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Wonderful Wallaby Vest: Q & A edition.

June 30, 2007

Yesterday, I clicked ‘finished’ in the drop down menu in my project notebook on Ravelry. Such a satisfying feeling. Let The Wonderful Wallaby Vest join the slew of ‘recent FOs’!

i love my wallaby

Below you’ll see that I made up some hypothetical questions, but with real answers. If you find you have a question that I didn’t think of, just ask it!

Q: Wow! A Wallaby Vest, huh? How did you come up with that idea?
A: I saw a child’s hooded vest pattern in one of my magazines and thought it would be fun to make it. But it had a zipper and I wasn’t in the mood for a zipper this time. Then, my friend Lisa was making a Wallaby and I got the Wallaby bug.

Wonderful Wallaby Vest

Q: But the Wallaby pattern has sleeves. How did you modify it to make is sleeveless?
A: Good question. Here follows the looong answer.

  • The pouch and the hood of the vest were knit following the instructions in the pattern. The changes were made only in the sleeve and shoulder area.
  • I didn’t follow an exact size from the pattern, because my gauge was different. I wanted a vest with a 32″ circumference, so I just multiplied by my gauge to get the magic number.
  • So, I began by knittng the ribbing and the pouch.
  • When I reached the correct armpit spot, I bound off two inches of stitches at each underarm (this is normally where you would join sleeves and body). From here, I worked separately on the back and the front.
  • Wallaby Vest - arm detail

  • I needed to decrease away more stitches for the armhole shaping. This was accomplished on the next four right side rows by: k2, ssk, k to within 4 sts of end, k2tog, k2. I did this on the back and the front.
  • After shaping the armhole, I knit straight to the shoulder on the back section. On the front, I knit straight for about 2″ past the bound off underarm stitches, then began the placket as instructed in the pattern, with a garter stitch section at center front. After five placket ridges were knit, I divided and worked left front and right front separately.
  • When front and back were equal, I joined the shoulders using the three needle bind off technique.
  • Wonderful Wallaby Vest - neck ribbing

  • Before I bound off for the shoulders, I had 48 stitches on the front, and 48 on the back. I bound off 12 stitches from front and back together on the left side, and again on the right side. That left 24 live stitches at the back of neck, and 12 live stitches on each side of the front. I put all those live stitches on the needles, plus three picked up at each shoulder join (to prevent a gaping hole) and began the neck ribbing.
  • Then I continued the pattern as written!
  • Phew.

Wonderful Wallaby Vest - hood

Q: Was it fun?
A: Heck yeah.

Q: Did you graft the hood stitches, or use the three needle bind off?
A: Grafting, all the way. This time, I also tried to graft in stockinette on the main part of the hood, but switch to garter stitch for the border. After a couple of tries that had me ripping back, I finally got it! Lookie:


Well, I practically got it. You can see, right in the middle of that picture, that the row that is grafted only has four stitches in garter. It should be five. But now that I think about it, if I hadn’t told you, you wouldn’t have noticed.

Q: How about the armscye ribbing?
A: Well, as I said before, this gave me a bit of trouble. What I ended up doing, was crocheting a slip stitch around the opening, then picking up stitches from the slip stitch loops. An extra step, but necessary to stabilize the opening.

crocheted slip stitch

Q: Did you have any issues with the Cotton Ease fraying?
A: Yes!

Oh no!

When I was finished with the knitting, I machine washed and dried the Wallaby and was distraught to find that many of the frayed ends had popped through to the right side. I decided to try Fray-Check. After applying it to all the ends on the wrong side it seems to have done the trick! I need to wash and dry the vest again, so we’ll see if the problem is solved for good.

Q: Can I see the back?
A: Of course.

Wonderful Wallaby Vest - back

Q: Can this blog post get any longer?
A: Indeed it can.

Wonderful Wallaby Vest

There you have it.  If you’ve stuck with me through this, you must be crazy.  This post holds the record for The One That Took Me Longest to Create.  I’ve been at it for three days now, in fits and starts, trying to make it comprehensible.  I am not sure I have succeeded.  In fact, I see that I left out the most basic details.

Pattern: Wonderful Wallaby, by Cottage Creations.
Modified as described in detail above.
Needles: 8 for body, 6 for ribbing.
Yarn: Cotton-Ease, by Lion Brand.  Less than one ball of lime, one ball of stone, and one ball of taupe.
Gauge: 4 sts/inch.
Finished size: 32″.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2007 9:49 am

    Great vest! I like it! The boy in look great in this vest!

  2. June 30, 2007 9:50 am

    Sorry I make some mistake. I wont to say that the boy look great in this vest!

  3. June 30, 2007 11:55 am

    So cute (the young’un and the vest)! That hood is perfect, and I love all your mods. Great job!

  4. Sarah permalink
    June 30, 2007 12:27 pm

    That is the coolest boy knitwear I have ever seen. It is RAD! I love it, and I wish had the patience to make one, but not today, dears, not today 🙂

  5. June 30, 2007 1:26 pm

    It’s adorable!

    And I enjoyed all the juicy details of your post and the sweet photos.

  6. June 30, 2007 1:46 pm

    He looks great in the vest. I love Maggie’s expression in that first shot!

    I love the Q & A post.

  7. June 30, 2007 2:42 pm

    It looks fantastic! Great work! You son looks super excited. Just too cute!

  8. June 30, 2007 11:00 pm

    Hooray I love this and looks like your kiddo does too!

  9. June 30, 2007 11:55 pm

    It looks wonderful! The colors are perfect. It looks like a perfect boyish knit.

    A couple questions I’d ask…. how much ease did you calculate? and do you find the fabric dense enough, or does it stretch a lot at that gauge??

    I tend to knit kidswear rather densely thinking it will wear better during rough-housing and other kid activities. Is this just me being paranoid? I’d like to hear your opinion since I don’t know too many other folks knitting for little kids. Thanks!

    PS- you are very welcome for the syrup!! I can’t believe how fast it got there! Enjoy!

  10. June 30, 2007 11:56 pm

    How cute! LOVE your mods! I was thinking about doing a sleeveless or a short-sleeved version myself… hmmm… maybe I’ll bump that project up on the list now that I’ve seen yours!

  11. knittingelephant permalink
    July 1, 2007 1:32 pm

    Love the color combos with the lime single stripe between. Wonderful! Your son looks great and very happy in his new hand-knit!! Congrats on a job well done!

  12. friender permalink
    July 1, 2007 6:07 pm

    Very nice. I really like that. I can’t believe he’s so happy in the NC heat in his vest. He must REALLY like it! 🙂

  13. July 2, 2007 6:39 am

    Wow, its great! Your color choices are really spot on, too.

  14. July 2, 2007 8:32 am

    AWE-SOME! It turned out great, Mandy! And thanks for sharing all of the details, because I know someone (maybe even me) will be checking this at a later date when they’re trying to do their own wallaby vest.

  15. July 2, 2007 7:08 pm


    And good girl for getting this into the Flickr group! Did you link to this post there? Because I think that would be really useful to those of US who will definitely be doing this in the future!

  16. August 4, 2007 4:04 pm

    Love it.

  17. August 11, 2007 7:12 pm

    I love the vest and it looks fantastic on your son. Great colors too.

  18. Kathy permalink
    November 4, 2007 2:40 pm

    So creative and cute. And love the detailed instructions showing your mods – it’s helpful for other knitters who don’t want to reinvent the wheel (but want to save time by not making a bunch of errors)!

  19. Terassa permalink
    August 15, 2008 2:12 pm

    Good day. Great alteration to the pattern. Question, though…. I can’t figure out the pouch 6pattern! I don’t understand from 66 sts. to 46, but you are knitting in what pattern… it says follow row 1 and row 2 for a pattern and repeat these two rows, dec every other row 9 times – if you do that, it doesn’t give you a lengthy pouch! Please help me 😦


  1. GREEN « zigzag stitch

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