Friday, July 23, 2010

toddler t-shirt vest

Oh yes, I'm knitting more vests. And yes, Milo will probably own more vests than any other boy out there.  What can I say?  It's an addiction.

I started out wanting to add a toddler size to my baby t-shirt vest pattern, but instead I found myself drawn to 2x2 ribbing, so I made a few design changes while also removing the button closure. Toddlers are too interested in buttons anyway and it makes the pattern quicker as a bonus. Milo can still wear his baby t-shirt vests even at 13 months, so I think this size will fit most toddlers up until their 2nd birthday. Wool is nice and stretchy, and a form fitting vest is over-the-top cute in my opinion.

What you will need:
Aran weight wool (I used Dream in Color Classy, Grey Tabby colourway)
5.5mm needles (16” circ and DPNs)
9 stitch markers (1 marker for beginning of round, 8 markers for raglan increases)
2 lengths of scrap yarn (for holding stitches)

Gauge 18.5 stitches over 26 rows = 4” square
Size is roughly 12-24 months, finished dimensions are: 10″ wide, 12.5” long (or longer – the body is up to you!) Luckily toddlers don’t grow as fast as babies, so this vest should fit for a whole season.

CO 64, join in the round (if you place a marker to mark the beginning of the row, use a different colour than your next markers).
R1-6: [K2, P2] ribbing.
R7: K6, pm, K1, pm, K18, pm, K1, pm, K12, pm, K1, pm, K18, pm, K1, pm, K6
R8: (increase row) *K to 1 stitch before marker, KFB into this stitch, slip marker, K1, slip marker, KFB into next stitch* repeat until last raglan marker, slip marker, KFB into next stitch, K to end.
R9: K all stitches.
Repeat R8 and R9 until you have 112 stitches on your needle.

K43 then turn work and P30. Turn again and continue in st st for 5 more rows (ending on the right side). Break yarn. Place the next 26 stitches on scrap yarn. Start with vest yarn again and K30, turn work and continue in st st for 6 more rows. DO NOT break yarn, but place the remaining 26 stitches on scrap yarn. With your vest yarn (that you have not broken!) CO16 stitches and continue knitting across the next 30, CO 16, and knit across the next 30. You have now joined the body with a total of 92 stitches. I would suggest removing all your stitch markers except for the one that marks the beginning of the round. Now simply keep knitting in the round until you have the length of the body you want. For Milo, I knit about 6.5” of st st before I started the bottom band.

[K2, P2] ribbing for 1.5-2” and bind off loosely. I really like the look of a deep band on this vest – it gives the garment a nice balance.

LEFT AND RIGHT ARMHOLE (both are the same, and knit in the round)
Place all 26 stitches from scrap yarn onto 2 DPNs. Determine the bottom center of the armhole and start picking up 13 stitches from this point until you reach the first DPN. Knit across all 26 stitches and then pick up another 13 until you meet up with where you started. PM. [K2, P2] ribbing for 6 rows and bind off loosely.

Weave in your loose ends and place on the nearest toddler you can find!

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


Familia HP said... [Reply to comment]

I love it and resisting the temptation to cast on immediately. Must. Finish. Gift. Knitting.

Roro said... [Reply to comment]

I love this too! I particularly love the picture of Milo in the vest. He appears to be saying "Hello. I am wearing a vest. And I am WORKIN' it." So adorable!

Steph VW said... [Reply to comment]

OK, the cuteness at the top of the page is KILLING MOI! Love it. Adding it to my list of things to knit for the MOgrunt!

Rebecca Gunn said... [Reply to comment]

This was just what i wanted to knit! Thank you!!!!

Crunchy from NZ

Rebecca Gunn said... [Reply to comment]

Ok - am I dumb - up to the body divide. but 30 + 30 + 26 + 26 = 112 not 152 - or have i read this pattern wrong? HELP

sam lamb said... [Reply to comment]

@Rebecca Gunn Good catch Rebecca! Thanks for flagging it. Your math is more correct than mine - you would have 112, not 152. I will fix that right now.

Happy knitting!

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

thank you...that pattern is sweet,Sam
and the finished vest is gorgeous!

Michelle said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you for the pattern. I'm behind on those baby shower gifts. : )

PleaseRecycle said... [Reply to comment]

I just knit this up and it's cute!! But I couldn't do K2 P2 ribbing at the bottom with 90 stitches so I did K3 P3 instead.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Can someone please explain to me what pm and dpmns abreveations mean?
I love this pattern and I want to knit it for my grandson
Yvonne Australia

siri said... [Reply to comment]

Thought you should know I ended up making this for my 11 month old. I originally planned on making it in a chocolatey brown to go with his eyes, but the store was out of brown in the yarn needed, so I went with eggplant. Purple on boys is great! Thanks so much for the pattern, it turned out really nice and looks extra charming with a little collared shirt and herringbone pants for a special occasion.

-Siri in Norway

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I LOVE this pattern- I made it for my son and he looked so cute wearing it! Only thing was it turned out a little smaller than I had hoped. I think my gauge was off a little bit. Do you have any patterns for a little bit older (18 months-2 years?) I LOVED this pattern and would like to make him a similar vest, just big enough for him now. Thanks!

I said... [Reply to comment]

I just found your pattern on Ravelry. Thank You for sharing this. -Another Mom of a Milo (he's 5)

Amanda said... [Reply to comment]

I have a question... in the divide for body section, why do you start by K43 stitches and then turning and P30? What do you do with those 13 stitches?

Amanda said... [Reply to comment]

Nevermind, I'm an idiot. Now that I'm knitting it, I realize that I'm just knitting over to the body from the sleeve...

Jessica said... [Reply to comment]

What a handsome vest! I'd like to knit one, and am curious how much yarn it required. I suspect that one skein of Dream in Color Classy (250 yds) would be plenty, but it would be nice to have confirmation before I buy it. Thanks!

sam lamb said... [Reply to comment]

@JessicaHi Jessica - you are right, one skein should be plenty! When I made the one above I still had enough Classy to make a baby hat. Love that wool!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

thanks for the pattern! love the vest and your son looks adorable! i've casted on and am increasing but can't figure out how you got 112sts. after 4 rounds of increases with 8sts/rnd i will end up with 114. please help

JolantoS said... [Reply to comment]

mThank you for the pattern! How do you bind off? It's look so good!

sam lamb said... [Reply to comment]

@Jolanta Hi Jolanta! I bind off while still maintaining the 2 x 2 ribbing pattern - I just make sure that I knit or purl where I'm supposed to and then always move my yarn to the back to bind off a stitch. It seems neater than binding off all from knit stitches. Hope that makes sense!

PhillyBob said... [Reply to comment]

What changes do you suggest if I'm making this for an 18-mo-old who is a little big for his age? Thanks!

sam lamb said... [Reply to comment]

@PhillyBob Hi PhillyBob - my son wore this vest as is until he was 2, and if I had made the body an inch or two longer he could still be wearing it. But another easy adjustment would be to go up one needle size while still following the pattern. Hope that helps!

Pockets said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful pattern. I'm almost finished it in an avocado colour for my youngest son and it looks fabulous.

Pockets said... [Reply to comment]

I love this vest so much that I'd like to make one for my 3 year old too. Is there any chance that you could include a bigger size with the pattern? I'm not clever enough to work out how many extra stitches are needed and what the split for the sleeves are. Love your work!

DK said... [Reply to comment]

Love this, I made like 10 vests for my babes but needed a toddler for this coming winter. Can't wait to start. One question though, how many skeins did you use? Could I get away with one?

sam lamb said... [Reply to comment]

@DK Hi DK! I only used one skein of the Dream in Colour Classy which is 250 yds - and I even had some left over. So if you're planning on using the same wool, one skein will definitely do.

Christina said... [Reply to comment]

I had the same issue as another comment, coming up with 114 stitches, after increasing 8 stitches in R8/R9 sequence. Please help clarify! Thank you!

Andrea said... [Reply to comment]

I am an idiot too. Dividing for body: 5 more rows? Over the 30 stitches or completely around? If you go all around, you have to end up on the right side. I just can't seem to see what I am doing.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Sam, please clarify the body divide.I don't understand the '5 more rows'. Over the 30 stitches, back and forth? Or all the way around?

sam lamb said... [Reply to comment]

@Andrea Hi Andrea! Sorry for the confusion. When you've purled the 30 stitches you turn your work and then continue flat on those 30 stitches for 5 stockinette rows (so knit a row, purl a row, knit a row, purl a row, knit a row and then break yarn). Essentially to make the armholes deep enough, you need to add length to the front and back of the vest but this has to happen before you start working in the round again.

I hope that helps. Let me know if it's still unclear!

sam lamb said... [Reply to comment]

@Christina Hi Christina! Sorry I've just noticed your question now. I'm not sure where your extra stitches came from though? If you start with 64 stitches then have 6 increase rows (6 of the R8/R9 sequence) that adds 8 stitches each time. 64 + 48 should leave you with 112. But 2 extra stitches is no big deal, depending on where they're sitting. Would you be able to divide the 114 stitches you have into 26 (sleeve) / 31 (front) / 26 (sleeve) / 31 (back)?

sam lamb said... [Reply to comment]

@Anonymous It's the question of the day! You are right - work back and forth on those 30 stitches (a knit row will be your last row). As I mentioned to Andrea, this approach helps make the armholes deep enough because you need to add length to the front and back of the vest before you start working in the round again.

Hope this makes it easier. Thanks for trying the pattern!

Helen said... [Reply to comment]

Hello I want to try this lovely vest - a bit of a novice though. What is KFB please? I presume it means increase by one stitch.?


regards, Helen (in Oz.

Helen said... [Reply to comment]

I have another question,please
When you say 'knit 6, pm, k1, pm,
- Where do I put the marker? Do I put it into the base of the sixth stitch and then the 8th? Or do I put it into the 7th stitch, then the 9th?


sam lamb said... [Reply to comment]

@Helen Hi Helen - I'll answer both your questions (I really hope this reply function works - I've never been 100% this reply gets to you!). KFB means you increase one stitch by knitting into the front and then the back of the next stitch on your needle. Check out this video to see how it's done:

And then the marker question, sorry it wasn't clear. The idea is to place a marker between the stitches as opposed to on a stitch. So in this case on your needle you would have 6 stitches followed by a marker, followed by one stitch, followed by another marker. As you work on the vest your increases happen on either side of these markers but that single stitch in between always stays as one stitch.

I hope that makes more sense. Let me know if it doesn't!

weave and spin said... [Reply to comment]

Just came across this on Pinterest--super cute! I find my grandkids wear lots of vests--they go with their more colorful shirts, keep the core warm, and fit under coats. This is a wonderful pattern.

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Vests are the best! My baby has couple of them too.Starting your pattern,it looks beautiful. Thank you,that is the one we needed.

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

This is adorable! I've been looking for a sweater dress pattern for my daughter. I could just make the body longer to make it dress length, yes? Also, could I make longer sleeves by picking up and doing a few rows in ss before doing the ribbing? Or is that not how sleeves work? I've never done a sweater before, can you tell? :p

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Hi :) are you Interesses in a German Translation for this vest at ravelry ?
xx vom Austria , bianca

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Hi there! Love your pattern. Just about to start in this and decided to measure my 19 mos around the chest, he measures at 21". Where would you suggest increasing the circumference on this pattern. Sorry, it's my first sweater/vest. Thanks. Alisa

sam lamb said... [Reply to comment]

@Unknown Hi Alisa! Depending on your yarn and needle combo, you may not notice the missing inch - the vest would just have a little negative ease and fit a bit snug on your little guy (which can be pretty cute). But it's certainly possible to add stitches to the circumference! Probably the easiest way is to add 4 stitches when you're dividing for the body. When it says CO16, simply CO18 instead. This is done twice, so you'll end up with 4 extra stitches - meaning you'll have 96 sts total when you begin to work in the round. That will get you closer to a 21" circumference without affecting what you need to pick up for the armhole bands.

I hope that helps! And definitely reach out if you have any other questions!

sam lamb said... [Reply to comment]

@Emily Fazio Hi Emily! Sorry, I must have missed your message. Absolutely you could adapt this for a dress. You could make it longer as is for a sweater dress shape, or even increase at the sides a couple of times to get an A-line shape. And you're right about the sleeves, you could do as much stockinette as you wanted before finishing in ribbing - that's exactly how raglan shaping works (it's so efficient!).

Good luck!

sam lamb said... [Reply to comment]

@Bianca K Hi Bianca, a German translation would be great! You can email me at for direct communication (I often miss the comments here).


Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you very much for this pattern. It's easy, seamless and looks adorable. I made this for my almost two year old son, it turned out great. I plan to make few more in different colors. I wish I could I share pictures here. Thanks again - Avanti!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Hi, I would like to knit your pattern for my 4 yr old grandson. How can I adjust the stitches for that size. Look forward to your advice. Thanking you.

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Hi there!

What a lovely vest! I am looking to knit one for my one and a half year old boy and would like to make it more of an undershirt as it's very damp and cold here in NZ in the winter. Would this pattern work in a lighter weight yarn?

Vigania said... [Reply to comment]

Such a lovely bunny :-) I'm looking forward to make one. Since I'm not a sewer, what are the notches between the head and the arms for? Thank you.

Adele said... [Reply to comment]


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Midi said... [Reply to comment]

Does this pattern have to be done on circular needles?

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Hello! I love your pattern so much. I just need some help adjusting to a newborn size or even 6 month old. I made your sweater using worsted weight yarn and a size 5.0 mm needle. It is a toddler size, like you said and I love it. Now, I want to make a tiny one! Any suggestions, needle size, I only use worsted or chunky yarn. I do not like knitting with thin yarn since I like immediate satisfaction! Tiny yarn takes forever! Do you have this pattern written out for newborn size? Any help would be greatly appreciated! 💛