Practical Pebble

Published on Tuesday October 12th, 2010

Raise your hand if you need to knit a quick baby gift. (Yeah, me too.) May I suggest a Pebble vest? This is the quickest and easiest of projects, and it is So Darn Useful. Just right for a little extra coziness before you bundle the baby into a front pack for a nice long walk when autumn is coming on. If the baby lives in a hundred-year-old house like ours, it’s also perfect for fending off the morning chill indoors. And the evening chill. And the high noon chill, here in soggy Portland. (Not today — today’s lovely. But last weekend? Yes, that was Pebble weather.) Ada’s been wearing hers very regularly indeed.

PebbleVest (4 of 4)

If you’ve already made a vest like this or if you’re a seasoned baby-dresser, you’ll probably spot the most major thing wrong here immediately. Let it be said that I knit this vest when Ada was four weeks old. It was probably the peak of sleep-deprived loopiness, looking back. I thought I was feeling pretty sharp, all things considered, but it took me three tries to graft the twenty shoulder stitches together. I pride myself on my thorough understanding of grafting and I got it wrong three times. That’s more times than I botched my very first attempt ever. The third time I just laughed at myself and let it be wonky. I wasn’t going to win this one. It wasn’t until I went to put the vest on the baby that I realized I’d grafted the wrong shoulder to boot. Um, yes. The point of having buttons on the shoulder is so you can open up the whole garment flat, place the baby on top, feeding one arm through the armhole as you do so, then button it all closed. It still works just fine the way I did it, but I have to feed the head as well as the arm through the hole. Aren’t these mismatched buttons fun, though?

PebbleVest (1 of 4)

Close examination here will reveal that I couldn’t even manage to be consistent in the way I sewed the buttons on. Oh well! The baby’s cute anyway!

PebbleVest (3 of 4)

The yarn’s nice, too. It’s Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds, the Bluefaced Leicester DK. I used slightly more than one skein for this vest, so I’ll have to combine the leftovers with something from the stash when I make the next size up. I didn’t actually use the Pebble pattern because I was knitting at a smaller gauge — I cast on 98 stitches and allotted 40 to the front and back stockinet panels and six to each button band and the opposite side garter column, if you’re wanting to do something similar. It came out just right for a three-month size, which was my aim.

PebbleVest (2 of 4)

Hey! I can smile on purpose now!