You might have seen the high neck and v-neck cropped vests that I knit from Debbie Bliss Cotton Denim DK in charcoal earlier this year. Both were original designs that I worked up myself, and both were really successful. I was able to get the shaping that I wanted in my pattern-writing, which I see as a huge win! However, while each of them turned out kind of how I wanted, they were both lacking something in terms of fit.
The high neck vest was too large around the back, and I found myself constantly pulling it up, while the v-neck was too short in the body and I found myself constantly pulling it down! I thought I might be able to get by with them, but having not worn either more than once, I thought it was time to put sentiment aside and make something that I was absolutely going to use.
So I set about frogging both of my lovingly knit vests, and I learned a huge lesson about focusing on practicality and wearability in my work, as opposed to emotion. I still wanted to make a vest, but this time I chose to create one garment from the two balls of yarn I had, so I could guarantee better coverage and comfort.
As my style has evolved over recent months, I wanted something with a casual, looser fit that would be easy to throw on when the warmer weather is with us. Again, I decided to wing it myself with an improv pattern design, one that I didn’t even write down this time, and the result was great.
I think the length is perfect for my style (I’m still all about the crop), but I love the wider straps and the scooped neckline. It looks great paired with jeans and trainers, and it’ll take me into autumn layered under my cropped leather jacket with a pair of ankle boots.
I have to say that I’m really quite grateful for how smoothly my improv knitting work has been going! While the first two vests didn’t quite work out, I learned a lot from them about pattern designing, fit and style, and I know it’s knowledge I’ll put to good use in the future.
Have you guys experimented with improv knits? What lessons have you learnt? I’d love to know how you’ve got on!