Elinor Brown Knits

Knitting Designs by Elinor Brown

Category: vests

FO Parade: Three Sweaters in One Post!

Thank you all for your sweet comments on my striped socks! I had no idea striped socks would cause such a stir. I must say that the opposite striping was less of a design element and more of my inner cheapskate trying squeeze out as much sock as possible from two skeins. I’ll put together a tutorial on better striping in the coming weeks.

For now, I have not one but THREE finished objects for you! The Ivy League Vest is the only real FO, the others are December knits I haven’t yet blogged.

#1: The Good


Pattern: Ivy League Vest by Eunny Jang, Interweave Knits Winter 2007

Yarn: Harrisville New England Shetland in Oatmeal, White, Sandalwood, Wedgwood and Midnight Blue

Needles: US 4

Modifications: I used blues instead of a teal/loden combination, omitted Pearl (gray) and sized up (37.5″) because my gauge was almost 8 sts/in instead of 7 sts/in. I also knit the ribbing on US 4s. When I cast on on 2s, it was too small so I did all of the ribbing on 4s.


In this picture, the back view looks stretched out at the bottom but it’s not. I just didn’t notice the weird distortion until after I put the camera away.


My only regret is that I didn’t make this longer. It fits fine and I’ll wear it but I would love a few more inches. I thought about extending it early on but decided that 14″ from underarm to bottom would be enough. I’ll know better next time.


#2: The Bad

This next FO is a sweater that I started in September when I met Christy in Portland. I finished it in October but it required some fixing so I let it stew until December when I finished it up for good.


Pattern: DROPS 91-8

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes

Needle: US 8

Modifications: I knit the medium size but since my gauge was off 1 st/4″, I should have gone down. The shoulders are too wide and while I can live with dropped shoulders, this made the arms WAY too long. I cut off both sleeves near the underarm and reknit them down to the cuff. I decided to reknit the sleeves completely to get the shaping to fit in the appropriate places.

I think the sweater is OK, although I probably wouldn’t knit this again unless I were using a very rigid yarn. Knit Picks WoTA is a little too drapey for my taste. The other problem is that I haven’t yet found a clasp to keep this closed so I haven’t worn it. I would like to wear it open but the fronts just flap around and look peculiar so this will be a closed bolero for me!

#3: The Ugly

Finally, the raglan from Hell. I’m calling it the Top Down-Bottom Up-Top Down Raglan. I knit this in December and never got around to blogging it because frankly, I hated this project. Nothing about it worked. I used Barbara Walker’s Classic Raglan Pullover pattern, knit a swatch, washed the swatch, measured, calculated stitch counts and knit from top to bottom. It should have been the perfect sweater because I did everything you’re supposed to do! Well, it wasn’t. Not even the FO pictures I took came out properly so this is all you get. This sweater is one for the closet.


Pattern: Barbara Walker’s Classic Raglan Pullover from Knitting from the Top (with lots of guidance from Elizabeth Zimmermann)

Yarn: Beaverslide 90/10 Worsted Weight in Glacier Heather, about 4 skeins

Needles: US 8

The only redeeming aspect of this sweater was the yarn. Beaverslide is a dream to work with and it stands up to frogging like you wouldn’t believe! I will definitely be buying more. It’s just the perfect tweedy wool. It would be much better for cables too! I intend to wear this sweater in spite of my complaints about it. However, I will not rule out frogging it at a later date to reuse the yarn!

A Super Nova**

A few weeks back, I won the most fabulous blog contest prize ever: a beautiful bag made by Nova filled with yarn! Check this out! The prize came all wrapped up late this week. I’ve saved the ribbons for some summer dresses for B too. Thank you so much for such a lovely prize, Nova!!!! I’ve been stewing about what I’ll do with each skein! More on that later, to be sure.

Nova's Contest Prize



What’s that hand doing in there? Hey, wait! Put that back! I was trying to take a picture of the yarn! Come back here!

Hey, that's my yarn!

I chased Beatrix around the living room to get the yarn back but when I found her standing like this, I pulled out the camera. What do you think? Is she coveting yarn? I hope this means I’ll be able to teach her to knit someday.


Future knitter

I’ll leave you with some photos of a nearly finished Ivy League Vest. Hopefully, I’ll have a full report for you next week!

It fits! Now to pick up those millions of stitches for the neck and armholes!

The cut!

The cut!

Neck Steek

Armhole Steek

**Ack, sorry for the wretched pun, Nova!

WIP Review

Do you ever have trouble finding an on-the-go project? A purse project? A mindless project? I struggle with this. As far as I’m concerned, all projects start out as purse projects but then get too big, too complicated or too fiddly. While I would love to devote myself only to big, complicated projects, life intervenes. It seems that I’m rarely just knitting. I’m watching Beatrix, reading, studying, waiting at an office or sitting in the car and knitting. As a result, I have too many WIPs that have been cast aside because they require too much attention.

Let me show you a few. First up, the second Drunken Bee sock. The first was so beautifully knit by Stella, who must think I’m such an idiot for not yet having finished a second sock. I have knit and reknit this one too many times. It’s a good thing I’ll only be knitting one! My mistake was to assume I could knit this on the go. Halfway down the leg, I still haven’t memorized the chart. I cannot wait to turn the heel, if only for the reward of stockinette sole stitches! In spite of everything, it really is beautiful, isn’t it? It’s just the perfect pattern/yarn combination. That’s really what drives me to finish it!


Next up, a cabled cardigan for Beatrix. I’m making this up as I go. I’ve finished the front and back but before I cast on for the sleeves, I have to track the kid down to measure her arms. It would appear that I forgot to do this when I planned the body. That means I also have to do some math to make sure the sleeve cap fits. Partly because I don’t want to knit the sleeves and partly because I think it looks adorable without them, I wish I had made this a vest instead of a cardigan. I will definitely be making a baby vest in the near future. Besides, everyone knows toddlers hate sleeves, right?


Speaking of baby knitting, I feel I ought to include some photos of a couple of unblogged projects: diaper soakers. *yawn* I know this doesn’t interest most of you – wool soakers certainly do not interest me but sadly, they are the most frequently used hand knit items in my house. Skip to the end for pretty fair isle pictures!


Yarn: more of that awful Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted
Pattern: Ottobre Design’s wool soaker pattern, size large


Yarn: Classic Elite Skye Tweed
Pattern: Picky Pants, longies version with short rows

And now, the WIP that cannot pretend to be a purse project: my Ivy League Vest.

Ivy League Vest

I started the ribbing on US 2s like the pattern suggests but it was way, way, way too small. I wish I’d swatched the ribbing and not just the chart. I sought Glenna’s advice because she’s nearly done with her ILV. She said rip. I ripped. I started over on US 4s for the ribbing.

Ivy League Vest

Pattern: from Interweave Knits Holiday 2007 by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Harrisville New England Shetland in Sandalwood, Oatmeal, White, Wedgwood, and Midnight Blue.

I replaced Woodsmoke (teal) and Loden (dark green) with the light and dark blues. While I like the overall effect of the suggested colors, I dislike teal so much that I knew I would hate knitting the vest. I also cut out Pearl (gray) and decided to use extra Oatmeal to fill in for Pearl because I’m cheap and I didn’t think having one less color would much matter.

Knitting Daily did an interesting piece on how to fit this vest. It’s worth checking out if you’re interested in the project.

Ivy League Vest

I’m not entirely thrilled with how my waist decreases look with the purled faux seam stitch on either side but I think it will be alright.

Ivy League Vest