As promised in my last post (which I have now updated with the totals of items I knit and crocheted for charity in 2013), in this one I tell about the vests I made for my grandmother.
This is a longstanding tradition. I am not sure for how many years I have given her a vest for Christmas. We see her for Thanksgiving (Christmas celebrated with my SIL's family) and leave her Christmas gifts, wrapped, for her to open when appropriate. One year, I wrapped the vest with a big book of crossword puzzles, which my grandmother loves to work, and she was disappointed that the gift I left was clearly too heavy to be a vest. Another year, I asked in the fall what she wanted, and my grandmother said that she didn't need a vest, she had plenty.........then in November she whether I was giving her a vest that year because she was "cold" (I think it was in the mid- to high 60's(F)), and when I protested that she had told me in September that she didn't need one and I wasn't sure I had time to make one, my grandmother said that I should not listen to what she says in September because it's not yet cold enough for vests! Of course I hadn't listened to her, and she did get a vest that year.
This year, I found some really fun brown self-striping yarn, and tried to make a zig-zag with it that was just not cooperating. The weekend before Thanksgiving, I realized I needed to do something else or there would be no vest. A quick search and I found a pattern for an afghan square that was done in three colours, which I translated into (trust me, the camera doesn't take quality pictures, and yes, I'm replacing it) just two - peach and rust:
I made up the rest of the vest around it. Then I wrapped it and left it for Chanukah, which overlapped with Thanksgiving this year. My SIL and I agreed to give my grandmother one gift for each night of Chanukah, since we would be there for several and she loves getting gifts. The best item she opened while we were there was a one-pound Snickers® bar. My grandmother didn't open the package with the vest before we left, but I heard several times about how wonderful it was after she did, even to the point that she had to completely change the outfit she planned to wear to supper that night so she could show off the vest.
The full-length picture has colours that are closer to actual, and the sides are straight despite what you see in this photograph:
When I got home, after finishing some of the other items I needed to get done, I returned to the original vest and decided to do a pattern I have done before, which is simply columns, and straight across on the back. I like both ways the yarn worked out:
This close-up shows how interesting the yarn is in shorter stitch counts. The above photos are truer to the colours, which are warm browns; the one below is rather cool and a bit washed out. Yes, I did the front as intarsia, rather than having to sew together columns:
My grandmother sometimes wears the backs as the front, I wonder if she will do it with this vest? This one went out just after Christmas (I'd left a gift for my grandmother to open for Christmas, never fear, and as expected she opened it on Christmas Eve - it is a scarf out of a ruffle yarn, which made me nuts trying to get it to work out properly) and I guess will be an Epiphany gift or something. With it is a print of our family Thanksgiving portrait in a glam frame, and a note explaining that the vest was just included as padding in the package. ;)
I really like the yarn and am sad it is a nameless millend so I cannot get more for another project. I do have some that will probably turn into hat and mittens. Since I tend to make both as seamless tubes, it will be interesting to see how differently the colour patterns turn out in those items.