Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hoodie Vest, all done

I finally finished it! This hooded vest project has been really fun to knit up, but I was pretty happy to be done with it by the end. The pattern, Paprika by Elena Nodel, is available on Ravelry and totally worth the money I'd say. It has directions for 6 months up to size 14! How is that for a long lived pattern? She also includes links to great tutorials for some of the more complicated parts. This post has lots of pictures, so get ready.

Today, the steamer was my friend. I'm pretty lazy about blocking. This fact of life has been a big reason why I haven't ventured into making knitted garments - I stuck with hats, gloves, scarves, and blankets. This pattern changed my mind though. It's so darn cute! Because I was convinced it would look better, I decided to give it what it deserved and figure out how to block for real. Since I used acrylic yarn, steam blocking (or no blocking as many have said) seemed to be my only option according to Dr. Google, and I happen to have this great hand held steamer my mom sent me a while back. Perfect!

I don't have a blocking board, I just used my ironing board which has a super thick padded cover on it. I steamed enough to see the yarn change shape (acrylic morphing is pretty cool to watch!) but not so much that I soaked the piece through. This meant it was dry within about 10 or 15 minutes and I could move on to the next section (I did it in three: bottom, middle, hood).

What a difference blocking made! The ribbing in the front isn't curling up at the corners anymore, the sleeve caps are well behaved, and generally the whole thing is pleasantly drape-y. I think I'm a convert. No more laziness, the extra step is definitely worth it. Plus, it was so much easier with the steamer than with my iron!

I found a nice shanked gold button to put on it and crocheted a fastening loop for it. This little button and his companion (a clear button I put on the back to prevent the fabric from stretching too much) came out of an assortment of buttons I bought at Britex Fabric - four stories of fabric and notions! - in San Francisco. It kind of reminds me of a little hot air balloon.

Here's the finished product, front and back. I ended up using just under 2 skeins of Caron Simply Soft (persimmon... fantastic color!) for a size 6 vest. Hope Samara likes it!



  1. I love your vest, and think I'll Pin it for future reference! I'm lazy about blocking too, so I'm glad to hear of your experience.

  2. What a cute vest! I love the color.
    Amy :)


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