I’ve always loved playing around with styling ideas with my knits. Going through my closet and finding different clothes that would pair well with some of my designs is a way for me to visualize them a little differently, and helps inspire new ideas for future pieces too. Just sketching ideas doesn’t always work for me – I like to think about how the piece will be styled and how it can add to an outfit (especially since my aesthetic is all about layering!). I think I learned a lot about this too from working at a yarn shop for so many years – we were always stying and re-styling mannequins with samples to help customers visualize how they could wear different pieces. It was always such a fun part of the job!
So I was doing this yesterday with my Penny Vest and discovered something that I probably should have noticed awhile ago – I designed it to be a vest, but you can wear it like a keyhole scarf too! So here it is being worn as a vest:
And here it is worn as a scarf!
How cool, right?! I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this out (8 years to be exact). Lesson here is to allow yourself to ‘play’ a bit sometimes – you never know what you’ll come up with! To wear it like a scarf, simply drape the piece over your neck like a scarf and take one side and insert it through the armhole on the other side. Then I just twisted it a little bit so that the ‘keyhole’ was more angled towards the left side.
A bit about the design…
Penny was published in 2014 and the idea came from my experience working at the yarn shop KnitWit in Portland (I worked there from January 2012 to March of 2020 – so just over 8 years!). We had a lot of customers who either recently learned to knit, or had knit for a while but only accessories because they were a little intimidated to try a garment. So I wanted to create a vest pattern that could be that skill-building transition project between the worlds of knitting accessories and knitting sweaters. The Penny Vest is knit like a scarf because it’s a big rectangle, but there are armholes so it’s worn like a vest! Plus there are some other interesting (but easy) stitch patterns thrown in there too. And in terms of aesthetic, it’s a piece that you can easily layer even in warmer months – I always like my pieces to have good layering options!
Oh, and one additional bonus – I wrote it for 5 different yarn weight. So basically you can use any yarn you want! My sample was knit in the beautiful Soie et Lin by Knit One Crochet Too. It’s a light-worsted-weight linen/silk blend and I highly recommend it. As I mentioned, this sample is 8 years old and it was at a yarn shop for most of those years so it was tried on a million times – look how great it still looks! I followed the “DK/Light-Worsted-Weight” instructions using this yarn. If you would like to use a different yarn but want it to look similar to mine, I’d just recommend picking a yarn that would have some drape – so linen or silk blends would be great. Feel free to email me for any yarn idea advice!