Friday, July 31, 2009

OWLS Vest :: Refashioned

The title of by blog testifies to my love of knitting, but knitting has been somewhat scarce round these parts lately. I thought of changing the name to Mamie Makes but that takes a lot more effort than I am willing to make. So, instead, I decided to knit a bit more than I have in the past few months.

I gave a sneak peek at a project that I completed just this week. It is a vest for Mason that I am calling his OWL Schoolboy Vest as he and his brother are headed into the great new vista of preschool come September.
OWLS Schoolboy Vest

It is technically a pattern I imagined, but it was heavily inspired by the beautiful sweater by Needled and her O W L S sweater. Initially I though I would write up the pattern to post on my sidebar, but man, pattern writing is HARD.
OWLS Schoolboy Vest

I was first moved to self design projects when I read Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Workshop. Her approach to knitting is so logical and delightful and it made designing pieces for my family fairly effortless. The execution of these projects has been fun and rewarding, I love watching an idea become a functional piece of clothing that will likely last for years.

Not so with pattern writing. What happens so organically on the needles does not translate easily to paper. I gave a go at pattern writing with my cowl because it was a tube of st-st with some easy patterning involved. This project, the vest, has quite a few components to tackle and though I have excellent pattern notes, it is so challenging to find a good way to translate them.

I may still get it down on paper and into a post of itself, but I am not sure it is really necessary. The vest idea is simple enough, the details I added can be figured out by looking at it and the OWL chart is readily available online.
My (almost) Schoolboy

I am curious to know though if you are an experienced knitter, do you see projects online or in Ravelry and think that you could do that and go about making your own refashioned project? Do you appreciate having a person write up a free pattern even if it is not multiple sized? Where do you stand on pattern writing? I am still on the fence as to whether it is something to add to my already full plate of making and fashioning.

Regardless of the pattern and its status, the finished object is one of my favorites to date. The simple cabled OWLS are perfect for a little boy, the button eyes a fun addition for little fingers to touch and count.
My (almost) Schoolboy

It is a little roomy which is always good for growing boys. And as with anything I make for them, when I see their genuine smile and the pleasure they show in the wearing…well, it just brings home that the skills I have honed in the knitting world bring so much more than a finished object.
My creation

I am thinking school is going to be a blast. Already this young man is learning to 'read' quietly to himself. And lately his drawing has taken a great leap into the world of people. Here is a pair of 'guys' in a 'school bus'. Mace's figures have such great character already. They also seem to be heavily influenced by their current obsession with "Nightmare before Christmas".
My (almost) Schoolboy

Mace's Friends
(He drew that spontaneously with no prompting from us. And he keeps drawing them. I want to take a picture of every single one. Arg. So Cute.)

Well, onward to the next vest. Owen is requesting OWLS but I have an idea for his involving a road and buttons shaped like tractors, fire trucks and school buses. And if he still insists on the OWLS marching across his chest, I think I could handle a re knit. Might even solidify my pattern and its writing. Hats off to you ladies and men that seem to crank out patterns without a blink. I have much respect for you and your efforts.


Sadia said...

That drawing is incredible! My girls are still all about abstract art (aka scribbles).

jillian said...

So cute! The buttons are too much.

Sereknitty said...

Adorable! Owls are on my list to knit, too. Re: your question about patterns ... I most often will take a pattern and re-invent it to suit me, my figure, and my personal taste. However, I have no desire to invest the time in putting together a written-down pattern. I've way to right-brained for that!

Lola and Ava said...

I stumbled across O W L S the other day and bought the yarn right away (but I need to upsize mine . . . not make it super cute kiddie sized like yours).