It feels like this one’s been a long time coming. I first knit a version of this vest way back at the start of 2015, and over the past few years I’ve adapted and tweaked the design to get to where it is today.
It’s been a real passion project, and one that’s found its place firmly close to my heart, so sharing it with the world is both exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure.
As my first garment knitting pattern, this vest has also taken me on a whole host of new adventures. I’m a self-teach-as-you-go kind of learner, so there have been some steep curves for me to overcome throughout this process, but it’s been the most incredible experience.
One of the best and most valuable things I’ve learnt is I can do it.
Getting started, it seemed impossible to create a multiple-sized pattern from all of those notes and edits I’d scribbled down over the years, from the vest that I’d made just for myself before pattern designing was even a possibility on my horizon. But the internet is a wonderful and almost infinite resource, and there was so much out there to guide me and steer me along the way.
Mostly, though, credit goes to my wonderful bunch of pattern testers.
At first, I was terrified of that process. How would I find testers? Would anyone want to work with me? How would I make sure I got the information I needed, when I didn’t really know what that was? But once again, I looked to the internet, and to the beautiful knitting community that I am a part of.
Chantal from Knitatude is an absolute boss. She has so many useful resources and tips to share, and her guidance formed the basis of how I went about the whole process. If you don’t know her, you have to check her out.
All of my testers came from a call out that I put on Instagram, and I got more applications that I could have hoped for. Perhaps the hardest part of the process was narrowing down that list, and picking just as many as I needed to work with on the pattern testing process.
Each of my testers was amazing, giving me great feedback and collectively adding so much value to the pattern, and I quickly learned why this part of designing is so important!
I’d mis-calculated the shaping of the pattern, which had left one shoulder with twice the number of stitches of the other – not quite the even seam you’d be looking for. Without my testers, it would have been released that way, and with much less clarity and guidance, too.
Now, I am so unbelievably excited (and still kind of terrified) to finally be releasing this pattern! If you’d like to knit it, you can find it right here, and please let me know how you get on.
There’s a spark in me that’s been firmly ignited by this process, and I have so many ideas for pattern designs to come. I’m feeling giddy just thinking about it!