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Altiplano Vest

If you despair of starting, much less completing, a Fair Isle or traditional Norwegian knitting project--most of which call for tiny yarns, on small needles--this should cheer you up.

Completely charted, in larger yarns, it offers three alternatives for pocketsónone at all (easiest), two slit pockets placed where you want them (not hard), or a commodious handwarmer pocket with slanted openings (tricky but do-able!). Meant to be worn over a shirt or turtleneck, it has reasonable ease allowed for.

Sizing Information:
Ladies small/medium (38.5 inches as knit)
Ladies medium/large, menís small (42 inches as knit)
Menís medium (45 inches as knit)
Menís large (48 inches as knit)

The Materials you'll need for this Knitting Project:

The prototype used five hanks of Cascadeís Ecological Wool in each of five different natural sheep colors: off white, grey-beige, light brown, medium brown, and dark espresso brown. There were plenty of leftovers for other projects. If you are using Cascade 220, approximately the same amounts would be required. Colors are, of course, up to you; I like the naturals. But you can notate the charts for any number of colors, from two to skyís-the-limit, in any combination you like, neutral or bright. You will have lots of leftovers for mittens and hats, scarves, and the like.

In addition to the yarn for your size, and circular needles in the size to obtain your gauge, youíll want a variety of colored stitch markers, a crochet hook for picking up dropped stitches, a yarn needle, scissors, and tape. You will also need spare yarn in a contrast color for setting aside stitches worked. And a pencil for checking off rows on your chart.

The inspiration behind this vest pattern

The pattern is slightly modified from the prototype shown above, which I made for a friend to take on his annual hiking trip to the unpredictable, but sometimes wet and windy, coast of Cornwall. I meant it to fit in a day pack, and to provide extra warmth under a windbreaker if the weather turned chilly. Like the cabling techniques evolved in Ireland, the color-change techniques evolved in Scandinavia, Scotland, the Baltic nations, and Andean knitting use the changes of color to thicken and windproof a garment, giving it a decorative face and floats of yarn across the back.

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