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Finished: Ross' Argyll V-Neck

This is not Ross; it's Thunk.

The Specs:
-Pattern: Argyll V-Neck, by Martin Storey from Knitting for Him
-Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4 ply (discontinued), subbed for the Rowan Scottish Tweed 4ply the pattern calls for.
-Skeins: 6.25 skeins of 283 (whiskers); 2.5 skeins each 269 (blessed) and 270 (stainless).
-Needles: size 3 for the ribbing, size 4 for the rest.
-Start to finish: November 2007 – August 17, 2008
-For: my brother-in-law Ross for Christmas (as in LAST Christmas. He gets extra points for being very patient).

Notes: It might seem a little tedious to knit an entire man-sized garment in fingering yarn, but the finished vest is such a practical weight (so very light and layerable) that it makes it more than worth the effort. And the argyle? It’s pretty fun to knit.

Thunk selflessly volunteered to model this vest because he secretly wants to keep it.

Mods (a.k.a. tips for happier argyle vesting):

I knitted the vest without the diagonal lines, and then went back later and used duplicate stitch to fill them in. This significantly cut down on the number of bobbins I had to work with, and (as we all know) fewer bobbins = a happier knitting experience. Besides, duplicate stitch is kind of like cross stitch and makes a nice break from bobbin wrangling.

I worked short rows instead of binding off at the shoulders and then attached the front and back with a three-needle bind off. This is one of my favorite finishing tricks and I find it makes a neater, less bulky shoulder.

I sewed up the side seams first before picking up and knitting the armhole borders in the round (if you're doing this, make sure you pick up a multiple of four stitches so that the ribbing comes out correctly).

Argyll_2.jpg Argyll_7.1.jpg
I don't know if you noticed, but Thunk is a hunk.

The Pattern (this is a bit ranty, so if you aren’t planning on making this pattern you might skip this part):
The biggest frustration I had with this pattern was the sizing. An existing Ross vest was secretly measured in order to figure out what size to make and I was surprised to find that I would have to knit 2 sizes (4 inches) narrower than the smallest listed and 2” longer.

Our lovely model, Thunk, declared the finished vest to be a perfect fit and (you may not be able to tell this from the photos) he’s not a tiny dude. It’s pretty crazy that the pattern doesn't include a size to fit an averagely-sized taller-than-six-foot guy who generally wears a medium, don’tcha think?

The rest of Knitting for Him, which includes many attractive designs for the menfolk, has similarly gigantor sizing. The sweater designs for the smallest chest size (40") have anywhere from 6” to 9.25” of ease, while the three vest designs (a bit snugger) clock in at 4,” 3,” and, strangely enough, negative 1.5” of ease. Am I living under a rock, or are those numbers not huge?

That said it wasn't that hard to do the math and calculate the size I needed. A vest is a pretty straightforward article of clothing. The neck decreases were the trickiest bit.

My only other complaint about the pattern was with the listed yarn quantities. I had more than enough of the contrasting colors (more than a ball of each remaining) but I ran out of the main color. I might have calculated incorrectly, but I think that my mods (2” longer and 2” narrower on both front and back) would pretty much cancel each other out. If you plan on making this, you’d be wise to consider springing for an extra ball of the MC.

He think's you're pretty hot too.

The Yarn: Yorkshire Tweed…how I love you. Ross picked out the colors himself and, though I was a bid dubious about the mauve (never one of my favorites...I wore it too much in 7th grade), the overall effect is fabulous. And Ross always looks v. fetching in pinks so I imagine it will flatter him nicely.

Final Verdict: It's pink! It's vesty! It’s argylriffic! We won't know for sure until Ross tries it on, but I think we can safely call this one a winner.


He looks so collegiate! I love seeing your photos and seeing places I recognize!

It looks great! And bravo for making a man's sweater in something other than bulky yarn. :-)

I bought that book, got home, read it, and was SHOCKED at the sizing. There's nothing I could make for myself without significant re-engineering. Kind ofmakes me wonder why I'd need the book if I have to do all the work myself. :-)

Wow, it's really nice-beautifully done. I'd say you could knit the exact same thing for Thunk, it seems to fit perfectly.

Wow! This is one of the most impressive knits I've seen in a while. Watching the progress along the way can be a spoiler, but with this, it just showed how much work and precision went into it. And now it looks perfect. Honestly, gorgeous.

Wow! This is a gorgeous vest. congratulations!

Thunk IS a hunk!! lol

I love the vest! I love how small gauge items knit up and look more luxe than item knitted at worsted weight. Congrats on a job v. well done!!

The vest turned out looking great and I really enjoyed the modelling pictures! You better thank Thunk from me for playing! :)

Thunky is so hunky! hee hee... Love the vest.. but I'm not sure if I have the patience for fingering weight.. but then again, I've said that about many other things.

Oh, it's just fantastic! I've been following your progress as you've made this and I'm so impressed. It looks completely perfect and has done throughout, bobbins & all. I've just shown it to my husband and he made all the appropriate 'ooh, aah' noises. I am also really delighted to learn that there is (or, at least, was) a shade of yarn named whiskers!
Really lovely work Elli - perhaps you should make another one for Thunk now?! :)

I'm going to jump on the "wow" train, here. Wow! The vest looks wonderful -- congratulations on finishing!

I'm delurking because I think this is just fantastic and really suits Thunk. Very collegiate - I love everything about it and think the colours zing perfectly. (This is quite a breakthrough with me - I have been a long term argyl hater, this may have converted me!) Lara x

Wow, that's BEAUTIFUL. You did a lovely job on it. I covet it! I would so make that if I could get my darling husband to wear a vest!

How could we forget that Thunk is a hunk? Anyway, great, great vest!

the vest was so worth the wait, it's gorgeous! I especially love the color combination and the fit.

I really don't get men's sizing either, it's almost like the industry has no idea what to do with them. But it could also just be Rowan, their patterns always have wait too much ease (for me) built in.

Holy heck! That's one hell of a gorgeous vest! You're my hero. *runs off to order the book from Amazon*

Well done, Elli! And nice work finding all those places to pose Thunk -- who really should consider a sweater modeling career.

Elli...this is AMAZING! I think I started reading your blog when you posted your Beau. It is so refreshing to see knits for men and you just pick 'em right. Both the patterns and the men ;-) I agree with the others Thunk certainly is quite the hunk.

Ross should be very happy. Good things like this are worth waiting for. BTW, who wouldn't want to celebrate Christmas in August?

Never mind Thunk or Ross, I want it!

Very nice job. Good argyle is worth waiting for. That's creative about the shoulders. I've only made a couple of seamed sweaters and I hate the shoulders! I need to employ some techniques like that.

Good argyle is worth waiting for. I'm impressed with the shoulder solution. I've only made two seamed sweaters and the shoulders are terrible to deal with!

It looks fabulous--totally worth the effort! And what a fun photo shoot you all must have had! I've been looking forward to seeing this, but you blew me away!

Lovely work there but you do know that getting Thunk to model it is a badddd idea...

Everyone will be ogling more at him than at the vest! XD

Beautifully done. I really like the colors you chose.

I just love reading your blog. You have such a wonderful touch to your work..

What a beautiful sweater. The fingering weight really works well for argyle, and the colors are great. It looks like it will get a lot of wear.

That's gorgeous, Elli. Hi, Thunk. You lookin' fine.

Sexayyy! Thunk is in the wrong profession. He needs to be a man-model.

Congrats on the finish...Rosser will lurve it.
Very very nice.

mmm...i can't wait to see how it looks on my own sizzling hunk of man-flesh. rarr!

wow, the vest looks great, and Thunk looks like a professional model!

Hurray, the args are finally all begylled! The vest looks fantastic, the campus is gorgeous, and your model's not half bad either ;)

It looks wonderful! Fingering weight sweaters, while tedious, might just be the best in my book.

Oh, wow! Your vest is lovely :) So, are you going to knit a second one, for Thunk?

That vest does look terrific... congrats on surviving the recalculations for size.

I declare this the most sucessful knit ever! :D

Is it weird that I don't think that book included real man sizing? Like say your husband was over 6'5" and played foot ball semi pro & is built like a wall? :D

No no.. don't give it to Ross.. hunky Thunk.. thinking chunk.. can't do it.. can't do it. I don't know who Ross is, but that Thunk guy needs it.

Gorgeous vest!

Oh wow, the hunkitude! This is just fabulous, Elli - the knitting and the photoshoot. Let's hope my brother never sees these pictures. He loves argyle, and there definitely isn't a size for him in this pattern.

It's so incredibly gorgeous, Elli!

This is definitely a winner. Great work!

Wow! The vest is just beautiful! I've really enjoyed your progress photos, and now the grand finale is great! Thanks for the tips on how you knit it up. I'd love to make an argyle vest someday.


I had the exact same experience with that book. I have 4 sons age 17-23...all thin, and average or above average height. I had to seriously rework the multicolored striped sweater for one of my boys, and am running out of the MC yarn in the argyle cardigan I'm working on now! Sorry you had the same problems--but the vest is gorgeous! I've been watching and waiting to see it done--really lovely work. He's a lucky man.

I can see why Thunk might want to call dibs on that vest. It looks gorgeous and so does he. Congrats to you for a beautiful FO!

hubba hubba! heehee The vest is gorgeous. I'm on a mission to argylify Jay, so I may have to put something like this on my list.

How handsome! (vest & model)


Awesome! What a great vest! Model's not bad either! ;-)

Gorgeous, I hope the BIL gave you a hell of a present last christmas. You are my hero too, I would have done the back in a solid color.

Looks great! The model is quite handsome and scholarly in it

What a great knit Elli! Well done and Thunk looks great in it.

aw, that photo shoot makes me miss the pretty, pretty iu campus! is that the little court yard with the "philosopher's path"?

Absolutely wonderful. The colors you chose are great. I really want to knit one for Joe now. Oh, and by the way, your husband is a hottie! (Duh :)

What a lucky fella. Beautiful finished product!

I love it. Totally worth the fingering weight yarn.

Very nice. Ross is sure to love it. It's a winner in my book!

Hello you two!

I think it's perfect. The colours are brilliant (do you think Ross would mind consulting when I am next dithering about colour?!) - and, as you say, the fit looks perfect on Joe. As you know, I am definitely with you on the too-big sizing front. I am always reading in Knitting Daily etc. about how a pattern comes in so many sizes, from 32" to 46"+ - which means that if I want any negative ease or waist shaping, I'd have to downsize.

Anyway, one very happy vest. I hope it makes for a very happy Ross.

Dear Elli,

Just I've discovered your blog. I find it marvellous and really wonderful!. Vega.

Wow. That's one awesome knit! Definitely worth the effort - I would say that qualifies as a lifetime/heirloom quality piece. Congratulations!!

Adore this! Absolutely perfect in every way.

It's awesome!

Love it, looking it up, maybe casting on.

This vest brought me out of lurk status too. I also like short rows at the shoulder. You did a super job on this and Thunk is a hunk.

I'm delurking here. Your vest is too gorgeous to not speak up and say so! I love the color comb. and your knitting is beautiful. Lucky Ross!

Elli - this is absolutely stunning! Not surprising, of course, but nonetheless. Gorgeous. Seriously!

Wow. Oh. Wow. The vest and, if I can be so bold as to say, the husband are both fabulous!

wow, this is a great vest. love it. and thunk sure is a hunk!

The vest is gorgeous. So is Thunk.

Most definitely.

Love the sweater and the IU campus background.....

how is this man not in the J. Crew catalog??

fabulous vest. it's perfection, really. :)

absolutely fantastic!!!

Hey! Lovely job on the argyle. And yes, Thunk is indeed a hunk. The "male model" shots are brilliant!
I regularly check in on your site, and am always very impressed and inspired by your knitting prowess!
Keep posting!


this is wonderful. i was always pretty taken with argyle. maybe he will find a way of making it his. he ought to. not that i ever use the word ought. but he really ought to.

lovely! nice model too!

Amazing! I found the bobbin fish you used to help make this in a shop in San Fran the other day (Rangsiwan was there too) and I wondered about the argyle vest. I am behind, obvs. I am glad it is done, it looks fantastic. I think perhaps Thunk needs one of his own?

So beautiful...but I expected nothing less!! I miss you!

Easily. Very nice work! I love it.

Well, that's quite the knitting feat. Great sweater and model.

Before you send this off to Ross, do you think you could get Thunk to wear it to pick you up from work one day? That way I could rub his chest and pretend that I'm feeling the yarn.
*coveting both your knitting skills AND the husband*

I love the vest! You did a very nice job! Looks great.

OK, so I'm late to the party, but wow! That's insanely, amazingly, scrumdiddlyumptiously fantastic!

This vest is really great!

Elli: you are a genius!!! Amazing job!!! The model look very proud of it!!

tell organizing mommy to mind her own beeswax. is ross' vest and he looks fiiiiine in it!

Great vest, great narration, great pics, and I especially love the subtitles. =)

The vest looks amazing - thunk doesn't look too bad himself!

Thunky looks hunky in the vest - you're in trouble if he wants one, too! Very nice job and excellent patience - this was obviously quite a bit of work. The finished piece seems well worth it though!

ugh...he's sooooooo hot! i showed my husband and now he wants to model knit wear...except i seemed to be destined for making mostly socks LOL!

the vest looks amazing! i'm always speechless when you turn out your finished projects.

some people post models on their fridge for inspiration to get into those swimsuits...i need to put up your finished objects!

totally stunning!

Great tip on using duplicate stitch for the lines afterwards. Thanks so much!