The cat, she is out of the bag.
I’ve been delaying discussion of this project because it’s a gift for a friend who just happens to be a reader of the Patons blog. Considering the input she had on yarn and color selection, I’m not fooling anyone from this point on. I was unable to come up with a way to blog about the project without exposing it, and without boring y’all to death. (‘Here’s another picture of my wall. No knitting there, no siree!’)
So I’m coming clean: I’m making the awesome, awesome cable vest from Patons pattern book #500873 Luxury Knits. This vest, like many simple garments, has simple construction. It’s knit in two pieces (the front and the back), and then seamed along the sides and shoulders. No pesky sleeves, no yokes, the front and back.
The pattern is simple to start, just some ribbing and then you’re off on a cable adventure!
Nothing to see here folks, just some ribbing.
While perusing the pattern, I realized that the front and back are identical, at least up to the armpits. I had to ask myself, ‘why do the same thing twice?’. Among the dangers are inconsistency, inconvenience and seaming (yes, it’s a danger when you do it at the last minute like I do).
I prefer knitting on circular needles in general; as a subway knitter it keeps me from chasing after rogue sticks or poking people I’m crammed beside. After a short bit of consideration, I decided to knit this garment in the round.
Changing up a pattern has a lot of repercussions – I considered a few of them, the others I plan to deal with when I get there (oh hush, it’s a perfectly reasonable strategy). Tons of sweaters are knit in the round, why not this cute vest? So now I get to knit most (or all) of the vest in one piece, saving myself trouble and time. I just repeat the same thing twice before moving onto the instructions for the next row.
There are several places you can mess up when converting a pattern like this. Here are a few I’ve found so far.
Tips for converting a pattern to be knit in the round:
- Make sure you keep track of where you are. This means stitch markers are necessary, especially to mark where the front and the back happen.
- When patterns are written to be knit flat, they often allow for seam allowances – one or two stitches that will be lost when you sew it up. To account for that, you may want to decrease the number of stitches by one on each side. I opted not to do that, but fyi.
- You may also find that the pattern needs to be adjusted to account for the stitch pattern. In my case, the sides have a k1, p1 pattern that ends on a p1, and starts on a p1. to avoid having a weird spot in my knitting, I just kept going in the k1, p1 pattern instead of following what was written on the page.
- Garments that are knit flat are knit on the right side, then the wrong side (like how row 1 knit and row 2 purl makes stockinette). This means the instructions for row 1 (RS) should be fine, but the instructions for row 2 (and all wrong side rows) are backwards. I need to knit the purls and purl the knits. If the pattern is simple and you don’t need to rely on reading, this shouldn’t be too hard. If it’s complex, you may find yourself messing up. If the pattern has cables and you can read a cable chart, you’re in luck! Follow the chart instead of the written text for the cable. Charts don’t care where you’re coming from, they just care what it looks like when you’re done.
Now I’m done with the ribbing, onto the body, and we’ll see if this scheme works out for me.