Call me crazy, but I do love Bergere de France free patterns. OK OK they are in French, BUT they are also in Knitting. This link is for the Femme in us all, there is also Homme, Enfant, and kids. Some have a lovely little knitting machine symbol, which I have even more love for, but not this one.
Here is a photo of my latest love:
The principles are there.. cast on xx sts, do some sort of rib; knit xxx rows to the armhole, cast off xx sts, for xx rows, then usually a few more xx sts for a few more xx rows, then straight for xx cm to the shoulders, where we ignore the instructions and do a short row shaping for xx sts over xx rows anyway. On the front, fiddle with the neck shaping as well. Sleeves are always the same too. All this and an excellent schematic diagram.
Now there's me. I look at the schematic, whereby I decide where I need to increase the length to fit my big self - which really means it doesn't matter what language it's written in, out comes the pencil and alterations begin, saves heaps of time translating!
I'm hand knitting this one on 4.5mm needles using Cleakheaton Country 12ply, in a green which is pretty close to the green on the Harmony Knitpicks, which I stuck next to the top of the photo (not quite as yellow as it's showing on my monitor). After this lovely beginning (edging) it is plain st st to just below the shoulders and finishes with a 19cm open rib and matching cowl neck. I decided to knit both front and back edges while the translation was still fresh in my mind. I've had a couple of opportunities to sit, wait and knit this week - my first ever visit to MKers of NSW guild on Thursday, Saturday's SnB and waiting to pick up Peter from Burwood, I'm already up to the armholes on one piece and nearly there on the other. Today I'll do both sleeves patterned edges and leave them on knitpicks cables (aren't they they best things ever invented?).
The only tricky bit of translation I found was on the centre on the square (hopefully) it is:
knit 5 tog without taking them off the left needle (I used a crochet hook),
RN: one long stitch which is through those
LN: 5 sts,
next yo, knit 2 tog and take off left needle:
RN: one long st; one yo; one st
LN: 3 sts
next yo, knit 3 tog take remaining 3 off left needle:
RN: one long st; one yo; one st; one yo; one st
LN: no sts left from this set.
The rest of the instructions for the edging is easy enough to follow, even if it isn't exactly what the French is, it is how I wanted the fabric to look.
The top "mesh" pattern uses dropped stitches to achieve a nice open look.
I'm reasonably sure that the translation was to drop the stitch when casting off, however, I dropped them every couple of rounds as I wanted to put a bit of shaping into the front panel, so I did a 3 pattern sets of 2/1 next to the shoulder 3 rounds short of when I was supposed to stop, stopping short by one set each round to the end, to make it more comfortable to wear. Yes that meant a bit of a bigger space, but it will be covered by the cowl.
Now I've finished my Shalom vest, I will be taking this anywhere I'm sitting and chatting and/or waiting for kids etc. Eventually, I'll finish it.