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« Molly's Sketchbook: Myrtle the Purl Turtle | Main | Laura's Loop: Color Tipped Scarf »

Laura's Loop: The Purl Soho Cardigan Coat + Vest

Whether stolen, borrowed or inherited, sporting a garment that once belonged to someone special brings a certain comfort or strength to your day. Maybe it’s because of the smell or the attached sentimentality. Whatever the reason, it’s why kids love to sleep in their dad’s shirts; why women wear the same oversized man’s sweater day in and day out; and it’s why I cherish my grandmother’s old clothes.

The Purl Soho Cardigan Coat + Vest was undeniably inspired by this phenomenon. If my grandmother had had this sweater, I would most definitely and most shamelessly have stolen it! This piece is meant to be worn a lot and by many, even by those who aren’t its original owner. Its timeless design makes it an insta-hand-me-down.

This simple sweater is knit in Purl Soho’s new Worsted Twist, a yarn-lover’s merino,  classic and hearty, but with an elegant loft and touch. Designing this Coat, I channeled my admiration for Elizabeth Zimmermann to create a modular vibe and a thoughtful construction. I strategically combined stockinette and garter stitches to add a graphic and modern edge to a seemingly vintage cut. 

You can pick up The Purl Soho Cardigan Coat + Vest Pattern right here! I hope you enjoy knitting this sweater as much as I did, daydreaming all the while of who will wear it after me. I have a feeling it won’t be in my grips for long! -Laura


To make a Coat or Vest for Child’s 2 (4, 5, 6, 10, 12, Women’s XS, Small, Medium, Large, XL), measuring 25 3/4 (28, 29 3/4, 32, 34 1/4, 36, 36, 37 3/4, 42 1/4, 46 1/4, 50 1/4) inches around the chest, you will need…


4 1/2 stitches and 6 rows = 1 inch in stockinette stitch, using larger needle


NOTE: Below are the finished dimensions of the garment. Designed with an ease of +2 to +4 inches.

Child’s 2 (4, 6, 8, 10, 12, Women's X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, 1X-Large)

  • Finished Chest Circumference: 25 3/4 (28, 29 3/4, 32, 34 1/4, 36, 36, 37 3/4, 42 1/4, 46 1/4, 50 1/4) inches, buttoned
  • Finished Length from Shoulder to Bottom Edge: 14 (14 1/4, 15 1/2, 18, 19, 21, 21 1/4, 22, 22, 23 1/4, 24) inches
  • Finished Length from Underarm to Bottom Edge: 8 1/2 (8 3/4, 9, 11, 12, 13 1/2, 13 3/4, 14, 13 1/2, 14 1/4, 15) inches

Reader Comments (62)

I love this pattern, I want this patter, I need this pattern! I'm in the UK, where can i get hold of some of your georgus yarn?
September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie Stickley
Lovely. But is there a photo of the vest somewhere?
September 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkaren
Wow! Another stunning design! Thanks for sharing!
September 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIlona
Simply wonderful!!
September 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannapat
Hi Debbie.
You can get this yarn right here (click below):
You can get this pattern right here (click below):
Thanks for your interest and kind words!
September 13, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Karen,
I am working on completing a vest... stay tuned!
September 13, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
My heart stopped when I saw this pattern. I sew, but now I need to learn to knit. Beautiful.
September 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMargie
Wow What does the vest look like?
September 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbb
I'm seam averse. Can you tell me if this pattern is seamless - or close to it?
September 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMB
Do you have the pattern available by pdf? ..I already have the yarn, and I didn't want to pay shipping just for the pattern.
September 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteralison haberstroh
Hi bb,
We will get a picture of the vest up as soon as we can!
Thanks for the interest.
September 13, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi MB,

The body is knit bottom up, then you divide for the Front Right, Back, and Front Left. You work these three sections separately. After that, the shoulders have to be seamed (we suggest 3-needle bo or kitchener, but you can sew them too). You work across the Front Right, Back and Front Left for the Collar. To do the sleeves, you pick up from the shoulder and knit down. So.... very few seams to deal with!
Hope this helps.
September 13, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Alison-

Unfortunately we don't have the capability to sell PDFs right now but if you just need the pattern we charge a reduced shipping rate. You can email customerservice AT purlsoho DOT com to arrange it.

Thank you!

September 13, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What is the gauge for this sweater?
September 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda G.
You gals!! Posting two amazing sweaters right in a row. I've got my work cut out for me :)

Thanks so much for the beautiful patterns!
September 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChantelle
Beautiful sweater! I'm wondering what is the length for Women's Large size? (I usually have to lengthen and buy more yarn, so it helps to know the intended length.) Thanks!

Looking forward to seeing the vest. :)
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah
Hi Deborah,

For Women's XS (Small, Medium, Large, XL), the length from shoulder to bottom edge measures 21 1/4 (22, 22, 23 1/4, 24) inches.

Thanks for the interest, Deborah, and I will get that vest done ASAP.
September 14, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
It's easy to post PDFs with Ravelry's downloading service! You should do that. Everyone else does.
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen B
Will you guys sell PDF patterns any time soon? I live in Australia and I don't want to pay for shipping just for a pattern, but your patterns are just so lovely!!
September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYan
Is there a picture of the vest on the pattern. I don't mind buying it i there is a photo. I really want to make a vest as I know I would wear it a lot.
September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPenny
¡Preciosa! Me encanta, esta es la chaqueta que voy a tejer. Gracias por tus ideas, todas dan ganas de hacer.
September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercande
I really need this sweater in my life! Simply beautiful!
September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDanneel Mitchell
Gorgeous sweater! When you give the chest sizes does that mean bust size or something else? Also, what is the gauge for the sweater?
September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCandace
No instructions attached. Please send. Thank you.
September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Blanford
What a gorgeous cardigan - I love it.
My Dutch grandmother taught me how to knit, which means I stick the left needle under my armpit and then move the right needle, so unfortunately I can't knit with circular needles. I have tried many a time, but with no success!
What a shame!!
September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate
I love this! I love everything you guys create... I'm another one who'd rather make the vest though so I'll wait to see that. It does seem a bit funny that PDFs aren't available yet from purl soho...
September 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteryvette
Thanks for the info, Laura - that's helpful! I really, really like this sweater.
September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah
Hi Penny-

We don't have a picture of it on a person at the moment but we will try to put one on Instagram in the near future:

Thank you!

September 15, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Nancy-

This pattern is available for sale here:

Thank you for getting in touch!

September 15, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
do you have the pattern for sale in the store...then i would not have to pay shipping.....

thank you for letting me know...

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrobin
Hi Robin-

Yes, we do have it for sale at the store.

Thanks for getting in touch!

September 16, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I learned to knit 'stitching in the pit' as well. My grandmother was Italian and knit like your grandmother.

This piece is knit flat, back and forth. The sleeves are knit in the round, but you could use double points, just knit them flat and seam them up.

Hopefully soon, we will put out a video on knitting in the round. Maybe it will clear up some of your questions about it!
Thanks for writing in.
September 16, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Candace.
The gauge is 4.5 stitches = 1 inch. I added it to the post above too so it's easier to find!

The chest circumference measurement is around the body just under that armpits, so yes, for women... this is across the bust.

The fit of the piece is more coat than sweater-like with a +2 to +4 ease.

Thanks for writing in!
September 16, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Quick question to clarify ease on this one: It says "ease" is +2-+4 inches ... does that mean if I choose to knit a women's size small with chest circumference of 37 3/4 inches, the actual chest measurement of the finished garment will be 39 3/4 - 41 3/4 in circumference? Thanks for clarifying!
September 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle O.
Do your patterns come as pdfs?
September 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLouLou
Hi Lou Lou-

The don't currently but we are working on it!

Thank you for asking about this, we hope to have them available soon.

September 18, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Michelle O.
Happy to clarify!

The dimensions listed are the FINISHED dimensions, meaning that is what the piece will measure when you've completed it.

Saying the garment has an ease of +2 to +4 is just to explain how tightly or loosely it is meant to be warn. The +2 to +4 explains why the Small would have such a generous finished dimension of 37 3/4... because there are inches already added in.

I re-worded that section a bit. I hope it is more clear now.
September 19, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I'd knit this in a heartbeat if it were bigger....
September 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
LOVE this pattern. I've ordered and received it and plan to make it with Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage. Two of them actually. One in glazed pecan, the other in lowlands colorways.

Since this is a superwash wool, would i machine wash and dry to block it. Superwash stretches so much when wet that i don't want to mess it up. I'm always nervous blocking a project with yarn i've never used before.

Thank you for all the lovely patterns!
October 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat
Ok. I'm working through this lovely pattern and I'm having a moment. Under the FRONT LEFT directions, after the first paragraph, is that supposed to say 'Work the Front RIGHT stitches in garter for X inches, ending with a wrong side row.'? Shouldn't it be Front LEFT stitches? Thank you!!
October 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterknitymama
YES! You are absolutely right.
We will get this corrected.
Thank you.
October 21, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you for your response! I worked through it and the coat is coming out beautiful! Thanks again!
October 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterknitymama
I absolutely love this sweater but I'm a very beginner knitter. how would you rate the difficulty of this pattern? is there a photo of the vest yet? thanks!
October 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereva
Hello Eva,
This sweater is quite easy. I would classify it as Advanced-Beginner except for the fact that there are short rows in the larger sizes (for shoulder shaping) which bumps it up to Intermediate.

It does involve a yarn over to make button holes as well as picking up stitches to knit down from the shoulders to make sleeves. But really, this pattern is quite manageable. Especially if you have a knitter friend of a local yarn store with helpful people. PLUS... we are always here to help you along.
October 29, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Can you suggest another one of your yarns I could substitute for the worsted twist? The available colors for the worsted twist are a bit bright for me.
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrigitte
Hi Brigitte,
I am happy to give you some other suggestions.
Bleu Sky's Hand Dyed Worsted:
Cascade's Eco Cloud:
Jade Sapphire's 8 Ply Cashmere:
Swan's Island's Worsted:

These are hand spun or hand spun-looking...
Madeline Tosh's Tosh Merino (spun irregularly for a hand-spun look):
Manos' Maxima:

Let me know if you have any questions on these suggestions.
November 5, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I have this pattern and have been trying to decide between making the sweater or vest. Do you have a photo of the vest to show us yet?
December 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Hi Laura,
I am so sorry, we do not yet have an image of the vest. I will see about someone knitting one up, perhaps over the holidays.

Thank you so much for your interest. As soon as we have an image of it, we will post it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Ravelry.
December 12, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
is there a picture of the vest posted somewhere? thanks!
January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
HI Andrea-

We don't have a photo of the vest yet but we are working on it and will post it on Facebook and Instagram when it's done.

Thanks for getting in touch!

January 22, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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