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The second I touched Reynolds Blizzard Alpaca yarn I knew I had to make something out of it. I decided on a vest to throw over my favorite sweaters on those chilly Autumn mornings. Think of a down vest, that's far more soft and snuggly. The cozy boucle shawl collar, and pocket edgings adds a bit of pizzaz and will keep your neck warm.

Designed with quick knitting in mind--this is a good weekend project -- the entire vest is worked in one piece to the armholes with the zipper facings integrated into the pattern and self-finishing armholes. The shoulders are finished with a 3 needle bind off so the only sewing you'll have to do is the zipper.

The extra-small size was designed for my 5 year old and would fit a child with a 24-28" chest who is about 4 feet tall. For larger children, the small size can be shortened where indicated. The vest was designed to be worn with something fairly heavy underneath, so about 6 inches of ease is recommended.

To modify the pattern for a child, shorten both the body and armhole where indicated in the pattern. As a guide, use a garment the length of which fits the child the way you want this vest to fit. I recommend shortening the armhole by one inch, and removing any additional length from the body.

As row end edges form actual finished edges of garment, it is important these edges are kept neat. Attach new balls of yarn two stitches in (after the zipper facing) to maintain the nicely finished edge. Maintain seed stitch zipper facing on first and last 2 stitches of each row unless directed otherwise. These sts will be referred to as "zipper facing" throughout the pattern.

model: Emma Thompson & Stephannie Roy photos: Craig Thompson

SIZE
XS [S, M, L, XL]
 
FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Chest: 32 [38, 44, 50, 56] inches
Length: 17 [22.5, 23, 23.5, 24.5] inches

 

MATERIALS

[MC] Reynolds Blizzard [65% Alpaca, 35% Acrylic; 66yds/59m per 100g skein];
color: #641 Pink or #683 Blue; 4 [6, 7, 8, 9] skeins.
[CC] Artful Yarns Circus [95% Wool, 5% Acrylic; 93yds/83m per 100g skein];
color: Pink Version: #10 Side Show / Blue Version: #7 Palm Reader; 1 [1, 1, 1, 1] skein.

1 24-inch US #11/8 mm circular needle
1 set US #11/8 mm straight or circular needles any length [for optional pockets]
1 set US #10.5/6.5mm circular needles 16"
1 separating zipper to match length of zipper facing
stitch holders
tapestry needle.

 

GAUGE

11 sts/17 rows = 4" in St stitch

 
STITCH PATTERN

[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations can be found here]

2x2 Rib with Seed Stitch Edging (worked over multiple of 4 sts +2):
Row 1: k1, p1, [k2, p2] to last 4 sts, k2, p1, k1.
Row 2: k1, p1, [p2, k2] to last 4 sts, p3, k1.
Rep these 2 rows for 2x2 Rib with Seed Stitch Edging.

 
DIRECTIONS

Body
Using larger circular needle and MC, CO 86[102, 122, 138, 154] sts.
DO NOT join, body will be worked back and forth.
Work 2x2 Rib with Seed Stitch Edging for 6 rows.
Row 7 [RS]: K1, p1, k to last 2 sts increasing 2[2,0,0,0] sts evenly, p1, k1. 88[104, 122, 138, 154] sts on needle.
Row 8: K1, p to last st, k1.
If omitting pockets, work rows 7 and 8 until work measures 10.5[14, 14, 14, 14.5] inches, ending with a WS row.
**Lengthen or shorten as desired at this point.**
Proceed to armhole shaping.If working pockets, proceed as follows:

Optional Pockets
Next Row: With extra US #11 straight or circular needle (will be referred to as "extra needle"), k1, p1, k10[14, 14, 14, 14]sts. 12[16, 16, 16, 16] sts on needle.
Leave rem sts on hold on main needle.
Working back and forth over 12[16, 16, 16, 16] sts on extra needle, cont in St st (maintaining seed st zipper facing) for 4[5, 5, 5, 5] inches, ending with a WS row.
Place sts on st holder.
Do not cut yarn.
With RS facing, join a new ball of yarn to rem sts and work as set to end.
Turn.
Next Row: With extra needle, k1, p1, p10[14, 14, 14, 14]sts. 12[16, 16, 16, 16] sts on needle.
Leave rem sts on hold on main needle.
Work to match previous pocket.
Place sts on st holder. Break yarn.

Pocket linings
Turn work so WS is facing.
Resume working on main needle.
With new ball of yarn, starting at right-hand side (behind what will be the left pocket), two rows up from ribbing and two sts in from edge, pick up and purl 1 st in the purl bump formed by ea st along bottom of pocket (10[14, 14, 14, 14] sts picked up in total), purl across body sts to other pocket, and pick up and purl sts as for previous pocket lining. 84[100, 118, 134, 150] sts on needle.
Work in St st until same length as pockets.
Break yarn, leaving a 10 inch length for seaming.

NOTE: In following step, if yarn attached to right pocket is not long enough to finish next row, use it for first two stitches then switch to yarn used for pocket linings.
Transfer sts of right pocket to extra needle.
With ball of yarn attached to right pocket, [k1, p1] from extra needle, *k next st from pocket together with first st from pocket lining, rep from * until all sts of right pocket are attached to pocket lining sts, work across body sts, transfer sts of left pocket to extra needle, attach left pocket sts to lining sts as for right pocket, work zipper facing sts.
All 88[104, 122, 138, 154] sts are now on main needle.
Work in patt as set until work measures 10.5[14, 14, 14, 14.5] inches, ending with a WS row.
**Lengthen or shorten as desired at this point.**

Separate for armholes
Next Row [RS]: K1, p1, k18[22, 26, 30, 34] sts, BO 4[4, 5, 5, 5] sts, k40[48, 56, 64, 72]sts, BO 4[4, 5, 5, 5] sts, k18[22, 26, 30, 34]sts, p1, k1.

Left front
Next Row [WS]: Using extra needle, k1, p1, p18[22, 26, 30, 34] sts. Work back and forth on these 20[24, 28, 32, 36] sts, leaving rem sts on hold on main needle.
Next Row [RS]: Sl 1 st pwise, ssk, k to last 2 sts, p1, k1.
Next Row [WS]: K1, p to end.
Rep these 2 rows 5[5, 6, 8, 10] times more. 14[18, 21, 23, 25] sts rem.
Cont in St st, maintaining seed st zipper facing and sl st at armhole, until armhole measures 4[5.5, 5.5, 5.5, 6] inches, ending with a RS row.
**Lengthen or shorten as desired at this point.**

Neck Shaping
Size XS ONLY:
BO 3 sts in pattern, p to end.
Work 2 rows.
Sl 1 pwise, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
Work 2 rows.
P1, p2tog, p to end.
Work 2 rows.
Sl 1 pwise, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
P 1 row.
Place rem 8 sts on st holder.
Break yarn, leaving 2 foot length for working 3-needle BO.

Size S/M/L/XL ONLY:
BO 3 sts in pattern, p to end.
Sl 1 pw, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
Next Row [WS]: P1, p2tog, p to end.
Next Row [RS]: Sl 1 pw, k to end.
Rep last 2 rows [4, 5, 6, 7] times more. [9, 11, 12, 13] sts
Place rem sts on st holder.
Break yarn, leaving 2 foot length for working 3-needle BO.

Back
Using extra needle and with WS facing, sl 1 pw, attach yarn and purl rem 39[47, 55, 63, 71] sts of vest back. Leave rem sts (right front) on hold on main needle.
Sl 1 pwise, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
Sl 1 pwise, purl to end.
Rep last 2 rows 5 [5, 6, 8, 10] times more. 28[36, 42, 46, 50] sts rem.
Sl first st of each row pwise, cont in St st until work measures same as front to shoulders, ending on a WS row.
Sl 1, k7[9, 10, 11, 12] sts, place 8[10, 11, 12, 13] sts just worked on st holder, BO 12[18, 20, 22, 24] sts, k to end, place rem sts on st holder. Break yarn.

RIGHT FRONT
With WS facing, sl 1 pwise, attach yarn and p to last st, k1. 20[24, 28, 32, 36] sts
Next Row [RS]: K1, p1, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
Next Row [WS]: Sl 1, p to last st, k1.
Rep these 2 rows 5[5, 6, 8, 10] times more. 14[18, 21, 23, 25] sts rem.
Cont in St st, maintaining seed st zipper facing and sl st at armhole, until armhole measures 4[5.5, 5.5, 5.5, 6] inches, ending with a WS row.

Neck Shaping
Size XS ONLY:
BO 3 sts in pattern, k to end.
Work 2 rows.
Sl 1 pwise, p to last 3 sts, p2tog tbl, p1.
Work 2 rows.
K1, ssk, k to end.
Work 2 rows.
Sl 1 pwise, p to last 3 sts, p2tog tbl, p1.
K1 row.
Place rem 8 sts on st holder.
Break yarn, leaving 2-foot length for working 3-needle BO.

Size S/M/L/XL ONLY:
BO 3 sts in pattern, k to end.
Sl 1 pwise, p to last 3 sts, p2tog tbl, p1.
Next Row [RS]: K1, ssk, k to end.
Next Row [WS]: Sl 1 pwise, p to end.
Rep last 2 rows [4, 5, 6, 7] times more. [9, 11, 12, 13] sts rem.
Place rem sts on st holder.
Break yarn, leaving 2-foot length for working 3-needle BO.

 
FINISHING

Using 3 needle BO, join shoulder seams.
Weave in ends.
Sew down edge of pocket lining just inside zipper facing sts.

Seed St Pocket Edgings
With RS facing, using 6.5mm needle and CC, pick up and k 16[20, 20, 20, 20]sts along edge of pocket.
Next Row [WS] K2tog, [p1, k1] to last 2 sts, p2tog. 14 [18, 18, 18, 18] sts rem.
Next Row [RS] [P1, k1] to last st.
Next Row [WS]: P2tog, [k1, p1] to last 2 sts, k2tog. 12[16, 16, 16, 16] sts rem.
BO all sts in patt.
Repeat for other pocket.

Seed St Collar
With RS facing, using 6.5mm needle and CC, starting at right edge of back neck, pick up and k 12[18, 20, 22, 24] sts from back BO edge, then 3 sts from left front neck edge. 15[21, 23, 25, 27]sts
Turn, sl1 kwise, [p1, k1] to end, pick up and p 2 sts.
Turn, sl1kw, work in seed st to end, pick up and k 2 sts.
Rep last 2 rows 1 time more. 23[29, 31, 33, 35] sts on needle.
Inc Row: sl1 kwise, work 10[13, 14, 15, 16] sts, m1, place marker, work 1 st in patt, place marker, m1, work to end, pick up 2 sts. 27[33, 35, 37, 39] sts on needle.
Cont in seed st as est, picking up 2 sts at end of each row and inc 1 st at each side of marker every 4th row, until all neck edge sts are picked up, including zipper facing sts. 49[57, 61, 67, 71] sts
Work 5[7, 7, 9, 9] rows more, slipping first st kwise each row and increasing at center back as established.
BO loosely in patt.
Sew in zipper. Frolic in the leaves.

ABOUT THE DESIGNER

Stephannie is currently making the transition from grad student to gainfully employed post-doctoral fellow, and is wondering if she can knit in her new office.

You can read all about it on her blog.