Hourglass Vest

It’s time for another Wearability Wednesday post! In this occasional series, I revisit a hand-knitted garment from the past and comment on its wearability. Do I wear it? Why or why not? How do I style it? Is it durable? Does it pill? What would I change if I were to make it again? In this edition I write about the #11 Hourglass Top by Theresa Shabes, Here I am wearing it this past weekend:

And here it is when I knitted it in the spring of 2014:

This was a very quick knit, from start to finish taking 23 days. How can I remember that? Well, because at the time I wrote a post about this top called How to become shapely in 23 days; this was a playful title based on the pattern employing a bit of an optical illusion that appears to draw in the waist.

Its been six years since I knitted this and I must admit that it spent most of that time in a box. The truth is, that until this last month, I hardly wore this top at all.

The problem is that I thought about it as a top, and when worn as a top, it is very impractical. It itches! (Do not wear Noro yarn next to the skin!) It’s a wool turtleneck without sleeves! When did I think I would wear it? As a top worn next to the skin, it is a not very effective garment. But, when worn as a vest when going out for long walks in the woods? Now that is a different story.

And when walking through town on a crisp autumn day? That works, too.

While I have discovered a way to put this garment to good use, it still has some problems in my mind. First, even on top of a turtleneck like this one, it is still itchy! Second, I am not a big fan of the neckline. The pattern actually called for rolled edges at the neck and the arms; I left them at the neck but added a few rows of ribbing at the armholes instead. I am not a fan of rolled edges, and don’t like the weird funnel like shape of the neckline. If I re-made this, I would put in a crew neck instead.

I also think that the proportions of the upper half of the garment are a bit off. The upper chest is about an inch too wide; if re-knitting I would decrease more stitches at the armholes. I would also decrease the length from armhole to shoulder by an inch. If you knit this, you need to use a yarn where the colour changes are long; otherwise the optical illusion at the waist will not work.

Above you can see me wearing it on two different days, in two different church cemeteries (where I live, every little town has one of these). The photo directly above was taken in the pouring rain on Saturday. Doug and I jumped out of the car and ran in the rain to take these photos. Yes, we are crazy, but it just goes to illustrate that wool is good for lots of weather. The other churchyard photo was taken the following day while Doug and I were out walking in the brilliant sunshine of an autumn morning.

Take good care, everyone. Be safe! If you can, take the time to enjoy a walk in the sunshine and some wool.

6 thoughts on “Hourglass Vest

  1. Pingback: Posting troubles | Knitigating Circumstances

  2. Yes, I was able to read this yesterday, despite it being Tuesday, but didn’t have time to comment then. You look great, it’s a striking piece, and I envy you the scenes of your walks. Thanks for the notes on the design, too.

  3. I actually commented yesterday, and could tell something had gone funny. Wanted to say again how much I appreciate these Wearability postings. Love the bright colours on you and appreciate your comments on sleeveless turtlenecks (which apparently some people like if they work in lab coats, otherwise they make no sense to me) and the itchiness factor.

  4. Kind of like the optical illusion at the waist – my own issue would be if it would highlight the muffin top I have – thinking a peplum might be needed for me ! (Need to diet …. so difficult when at home so much in this pandemic!) . So glad you are wearing a top you made – even if you dislike the neckline, etc – much better than leaving it in a drawer and wonder why you made it in the first place (speaking from experience ..). Great photos of autumn – the colours so compliment the colours of your top – and thanks for making me giggle at the thought of you and partner jumping out of the car to snap photos on a whim!

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