Well, I failed miserably at the whole Ravelympics thing. I got my argyle sock done, but didn't even look at the yarn for my vest, nor did I finish the zipper installation for the Samus cardi.
I did get started on the vest last week, and let me tell you, I was a machine.
I started with Eunny's Deep-V Argyle Vest pattern and using my powers of knitting conversion I did a reverse twist on the trick most knitters want to master: I took a perfectly fine pattern meant to be worked in the round in order to avoid pesky seams and converted it to be worked flat so that I could seam it. I also eliminated the two-color stranded knitting pattern and replaced it with plain stockinette on the back and a lace and cable pattern on the front. Stranded knitting is beautiful, but not my cup of tea. I love texture. Since I'm not a vest wearer by nature and I wanted to make something I would wear, I chose a vest shape I loved and added a stitch pattern I would have fun knitting.
Level II focuses on finishing techniques, much of which involves things like seaming and picking up stitches. The judges will accept vests that are knit in the round and steeked for traditional stitch patterns, so I think if I had done the two color stranded pattern, I would have been okay. The thing is, I've never done steeks, and I really didn't want my first steeking effort to be sent in for judging. I've seamed a million sweaters and I love knitting flat, so I basically tossed out Eunny's directions (although I did read through them, and that is one great pattern), and used the chart for the silhouette so I knew which rows to decrease and increase.
I swatched and worked out how to deal with the neck decreases eating up pattern stitches.
I made a spreadsheet that reminded me where cables crossed and where decreases and increases occurred, and which calculated exactly how many stitches the vest had, so I could feel assured that I had enough yarn.
Then I sat down in front of my computer and watched a series of fairly awful "Instant Play" movies from NetFlix while I knit.
Yesterday morning, I did this:
I had some help:
Cotton loves the smell of wet wool.
I like the look of the lace and cable design.
Today...let the seams begin! (I even have enough leftover yarn to seam using the light gray color)