Wednesday, August 4, 2010

1860's Knitted Baby Vest

I have been working, for about a month now, on a knitted baby vest. I know that knitted vests were common in the Civil War era and it seemed like a wonderfully warm addition to Asa's winter wardrobe. Previous to beginning this project I could: cast on, knit and purl so I had many new skills to learn if I wanted to knit this vest. I learned how to increase and decrease, make buttonholes, crochet an edging and attach two knitted pieces together. And finally, today, the vest in finished!!!
And, wonder of wonders, it doesn't fit. Wow, oh good. I was hoping to have spent all that time for nothing. :-) Actually, it isn't quite that disastrous. You see, for the belt I tried knitting on circular knitting needles (something I had never done before) and the stitches looked wonky. I don't know, maybe there's a trick to making your knitting look neat on them? Anyway, I chucked the circulars and did the belt on regular needles, doing rows of 12 stitches. However, that made the buttonhole sit vertically instead of horizontally like the others. The belt is a bit snug (I didn't block the belt, by the way) and it makes the button pop out of the hole. I suppose the next step is to remove the belt and knit a new, larger one and then crochet new edging for it and re-attach, but I'm not really up for that right now so I guess I'll put it away and sew for a while. :-/


  1. lovely job ! quite an amazing amount of progress for the new knitter - I began a sontag last august and it still isn't even halfway done, so you're way ahead of me !

    Hannah H. (from the sewing academy)

  2. Beautiful! I'm sorry the belt is a bit snug, but I'm sure you can fix it. . .your knitting is beautiful!! Did you use a pattern for this? I think Malachi needs one of these too. :D I have some teal wool yarn and brown wool yarn that I've had for almost a year and this would be a fun little project to work on!

  3. Really cute for a beginning project. If it was me, and if it was only a little tight, I would seriously be tempted to remove the button and add a little bit of knitting or crochet to that end of the belt , then sew the button back on. It is hard to tell from the picture exactly how much space you have from the buttonhole to the edging, but as long as the "extension" is covered by that bit I don't think anyone would notice.

  4. Sarah, no I didn't have a pattern, I made up my own. It went pretty quickly, I want to knit one for Elisabethe and Abigail next. I thought about posting my pattern, maybe I should....

  5. That is so cute!!!! I'm proud of you for learning to knit. I don't have the patience for it. Maybe I should take it up, though -- learning to have patience might be a good thing. Too bad it's a bit snug -- but I think you might be able to come up with a fairly easy way to fix it. Great job!!!


  6. I would love a pattern! If you have the time, I think many would find it to be a blessing!

    I also second what Anonymous said! Just crochet a bit of cord and attach it to the one side of the belt and then have the cord wrap around the button. You can make it as long or short as you want so it will fit Asa. I hope this helps :)



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