Wonderful Wallaby Vest: Q & A edition.

Yesterday, I clicked ‘finished’ in the drop down menu in my project notebook on Ravelry. Such a satisfying feeling. Let The Wonderful Wallaby Vest join the slew of ‘recent FOs’!

i love my wallaby

Below you’ll see that I made up some hypothetical questions, but with real answers. If you find you have a question that I didn’t think of, just ask it!

Q: Wow! A Wallaby Vest, huh? How did you come up with that idea?
A: I saw a child’s hooded vest pattern in one of my magazines and thought it would be fun to make it. But it had a zipper and I wasn’t in the mood for a zipper this time. Then, my friend Lisa was making a Wallaby and I got the Wallaby bug.

Wonderful Wallaby Vest

Q: But the Wallaby pattern has sleeves. How did you modify it to make is sleeveless?
A: Good question. Here follows the looong answer.

  • The pouch and the hood of the vest were knit following the instructions in the pattern. The changes were made only in the sleeve and shoulder area.
  • I didn’t follow an exact size from the pattern, because my gauge was different. I wanted a vest with a 32″ circumference, so I just multiplied by my gauge to get the magic number.
  • So, I began by knittng the ribbing and the pouch.
  • When I reached the correct armpit spot, I bound off two inches of stitches at each underarm (this is normally where you would join sleeves and body). From here, I worked separately on the back and the front.
  • Wallaby Vest - arm detail

  • I needed to decrease away more stitches for the armhole shaping. This was accomplished on the next four right side rows by: k2, ssk, k to within 4 sts of end, k2tog, k2. I did this on the back and the front.
  • After shaping the armhole, I knit straight to the shoulder on the back section. On the front, I knit straight for about 2″ past the bound off underarm stitches, then began the placket as instructed in the pattern, with a garter stitch section at center front. After five placket ridges were knit, I divided and worked left front and right front separately.
  • When front and back were equal, I joined the shoulders using the three needle bind off technique.
  • Wonderful Wallaby Vest - neck ribbing

  • Before I bound off for the shoulders, I had 48 stitches on the front, and 48 on the back. I bound off 12 stitches from front and back together on the left side, and again on the right side. That left 24 live stitches at the back of neck, and 12 live stitches on each side of the front. I put all those live stitches on the needles, plus three picked up at each shoulder join (to prevent a gaping hole) and began the neck ribbing.
  • Then I continued the pattern as written!
  • Phew.

Wonderful Wallaby Vest - hood

Q: Was it fun?
A: Heck yeah.

Q: Did you graft the hood stitches, or use the three needle bind off?
A: Grafting, all the way. This time, I also tried to graft in stockinette on the main part of the hood, but switch to garter stitch for the border. After a couple of tries that had me ripping back, I finally got it! Lookie:

grafted

Well, I practically got it. You can see, right in the middle of that picture, that the row that is grafted only has four stitches in garter. It should be five. But now that I think about it, if I hadn’t told you, you wouldn’t have noticed.

Q: How about the armscye ribbing?
A: Well, as I said before, this gave me a bit of trouble. What I ended up doing, was crocheting a slip stitch around the opening, then picking up stitches from the slip stitch loops. An extra step, but necessary to stabilize the opening.

crocheted slip stitch

Q: Did you have any issues with the Cotton Ease fraying?
A: Yes!

Oh no!

When I was finished with the knitting, I machine washed and dried the Wallaby and was distraught to find that many of the frayed ends had popped through to the right side. I decided to try Fray-Check. After applying it to all the ends on the wrong side it seems to have done the trick! I need to wash and dry the vest again, so we’ll see if the problem is solved for good.

Q: Can I see the back?
A: Of course.

Wonderful Wallaby Vest - back

Q: Can this blog post get any longer?
A: Indeed it can.

Wonderful Wallaby Vest

There you have it.  If you’ve stuck with me through this, you must be crazy.  This post holds the record for The One That Took Me Longest to Create.  I’ve been at it for three days now, in fits and starts, trying to make it comprehensible.  I am not sure I have succeeded.  In fact, I see that I left out the most basic details.

Pattern: Wonderful Wallaby, by Cottage Creations.
Modified as described in detail above.
Needles: 8 for body, 6 for ribbing.
Yarn: Cotton-Ease, by Lion Brand.  Less than one ball of lime, one ball of stone, and one ball of taupe.
Gauge: 4 sts/inch.
Finished size: 32″.

so.close

I’m so close to being finished with Jerry’s Wallaby vest.

wallaby vest

I’m farther than that now. In fact, I’m so close to finishing that it is amazing I am not done yet. The hood is finished and grafted and the ends are woven in, which says a lot because there were tons and tons of them.  See?

Wallaby Vest

And that’s only the loose ends from the first half of the vest.

I’ve even knit up the ribbing around one of the sleeve holes.  I just can’t bring myself to do the second one because that first one was so annoying.  I started out by just picking up stitches around the armhole and knitting a two by two ribbing.  It looked really bad and holey.

I searched around in some of my books to see if I was doing the picking up of stitches correctly.  It seemed I was, but one book gave another suggestion:  Use your crochet hook to make a slip stitch edge, then pick up and knit from the crochet stitches.  It provided a firmer edge, which was what I was looking for since my gauge is somewhat loose for this project.

I’ll muster strength to do the other sleeve tonight.  I hope.

Other than this annoying little part, I’ve had fun making the Wallaby into a vest, and I think it’s going to be really, really cute on Jerry.  I’ll share all my modifications with you when I’m finished, then you can make your own!