Best knit vest EVER!

I finally got my wish on Sunday as light levels were at long last high enough for me to document my Silver Bells, otherwise known as Helga Isager’s Nightingale Vest.
Now I might have been a little exuberant with the title as it is the only one I have knit up to this point, but it was so satisfying to knit with all those sculptural bells, and is so satisfying to wear as well, that I am standing by the claim (until proven otherwise)! The bell texture on the front of the vest is thick and squishy, but also very flattering as it acts a bit like ribbing so is rather figure hugging in all the right ways!

I was told at a recent knit night that it has to be seen on to be believed, so here we go:
You can see how the vest snugs in even though it was knit without any waist shaping.

It also keeps its shaping when open, due to the fab twisted stitch on the back of the vest. Love how boldly defined this stitch is.

Here it is unbuttoned.
It is very feminine and flattering without being too frilly, and is perfect to wear over this season’s smock-y dresses or toughened up with some jeans and boots.

My mods were to shorten it a bell, start the arms one bell lower and the neck shaping a bell after that (this will make sense if you are looking at the pattern!). I also finished the buttonband with i-cord buttonholes instead of knitting them in. This was my first try at these and they are a keeper for future projects, as the cord creates a nice clean edge around the whole band and the buttonholes are nearly invisible when not in use. A very nice detail to add on this one.


All in all I feel this little vest is going to be a wardrobe staple for a good many years! Success. 


13 thoughts on “Best knit vest EVER!

  1. That is gorgeous! I love the way the bells add architectural interest without looking stiff or hard (as cables sometimes can). I have never thought of myself as a vest person, but this one is making me question that…

    • This stitch is the most sculptural i have done yet and the whole technique for creating form has me hooked. I need to find more stitches that use a similar kind of casting on extra stitches for future projects as it is so damn satisfying (fun!).

  2. OK, I’m going to admit that all along I haven’t been a huge fan of this pattern 🙂 But wow! It really does come to life when it’s on a body! I actually think it’s really cool now! And it looks great on you!

    • That is the same thing a couple of people at the knit group said…that they thought it was borderline ugly before seeing it on. Heh. 😉

      The gorgeously styled photos from the book sucked me in.

      But I was still unsure about it when I saw all the versions on hangers. The one that sold it for me was Tinathings images of the vest ON. What a difference! (wish people would show their knits modeled more!)

  3. Wonderful! 😀 I love grey so much, it’s so elegant… This is so nicely put together! You’re one of my knitting heroes 😉 Very interesting, the i-cord buttonholes. I’ll try to remember that for sometime.. 😀

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