Kaffe Fassett is a master of color. I'm looking forward to seeing your finished vest. I carry the yarn loosely up the sides for several rows, usually catching it every few rows by twisting it with the working yarn at the edge. It's all going to be in a seam but it'll still make the seam neater.
I think you need a rich interior life to get through 1x1 rib, at least I do.