12 December, 2009 at 2:27 pm (caturday, FO, knitting)

This is my dad.


He’s a little… strange. He also reads this blog. (Hi dad!)

Without a doubt, he is the most difficult person in my immediate family to gift shop for. My mom will present me with an itemized list of what she wants, how much it costs, where to get it, how to wrap it. My brother is usually happy with a funny t-shirt or video game. But my dad… well, his usual response to “what do you want?” is “I don’t really need anything.”

Well yeah, dad, but what you do want?

Recently I’ve taken it as a bit of a personal challenge to try to find gifts that will amaze and delight him, like the Hamlet bow tie he received for his birthday this year. It was perfect because he teaches high school English and, in addition to spending a lot of time covering Hamlet, he only ever wears bow ties to school. (I’m sure he also spends a lot of time cringing at the grammar on this blog.) In fact, it was almost a little too perfect; I knew I had to go far above and beyond to improve on that. I knew I would have to… knit a sweater vest.

It was nearly impossible for me to keep this a secret. Every time I struggled with something (like running out of yarn) or managed something clever (like the 320 stitch tubular bind off around the button and neckbands, no I’m not kidding, yes it took me four hours, no I never want to do another tubular bind off again), I desperately wanted to blog about it. But—see above about my dad reading this blog. (Hi dad!) And saying anything would’ve ruined the amazement and delight, I think. So I kept my mouth shut. Er, mostly. And I’m glad I did. He was, in fact, speechless, and with luck he’ll get many years of wear out of just a few days of work. There’s nothing better than that.

Actually, wait, there is something better: it’s superwash.


Pattern: Professor Vest by Elizabeth Morrison
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted in charcoal, 4 skeins
Needles: US6/4mm and US8/5mm Knitpicks Options
Notes: Do not be like me and try to attempt tubular bind off on all the ribbing. Save your sanity. Don’t. Do it.
On Ravelry here.


And since you’re always asking me about Caturday, dad, here you go!



  1. Danielle said,

    Aw! When I ask my dad what he wants for the holidays, he always says “world peace.” So I made him a six-foot scarf. Close, right?

  2. trillian42 said,

    That’s so awesome! I assume you picked a color to coordinate with the Hamlet bow tie? 😀

  3. Carol said,

    that looks like a perfect present for him. It’s totally ‘English proffesorial garb’

  4. darlene said,

    It’s awesome, Jesh, and fits him so spectacularly!! Well done, lady!

    Chanukah Sameach!

  5. Elizabeth M. said,

    Great job on that! And your dad looks like a great guy.

  6. Lynn said,

    PERFECT gift! And if your dad doesn’t think so, he should be forced to correct 100 freshman comp papers.

  7. Ellen said,

    HAHAHA I LOVE PAPA LEIB! HE IS SO AWESOME! You did a slam-bang job on this and I must say he looks rather dashing in that colour! 😀 HELLO PAPA LEIB!!!!

    also sup kitty…i’ll attack you as soon as i see you, never you mind your escape attempts

  8. Emilee said,

    It’s perfect!

  9. Jaime said,

    Awesome, Jess! I love it. I guess he doesn’t tweet. 😉 Now you need to help ME think of a gift for him (and Sam). Remember: I don’t knit, so help me!

    And hello Phil!!!!!!!!!! Looking mighty fine in that gorgeous vest. We need a complete bowtie/vest photo to complete the photo shoot. 🙂

  10. Your Father said,

    Speechless, indeed! A (perhaps) unprecedented situation. And, along with the Hamlet bowtie, it makes a perfectly accessorized outfit for those chilly 8 a.m. discussions of Gertrude’s sex life (you don’t want to know) and Ophelia’s pregnancy (ditto).

  11. Bruce Emra said,

    “I don’t want anything.” That’s not the Philip Leib we know in the English department at Northern Highlands Regional High School. He wants everything (to change for the better in this school)–and he makes perfectly good sense.
    Great sweater, Jess–if I have spelled it correctly.

  12. Karen said,

    It was FUN watching you do that tubular thang! 😉

    Do it again! Do it again!

  13. Julibrarian said,

    Wow! Your dad is wearing his vest proudly today! Beautiful work!

  14. saradippity said,

    I have a serious jealous of your daddy’s cane… Omg, is that adjustable? So it’s metal? Oh the jealous.

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