Years back I knitted a vest that quickly became one of my favorites. It was a Classic Elite pattern, #632, “The Ruins of Dunstaburgh Castle”, designed by Susan Mills. I distinctly remember seeing a knitted version of this vest in a yarn shop and being smitten. I asked to see the pattern. The photo of the vest does not do it justice. But the actual vest was quite lovely. I bought the pattern. And I knitted the vest within a couple months. That was in 1996.
Here’s a picture of the pattern. (I think the plaid pants are as charming as the sweaters.)
My vest went through thick and thin. So useful, so versatile, so … me!
But nothing lasts forever. Last year, the edge of the buttonhole band started to fray. I couldn’t find any of the original yarn in my stash for repair, so I tied knots. The fraying continued. I finally had to accept that it was time to retire the vest.
I still love the pattern, so I decided to knit it again. (It is most unusual for me to knit any design more than once ... except for socks.) After rummaging through my stash, I chose a tweedy grey Annabel Fox yarn, “DK Donegal”. This yarn has been in my stash for longer than the vest pattern. In fact, long ago I’d knitted the yarn up for a cardigan but I’d never gotten around to sewing the pieces together. I finally accepted that I really didn’t like the pattern that I’d chosen, so I ripped out the whole sweater and stuck the yarn back into the dark corners of my yarn drawers.
Now the old yarn and the old pattern came together. I dutifully swatched for gauge. Good thing I did, because this yarn knitted up at a different gauge than the pattern called for. I was obliged to make adjustments. No problem; my math is good.
I finished the vest yesterday, sewed the buttons on (quaint pewter buttons designed after the old buffalo nickels), and washed and blocked. It’s drying now. Here’s a picture of the vest in the construction phase. My crappy camera and the grey weather conspired to make the vest difficult to photograph.
I plan to wear my new old vest for Thanksgiving. And I plan to save some of the yarn for repairs – 18 years from now. And I plan to felt the first version vest for some as yet decided upon future project.
Everything old is new again.