Pattern: Wichita, by Bonnie Sennott
Yarn: Woolen Rabbit Emma (DK weight; 85 percent Polwarth wool, 15 percent silk)
Needles: US5/3.75mm and US4/3.50mm
The pattern is named after Wichita, Kansas, where I was born. To be honest, I don't remember Wichita at all, because we moved to Kansas City soon after, but I've always liked the sound of it. Bet you didn't know I was a Midwesterner at heart, did you? Although I've lived in Massachusetts now for 17 years, I grew up in the Midwest, mostly Illinois.
Wichita is knit flat from the bottom up in one piece on a long circular needle; the fronts and back are then knit separately and seamed at the shoulder. The wide front bands are intended to swing open, providing a comfortable, easy fit at the hips.
The front bands give you some flexibility in adapting the pattern: adjust the width to get exactly the fit at the bust that you prefer. The body has a bit of waist shaping, just enough to keep the silhouette feminine.
Wichita offers the kind of knitting that I really, really like: a beautiful stitch pattern to hold my interest, coupled with plenty of simple, restful stockinette stitch. Instructions for the cables are provided in both written form and charts, and the pattern walks you through the neck shaping row by row on both sides. None of the dreaded "reverse all shaping" in this pattern!
Wichita is knit in DK weight yarn. For the sample, I used Emma, a wool/silk blend from Woolen Rabbit. Thanks to the silk, I was able to get the flowing look I wanted without resorting to knitting at a loose gauge—and wow, what great drape the finished vest has! The fabric is soft and light, with a beautiful halo.
Thanks and credit go to:
- Holly Priestley, for tech editing
- Knack, where I found the vintage buttons. They've got an amazing "suitcase of mismatched buttons" that button enthusiasts will love.
- Jennifer Gunter-King, for modeling and offering her lovely farm as a backdrop. Her sense of style, hospitality, and warmth made the photo shoot an enjoyable experience from start to finish.
Thank you very much for reading!