The Great Incan Frogging Rebellion of ’06

Before hand/shoulder pain stopped me, this was where I got to with the Inca Vest:

Even if I hadn’t had good reason to stop knitting for a bit, I think I would have put this aside anyway. There was something wrong, and I knew it, but I was still in denial. Today I picked it up and pinned it onto me. The problem was obvious and I couldn’t reason it away:

The cuddly, ribby goodness was all very nice around the body, but above the armholes there was nothing to hold the fabric stretched out, so it shrank into itself all the way up to the shoulders.

I’d reknitted it once already, but no widening of the knitting above the bust was going to stop it from drawing in and looking different to the rib all stretched out over the front. I’m not adverse to a bit of bust-enhancing emphasis, not being a particulary robust girl in that region, but not to this degree.

The solution, I decided, was to de-rib it. This involved dropping purl stitches, letting them run down to the cast on row, then picking them up as knit stitches with a crochet hook:

Which took several hours, but nowhere near as long as it would have taken if I’d frogged and reknit from scratch. And I got to play around with how many ribbed columns I’d take out and how many I’d leave in. I decided I must at least get rid of every second purl column.

Then I accidentally dropped the stitches of one of the ones I was going to keep, and it occurred to me that I could turn half the stitches into knits, but leave 20 stitches at the waist area purls, then swap back to knit, and give it a bit of waist shaping.

When I had done all this, I pinned it on me again. It was fitting nicely, but there was a purl column groove right over the centre of where the bust ‘bulges’ are. That looked a little too exciting – like I might bust out any moment. (Bust out. Ha ha. Sorry.)

So I did the opposite to before – I ‘filled in’ the purl column over the bust with knit stitches. Here’s how it looks now, with the purl columns of one half marked in red:

I think I can safely get stuck into working out the armhole and front decreases now.

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