FO : Starmore Vest

Hi all - crawling out of the shadows to post some recent success....
Just in time for the cooler weather, I've completed a fair isle vest using the Alice Starmore "Thoroughbred" pattern. My first serious fair isle project, I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. I changed a the colors only slightly from her original pattern suggestion but the overall orange/purple attitude remains intact. I have a real fondness for circular knitting and steeking, even though I wasn't as happy with finishing the steeks as I might have been. This was my first project with steeks and shetland yarns(Jamieson & Smith), so I've got ideas for better finishing technique for next time. It went to the NCStateFair and was awarded 2nd Place for it's category - woohoo!

Image icon Thoroughbred3.jpg86.01 KB
Image icon ThoroughbredDetail.jpg104.41 KB


TomH's picture

Beautiful vest. Great work. Congrats on 2nd Prize. That's wonderful.

crmartin's picture

Truly awesome!



Wowee! What a beautiful pullover and very well knit. Congratulations on your prize.

ronhuber's picture

A truly beautiful vest. The colours are just perfect and I really like the design. I always use Jamieson and Smith for Fair Isle and just cut the steeks. Nothing else is required. The steek turns in on itself a 1/2 stitch and I just hand sew it to the sweater to make it look neat. If you don't sew it down the cut edge sort of felts with the sweater at the first wash and it looks good as well. Great knitting.

grandcarriage's picture

I'm personally not sure about the central pattern...It looks to me like it wants to be a cardigan vest with that central motif (Speak up Alice, what were you thinking?) That being said, the colours are lovely, you did a FANTASTIC job and it looks really snazzy on you. YOU'RE TOTALLY ROCKING, KNITTING DUDE!

TowKnee's picture

You're too kind - thank you. I had a similar reaction to Alice's "Henry VIII" sweater regarding the central motif. It began to grow on me and when I came across this pattern it seemed to be a toned-down version of a similar I decided that I'd try it, the vest also being slightly less ominous than the sweater (not to mention I owned the pattern for the vest, having totally forgotten about it for several years, and not being able to afford the collector's item price point of Tudor Roses). I have seen an example of the HenryVIII pattern where the knitter decided to make it into a cardigan - I wasn't totally sold on that idea once I saw the execution. It's a bold pattern, perhaps, but I'm bothered less and less by bold. :^)

grandcarriage's picture

PS: I totally love the two colour rib... and the motif is growing on me...perhaps I spoke too swiftly. It does look great on you.

BuduR's picture

oh it's great! love the colors, and the motif took a bit to grow on me too, but the more I look at it the more I like it :)
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thairapist's picture


Amazing vest. Congratulations on the prize. I haven't tried color knitting but that vest certainly is inspirational.
Thanks for sharing

MichaelJames's picture

Truly spectacular! I love Alice Starmore! I have the kit for Thoroughbred in my "storage" area. Truly beautiful. MichaelJames


grandcarriage's picture

Circular knitting with steeks...You ever notice, that things knit in the round tend to fall in a column...a round body if the sweater is oversized, the torso shape tends to be round? I was just noticing the effect on your slender self.

kiwiknitter's picture

I think this happens because there is no elasticity in the corrugated ribbing of the basque. If there were, there would be some gathering to give some shaping and hold to the body. I don't think the fit has anything to do with knitting in the round or using steeks. I have knitted other jumpers in the round with steeks and they have a nice fit.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Britisher's picture

Wow, that's one amazing piece of work. Congratulations.

I'm not familiar with the technique Alice Starmore uses for her steeks. I couldn't imagine taking my knitting to the sewing machine, which I think is the one Elizabeth Zimmerman describes in Knitting Without Tears.

However there's a lovely crochet method for steeks, which works like a dream. A great description of it at I think this technique should work perfectly with any animal fibre so long as it's not superwash. If anyone has a different experience with this please post about it.

And of course the nice thing with circular knitting with steeks is that you can knit a sleeve gansay-style, picking up stitches around the steek and knitting downwards with circulars and/or DPNs to the cuffs.

mysterJay's picture

Very beautiful. I am a little bit jealous.

kiwiknitter's picture

You are an inspiration to stranded knitters everywhere!

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly