Or more accurately, bound off, blocked, stitched, and all ends woven in--the Celtic Seas vest is mine all mine. If only I could post a picture! But I will have to use a thousand words to pay for the lack of one picture.
So let me say first of all that it came together very nicely--all the pieces matched up, the rather mysterious shawl collar fit together perfectly, and following Maggie Righetti's instructions in Knitting in Plain English, I was able to create seams that are smooth and neat. (Incidently, her written instructions are good. The illustration doesn't depict what the words say, so I went with the words and it worked.)
The colors of the vest are delightful, and the texture is also pleasing. And it fits. And in the end it only needed 6 skeins of Kureyon, not 9. (Kristen wants the leftovers.)
That's the good news. On the other hand...
Well, I added shaping to the arm openings, but it's still quite boxy in appearance. The shoulders extend at least 2 inches beyond my actual shoulders on each side. And this is not a particularly graceful or flattering look. And the addition of horizontal striping to what is essentially a short square sweater contributes to the boxiness. So while it fits, it does not truly flatter. If it were much longer, say a tunic with side slits, perhaps the effect would be better. Or if I had somehow knit it in the opposite direction, making vertical rather than horizontal stripes, that too might be nice.
However--it's my first-born sweater, and I will wear it with pride and joy. And it is WARM. I went to Marukai Pacific Supermarket, which is always freezing cold due to dozens of open freezer cases, and I laughed in the face of cold! Ha.
So my take-away is that whatever amount of skill is required to knit a sweater that is shaped like a female body is skill worth acquiring, because simple-to-knit is not good enough. And it will be a while before I have the fortitude to attempt a sweater that includes maybe 6 or 8 more inches in length plus two full sleeves, because this sweater is quite minimalist and yet it took 6 weeks of quite focused work.
So, I think I hear some socks calling me....and who ever heard of unflattering socks?
PS: I now understand why self-striping sock yarn is wildly popular but self-striping sweater yarn is not so common--the stripes come out different widths, they aren't going to match up, and if you had sleeves, it would be even more discordant. But I am committed to loving the self-stripiness of my vest. But in the future, unless the thing is knit sideways, I will find other ways to add interest to a sweater.
So. On to the socks!