The Downton Abbey Yarns have arrived on the crafting scene, and we are excited to be talking about them with you all this week on KNITmuch. Today we’re looking at the Matthew yarn, which is a worsted weight blend including 20% wool, and has a nice tweedy look. Just right for a character like Matthew who spends a lot of time outside on the Crawley estate, or cycling to his work office.
The Matthew yarn has several great free patterns designed by Premier Yarns to go with it, including the Crawley Vest. Today we’re going to see what the Crawley vest might look like in a couple of different colors.
The Crawley Vest is one of the few garment patterns included in the Downton Abbey Yarn Collection, and it would be a nice selection if you’re new to making garments. Making the jump from smaller accessories to larger garments can often involve a different selection of skills and techniques. However, since vests cover the body but don’t include sleeves, as pullovers and cardigans do, a vest can be a good “starter” garment. And, in a worsted weight yarn like this one, it will knit up a bit faster than a lighter DK or sport weight yarn.
This is a classic V-neck vest with a simple textured stitch pattern. We introduced some slipped stitch patterns in our September KNITmuch blog posts, so you might enjoy looking at those posts if this is new to you! When knitting up this vest, these are the skills you can expect to use:
- Casting on and binding off
- Working knit, purl, and slip stitches
- Working ribbing (for hem, and armhole and neckband edgings)
- Following a written stitch pattern (the pattern does not include charts)
- Sewing seams
- Picking up stitches (for armhole and neckband edgings)
This vest is worked in pieces (as opposed to “in the round” in one piece) and from the “bottom up” starting at the hem (as opposed to “top down” starting from the neck). The back and the front are worked the same, with the exception of the front V-neck shaping. So, this means that once you’ve made the back piece you’ll have done most of the same steps required for the front piece. Finally, these two pieces will be seamed together at the sides and shoulders, before picking up stitches for the ribbed neckband and armhole edgings.
In the photos here, you can see the swatches I’ve done up in the slip-stitch “furrows” pattern used in the Crawley vest. Sometimes it can make all the difference to see different color selections! The sample shown in the free pattern uses a dusty green color, and here we have two other options. The creamy off-white shown in the second photo above is a very classic look. The darker purple, just above, is another almost-neutral color that’s a little more modern. There are eight different colors to choose from in the Matthew yarn so just keep in mind the kind of colors you like to wear most in your wardrobe and let that be your guide when selecting yarn colors as well!
Join me tomorrow I’ll have another yarn to show you – the Lady Mary. It’s a lovely complement to the rustic Matthew line. I’m excited to be dreaming up fall and winter knitting projects with these new Downton Abbey Yarns arriving fresh on the crafting scene!