My dear mother bought me some new yarn from Beijing during her visit in July, and bringing the yarn, together with some other yarn that were reserved for the twins that were still at my mother's, made me rearrange my yarn stash, which was stored in an antique camphor chest. While rearranging all the yarn, I found out that the largest percentage of my stash wasn't lace yarn as I thought but fingering weight yarn! They were mostly bought from Shanghai by my grandmother during her annual visits and recently from Beijing by my mother, and they are for the twins. Most of them were kept at my mother's house, for it was mainly her who was knitting for the twins since they were babies. But this time I decided to bring them all home, and to my shock: the camphor chest is FULL!
I used to keep all knitting things in the chest: yarn, needles, notions, buttons, beads, yarn swift, ball winder, leftovers, odd balls etc. I do keep the stuff I use frequently somewhere with easy and fast access but now, besides the yarn swift and ball winder, I keep only intact yarn or balls of yarn that are still enough to make a garment in the chest, the leftovers are in a big plastic bag in my walk-in closet, and the tools in a small plastic storgae box.
Then I started to have this urge to destash: knit something quick! And use up as much fingering weight yarn a possible! For the twins are now sent off to Kindergarten and knitting new garment should start anyway! So, I decided to knit some fair isle vests for the twins, to use up first the odd balls/leftovers. I've never knitted fair isle, except some Super Mario mushrooms that has white spots on the top. And I chose a pattern from a Japanese pattern book. I can't stand Japanese patterns, I don't read Japanese although I can understand what it says after some help from my dear friend Margaret.
And off I went, started to knit. Strangley, it was FUN! And it was FAST! Although I did unravel a couple of times but it was quick fix, too. So in a week or so I finished Sebastian's front and back pieces. The only thing is that the knitting curled up so badly that I had to wet block it first so that I can sew up the seams and knit the neck and armhole bands.
I rested for a few days and started Scarlett's vest. Which was even faster! This time, I loosen up my hand more while knitting the vest so the knitting wouldn't end up too tight or feel too bulky and the color stitches could show up better. I cheated while knitting Sebastian's vest. The yellow row in the middle of the navy blue background stripe should be consisted of two colors, as in fair isle knitting no one color is used knitting more than 3 stitches. I corrected that in Scarlett's vest using yellow and green in the fuchsia stripe. Most of the colors are merino except the navy blue in Sebastian's vest is pure lambswool.
My mother and aunt thought the knitting was thick, that was because I was knitting double stranded. Two colors in Sebastian's vest were actually sport weight, and the rest were fingering double stranded. And I carried yarn on both hands. I was practicing knitting Continental style and it paid off. So far I think not knitting double stranded would have better color-stitch presentation but I'm trying to make double stranding work as good as possible.
Anyway, I'm not perfect but I learn from my knittings. And these vests are learning/destashing/loving projects!