Cotton and merino wool Nordic baby eyelet rib vest

To Gift: This adorable pattern makes a personal gift for parents to be and is a great intro to knitting in the round.
I was taught to knit by my grandma aaaaaages ago and to be honest forgot about it for over 10 years... until I recently caught the bug again!

I found this amazing pattern collection by Anne Dresow at Ravelry and now want to make every single one! I started off with the baby eyelet rib vest for a (currently pending) baby nephew:

Yarn choice

I chose a cream 50% cotton and 50% merino wool 4 ply from Rowan in "antique" (posh name for "cream"). I bought this from my local store on a deal a while ago. It is lovely and soft and pretty kind to work with, if you're not a super-star knitter.

Stitch types

This is a nice pattern if you don't yet know (or can't remember) much more than knit and purl. Get to know the new stitch types before you start knitting the repeat.
TECHNIQUE 1: Knitting in the round

This takes some getting used to but is so much fun once you start building a seamless tube of knitting! I did not bother to adjust for an "invisible" transition here, as the eyelet repeat hides it anyway, but I am aware that you can (and should) do this for finer finishes to get a really seamless look.

Remember that if you knit continunously in the round you are "right side" all the time... it is important to be conscious of moments where you switch back to "flat" knitting (e.g. neckband), as here you need to go back to RS/ WS knitting.

TECHNIQUE 2: Finishing armholes and neckband

If you're also a sewist, it can be tempting to stick to old habits and try to create some tension in the finishing bands to keep them from sagging.... however, remember that the final cast-off always pulls a little tighter than the knit stitches underneath it. So, don't be stingy when you pick up stitches to finish armholes and neckbands or you will end up with a tight squeeze! (This led to me undoing my first armhole and starting over!)

TECHNIQUE 3: Divide... and conquer!

You'd be hard pushed to complete a piece that required division and seaming across the shoulders with a single, continuous yarn. But for this piece, knowing that I had not made it before and did not know how it would all come together, I left yarn unfinished at corners and edges hanging free (it did help that I had more yarn than I needed) and only finished once the whole thing was complete. This is because as you get to different stages e.g. seaming the shoulders or creating an armhole finish, you will find some of the hanging yarns to be in just the right place to continue!
I generally followed the pattern (smaller size), apart from a wee "polo collar" hack that was actually a mistake that I ended up quite liking...

MY (accidental) HACK: Polo collar!

First, I made the opening at the neck slightly shorted and decided I would not be putting any closures on it, as I worry constantly about the ability of babies to remove solid things (however tightly sewn down) and swallow them.

Then, despite writing above "remember to use RS/WS when you go back to knitting "flat", I mention this because I totally forgot to do it.... so I ended up with a neckband in stockinette stitch that gently curled over on itself like a little collar. I actually really liked the effect and instead of ripping it out, I kept it!

This project is not perfect but came out much better than I expected, given how rusty I am. I will definitely make up some more of her patterns!
Hurry up, baby boy!


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