Tuesday, April 05, 2011

toddler snappy shoulder vest





Honestly, I think vests are a marvellous invention. Not only are they fun to knit, but because there is no sleeve length to worry about, they tend to fit a growing toddler for at least two seasons. That's quite a feat for a single garment.

This new pattern has a sportier feel but still fits my lazy-knitter requirement: there are no seams to sew. Using a saddle shoulder construction this comes together pretty easily and the shoulders are a great way to use up scrap yarn. I've knit three versions of this and basically chose a different close-to-worsted scrap yarn every time and although it made tiny differences in the size of the saddle, it didn't affect the final size of the vest much. Gauge is only important for the main yarn which is Dream in Colour Classy again. What can I say, I like a washable yarn that has interesting colour affects - I mean look at those blues! So awesome. And I've worked out two sizes this time, 2T and 4T. Keeping our little guys in sweater vests until they are school age sounds like a nice idea to me.

What you will need:
Worsted weight wool (I used Dream in Color Classy, Midnight Derby colourway, 1 skein for either size)
Worsted to Aran weight wool for shoulders, 50 yds (great use for scrap wool)
4.5mm needles (16” circ)
extra 4.5mm needle (for holding stitches)
4mm needles (DPNs - for neck and armhole edgings)
1 stitch marker

Gauge is 19 stitches over 26 rows = 4” square. Size is 2T [4T] with finished dimensions of: 10.5″ [11.25”] wide, 14.5” [16”] long (or longer – the body is up to you!)

SHOULDER SADDLES (make 2)
Using 4.5mm circs and shoulder wool, CO 20. Knit in stockinette for 14 rows and bind off on RS row.

FRONT
Using main wool, pick up 12 stitches along vertical edge of a shoulder saddle. CO 15 [17], then pick up 12 stitches along vertical edge of the second shoulder saddle (39 [41]stitches on needle). Turn work and purl to end. Turn work and knit to end. Continue knitting flat in stockinette for 3” [3.5”] ending on a WS row.
Next row (RS): Knit to end, CO2.
Next row (WS): Purl to end, CO2.
Next row (RS): Knit across 43 [45] stitches and transfer to spare 4.5mm needle.

BACK
This time, it’s much easier to see where you are picking up stitches, because the shoulder saddles are already in place. So, using your main wool, pick up 12 stitches along remaining vertical edge of a shoulder saddle. CO 15 [17], then pick up 12 stitches along vertical edge of the second shoulder saddle (39 [41] stitches on needle). Turn work and purl to end. Turn work and knit to end. Continue knitting flat in stockinette for 4” [4.5”] ending on a WS row.
Next row (RS): Knit to end, CO2.
Next row (WS): Purl to end, CO2. Turn work.
Now you’re ready to join in the round.

BODY
Knit across 43 [45] stitches, CO 9 [11], knit across the FRONT 43 [45] stitches from your spare needle, and CO 9 [11]. You should have 104 [112] stitches in total. Join in the round and sit back for some relaxing, mindless knitting. The body length is truly up to you – I knit in stockinette for 6” [7”].

BOTTOM
[K2, P2] ribbing for 2.5” and bind off loosely.

NECKBAND
You can easily tell the front of the vest because the neckline is lower. Using 4mm DPNs and your main wool pick up 17 [21] stitches across the back neckline of the vest, 17 across one saddle, 17 [21] across the front neckline, and another 17 across the remaining saddle (68 [76] stitches total). PM and [K2, P2] for 5 rows. Bind off loosely.

LEFT ARMHOLE
Using 4mm DPNs and main wool, determine the bottom center of the armhole and pick up 18 [21] stitches from this point until you reach the shoulder saddle. Pick up 17 stitches across saddle, then 21 [26] stitches along the back. PM and [K2, P2] for 5 rows and bind off loosely.

RIGHT ARMHOLE
Using 4mm DPNs and main wool, determine the bottom center of the armhole and pick up 21 [26] stitches from this point until you reach the shoulder saddle. Pick up 17 stitches across saddle, then 18 [21] stitches down the front. PM and [K2, P2] for 5 rows and bind off loosely.

Weave in all ends and block if desired. Find your favourite little person and keep them toasty warm in their newest vest!

(Pattern is for personal use only. Please do not use for commercial purposes.)

5 comments:

zofia said...[Reply to comment]

I love this. :)
Will be knitting up one for my littlest.
Those blues are awesome.
Thank you!

Soili said...[Reply to comment]

Cute! I made one of your vests for my little one and he wears it all the time. I don't know how I did without one all these years!

t does wool said...[Reply to comment]

so cute..thanks for sharing Sam!

Georgie said...[Reply to comment]

Love this vest, would this be too tricky for a beginner knitter?

Lavendel said...[Reply to comment]

I agree totally about vests---my granddaughter has already 2little prof. vests . My daughter loves them...so now I'm on the third...a little longer - she is now 1 year old on monday to come. Thank you so much for sharing!Lavendel Denmark....maybe I should translate it to Danish - if you like?