Creative Knitting with Bobbie Matela

Summer Sampler Vest

Design by Edie Eckman

This vest is easy and fun to knit using a modular pattern that works for a variety of gauges and a mixture of yarns.

Skill Level
Intermediate***

Finished Size
Woman's extra-small (small, medium, large, extra-large) All sizes are worked alike. Changes are made byo varying gauge and number of sts in each square.

Finished Measurements
Chest: Approximately 36 (40, 44, 48, 52) inches

Materials

  • A variety of sport and light worsted weight cotton and cotton-blend yarns in cream, ecru, off-white, in a variety of textures (optional): Approximately 900-1200 yards total, including about 190 yds of 1 yarn for borders
  • Size 6 (4mm) or 7 (4.5mm) 16-and 24-inch circular needles or size needed for gauge and chosen yarn (see gauge instructions)
  • 2 additional 24-inch or longer circular needles in same size or one size smaller
  • Stitch markers
  • Tapestry needle

Gauge
Work gauge swatch as follows: Using predominant yarn, complete 25-st Basic Square. Compare finished size of square to Fig. 1. If necessary, adjust number of sts and/or needle size and make additional gauge swatches until swatch measures desired dimension.

Special Abbreviations
Dd (double dec): Sl 1, k2tog, psso.
M1 (make 1): Inc by making a backward loop over right needle.

Pattern Notes
This is a modular pattern that works for a variety of gauges and a mixture of yarns. As long as the knitter uses yarns that are similar in weight, any slight inconsistencies in gauge will even out as the vest is assembled. If necessary, use 2 fine yarns held tog to obtain desired gauge.

Vest is not intended to meet in front.

Squares are worked back and forth on circular needles. Mark corner sts with removable st marker or safety pin.

All sizes are worked the same way; differences in size come from gauge and number of sts in each square. Refer to Fig. 1 for sizing.

After the Basic Square, each subsequent square is attached to previous ones without seams. The only seams are shoulder seams. As you knit, check to see that you are picking up sts correctly -- all diagonals should be leaning the same way.

Instructions are given for neck, front and bottom bands to be worked in 1 piece on 4 circular needles, in rnds as with double points. Each band may be worked individually if enough circular needles are not available.

Choose yarns at random, keeping in mind that shiny or novelty yarns will draw the eye -- watch placement of these yarns carefully to avoid highlighting portions of the body you may not want to feature!

For variety, switch yarns in the middle of a square, work stripes, or add an occasional purl row on the wrong side. Use no more than 2 purl rows (St st rows) on any 1 square to avoid distortion.

For a more prominent center double dec, sl next 2 sts tog as if to k2tog, k1, pass 2 sl sts over. On next row, purl center st.

Basic Square
Cast on 25 (27, 29) sts.
Row 1 and all WS rows: Knit.
Row 2: K11 (12, 13), dd, k11 (12, 13).
Row 4: K10 (11, 12), dd, k10 (11, 12).
Row 6: K9 (10, 11), dd, k9 (10, 11).
Continue working in this manner, dec 2 sts every other row until 3 sts remain, ending with a WS row.
Final row: Dd. Fasten off.

Vest Assembly
Work Basic Square (Square 1), using needle size and number of sts chosen after determining gauge.
Squares 2-5: Using a different yarn from that used in previous square, pick up and k 12 (13, 14) sts along top edge of previous square, cast on 13 (14, 15) sts at end of row. (25, 27, 29 sts) Work Basic Square.
Square 6: Cast on 12 (13, 14) sts, pick up and k 1 st in bottom right-hand corner of Square #1, and 12 (13, 14) sts along RH side of same square. (25, 27, 29 sts) Work Basic Square.
Squares 7-10: Pick up and k 12 (13, 14) sts along top of previous square, 1 st in corner, and 12 (13, 14) sts along side of adjacent square. Work Basic Square.
Square 11: Work as for Square 2.
Referring to Fig. 2, continue working squares in this manner through Square 86.

Finishing
Fold vest with WS tog. Sew shoulder seams.

Armhole bands
Rnd 1: With RS facing, beg at center underarm, with 16-inch needle, pick up and k 1 st in each st to corner, 1 st in corner, 1 st in each ridge or st around armhole to corner, 1 st in corner, and 1 st in each st to beg.
Rnd 2: Purl.
Rnd 3: [K to 1 st before corner st, dd] twice, k to beg of rnd.
Rnds 4 and 5: Rep Rnds 2 and 3.
Rnd 6: Rep Rnd 2.
Bind off row: *Bind off to 1 st before corner st, dd, bind off that st, rep from * once, bind off remaining sts.
Neck, front and bottom border (worked in 1 piece)
Rnd 1: With RS facing, beg at bottom edge under left armhole, pick up and k 1 st in each st across back and right front, 1 st in front corner; with 2nd needle, pick up and k 1 st in each ridge up right front, 1 st in corner, 1 st in each st, corner st and ridge to back center neck; with 3rd needle, continue to pick up and k 1 st in each st, corner st and ridge around neck, 1 st in corner, 1 st in each ridge down left front, 1 st in corner, and 1 st in each st to beg.
Rnd 2: Using 4th needle, purl sts from first needle. Use free needle to purl sts from next needle, and so on around to beg of rnd.
Rnd 3: [K to corner, M1, k corner st, M1] twice, [k to 1 st before corner, dd] 4 times, [k to corner, M1, k1, M1] twice, k to beg of rnd.
Rnds 4 and 5: Rep Rnds 2 and 3.
Rnd 6: Purl.
Bind off around first 2 corners, [bind off to 1 st before next corner, work dd, bind off resulting st] 4 times, bind off remaining sts. Fasten off securely.

Copyright © August 2002 Knitting With Bits & Pieces. All rights reserved.

Until we meet here again, Knit On!

Bobbie Matela signature
Barb Bettegnies
Editor, Creative Knitting magazine

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