KnittySpotting: My (Creating Lots of) Leftovers Vest


I’m a vest girl, and when the Winter 2004 issue was published – long before I was an official member of the Knitty team -  I knew I would need to make the Leftovers vest.

Now, something you may not know about me is that I have a remarkable streak of discipline in one area of stashing: I tend not to buy sweater quantities of yarn if I don’t have a specific project in mind, and I tend to either repurpose or give away my leftovers, so I don’t have lots of bits and pieces lying around.  (Don’t worry, though, I make up for this in sock yarn.  I have nearly 50 pairs’ worth of socks-to-be in my stash, and another 10 or 20 pairs’ worth in partial balls.)

This vest is indeed, as the designer says, a great way to use up leftovers.

But I didn’t have sufficient quantity of any leftovers to use.  So I decided to make some.

I’m a Noro lover, that’s well known.  I chose five different colourways of Silk Garden, all in the green family, and went wild.

I alternated the five balls, working one- or two- or at  most three-round stripes, as color dictated.  The objective was to capitalize on Noro’s long lengths of color, and have each stripe be a single, distinct color. This meant that I skipped sections of each ball, where the colors were blended.

It was actually a real great exercise in working with Noro: there are always surprises in every colorway. Given that I worked pretty hard to find balls that were all in the green family, you can see there are surprising pops of red and pink. At first, it was stressing me out a bit – I wanted a green vest, after all – but now I love it. The pops make it, I think.

Of course, working two- or three-round stripes of five different balls meant that there were some pretty big gaps between uses of a particular ball, and because I was skipping some sections of each ball, it meant that I was breaking the yarn pretty much every time I started a new stripe.


Which, as you can imagine, led to rather a lot of ends. I gamely wove them all in around the armholes and neck so that they didn’t pop out, but I must confess I gave up when I came to the body of the vest. I did make sure they were all secure – I tied overhand knots and basically just turned them into tassels. I figure it just makes it a bit warmer…

Less tidy!

And of course, all of this breaking of yarn and skipping of lengths also meant that I ended up with a ton of leftovers, much of it in short lengths. Perhaps I should make a Leftovers vest from my Leftovers vest leftovers?

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4 thoughts on “KnittySpotting: My (Creating Lots of) Leftovers Vest

  1. Michelle Harrison

    How about a left-overs clutch or bag? Leave the ends like fringe? Knit a rectangle and change yarns only on one side. Fold it in to the shape you like, turn the fringed edge downward, attach strap, post on blog. Good luck!

  2. Lori

    I’m a vest girl too and this is a fantastic one. It is amazing what you did with leftover yarn. What an inspiration!

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