Friday, January 18, 2008

Baby Alpaca Grande Vest Adapted

Stopped by Charlotte Yarn and Sandy had just displayed her store sample of this vest. Tried it on and was hooked. So soft. So warm. In accordance with my Stashalong rules for 2008, I bought it, cast on and completed it. Here it is.I have worn it almost constantly since I bound off. It's like a constant hug.

The pattern is a one size fits someone other than me, so I tweaked it. Don't I always? First I added a cabled braid up the center back.This is Ensign's Braid from Barbara Walters Book 2. It is a 24 stitch, 24 row repeat. You could add any cable design you like; just center it on the back. I have charted the pattern for Ensign's braid and will share it if you like. Just leave me an email address and I'll send it to you.
I also added to the armscye. The original pattern just folds over the piece and seams the two sides. This forms a very tight, ill-fitting armscye. I had to insert a panel of ribbing as an afterthought, but I can tell you a better way to do this.

The pattern begins with a cast on for 2X2 ribbing which forms your bottom ruffle. Work this as normal (I added 12 stitches to the whole thing to help it fit me.) At the end of the ruffle, you just decrease to 1/2 the number of stitches. It's on the first row of these stitches that you add in any cable pattern you like.

I added 2-3 inches to the length of the back because I wanted an 18 inch armscye to form the 9" depth of armhole that I need.

Then the pattern has you increase to the original number of stitches and complete the top ruffle for the shawl collar. At this point, I would add stitches to form a more fitting armhole.

Remember the flat line where you bind off some armhole stitches before you start a gradual increase to get the the shoulder. (see below) We are going to create that space so the armhole will not bind.
Ater increasing for the final ruffle, cast on 2-8 sts (depending on size) at the end of the first two rows. Continue to knit all stitches in the 2X2 ribbing. Sew the side seam by joining only the 2X2 rib sections.

Even if the pattern fit me as it was, I would add 2 stitches to modify the underarm fit.

I did use the Plymouth pattern, N026, and used a bit more than 4 skeins of Plymouth Alpaca Grande.

If you have questions, leave me a note in the comment section or email me at


Marguerite said...

The cable up the back just makes the whole thing more attractive.

Looks perfect on you.

Marce aka BrownBerry said...

This is delicious!! Every modification you made shows up as a wonderful finished item.

yduj said...

what creativity. I love it. Please, I will email you for the full directions. thanks, so much. judyz

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to find you - I made this and it fits a bit odd - so I will take your suggestions

Has anyone made it out of any other yarn? specifically a cotton?

Andrea said...

Beautiful, I have the pattern but decided not to knit it because I decided it would be to small for me. Would it be possible for you to email me the pattern the way you knitted it ( Thank you so very much for your awesome creative adaptation.


Melissa said...

Love it! Just getting ready to cast-on, can you e-mail me the Ensign Braid chart?

~Melissa (

Andrea said...

Wish I had the the Ensign Braid Chart as well.

Andrea said...

If anyone has the adjusted pattern with the braid I'd really love to have have it.