Ah, a vest…

I have been so enjoying the one vest I own.  It wasn’t even meant to be a vest. The Aleita Shell from Interweave Spring 2008 was supposed to be a summer piece in my wardrobe, but a mistake in how long the top section turned out and my lack of bosom to fill it out meant that it would have been a very daring summer top indeed. I knit it this summer while I was in Germany and had already planned how it would combine with the skirts and pants I’d packed. Ah, well, it’s found a new purpose in life.

For the past 5 years or so, I’ve taken full advantage of the layering trend, often wearing a tanktop as an undershirt with a longsleeve shirt and a T shirt over that.  In the initial burst of joy in rediscovering my body and my energy when I lost the  50 pounds, I was extra happy that it made me look young, since I felt so incredibly youthful compared to the trudging, heavy, lost woman I had been.  But it is a very informal look, and nowhere near as warm as I usually need it be.  I am cold-blooded, my family claims.  (But then again, they also call me Queen of the Stinky Farts, so what do they know?)

Aleita Shell

The Aleita Shell is turning out to be a perfect vest. I treasure the drape provided by the silk and the fresh infusion of green into my winter days. I also lovelovelove the fact that I can be warm without wearing a sweater every single day for 8 months.  I am really cold.  I always have been.  The kids can be in T shirts and I’ll be wearing wool socks, slippers, a sweater, a hat, and fingerless mitts…and still my nose is a bit chilly on the tip.  But with the vest on I can – at least sometimes – be warm and still wear some of my shirts.  I can still see my arms.  I love the sweaters I have, but they do see a pretty high rotation, and it just gets old always walking around bundled up.  I love the snappy feel of a cotton shirt with a collar.

Aleita Shell

Naturally, I’m planning to knit more vests.  In fact, noticing other people’s vests in public and combing the internet for vest patterns is a pleasing hobby I’m developing.  You might even call it an obsession.  There are startlingly few nice vest patterns out there, though.  Hint, hint, designers.

Aleita Shell

This beaded necklace is making me so happy.  I can’t remember the last time I bought jewelery with gold tones.  It the kind of combination of simple and pretty that softens an all-black outfit.  It’s just a long strand with two larger ends, no clasps at all.  I just tie it as the shop-keeper instructed.


I found it in a tiny tourist trap just off the Elizabeth Bridge in Budapest, the same one where the kids talked me into buying them Rubik’s cubes. (They were invented by a Hungarian – who knew?)  It is handmade and yet I believe it cost me about $2. I wish I’d given into my impulse and bought scads of them. The tiny glittering cores around which the beads are wrapped at the ends are made up of bundled tinfoil. How awesome is that?

Back to vests. Expect a lot about vests once I stop knitting for others’ gifts.  I’ve got my eye on Ticuna and Devon, in particular, although the jaunty v-neck of Leftovers is also calling to me.  If you have your eye on any free vest patterns or anything that can be purchased online, please let me know.  I’m planning to settle into a late winter/early spring bout of vest knitting in an attempt to scratch this itch.


10 thoughts on “Ah, a vest…

  1. Schwester K says:

    I noticed that necklace in yesterday’s post, thanks for the close up!!

    You should bring it into the city sometime, and we can head to the bead store. I’ll bet the ppl there could help you figure out how to make it yourself!

  2. Charity says:

    Oh, I forgot to say… I’ve also discovered the joy of wearing “house scarves”. I joined in a couple of scarf swaps and was gifted with some lovely, but too light for our northern clime, pieces. I started wearing them around the house, and was quite surprised at how much warmer they help me stay.

  3. Christine says:

    This is not to undermine your vest enjoyment or quest . . . just to add to options for warmth. When I lived up north I wore a super, super thin, thin, thin silk long underwear shirt as my first over-bra layer. And I felt so relaxed those days when I wore it. I was amazed how tense being cold made me. My muscles were always on semi-shiver mode. I still wear it on our coldest days here in the south. Even my nose is less red – oddly – when I wear that layer. The one I have is from LL Bean, but I’m sure you could get them many places. I love the silky feel, too. And I, too, love layers but don’t like bulk.

  4. JoVE says:

    Funny, I’ve been thinking about vests recently, too. In fact I even bought some Manos de Uraguay yarn at Rhinebeck in an amount suitable for a vest. Must get on that. I’m mostly cold because I am being cheap about the heating but still, a vest might be a good thing.

    Also, I think I have always known that the Rubik’s cube was invented by a Hungarian but in that sort of irrelevant trivia sort of way.

  5. ChristineMM says:

    You look great in that vest and the vest itself is lovely!

    Congrats on the 50 lb weight loss, that is amazing. I didn’t know of that fantastic accomplishment of yours!!

    You look fantastic in your photos.

    I’ve been working at losing weight and am at 13 lbs down so far. Before when wearing some sweaters I looked heavier than I was. Now I look good in those same ones. I have to go down a bit more though to look good in some of the sweaters I’ve seen patterns for. I am realizing that some need slender bodies and non-round bellies to look flattering to the person and the sweater both.

    I predict the over-use of silver jewelry will swing the pendulum back to all gold soon. That is how fashion works. Just when people have spent a lot on silver they switch it up to gold and silver combo then all gold. Just watch. 🙂

    Oh, and I’m wearing a lot of wool sweaters so far this year and they are keeping me toasty warm so far. I would like some fingerless gloves as my hands often freeze while using the computer in the winter.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Emily says:

    The Leftovers pattern is a good one – I made it for my partner, Clare, and she wears it all the time (albeit as an only warm layer, because we’re in Sydney right now – but it still does a good job of replacing a jumper!)

  7. Lisa says:

    I love your vest and the necklace. Wish I was that daring sometimes. I am that “trudging, heavy, lost woman” stuggling to regain my body now that the fog has lifted from my brain again. I love your yarn club too. If you’re like me you’ll probably open June’s bag and say “Wow! I love this…” completely forgetting you bought the yarn yourself!!

    Your blog definitely deserves several awards–for prose, photography, creativity, “living the authentic life.” Not to mention mothering-, homeschool- and general-all purpose- inspiration!!

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