My classic British vest

My classic British vest

Despite the ice and snow on the ground, and as much as I want to get to the rest of my sweater queue (once I finish my neglected Bellows), my thoughts are starting to turn to my warmer-weather wardrobe challenges. Which brings me back to my Hole & Sons wool and my wish for it to become something quintessentially British: namely, a vest. It’s the perfect thing for spring, and if I want to wear it this spring, I better get started. I’ve been thinking I’ll just tweak a classic v-neck cardigan pattern but have been sort of dreading the stockinette, so I decided to conduct a little research for inspiration and/or a particularly interesting pattern, and golly, would you look at this gem?!

The Spiral-Spun Waistcoat is a WWII Jaeger pattern (a knit-it-for-the-troops design — “choose air force blue or khaki wool”), available as a free download from the Victoria & Albert Museum, with an allover texture that is just interesting enough while remaining timeless. It might be exactly the thing — I shall have to swatch and see.

21 thoughts on “My classic British vest

  1. Just thought I should mention we call what you’re showing a picture of a waistcoat, if it was without buttons and the front was all in one piece it would be a sleeveless pullover- for us a vest is what you call an undershirt. Thought I should mention it from ove there in Suffolk, England

  2. Correct, a vest is an undershirt! Don’t we have all have words that twist and turn? And I do think that waistcoat is very classy and did you check out the price for that wool????? Whoo Hoo

  3. Love this bit of history and would love to knit it for the historical aspect alone – it’s a dandy!

  4. This is so timely for me Karen. I have been swatching my Hole&Sons and wondering what to make with it with gauge I am getting. Thank you for this post.

  5. This would be fun to knit, I think. The ‘d’ for pence is originally Latin from Denarius. There were 240 d in one pound (libra, or l) up til 1971, when the decimal system was instituted in England.

  6. Thank you for the link to that site! I saved the site as a favorite and I’m definitely going to be knitting several things on there, including both the men’s waistcoat and the women’s one. I LOVE vintage patterns and I’m always on the lookout for either actual vintage patterns or modern ones with that classic feel.

  7. The women’s version ‘waistcoats for warmth’ from the same site is also lovely with a shaped hem.

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