Saturday, May 23, 2009

Patchwork/domino knitting handspun waistcoat

I've been meaning to post pictures of this waistcoat for some time but just not got around to it until now. I started making this waistcoat about 9 or 10 years ago using yarns that I spun when I first learnt to spin. The lady who taught me to spin kept Jacob and Manx Lockton sheep so I learnt to spin from the fleece initially and then from carded or combed fleece and some drum carded batts made up of a number of fibres.

Around this same time I learnt about Patchwork/Domino knitting and made a couple of large shawls using the squares unit. Having made a couple of shawls and a cushion I thought I should try to make a garment and decided to use my handspun as patchwork is a great technique for using up small amounts of different yarns.

I made the back in 2 panels with the squares facing towards each other and joined them with garter stitch. The original garter stitch section was marled on one side and white on the other making the centre panel look unbalanced but it stayed that way for quite a few years. I decided to turn the squares to look like diamonds for the front panels and again made both front up to just below the armhole point, and that is how the knitting stayed for quite a few years.

I teach workshops on Patchwork knitting so it was a work in progress sample which was pinned onto a fabric waistcoat shape to show students how to put garments together. At the end of February I was teaching another squares workshop so before the class I decided I should really try to get this waistcoat finished. I reknitted the garter stitch panel at the centre back which looked much better and then went back to working the squares on the front panels.

A square was knitted on one front panel and then the same square was knitted on the other front panel so they where mirror images. I worked on both fronts at the same time to make sure I had enough of the same yarn to work the square on each panel. I was originally going to change to smaller squares at the top of the fronts but when it came to actually knitting the top sections I kept the squares all the same size and changed the neckline to fit with the squares.

I joined the front and back panels at the shoulders with garter stitch and included some short row knitting to give a shoulder slope. The back and fronts where also joined at the side seams with garter stitch panels and all the edges where finished with garter stitch bands. all the pieces where knitted together so there was no sewing up once the garemnt was finished.

Although the garment is a bit bigger on the shoulders than I would like on the whole I was pleased with the end result and all the colours seemed to work well together even though I didn't plan the colour scheme at the start although I did use the handspun Jacob throughout the garment and the other handspun yarns in different parts of the garment.