I’ve been gone a long time – I wanted to try knitting with skinny yarn, and oooo did it make the project drag out!
This is knitting art imitating life, but it was not my idea. I was inspired by these mittens – “Crochet Ever After”:
(I didn’t even realize I found the exact same yarn for the sky until I looked at the Ravelry page just now, I had only looked at the photo of the mittens before. I guess this yarn is really just the perfect stuff for making twilight skies.)
The cool thing about this vest is that it’s a silhouetted treeline sky, and that part wasn’t even my idea. So what I will say here is what happened along the way in making up a vest.
About Mini Mochi, gauge, hooks and needles: I’d recommend making a ball of it before you start, this is some stuff that loves to unball and tangle. This was Mini Mochi yarn by Crystal Palace, color 331, and size 4 needles. For the black yarn, I had trouble finding one that matched the Mini Mochi in size that was also wool (so things would shrink at the same rate when washed), so I wound up using what I had leftover at home- Caron Simply Soft in solid black, (which is much thicker and acrylic anyway). I stuck with the size 4 needles through the thicker yarn too. My gauge with the Caron, 5st =1″, with the Mini Mochi, 7st.=1″. Size B hook used for the crochet around the neck and arms. Size G hook for the crochet around the waist and hips.
I started at the shoulder and did the front, working downwards. I did 3 stitches worth of seed stitch at the edges to help with rolling (more might have been better – I later added double crochet around the edges because it was still rolling). Then I worked the back piece the same way, starting at the shoulders, and seamed the pieces together at the end. I tried with the front to get the same color on each shoulder so the two sides would match, but as you can see, that didn’t work out perfectly, my colors don’t match. I worked both my shoulders at the same time (on the same long needle) with two balls of Mini Mochi to guarantee that I had the same number of rows on each shoulder, (I had no intention of counting skinny yarn rows). You may notice a lumpy area right in the middle on the front, below the neck hole. This is where I tried to do something fancy to help my mismatch that didn’t work out. After my shoulder pieces met, I was going to gradually blend the two balls of color by stopping rows in a gradual pattern that might mimic clouds (instead of having the two balls meet in a line in the middle, or cutting one ball off and just working with one). It didn’t work, I have a jagged line that is also lumpy. Later I may make a black lace butterfly and slap it over the middle there to look like a big silhouette moth over the scene if it really bothers me.
I found doing it from the top down kind of awkward, so in the future, I will probably make my vests from the bottom up. You have to swatch and do some math to figure out how many stitches to add at what rate to get your angles right and the right number of stitches for each part of you. That’s true for both directions. It worked out, but I just like decreasing to do the neck and armholes instead of increasing to do the body (probably just a personal choice). I found it wound up too low cut, so I added some crochet across the neck front. Link to my page of stitch and gauge math
My trees were done completely randomly, just using black and color where I felt it should go to make a tree shape. I was aiming for rounded trees because I wanted it to look like twilight in my woodsy backyard. The same randomness was used on the back where I did a mountain scene.
Since my black yarn was way thicker than the mini mochi, I had to do some more math to grossly reduce the number of stitches once I started the silhouette. You can see that the black part bunches a little on the mountains – that’s because I wasn’t too obsessive about it and just did stitch decreases randomly the same way I did the trees. My math showed me my goal number of stitches, or what number I wanted to end up with when I got to all black, but while I was using both colors at the same time, I didn’t worry about calculating on the way there my percentage of color vs. my percentage of black and how many stitches that would give me (too complicated!). I kind of like the effect of the mountains being a little more bunchy, it makes them look more textured and 3D. Random crochet added, the same on both sides, at the bottom for decoration (and to make this get done faster, woo!)
The sun is so bright, its hard to see what makes this vest nice, the dull browns and silver blues of deep twilight colored Mini Mochi sky. Okay, its 94 degrees, I’m gettin’ outta this sweater.