This year I'm knitting all our nieces' birthday gifts. First up was Kristen, who received this version of Figheadh Yarnworks Fundamental Junior Vest for her January birthday, when she turned three years old. Next up is Sofia, who also turns three this year; her birthday is in May. I'm also making her this vest. Hers is in Cascade Yarns 128 Superwash in Color #893 on size US 9 needles.
Here's where I'm at; checking to see that the front and back are the same length and ready to seam together.
I added 1" to the body of the sweater because I felt the final product was a little stubby looking. Looking at the pattern picture, it is a short/just-to-the-waist vest. I thought I might like it a little longer. Both sweaters are slightly larger than the girls' sizes at present so that they can wear them longer. I think added length will help in that regard.
The pattern gives directions for several gauges: 3, 4, 5 or 6 stitches per inch. So the knitter can make the pattern using a variety of yarn/needle combinations with varying gauge. Gauge-wise, I ended up with in between gauge using size 9, 10 or 11 needles and this yarn. I didn't like the way it looked or felt to knit with sizes 10 or 11, although I knit and laundered a swatch with at least one of these sizes and liked the way it looked and felt then. I liked it right off the bat with size 9 needles and I'm barely 0.5 stitches/inch off gauge, which I don't think will make a big difference in a child's vest.
Next up is to seam the shoulders and sides. This time I'll try a three needle bind off on the shoulder seams. I've never done that. I wonder if that's the same thing as the mysterious Kitchener stitch, of which I've heard tell. I've never done that either, although I expect to when I finally -- finally! -- near the end of knitting my first sock when I expect to use the Kitchener stitch at the toe.
After seaming comes the ribbing for the V-neck and armholes. I have some time before Sofia's birthday so I'll try to figure out my questions about the ribbing. The pattern also has you put the front's center two stitches on a holder while shaping the neck and armholes, but I don't know how to incorporate those two stitches into the ribbing. The pattern doesn't specifically address incorporating the center two stitches; they're just hanging loose at this point so maybe I just make sure I work them into the ribbing.
Then there's weaving in the loose ends, followed by washing and blocking and then it'll be done. IIRC, the next niece birthday after that is Ashley, for whom I'll knit a shawl.