Bleacher Butt Knitting and Beyond

I learned to knit when I was a kid, but knitting patterns are not made in my size.  I would follow the directions and spend exorbitant amounts of time knitting and blocking and end up with a too short, too wide mess!  I didn't know how to alter a knitting pattern so I lost interest in the whole thing and spent my creative time sewing.  

It wasn't until I wanted something to keep me entertained while I was attending my sons' sporting events that I picked up knitting again.  I was spending 3 to 4 hours several times a week sitting in the bleachers, mostly waiting for the next event, and figured I could probably knit sweaters for the whole team in that amount of time!!  

I realized that I needed to knit things that did not require counting and that I could pick up and put down easily so I could jump up and cheer as needed.  Basically I knitted squares.  I got quite proficient at turning squares into garments.   One square for the front, one for the back and a couple of rectangles for sleeves...voila...sweater!

I have gradually moved from 'bleacher butt' knitting to more nuanced knitting and have figured out how to use a gauge swatch and my flat sewing patterns to make shaped pieces that actually fit me when I get them together.  

So when I fell in love with a vest in my local knitting shop I was a bit nervous about using an actual knitting pattern again.  But I figured what the heck, it's a vest...no sleeves, it didn't even have buttons!  I threw caution and years of experience to the wind and bought the book, bought the yarn and dove in!

I made it exactly as the pattern directed except for the armholes...the pattern called for about 2 inches of 1X1 ribbing around the armholes, it pulled the opening in too much and stuck out funny on my shoulders, so my knitting buddy suggested an I-cord edging.  Thank goodness for You Tube!  I like the end result much better.

It was really the back of the vest that I fell in love with.  I really like the way it hugs into the waist.  The pattern is called Malabrigo Twist Vest from Malabrigo's Book 3.  The yarn (Malabrigo Twist) is just the softest, most scrumptious stuff!  

You can see the I-cord edging at the armhole...I like it much better than the 1X1 ribbing that the pattern suggested, and it was fun and easy to do.

(I made the necklace several years ago and the beads are just right with the yarn.)

The fronts of the vest wrap around to the back and continue up over the shoulders to form the shawl collar.

I'm so pleased with my vest that I might even try another knitting pattern!!!  Woohoo!


  1. Wow! You have definitely progressed from squares! This is lovely and you did a great job. Congrats.

  2. Beautiful vest! Congratulations on this achievement.

    1. It does feel like an achievement...thanks!

  3. Your vest has such an interesting shape. An interesting configuration. The necklace is beautiful too. Are you a silversmith as well as everything else you do?

    1. No 'smithing' going on here. I like to collect beads when I travel...easy to pack, fun to hunt for...I just string 'em up.

  4. Burda was inspired by your sweater hack – the one with the zipper and leather trim at front and pockets. Almost an exact replica in their package offerings today!