Friday, September 26, 2014


knitting vest isager amimono ravelry

I've been steadily working away since last post and this week I have managed to finish another WIP - my Nightingale Vest.

The pattern is from Helga Isager's Bird Collection book, which is truly a beautiful, stylish collection of knitwear.  Aesthetically, there are so many designs within that I would love to make.

isager vest knitting danish nightingale

I love the fit of this vest, and the detailing on the back (twisted stitch rib so the knit stitches form a beautiful spine sequence across the back) contrasts the feminine, almost frilly bell stitch pattern of the front in a very flattering, pleasing way.

I used Isager Highland in Ocean, held together with Isager Alpaca 1, which formed a plump 4ply/light sportweight yarn.  This is the suggested yarn combination for the pattern, and it's worked well in giving a slight halo to the vest, yet still sturdy enough to carry the weight of all those bells!

isager, wool, alpaca, nightingale, knitting

There is a lot of discussion about the problematic nature of the Isager patterns; largely, I feel, due to the translation to English.  Looking at people's project notes, those who have worked from the original Danish instructions have had far fewer issues than those working with translated versions.  This is also a bit of an older pattern book, and I do feel perhaps a few of these glitches may have been teething problems, since rectified.  I certainly had no problems with a little baby hat I knit from the childrenswear collection - All you Knit is Love.  I think it's also good to remember that there are different methods of writing pattern instructions around the world, and this may also impact on translations.  Sometimes the format of the steps seems foreign to the way we are used to being told how, leading us to question, "what do they actually mean??". This isn't really a flaw of the pattern, though.  It's just different to what we're used to. 

All this in mind, I had no trouble with this vest until I reached the instructions for shaping the neck and armholes.  At this point the numbers began to not add up, however it was not something that anyone with a bit of experience knitting garments could not work through.  It was mainly that the guides on how many decreases to make, and which row of the bell pattern repeat you would be on at key points, did not (could not) match up.    There was also a point where  I worked out that the row 2-15 pattern repeat had suddenly reverted to row 1-14, without notice.  That caused a few head scratches until I twigged!

Overall, I'm pleased I persevered though.  I love the resulting garment, and the colour is so very perfectly heathered.  The weather has obligingly warmed enough to be able to wear this comfortably over a light top, which is also pleasing.  Nothing worse than finishing something only to have to put it into storage until the season is right.

I think I'll definitely have a go at some of the other patterns in this book, now I feel a bit more prepared for things I may or may not encounter.  The designs are worth the effort, and perseverance, and a challenge is a good thing for the mind.  If nothing else it keeps things interesting!


rebecca said...

I am always finishing knits in the wrong season and you have done well to get this right, so very right. It is elegant and intriguing and very wearable. Congratulations all round.

Nia said...

it's gorgeous!!! Really looks lovely on you too!

2paw said...

It looks marvellous!! I love the bells and you chose the wool so well, the bells are so belly.

Caffeine Girl said...

That's an amazing vest. The texture is beautiful.