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Autumn Equinox Vest

 

Gear up for fall hikes through the changing leaves with this cozy zippered vest. Easy details make this project fun and unique: a lofty slip stitch rib, pretty waist shaping and a bold plastic zipper. (Conquer zipper fears with our new Zipper Tutorial!)

I think vests are an autumn staple, and, for me, a pure knitting pleasure. Without sleeves, it's over before you even knew it began! And on to the next project!

 

Materials

 

 

The Pattern

Gauge

4 3/4 stitches = 1 inch in rib pattern (unstretched)

Finished Size

Chest circumference = 33 inches

Waist circumference = 31 inches

Top of shoulder to bottom hem = 20 inches

NOTE: To make bigger sizes, knit at a looser gauge (by changing needle sizes).

  • 4 1/2 stitches to the inch will make a vest with a 35 inch chest and 33 1/2 inch waist.
  • 4 stitches to the inch will make a 39 3/4 inch chest and 37 3/4 inch waist.
  • 3 3/4 stitches to the inch will make a 42 1/2 inch chest and 40 1/4 inch waist.

Remember also that ribbing stretches. These final measurements are of the rib totally relaxed and unstretched. For a tight fit, choose your actual chest measurement or slightly smaller. For a looser fit, pick a finishes chest measurement about 2 inches bigger than your actual measurement.

Pattern Note

When the pattern says to "slip 1", do so purlwise and with the yarn in front.

To Begin

With the longer US# 8 needle, cast on 159 stitches.

Knit 2 rows.

Change to the US# 9 needle.

Row 1 (right side): *K3, slip 1 (with yarn in front, see Pattern Note) repeat from * to last 3 stitches, k3.

Row 2 (wrong side): K1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1, k1.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 3 inches from the cast on edge, ending with a wrong side row.

Waist Shaping: Decreasing

Decrease Row (right side): *K3, slip 1, repeat from * 8 more times, k1, k2tog, place a marker, slip 1, ssk, k1, **slip 1, k3, repeat from ** 17 more times (there should be 113 stitches on the right needle), slip 1, k1, k2tog, place a marker, slip 1, ssk, k1, ***slip 1, k3, repeat from *** to end. (155 stitches)

Next Row (wrong side): K1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to 2 stitches before marker, slip 1, k1, slip marker**, repeat from * to **, ***slip 1, k3, repeat from *** to last 2 stitches, slip 1, k1.

Next Row: *K3, slip 1, repeat from * to 2 stitches before first marker, k2, slip marker, slip 1, k2, **slip 1, k3, repeat from ** to 3 stitches before second marker, slip 1, k2, slip marker, slip 1, k2, ***slip 1, k3, repeat from *** to end.

Repeat the last two rows 1 time.

Repeat the wrong side row 1 more time.

Decrease Row (right side): *K3, slip 1, repeat from * to 2 stitches before first marker, k1, slip 1 with yarn in back, remove marker, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over, replace marker, k1, **slip 1, k3, repeat from ** to 3 stitches before second marker, slip 1, k1, slip 1 with yarn in back, remove marker, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over, replace marker, k1, ***slip 1, k3, repeat from *** to end. (151 stitches)

Next Row: K1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1, k1.

Next Row: *K3, slip 1, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, k3.

Repeat the last 2 rows until the piece measures 7 inches from the cast on edge, ending with a wrong side row.

Waist Shaping: Increasing

Increase Row (right side): *K3, slip 1, repeat from * to 2 stitches before first marker, k1, m1R, k1, slip marker, m1L, k1, **slip 1, k3, repeat from ** to 3 stitches before second marker, slip 1, k1, m1R, k1, slip marker, m1L, k1, ***slip 1, k3, repeat from *** to end. (155 stitches)

Next Row (wrong side): K1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to 1 stitch before marker, slip 1, slip marker, k1, ** repeat from * to **,  ***slip 1, k3, repeat from *** to last 2 stitches, slip 1, k1.

Next Row: *K3, slip 1, repeat from * to 3 stitches before first marker, k3, slip marker, k2, **slip 1, k3, repeat from ** to second marker, slip marker, k2, ***slip 1, k3, to end.

Repeat last 2 rows until piece measures 9 inches from the cast on edge, ending with a wrong side row.

Increase Row: *K3, slip 1, repeat from * to 3 stitches before first marker, k2, m1R, k1, slip marker, m1L, k2, **slip 1, k3, repeat from ** to 4 stitches before second marker, slip 1, k2, m1R, k1, slip marker, m1L, k2, ***slip 1, k3, repeat from *** to end. (159 stitches)

Next Row: K1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip1, k1.

Next Row: K3, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to end.

Repeat last 2 rows until piece measures 11 inches from cast on edge, ending with a wrong side row.

 

Underarms

Row 1 (right side): *K3, slip1, repeat from * to 4 stitches after the first marker, put the last 9 stitches on a holder (removing the marker)**, repeat from * to **, ***k3, slip 1, repeat from *** to end.

There are now 35 stitches for the left front, 9 stitches on hold for the left underarm, 71 stitches for the back, 9 stitches on hold for the right underarm, and 35 stitches for the right front.

Left Front

NOTE: For the Left Front section,you will only work the 35 stitches of the left front ("left" as if you were wearing the vest).  You can just leave the rest of the stitches on the circular needle and ignore them, or if you prefer, you can put the back and right front stitches on holders or on a loop of scrap yarn.

Left Armhole

Row 1 (wrong side): K1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches (before the underarm stitches), slip 1, k1.

Row 2 (right side): K1, k2tog, *slip1 , k3, repeat from * to end. (34 stitches)

Row 3: K1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, slip 1.

Row 4: K1, k2tog, *k3, slip 1, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, k3. (33 stitches)

Row 5: K1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to end.

Row 6: K1, k2tog, k2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to end. (32 stitches)

Row 7: K1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, slip 1, k2.

Row 8: K1, k2tog, k1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to end. (31 stitches)

Rows 9-15: Repeat Rows 1-7, ending with 28 stitches.

Row 16: K4, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to end.

Row 17: Repeat Row 7.

Repeat the last 2 rows until the left front measures 18 inches from the cast on edge, ending with a right side row.

Left Neck

Row 1 (wrong side): Bind off 6 stitches, k2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1, k2. (22 stitches)

Row 2 (right side): K4, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1, k1.

Row 3: Bind off 2 stitches, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, slip 1, k2. (20 stitches)

Row 4: K4, *slip 1 , k3, repeat from * to end.

Row 5: K1, k2tog, k2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, slip 1, k2. (19 stitches)

Row 6: K4, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, slip 1, k2.

Row 7: K1, k2tog, k1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, slip 1, k2. (18 stitches)

Row 8: Repeat Row 2.

Row 9: K1, k2tog, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, slip 1, k2. (17 stitches)

Row 10: K4, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, slip 1.

Row 11: K1, k2tog, *k3, slip 1, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, k2. (16 stitches)

Row 12: Repeat Row 4.

Left Shoulder

Row 1 (wrong side): K1, k2tog, k2, [slip 1, k3] 2 times, wrap and turn. (15 total stitches)

Row 2 (right side): K1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, slip 1, k2.

Row 3: K4, slip 1, k3, slip 1, wrap and turn.

Row 4: K2, slip 1, k3, slip 1, k2.

Row 5: K4, slip 1, k1, wrap and turn.

Row 6: K3, slip 1, k2.

Row 7: K4, [slip 1, k3] 2 times, slip 1, k2, picking up the wraps as you get to them.

Put the 15 left front stitches on a stitch holder and cut the yarn.

 

Back

NOTE: Now you will only be working the center 71 stitches, ignoring the remaining 35 stitches that are on hold for the right front.

Back Armholes

With the wrong side facing you, join new yarn.

Row 1 (wrong side): K1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1, k1.

Row 2 (right side): K1, k2tog, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, slip 1, ssk, k1. (69 stitches)

Row 3: K4, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Row 4: K1, k2tog, *k3, slip 1, repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k3, ssk, k1. (67 stitches)

Row 5: *k3, slip 1, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, k3.

Row 6: K1, k2tog, k2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 6 stitches, slip 1, k2, ssk, k1. (65 stitches)

Row 7: K2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, slip 1, k2.

Row 8: Repeat Row 3.

Repeat last 2 rows until the back measures 19 inches from the cast on edge, ending with a wrong side row.

Back Neck

Row 1 (right side): K4, [slip 1, k3] 4 times, bind off 25 stitches, k2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, k1. (20 stitches for each shoulder)

Back Left Shoulder

NOTE: Now you will just be working the 20 stitches of the back left shoulder.

Row 1 (wrong side): K2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1, k1.

Row 2 (right side): Bind off 3 stitches, *k3, slip 1, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, k4. (17 stitches)

Row 3: K2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, slip 1, k2.

Row 4: Bind off 2 stitches, k1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, k1. (15 stitches)

Row 5: K2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Row 6: K2, [slip 1, k3] 2 times, slip 1, k1, wrap and turn.

Row 7: *K3, slip 1, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, k4.

Row 8: K2, slip 1, k3, slip 1, k2, wrap and turn.

Row 9: [Slip 1, k3] 2 times, k1.

Row 10: K2, slip 1, k3, wrap and turn.

Row 11: K1, slip 1, k4.

Row 12: K2, slip 1, k3, p1, k3, slip 1, k4, picking up the wraps as you get to them.

Row 13: K2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

 

Assembling Left Shoulders

With the right sides facing each other of the left front and left back shoulders, use the three needle bind off to knit them together. In order to make the seam less noticable, do the three needle bind off purling the 2 stitches together, instead of knitting. Here's how:

- Holding the knitting needle and the stitch holder parallel to each other, insert the other end of the knitting needle into the first stitch on the back needle like you're purling.

- Then insert the needle into the first stitch on the front needle, also purling. 

Purl the 2 stitches together. (At the beginning of the row, you need to repeat these steps so there are two stitches on the right needle. After that, you only have to follow these steps once in order to end up with two stitches on the right needle.)

Then pass the first stitch over the second, just like a normal bind off. There will be one stitch left on the right needle. Purl 2 together again from the parallel needles, and bind off a stitch. Continue until there is one stitch left, cut the yarn and pull it through the last stitch.

Back Right Shoulder

NOTE: Now you will just be working the 20 stitches of the back right shoulder.

With the right side facing you, join new yarn.

Row 1 (right side): K4, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to end.

Row 2 (wrong side): Bind off 3 stitches, k1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, slip 1, k2. (17 stitches)

Row 3: K4, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Row 4: Bind off 2 stitches, *k3, slip 1, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, k2. (15 stitches)

Row 5: K4, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, slip 1, k2.

Row 6: K4, [slip 1, k3] 2 times, wrap and turn.

Row 7: K1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, slip 1, k2.

Row 8: K4, slip 1, k3, slip 1, wrap and turn.

Row 9: K2, slip 1, k3, slip 1, k2.

Row 10: K4, slip 1, k1, wrap and turn.

Row 11: K3, slip 1, k2.

Row 12: K4, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last3 stitches, k3, picking up the wraps as you get to them.

Put the 15 back right shoulder stitches on a holder and cut the yarn.

Right Front

NOTE: For the Right Front section you will be working the remaining 35 stitches.

Right Armhole

With the wrong side facing, join new yarn.

Row 1 (wrong side): K1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1, k1.

Row 2 (right side): *K3, slip 1, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, ssk. k1. (34 stitches)

Row 3: K4, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1, k1.

Row 4: *K3, slip 1, repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k3, ssk, k1. (33 stitches)

Row 5: *K3, slip 1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Row 6: * K3, slip 1, repeat from * to last 5 stitches, k2, ssk, k1. (32 stitches)

Row 7: K2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1, k1.

Row 8: *K3, slip 1, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, k1, ssk, k1. (31 stitches)

Rows 9-15: Repeat Rows 1-7, ending with 28 stitches.

Row 16: *K3, slip 1, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, k4.

Row 17: Repeat Row 7.

Repeat the last 2 rows until the front right measures 18 inches from the cast on edge, ending with a wrong side row.

Right Neck

Row 1 (right side): Bind off 6 stitches, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, k1. (22 stitches)

Row 2 (wrong side): K2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to end.

Row 3: Bind off 2 stitches, k2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, k1. (20 stitches)

Row 4: K2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1, k1.

Row 5: K1, k2tog, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, k1. (19 stitches)

Row 6: K2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Row 7: K1, k2tog, *k3, slip 1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1. (18 stitches)

Row 8: Repeat Row 2.

Row 9: K1, k2tog, k2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, k1. (17 stitches)

Row 10: K2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, slip 1, k2.

Row 11: K1, k2tog, k1, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, k1. (16 stitches)

Row 12: Repeat Row 4.

Right Shoulder

Row 1 (right side): K1, k2tog, [slip 1, k3] 2 times, slip 1, k1, wrap and turn. (15 total stitches)

Row 2 (wrong side): *K3, slip 1, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, k4.

Row 3: K2, slip 1, k3, slip 1, k2, wrap and turn.

Row 4: Slip 1, k3, slip 1, k4.

Row 5: K2, slip 1, k3, wrap and turn.

Row 6: K1, slip 1, k4.

Row 7: K2, slip 1, k3, p1, k3, slip 1, k4, picking up the wraps as you get to them.

Row 8: K2, *slip 1, k3, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

 

With the right sides facing each other of the right front and right back shoulders, use the purlwise three needle bind off to assemble them.

 

Finishing

Armhole Edging

With the shorter US# 8 needle and the right side facing you, start picking up to the left of the underarm stitches.

Pick up 35 stitches up to the shoulder seam, and pick up 34 stitches down to the underarm stitches. (69 stitches)

Round 1: Place a marker, purl the 9 underarm stitches from the holder, and purl to the end of the round. (78 stitches)

Round 2: Knit.

Bind off in purl stitch.

Repeat for the other armhole.

Neckband

With the longer US# 8 needle and the right side facing you, start picking up at the corner of the right front neck.

Pick up 16 stitches up to the right shoulder seam; pick up 34 stitches across the back to the left shoulder seam; and pick up 16 stitches down to the corner of the left front neck.

Knit 4 rows.

Bind off in knit stitch and cut the yarn.

Weave in all the ends.

Zipper

Gently block the vest. As you lay the vest out to dry,  make sure that the distance from the cast on edge to the base of the neckband measures 18 inches. Alpaca wants to stretch, especially when it's wet, so don't let it grow too big for your zipper!

After pinning the zipper in place, use the thread and sewing needle to sew the zipper to the vest. For detailed instructions of this step, please check out our Zipper Tutorial.

You're done!

Click here to add a comment

16 Responses to Autumn Equinox Vest


  1. Christine says:

    What a wonderful Tute !!! (as all of yours are!) This is just perfect for me to make my first vest, as daughter would like one, I will only knit it if she wears it, she doesn’t like fussy, girly stuff….this stitch is perfect! and those zippers are my fave kind!

    Clear pictures (always!) and clear instructions. Thank you~~~

  2. Holly says:

    I am generally not a garment knitter (no patience for that) but this looks extremely cool and like something that I could conquer for my first garment. Thank you so mcuh for the clear instructions and sharing at purl bee!

  3. CatKnitz says:

    Great tutorial. Can you tell me the number of stitches the stitch pattern is based on or the repeat?
    i can see lots of uses for this stitch pattern after i make the vest.
    Many thanks!
    CatKnitz

  4. Suzanne says:

    This is so cute, looks great, and fast to knit! Truly an inspirational Autumn project before all the holiday knitting really gets underway! Love the color pop of the zipper, too! Many thanks!
    Suzanne

  5. Marcia says:

    I am making the vest for my daughter. Your directions are easy to follow, and I LOVE the yarn. However, I have run up on a couple of questions. First, in the increase row for the waist shaping, I am thinking there may be a typo. There appears to be an extra “m” before a “k1″.

    Second, in making the left shoulder (that’s as far as I have gotten), there is a direction to wrap, and then later to pick up the wraps. This is a new term to me. Am I wrapping the yarn around the needle? How is that different from a yo? Am I wrapping the yarn around the slipped stitch that was the end of the prior row? If so, how do I pick it up later?

    Thank you again for the wonderful pattern. The yarn has a marvelous feel, and the stitch pattern shows off the yarn beautifully.

  6. purl bee says:

    Hi Marcia,

    That extra “m” was indeed a typo – thank you for pointing that out!

    As for the wrapping, the shoulders are shaped using Short Rows. If you click on the term “Wrap and Turn”, and then later on “Picking Up the Wraps”, you will be linked to our Short Rows Tutorial which explains the techniques. Or you can just go directly to the tutorial at http://www.purlbee.com/short-row-tutorial/.

    Short Rows add subtle shaping to garments, creating more flattering and sophisticated fits. So it’s a very useful technique to learn!

    Thank you so much for your correction and question! Good luck!

    Whitney

  7. Marcia says:

    Whitney:

    Thanks ever so much. Once I knew what I was supposed to be doing, it was easy. And, thanks again for the lovely pattern. It is working up beautifully.

    Marcia

  8. Marcia says:

    Okay, one additional question. On row 12 of the left shoulder there is a p1 instead of an s1. This is out of pattern, and unlike row 12 of the right shoulder. Should it be an s1?

  9. purlbee says:

    Hi again Marcia,

    If I recall correctly, I decided to purl that stitch instead of slipping it because it made picking up the wraps neater. Row 7 of the Right Front Shoulder also has a purl stitch where you would expect a slip.

    I hope this makes sense. Please ask as many questions as you have – you’re a great technical editor!

    Whitney

  10. Laurel says:

    I have just begun the vest (after swatching). As it is developing, the rib pattern looks less sharply defined in real life than in the pictures, or than a 3/1 regular rib pattern looks. Is that your experience, too (I hope)?

    Thank you.

  11. purl bee says:

    Hi Laurel,
    Sometimes this kind of rib takes quite a few inches before you can really see it because it pulls in so much. Did it look correct to you on the swatch?

  12. bmom says:

    I made this vest and love it. I documented my modifications (mostly size related) in my Ravelry projects. I created a spreadsheet to depict the neck shaping in chart form. Can I publish that spreadsheet in Google docs and link it to my Ravelry project (which is linked to your pattern)?

  13. Thomasean says:

    Everything you guys do…you do with so much love! Thanks for sharing with us. And…thank you for making knitting on the net such a fun place to be.

    I'm moving to Philly soon…I hope to become a regular!

  14. tammy says:

    Whitney,

    I would like to make the vest for a 34 3/4 chest snd 37 3/4 waist. Would you suggest using a size 10 needle? Also, would I still do the cast on row in a #8 or should I use a #9?

    Thank you,

    Tammy

  15. purl bee says:

    Hi Tammy,

    Well, it depends on two things: how you want your vest to fit and how you knit. First decide on the fit. The Finished Size section (in the pattern) gives you some pointers for deciding what finished dimension will be best for you. Once you know that, you'll know what gauge you want to knit at (also given in the Finished Size section). Then you'll have to try different needle sizes and knit up some swatches to make sure you're getting the right gauge for your finished size.

    And, once you know what needle size you're using, use one size smaller for the trims.

    I hope this helps. Please, please let me know if you have any questions! It's not as complicated as it sounds!

    Whitney

  16. Alicia says:

    I’m making this to be a size large so I’m using needles 10 & 11. I just knit the first couple rows and was going to switch to the larger needles…but it’s too right! What happens if I don’t switch needles?

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