Vests

Vests have all the potential versatility of sweaters, without the added labor of sleeves. They make excellent layering options, providing warmth, style, and color—minus the bulk of an entire sweater. These vests can be made as pullovers or cardigans, and they can have either round or v-neck shaping.

Vest Styles 124

Vest: Master Pattern 126

More Vest Ideas 149

Tutorial: Vest Variation 151

THE VERSATILITY OF VESTS

Knitted vests can take numerous forms: a plain v-neck pullover, a buttoned-up cardigan, a cropped accent over a long shirt, a sleeveless tunic, perhaps even a sleeveless dress. Vests are also the perfect layer for children and babies because they keep little ones warm while allowing them to move freely. Consider knitting a vest to match a knit sweater for added warmth.

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A pullover vest can be very easy to make. Except for the neck shaping that takes place on the front, the front and back pieces are essentially the same. A cardigan vest is knit in three pieces—the back, the left front, and the right front. You will probably want to work a ribbing or some other sort of edging along the armholes and neck of a pullover vest. A button band, neckband, and buttonhole band are usually worked along the front edges of a cardigan vest after the main pieces are knit and assembled.

ARMHOLE SHAPING

Some sweaters require no armhole shaping, but you will most likely want to shape the armholes of a vest for a more tailored look. The vests in this chapter use a rounded armhole, which requires binding off a few stitches where the armhole begins and then decreasing a few more stitches gradually over a series of rows.

4 (4-4%, 5, 5-5%, 6)"/ 6% (7, 7'A, 7%, 7%, 8)"

4 (4-4%, 5, 5-5%, 6)"/ 6% (7, 7'A, 7%, 7%, 8)"

1% (1%, 2, 2%, 3)"/ 2'A (2%, 3, 3%, 4, 4%)"

5% (6, 6%, 7, 7%) ' '/ 8% (9, 9%, 10,10%, 11)"

6% (7, 8, 9, 10)"/ 11 (12, 13, 13%, 14, 15)"

11 (12, 14, 15, 16)"/ 18 (19, 20, 22, 24, 26)"

1% (1%, 2, 2%, 3)"/ 2'A (2%, 3, 3%, 4, 4%)"

5% (6, 6%, 7, 7%) ' '/ 8% (9, 9%, 10,10%, 11)"

6% (7, 8, 9, 10)"/ 11 (12, 13, 13%, 14, 15)"

11 (12, 14, 15, 16)"/ 18 (19, 20, 22, 24, 26)"

NECK TREATMENTS

Most vests use one of two neck shaping options: the crewneck or the v-neck. The crewneck, rounded and high, involves binding off or leaving on a holder several stitches at the center of the front and then decreasing a few stitches gradually on either side of the neck. The v-neck is usually worked by decreasing—beginning at a point just above where the armhole shaping begins—one stitch on each side of the V every other row. Most cardigan vests have v-neck shaping.

EDGINGS

When you finish knitting your vest and sewing the pieces together, you will probably want to work some kind of edging along the armholes, neck, and, if it is a cardigan, front edges. To do this, you use a flexible circular needle to pick up stitches evenly around the edge you're working. Then you can do a number of things: You can work these edges in ribbing, seed stitch, or garter stitch—these are traditional—or you can try a bobbled edge, a crocheted edge, a lace edge, or even a ruffle.

You will be surprised by how quickly you can knit a vest. The added knitting and finishing time for sweater sleeves is considerable—and so is the added yarn yardage. This master pattern includes instructions for both a pullover and a cardigan, with a number of variations, and a broad range of sizes. Take careful measurements when choosing a size to knit. Babies and children grow quickly, so for practical reasons, the baby/child sizing allows generous ease. That way, your lovingly knit vest will fit comfortably for at least a year or two.

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