochet back in the 70's when I was a child. Largely all I learned was to whip out granny squares like nobody's business. It wasn't until Flossie was long gone before my mom brought out some very beautiful doilies and tablecloths that my grandmother and great-grandmother had made. Exquisite handiwork, each and every one. Doilies and intricate work were not exactly the hallmarks of the 70's, so while I learned what was popular, I thankfully didn't have to wear any of it.
I don't think Flossie would recognize my handiwork in this piece. I followed the pattern nearly entirely as written - just with different stitches. This pic shows the front detail with a shell stitch instead of the post stitches called for in the pattern.
The shapes of the final pieces - with some minor alterations - are spot on with the schematic in the pattern. I love the romantic style that these stitches created - normally, I'm a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal (can you tell?), but this is absolutely going into regular rotation in the wardrobe!
For the final construction, I used the mattress stitch again for seaming. Since it's a singly ply, I found Bernat Cottontots breaks relatively easily when you seam with it. Twice on the first side seam I was pulling the yarn taut to close the seam and the yarn ripped. The first time this happened, I decided I was pulling too many stitches at a time, so I started to pull taut every 3 or 4 stitches instead of 6 or 7. I raided my stash and found some embroidery floss that matched and continued on without further interruption.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I'm remembering that certain yarns do this and it is better to find a matching yarn in a smooth nylon or sturdier cotton. This may be less of an issue with mattress stitch on a knitted garment because the knit stitches that you are grabbing onto are more uniform at the edges. Crochet row-end stitches are any combination of turning chains or actual stitches and much harder to match up neatly. Lesson learned for next time - always do a pull test on your yarn before deciding to use it for seaming!
For my next project, I'm sticking with the Beautiful Bamboo book - and jumping right to the cover with the Scalloped Edge Cardigan. I'm using one of Bernat's BRAND NEW YARNS too - tune in next time to see which one and how FABULOUS the colorway looks.