I got the book Knitting From The Top by Barbara G. Walker last summer and worked up enough nerve to try something from it just last month.
Here is a month of knitting for y'all. These are all made with Simply Soft, due to the experimental nature of them and also me going through a moment of poordom.
This book is brilliant, but I have to admit I thought Barbara Walker was batshit crazy when I first read her instructions. Then, when I just did what she said it all worked out! I'm in love with this method of knitting. The magic of these vests is that they are made from the top down with no seaming.
This one is really simple, made with exactly one skein.
I wasn't sure while I was knitting if I wanted a round neck or a V neck, so I didn't really commit to either and ended up with a U neck of sorts. The only finishing I did was two rounds of single crochet around the neck and armholes.
I actually love this mini vest and have worn it a few times despite the Texas heat.
Next I got a little braver and tried a keyhole neckline.
It took just a little bit more than one skein. I'm not in love with this one, mainly because it's not a color I usually wear, and the keyhole is a little racy for me, but it fits really
well. I tried it on several times while knitting it. I wore it to work and a fellow crafter mentioned how well it fit and since I'm paranoid I thought she might have been secretly calling me a ho. It fits, yo.
The only finishing I had to do on this one was one round of single crochet around the neck opening. I love the seed stitch but it was something like 8 rows to the inch so I had to switch to k1p1 to avoid boredom insanity and just get the thing done.
Finally, and I do thank you for reading all this because I'm so proud of all this knitting after a very depressed and uncreative year so far,
I present my mini sweater, which was inspired by a pattern I saw in a Blue Sky Alpaca yarn ad. This is made using the same guidelines as the vests, you just extend the cast on row and do more short rows.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased, as these were really just meant to be experiments but I ended up with 3 wearable garments that cost about $15. I'm definitely not done exploring the possibilities of the top-down vest. I feel brave enough now to use some nicer yarn I have in my stash and try set-in sleeves. In the book there are two methods, one where you make the vest then pick up stitches and use short row shaping, the other where you make the sleeves as you go, sort of like the yoke of a raglan. I'd love some company if anyone else feels like knitting along!I started a thread for a knit-a-long, so please join!http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=193057.0