Designing a men’s sweater vest using Universal Yarn Colorburst

It’s been a while since I’ve designed and knit something for myself. When I discovered Colorburst by Universal Yarn in the summer 2020 and knit the shawl with it, I thought this yarn would make a perfect men’s sweater vest. This week, as I explore Universal Yarn Colorburst further, please join me in designing your own vest using the general framework with which I’ll provide you.

Get your notepad, pencil, knitting needles and Colorburst yarn, you’re learning how to design your own vest!

Step 1

Swatch to your heart’s content! I have more than 10 stitch dictionaries and continuously find more and more stitch patterns online as well. They all serve as inspiration, but until I’ve used the yarn in swatches, and seen how it knits, looks, and behaves, there’s no deciding which stitch pattern I’ll use, or whether I’ll stick with the basics like stockinette, garter stitch, ribbing, or moss stitch.

Mock cable on this swatch didn’t hold its shape

By studying yarn behavior, I mean that I consider aspects like thickness, drape, stitch definition, how colors interact with each other and with the stitch patterns, and how it washes up and blocks. I’d encourage you to swatch at least 4 or 5 different stitch patterns with Colorburst to see what needle size you’d like to use to give the best drape and texture. Keep ALL the notes you take, especially gauge, but other notes and thoughts you’ve had about the yarn, too.

In the swatch above, I like how the mock cable looks, but the extended stitch double moss stitch just doesn’t convince me because the yarn untwisted and looked untidy. I also found that I like a firmer stockinette panel, so I went down a needle size for the stockinette rows.

Tuck stitch brocade using Universal Yarn Colorburst

This tuck stitch brocade looks lovely. I really like how the diagonal lines that are in a different section of the color sequence than the background stitches stand out. I realized that I would need a wider panel so that the self-striping bands would be narrower to best take advantage of this stitch pattern, so I didn’t select it for the vest, but I’ll share how to knit later this week.

Step 2

It’s all about measurements! Let’s go over this in tomorrow’s post.

Universal Yarn Colorburst

This is part 1 of 5 in this series

Go to part 2: Which measurements matter in designing a men’s sweater vest?

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