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Grey
Chatty Knitter

160 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  2:28:02 PM  Show Profile Send Grey a Private Message
My husband has requested that I knit him a vest.

I'm sure most of you are now wondering what the problem is. I'm sure most knitters need a lot less than a stated request to hit the yarn store for materials and a pattern.

My husband is picky, very picky. You may think pre-teen girls are particular about what they wear, but that's just peanuts to my husband...

I have a pretty good idea of what he would want. Probably a V neck vest is a light weight gage knit up in st st. The color would have to be boring, i.e. plain black or maybe dark grey. At least he's also picky about fiber, so we're talking 100% wool or some sort of wool/cashmere blend. It would also have to fit him pretty exactly. Not too loose, not to tight, not to long, not too short. He would notice and comment on the least little imperfection.

He was pretty appreciative of the afghan I made him (to his specifications), though he does mention from time to time that if he'd thought about it more he would have asked for it to be wider.

I know that if I make a swatch and do the math I should be able to design my own pattern and come up with a vest that fits. That's the theory anyway. Most of the sweaters I've made have been arans, and most have been for me. I like my sweaters slightly oversized, so exact sizing hasn't been an issue. I'm happy with my work, but I've noticed that the more complicated the pattern is, the closer the end product is to the specified size. I don't like to think what sort of size mishaps are going to creep in with plain stockinette stick in a sport weight or lighter. Never mind the (probably related) boredom factor.

So, what do people think... should I knit it or not? On the one hand he did like the afghan and its nice that he wants me to make him something else. On the other hand, this is a much more exacting project than the afghan (which among other things was a crochet project-- I'm better at crochet), and he's never going to wear it if its not up to his exacting standards.

Understanding is a three-edged sword

klfrazier
Permanent Resident

1745 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  2:35:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit klfrazier's Homepage Send klfrazier a Private Message
I definitly think you should knit it. I think it's a huge compliment that he asked you to do so given his picky personality. I would definitly get him involved in every step, though, from picking yarn and pattern to maybe trying it on periodically during the knitting process. I'm guessing he would be pleased to offer input, and he will love the result!

Kristin
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amber
Seriously Hooked

USA
758 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  3:01:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit amber's Homepage Send amber a Private Message
I would NOT knit it. I would just go to macys or nordstrom and buy him one. The possibility of him not being happy with the results are too high (in my opinion) to spend that kind of time on the project. just my two cents

-Amber

A friend will help you move..
A really good friend will help you move a body.
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susnp25
Chatty Knitter

Australia
346 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  3:55:34 PM  Show Profile Send susnp25 a Private Message
New message below
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susnp25
Chatty Knitter

Australia
346 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  3:58:25 PM  Show Profile Send susnp25 a Private Message
Grey, I think I might try to find exactly what he wants in a store also. I think unless you go into it thinking that it will be OK and he will love it there could be a heap of hurt feelings. Particularly if you are not happy with the plain look of it as you are knitting and then if he finds fault with it. If he is still mentioning the afghan and thats only a rug imagine what a vest may be like!
My parents had a business that sold yarn and Dad was not particularly fond of hand knitted things but did ask my Mum to knit a very complicated vest for him with a lot of very muted colours in it. I was shocked when she said she was going to pay one of the really good knitters to do it that bought from our shop as Mum was a great knitter. I see now looking back that it was a very wise thing to do she told Dad she wanted it to be perfect for him and had decided to go that way, he was flattered and loved that vest so much. It is one thing I have still kept and my Dad has been gone 22 1/2 years. He couldn't complain about it even if he had wanted to as Mum didn't make it but she did organise the making of it, I think now she was very wise! Susan
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  4:14:12 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
<My husband has requested that I knit him a vest.>

I think that answers the question completely. He knows he can buy one. He wants one made by the woman he loves. Let him pick out the yarn, the pattern, etc, etc, etc. Then buy a vest that he likes, that fits and use it for your pattern.

fran

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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  4:22:47 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
I agree with Fran. If he really, realy wnats a knit vest, take him to the LYS or online, show him the patterns, and the yarn that goes with it. YEars ago my husband asked for a sweater, spent months finding the yarn he wanted, I made it, and he ended up not wearing it because he tubbed up. Another great source for patterns is the library - check what they have.

Monika

"There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness." Gandhi
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of troy
Permanent Resident

USA
2474 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  4:34:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit of troy's Homepage Send of troy a Private Message
being [i]picky is sometimes seen as a negitive... let's 'reframe the statement'--you husband has very clearly defined Šthetic standards.--he know what he likes, and he is able to articulate his preferences... that is a gift! (instead of vague... well, i don't know,.. yeah sort of.. or vague 'something nice' instructions.)

this can be an advantage. because he can clearly state what he wants (color, yarn, style, exicutions) you can evaluate what needs to be done. Most definately he must be measured, (if he wants a nice fitting garment, you must be able to chart what his measurement are, all the swatching in the world won't work if you don't know the finished size!)--and yes, do get him involved in the choice of yarns/colors.

you might start a collection of vest patterns (there is a nice one in the current issue of knitting.. ribbed, as i recall) and ask him what he like or dislikes about each..
and use the one he likes most as a 'framework' for your pattern (basicly customize the pattern)

and don't expect perfection, as you note, you made an afghan to his specification, and he was wrong[/b](about what he wanted)... you might want to start with a simple wool, and when completed, make a second in a cashmere blend -- rather than having you both be disappointed.
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BergenKnitter
Chatty Knitter

249 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  5:32:22 PM  Show Profile Send BergenKnitter a Private Message
I agree with "Troy". I would also take him to a department store and have him try on vests. I would buy his favorite, take it home measure it, photograh it, write down all the details, then return it. Then take him to the LYS to pick out the yarn. I think keeping him involved in the creative process is probably the best way to keep him and you from being disappointed.

I am in the process of knitting my husband his first project a scarf he requested, he OK'd the yarn, the pattern, and gave me a size based on an existing scarf.

Kathleen
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ChristinaP
Permanent Resident

USA
1089 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2003 :  11:02:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit ChristinaP's Homepage Send ChristinaP a Private Message
I basically agree with everything above but would emphasize having him try it on repeatedly as you're knitting it. If you could possibly make it from the top down in the round on circs then he could see it exactly as it's coming along and try it on. This way there won't be any surprises or heartaches. (fingers crossed)
Christina P.
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BergenKnitter
Chatty Knitter

249 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2003 :  11:18:09 AM  Show Profile Send BergenKnitter a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by BergenKnitter

I agree with "Troy". I would also take him to a department store and have him try on vests. I would buy his favorite, take it home measure it, photograph it, write down all the details, then return it. Then take him to the LYS to pick out the yarn. I think keeping him involved in the creative process is probably the best way to keep him and you from being disappointed.

I am in the process of knitting my husband his first project a scarf he requested, he OK'd the yarn, the pattern, and gave me a size based on an existing scarf.

Kathleen

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ClaireG
Seriously Hooked

602 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2003 :  11:22:18 AM  Show Profile Send ClaireG a Private Message
I also agree with everyone else. Keep him involved in every phase and both of you will enjoy the finish project.
claire
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hobbitknitter
Permanent Resident

USA
2285 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2003 :  11:44:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit hobbitknitter's Homepage Send hobbitknitter a Private Message
Trying to be helpful- there is a grey V-neck pullover vest (with I think 3 cables on the front, ribbed edging, the rest is st. stitch) pattern in "Folk Vests" made with Rowan wool/cotton.



S. Eliz.

Keep on knitting on!
http://knitonespintoo.blog-city.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/folkvestknitting/
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Grey
Chatty Knitter

160 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2004 :  08:53:05 AM  Show Profile Send Grey a Private Message
Thanks to everyone for their thoughts. Having talked it over during our New Year's break, the vest project is on hold for now. If it does get revived I'll be sure to get him to sign off on every step of it and try things on frequently.

Hobbitknitter, thanks for the pattern pointer.

Understanding is a three-edged sword
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thevalkyry
Sustaining Member

USA
736 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2004 :  2:50:46 PM  Show Profile Send thevalkyry a Private Message
I would get Men In Knits .. it is a great book for knitting clothing for picky men :)

Food, Gas, Rent.. and Yarn
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