I first saw the Mendocino Vest pattern back almost two years ago, when Shear Spirit was published, featuring the photos of fellow blogger Gale (She Shoots Sheep Shots). I was so excited by the way the book presents independent fiber farms around the country, almost as if I drove up unexpectedly, but they rolled out the welcome mat and gave me the deluxe tour anyway. This was the pattern I wanted to make first, and I had even overdyed some lovely Cormo yarn from a visit to the Estes Park Wool Mart visit a few years back that I had in my stash with henna in anticipation of using it for the project, when Ruinwin sent me a gift of some Ella Rae Palermo yarn that cried out to be used for Mendocino instead... the other yarn has a new vest with it's name on it, but may have to wait until next winter. Oh the comfort of having projects lined up in the stash:)
Though I made it most of the way through the back last spring, once the hot weather hit, Mendocino languished, becoming the perfect candidate for my own personal Finishing Event. I managed to fly through both of the fronts in the past week, and last night got the neck edging completed... the sides are pinned together with locking stitch markers (a good reason to have plenty of these around!), and I will seam them tonight, move on to the armhole edgings.
I really like the pretty little touches on this pattern... besides being a 'mock cable' (meaning that you don't actually manipulate the cable effect, it is done by purling three together, with M1 increases on either side of the 'cable' panel), there is a ripply edging formed by an eyelet row at the bottom that starts off the patterning, and then the eyelet row is repeated for the trims around neck and armholes.
Here's a closer-up to show how the neck edging turned out... this yarn is a long-striping one, but very tonal and subtle... a pleasing feast for the knitter, yet still wearable for someone like me who doesn't want to stand out like a neon sign by wearing dramatically striping colors.
I managed to get some decluttering time in yesterday morning, eliminating some extra furniture and adding to the order I have been gradually achieving, but my real reason was to unearth these buttons... I knew I had purchased them a few years back up in Arcata, and they weren't with all the recently-organized materials in my studio, even though many, many other buttons were....I could recall having displayed them pinned to the wall next to my computer desk for quite a long time, and was hoping they hadn't fallen behind the filing cabinet. Luckily, my decluttering got rid of a box on unneeded books, and a stack of paper trash, before I 'found' the missing buttons on one of my office shelves.
Won't they be just a perfect match? I like the garter stitch button bands a lot too.... did I say that I really, really like this vest? I think I might even like myself in it. I have been making sure to get 30 minutes (at least) of exercise a day, including weights twice a week and intervals once or twice a week (those who find me on FB know how I feel about intervals; I won't subject the rest of you), and have even lost a few pounds, but still have a ways to go before feeling svelte. I was pleased when I tried the pinned-together version and realized I would be happy with the fit. Now... on to the finish line!
Don't forget to enter my contest before midnight PST on Tuesday... here's a photo of the Aracuania yarn, one of two prizes I will be awarding... scroll down to get the directions.