I was very inspired lately by all the beautiful, airy knits that I’ve been seeing on Instagram. A lot of beautiful, spring pop over vests, that looked like they were easy and fast to knit and as fast to enjoy.
Knitting is an exercise of self-love, especially when you knit for yourself.
My favourite part of knitting is the process of creating something new. From inspiration, to idea, to the construction process, to the final result. Even if the final result doesn’t match perfectly with the original idea.
For this vest, I was inspired by the knitting pattern maker Petit Knit and her beautiful vests in earthy tones and soft fibres.
I also wanted to use some yarn from my stash for this project and I choose a yarn that I had given up on, after trying to use it for many projects, like slippers etc. I bought this yarn in a moment of suspension of logic that I cannot explain. It is a shiny acrylic yarn that I despise with all my might and that I have already knitted into a cardigan and frogged because I disliked it so much. I also had another recycled yarn from an industrial knitted scarf that I’d received as a gift but was uncomfortable to wear and unpractical for me.
So I used these two yarn together and after knitting a swatch much smaller than the recommended size I came up with a gauge 16 stitches per 10 centimetres (or 4 inch).
I then drew the pattern piece on paper, starting with my waist measurement and the distance from belly button to the chest point (the mid distance between your nipples 🙂 to create the basic shape of the vest.
So for example, I wanted to have a front piece that was quite cropped and added one centimetre to each side of my piece. So I cast on 56 stiches to create a 35 centimetres length of ribbing. I calculated how many centimetres I needed to increase by and at each point to get to the bust line, which for me was 45 cm. Since I needed to increase 10 cm in total, 5 cm on each side, I calculated that I would need to increase 1 cm (1.6 st) at each 5 centimetres of work.
Once I got to the sleeve, I would decrease from the sides and cast off around a third of the stitches from the middle, which would be my neckline. I would then knit each strap separately and cast off. The back would be similar, with a lower hem, so a few more rows of ribbing, and with a softer slope for the neckline. I would then stitch together the two sides and pick up and knit a few rows of ribbing for the armhole and neckline.
And that’s what I did.
Pattern: Use your stash and your imagination vest by me
Gauge: 16 st to 10 cm (4 in)
CO 56 and knit in rib (knit 1 purl 1) until your rib is 5 cm high (or as much as you want, depending on your design modifications)
Then on a right side row, I increased 1 on each side and continued in stockinette stitch (front row knit, back row purl) for 4 rows
On the fifth row I increased 1 again on each side and i continued like this until my piece was my desired length from rib to chest point, which in my case was 20 cm. Try this thing on as you knit it.
To shape the armholes I started by decreasing 3 st on each side on a front row, then purl normally the next row
Repeat on next front row by decreasing 2 st on each side of front row and purl back row
Then decrease 1 st on each side and purl
On front row divide your remaining number of stitches by three. Knit the first third of those, cast off the second third and knit the last third
Knit straps as long as you want (try it on yourself)
Same as front piece, except two things: one, after the last decrease I knitted in stockinette stitch until the length of my knitted piece was the same as my front piece, minus two cm, and here I decreased in the same way by dividing the number of stitches in three.
I also knit the ribbing longer, so that the back had a longer hemline.
Pick up stitches at armhole and neckline and knit in rib for 3-4 rows or as long as you’d like, depending on your creative inspiration. Cast off and wear.
To make any other size, start with the waist measurement of the person you are making this for and calculate how many stitches you need. This is easy, you just divide your gauge by 10 (or 4) to get the number of stitched needed to create 1 cm (or 1 in) of knitted fabric.
For example: in cm, for this project, I got 1.6 st for each 1 cm of knitted fabric, and multiplied that by the number of needed centimetres of desired knitted fabric.
Then use the same progressions and steps as the pattern above (try it on often),
I even made this in a different yarn with a much different gauge (10 st for 10 cm) and following the same pattern, I’ve knitted a second vest. So it’s a very simple and versatile pattern for creative and fearless knitters.
Disclaimer: I am not a pattern maker, I just make things for myself and share my process with you.