Yesterday as I drove up 280 and saw the thick, gray fog slouching its chilly way across San Francisco, I smiled. Knitwear weather has arrived! The students I passed on my way to class shivered in flimsy cotton hoodies, useless against the insidious creeping fingers of the cold fog, but I strode along (in flip-flops, no less -- I only give up wearing sandals when it rains) perfectly cozy thanks to my knitterly armor, my new Kaino vest.
I LOVE this vest. I started it about a month ago, but it only took this long to finish because I took several extended breaks. Each piece really only took a couple of days to knit. The yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca, one of my new favorites. I didn't make any significant modifications to Norah Gaughan's pattern (from the Berroco Volume 1 booklet), and I even used the exact shade of yarn -- 6202, which I think is called "brown rice," if you're interested -- used in the booklet, which I think is a first for me. The only minor changes I made were to lengthen the body very slightly, because I'm tall, and I need to lengthen everything, and to skip the instructions to do a graduated bind-off on the ribbing which wraps around the back neck to form a sort of collar. If you check out other Ravelers' projects pages, you'll see this gives the collar a pointy look in the back, and I preferred it to be more rounded, so I just knit each collar extension to the length called for, then grafted them together.
While this isn't the most exciting knit -- it's not exactly a technical challenge, since it's just knitting, ribbing, and basic shaping -- I love the feel of the final product. The fact that it's sleeveless prevents it from being too warm, and the long length gives it a "boyfriend-sweater" slouchiness that I adore. I wasn't sure about how I'd like the sleeves, which are all stockinette and therefore curl up, but I really don't mind it, and I suspect they will de-curl a little bit after I've given Kaino a wash and block. Overall? This one is such a success, it may demand a repeat performance.