Friday, June 20, 2008

An A-to-Z* Circular Vest Pattern, by Margie Towery

An A-to-Z* Circular Vest Pattern, by Margie Towery
*A-musingly simple, drop-shouldered, many possibilities, next to Z-ero finishing
With thanks to Susan H. Esser for her vest pattern with garter stitch edges. I’ve revamped it to make for much less finishing. Please do not use vest for sale or sell pattern. It’s meant for charity purposes and for gifts for family and friends.

Version A: Malabrigo worsted weight in light blue, about 350 yards, size 9 needles (24” circ and straight); gauge: 4 sts/1”; finished size: chest 25” and length 14-15” (2-4 yr-olds?) Shown in photos.
Version B: Lamb’s Pride worsted weight, 2 skeins (380 yards), size 9 needles (24” circ and straight); gauge: 3 ½ sts/1”; finished size: chest 31” and length 18-19” (7-9 yr-olds?)
Version C: Cascade 220 Heather, 3 skeins (660 yards), needles size 5 and 7 24” circs and 7 straights; gauge: 4 ½ sts/1” on 7s; finished size: chest 38” and length 24” (small adult)
Instructions are written for A (B, C).
Cast on multiple of 4: 100 (120, 172). (For adult version, cast on and ribbing on size 5 needles)
Join, being carefully not to twist sts.
Ribbing: 6 rows of 2x2 (6 rows of 2x2, 10 rows of 1x1) (adult version, change to size 7s on first row after ribbing)
Stockinette stitch for about 9 (11, 16) inches in the round to the underarm. At this point you should have used about ½ of your yarn. From now on you will be working back and forth rather than in round.
Slip the last half (50, 60, 86) of total stitches (that you just knitted) onto holder for the back.
Turn to wrong side. Use cable cast on, CO 4 (4, 5) stitches. This is the garter sleeve band. Turn to right side. Knit these 4 stitches and half of remaining stitches: 25 (30, 43).
Slip remaining 25 (30, 43) sts onto holder. These are the stitches that are next up on your needle.
Turn to wrong side. With cable cast on, CO 4 (4, 5) stitches for garter neck band for left front.
Knit these 4 (4, 5) stitches, purl to last 4 (4, 5) sts., knit the last 4 (4, 5) sts. If desired, use markers as reminders to maintain garter bands. Also, try to keep garter bands somewhat loose.
*(RS)k4 (4, 5), k to last 6 (6, 7) sts, k2tog, k4 (4, 5). Turn. (WS) K4 (4, 5), purl to last 4 (4, 5) sts, k4 (4, 5).* Repeat * to * until you have 10 (12, 18) sts left between the garter stitch borders: 18 (20, 28) stitches total. End with the purl row. Break yarn; slip stitches to holder.
Return to right front. Slip stitches onto left needle, so you’re ready to knit them from the right side. Using long-tail method (and leaving a 24-inch tail), cast on 4 (4, 5) sts to right needle (the right front neck band). Keep yarn tight for first stitch or two and knit across 25 (30, 43) sts. Turn. Use cable CO, cast on 4 (4, 5) sts for sleeve band. Knit back across these. Purl to last 4 (4, 5) sts, k4 (4, 5).
*(RS)k4 (4, 5), SKP, knit to end. Turn. (WS) K4 (4, 5), purl to last 4 (4, 5) sts, k4 (4, 5).* Repeat * to * until you have 10 (12, 18) stitches left between the garter stitch borders: 18 (20,28) sts total. End with the purl row. Break yarn; slip stitches to holder.
The only finishing bit: Go back to the tail from cast on at the V of the neck and use it first to cinch up any loose or stretched center stitches and then tack down the v-neck pieces. It’s much easier to do this now than later.
Note: There are no decreases on the back. You’ll add the garter bands then knit most of the back flat. When you get to the last few rows, you’ll add some ribbing.
Slip the back stitches (50, 60, 86) onto the left needle ready to knit across the right side. With right needle, pick up and knit 4 (4, 5) sts from garter sleeve band, knit across back sts (50, 60, 86), pick up and knit 4 (4, 5) sts from garter sleeve band. Turn. K4 (4, 5), purl to last 4 (4, 5) sts, k4 (4, 5).
*(RS) Knit across total stitches (58, 68, 96). Turn. (WS) K4 (4, 5), purl to last 4 (4, 5) sts, k4 (4, 5).* Repeat these 2 rows 13 times (26 rows) for A; 16 times (32 rows) for B; 21 times (42 rows) for C. In order to figure number of back rows for other cast ons, count number of decreases in front times 2 minus 4 rows. For A, 15 decreases (25 to 10) x 2 = 30, minus 4 rows; thus, 26 rows.
Last (4, 6, 8) rows: (RS) k4 (4, 5) to maintain garter band, k14 (16, 23) to match front stitches and one band, 2x2 rib for 22 (28, 40 but in 1x1 rib for adult size), k14 (16, 23), k4 (4, 5).
(WS): k4 (4, 5), p 14 (16, 23), maintain ribbing, p14 (16, 23), k4 (4, 5).
For A, work these two rows 2 times (4 rows); for B 3 times (6 rows), for C: 4 times (8 rows).
Lay vest out flat and make sure your front matches the back in length. If not add rows as necessary.
All back stitches are now on one needle. Turn vest so right sides are together or face each other. Slip stitches from left and right fronts onto another needle. You’re ready for 3-needle bind off.
Bind off the first 18 (20, 28) stitches as 3-needle BO. Use regular bind off for the next batch of stitches of BACK only until you have 18 (20, 28) stitches left, to match the other front vest part. Now BO 3-needle wise the rest of the stitches.
Weave in ends and you’re done!
For adult sweater I used the texture pattern as follows: Multiple of 4 sts
Row 1: k3, p1 across
Rows 2, 3, 4: maintain stockinette st.
Row 5: k1, *p1, k3* across
Rows 6, 7, 8: maintain stockinette
After knitting in round to armhole, end with purl side rows 2 or 6, so set up rows for v-neck are done on stockinette rows.
Comments or corrections? Please email to

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Sockday to me! Happy Sockday to me!

After two years of waiting, my day finally came. This evening, I was gifted with seven pairs of glorious, gorgeous hand knit socks.

Aren't they beautiful?! Want to learn more about them? Then get on over to the Gaea Creations blog to read more!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What Once Was Lost...

...Now Is Found!

Anyone who was at the River Knits Yarn Tasting might have heard me lamenting about my daughter's lost Wallaby. I had wanted to bring the Wallaby to the Yarn Tasting to show an example of a garment knit with Universal Classic Worsted Tapestry. When I asked my daughter if I could borrow her sweater for the evening, a horrible look of woe came over her face and thus I learned that said sweater had not been seen in months. That led to what seemed like a full-scale search and rescue mission that was finally ended with no leads into the whereabouts of the sweater.

I was sad, but I recovered. I do love my daughter more than the sweater.

So fast forward until yesterday when my dear daughter was cleaning her room and packing to go on a trip. I heard a loud, "MOM!" that inspired mild concern. I thought something was wrong. (But it was only mild concern because the something that is "wrong" is often just the presence of a small spider or something else that isn't really all too "wrong" even though it inspires that tone of voice in my daughters.)

My daughter appeared at the doorway with none other than the long lost sweater!

It had been packed in a long-unopened overnight bag that had never been unpacked after a previous outing. Mystery solved!