I’m counting on you to throw more than shapes
Pattern: Waistcoat in “Alaska” with raglan and cables on yoke by DROPS Design
Yarn: Berroco Blackstone Tweed (65% wool, 25% mohair, 10% angora), colorway Steamers
Needle: U.S. 6 and 8 Harmony wood 36″ circulars (knit flat)
In Ravelry circles, January is known as the month of selfish knitting. November and December are presumed to be devoted to making gifts, churning out scarves and hats and gloves that you’ll wear once to take a picture and then wrap up for somebody else. So in January, knitters everyone release all their pent-up garment lust and make something for themselves. It’s all about me.
I started my selfish knitting a little early, I confess. A couple of weeks before the holidays, when Craftin’ for CASA was finally over and all the charity knitting I had done for that project at last behind me, I decided there would be no Christmas knitting this year. I scoured my stash for sweater quantities and my favorites list for a pattern that had recently caught my fancy.
One of my most beloved sweaters is Helleborus Yoke. Not only does it fit beautifully, but the style is so versatile. Short sleeves, fits great under a heavy coat, but warm at the core. A perfect layering piece. So much so that my selfish self wanted another version. Less boldly colored, more rustic. But tailored and sophisticated.
The knitting was easy, even the chart — nothing but two-over-two cables in various combinations. It’s amazing how complicated they look when you put them all together. Small t-shaped seams to sew under each arm, seven buttons, and a gentle blocking are all the finishing that’s required. I’ve used this yarn before to make fingerless mitts, and the cables don’t pop like they would in a smooth, tightly twisted wool or plant fiber; they are hazy, almost foggy, and might even go flat if stretched too aggressively. But that gives a different mood to the beautiful yoke on this vest. The cables emerge so gently from their tweedy reverse-stockinette background, and twine gracefully like a worn bas-relief sculpture.
The description may be similar to Helleborus Yoke: short-sleeved cardi with cabled circular yoke. But the details feel completely different. The bottom hits mid-hip; the waist tapers in. The worsted-weight yarn is surprisingly light, creating a drapey fabric rather than the substantial cushion of Helleborus’s bulky weight. Button it up or down, a few or all the way, and the sweater hangs in a myriad graceful ways. Two weeks of selfish knitting yields one perfect creation. All for me.