This was my first Boxy Vneck by Katya Gorbacheva. It is a perfect example of how a project can morph and twist, via Ravelry and available stash, to become something very different, but also very satisfying.
When Andrea Mowry’s Morning Rituals came out I knew I wanted to use a boucle yarn to make it but didn’t think it was within my budget. I have a skein of Julie Asselin boucle (my favorite boucle yarn to have handled- that I needed to stop cherishing and just knit already!) and it is gorgeous but I didn’t think I could afford a whole sweater at that time. So the search began on Etsy where I found a boucle blend that I would say is sport or dk weight by Textures Yarn and very affordable. I bought it and received 2 cones in a natural/ tan color and was all ready to start knitting.
My Morning Rituals swatch revealed it was too fuzzy for the cables to be apparent. I get that there is a certain amount of stitch pattern distortion going on in Andrea’s pattern, but mine had too much for my tastes. I’m not sure if that is the case with other boucle versions of the sweater. I am sure there are a bajillion versions at this point that you could inspect on Ravelry. But for me, this was too fuzzy a yarn for Andrea’s design but it needed to be a sweater … on me … ASAP. I was destined to become a living teddy bear in this yarn.
I began searching through my Pinterest inspiration boards for sweater ideas that would let the soft curls of boucle shine. What was my dream boucle sweater? What shape had I been craving for a busier type of yarn?
Below are some of the 90s-inspired knits I’d been thinking of: sort of boxy, with a sporty tennis-type v-neck, and simple shape (other than Felicity’s.)
And so, my 90s-inspired boucle sweater was born. I knew I could just start knitting and eventually approximate a v-neck sweater I liked. Still, I wanted to get started and wear it soon, so I went back to Ravelry where I began looking through favorites for a simple drop shoulder sweater with generous ease and a v-neck. I chose Katya’s Boxy Vneck Vest with the intention of getting to the armholes and possibly knitting it as a full-sleeved sweater if I liked the way the yarn looked. Spoiler: I liked it.
Katya planned this vest with built-in ease. I loved the amount I saw on her model, possibly her daughter. This was the look I was going for so I chose the 3rd size. My next decision to make was whether or not I wanted to carry the boucle into the cuffs, neckline, and hem ribbing or use another yarn. I could make this hem yarn the same color as the boucle, since it is a common natural tan color, or go for a contrast. In the end, I chose Knit Picks Wool of the Andes sport in Midnight Heather for a very stark contrast because I had leftovers from my Hope Sweater.
When looking at a sporty contrast ribbing, I thought of my Ravello and how the sporty stripe in it was necessitated by running short on yarn. I like the retro stripe in a ribbed v-neck, so I looked through my favorites, and other projects and compared things on my Pinterest, but I finally decided against it with this sweater. It had enough going on with all the little boucle nubs. Note: dogs love boucle nubs.
Details and Modifications: I used size US 1 needles and the Wool of the Andes sport in Midnight Heather for the hem ribbing, then switched to US 2.5s and the Textures Yarn for the body. I followed the pattern exactly until it came time to make decreases at the armhole edge for the vest shaping. I omitted these because I was making a sleeved sweater, but I did make all of the neck edge decreases when directed. After finishing the shaping I knit on a bit to ensure I had plenty of armhole depth and a slightly deeper v-neck.
The fact that I had not made the armhole decreases changed my shoulder shaping a little. I just kept those extra stitches in mind as I followed the shaping instructions. In other words, All of my shaping, on both sides, took place 7 stitches further from the edge of the armhole than if it were a vest.
For my sleeves, I picked up 20 stitches less than the pattern directed for cuff stitches in the third size. That is a big difference, I realize. I know the nature of a straight edge vs the tapered edge of a vest would require fewer stitches, but I also just tend to have bunched up stitches with my sleeve pick-ups. I did try to pick up more and it looked weird, so I picked up what seemed to look best and 80 was the magic number.
I knit the sleeves for an inch, then decreased 2 stitches. I repeated this decrease round every 2 inches from there on for a total of nine decrease rounds, or 18 stitches decreased. At this point, it was about time to knit the cuff, so I changed to smaller needles and my WotA sport yarn and knit as many rounds as I did for the hem.
Now for the neckline, I did pick up almost as many stitches as recommended in the pattern. I think I was only short maybe 4 stitches. I did, however, have a slightly deeper “v” than directed.
And there you have it: my Morning Rituals turned Boxy V-neck Vest, turned 90s nostalgia sweater!
More on my first Boxy Vneck Vest, that isn’t a vest on my youtube channel:
And on Ravelry.