The sweatshirt vest (2018 FO-13)

The sweatshirt vest (2018 FO-13)

This little sweater vest — or sweatshirt vest, as I’ve been calling it — turned out so incredibly cute. It bored me to tears while I was knitting it, but I’m completely in love with the finished garment and will be wearing it to death. And best of all, it was a clever use of great yarn sitting idly in my stash: the grey Balance from my abandoned cardigan, held together with ivory Pebble left over from my striped raglan. I actually still have enough of both yarns to make another one just like it. And you know what? I might!

I knitted it on US8s, at 4.25 sts/in, and the fabric is an absolute dream. The Balance is 50/50 organic cotton/wool, and the Pebble is recycled silk, merino and cashmere — just a whisper of that blend wrapped around the cotton/wool. I highly recommend you try it sometime!

I did not take good notes while doing this, I think due to the apathy at the time, so don’t expect there to be a pattern. But you really don’t need one! You could take any plain sweater vest pattern — like this one, for instance — and simply leave off the waistband, work three or four inches at each side in reverse stockinette, and add the little V detail at the neck. I’ll post The Details tomorrow about that bit.

I’m actually not 100% sure I’m done. I’ve tested assorted waistband/hem treatment possibilities, but I like it like this — the slight roll of the stockinette reminds me of a cutoff sweatshirt, which is a common feature of my closet — and I love the length, especially when worn over a camisole as seen here. (This is the spring equivalent of my favorite winter outfit this past season.) So for now, at least, I’m leaving it. And as noted, there’s ample yarn if I ever want to add on!

• Pattern: No pattern / Like it at Ravelry
Yarn: Balance in Talc and Pebble in Ivory, held together throughout
Worn with: Natural canvas pants and ikat camisole


PREVIOUSLY in FOs: Hipster painter pants




41 thoughts on “The sweatshirt vest (2018 FO-13)

  1. 1. It is, of course, lovely.

    2. You got a hair cut, LOVE! (If it’s been awhile since the cut, pretend that I was paying attention all along.)

    3. I’ve just realized I need more lighter weight layering pieces.

    4. If I had shoulders like yours, I’d wear everything sleeveless.

    5. As with Sloper, I see infinite possibilities with this one…at the very least, infinite inspiration. And I’ve been thinking about which garment from Ann Budd’s “Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns” I might like to cast on with “marled” yarns.

    • My hair just keeps getting shorter and shorter, an inch at a time. And Ann Budd’s book is a great idea! or yes, this is totally just Sloper at a different gauge.

  2. LOVE. THIS! Karen, you have such a great style. Really. I say it over and over again, but it bears repeating. Just like Liz n. stated, I too need lighter weight layering pieces.
    Keep rockin’ the style world, grrrrl!!

  3. A couple of questions, please–why did you choose to use reverse stockinette as side panels? And, do you think that if one were to design an intertwining cable for the side–in the middle of reverse stockinette panel–would putting the most intricate intertwining part at the natural waist draw in the waist: like a waistline dart? Thank you.

    • One of my favorite sweatshirts of all time has contrasting side panels, so I just borrowed that (fairly common) detail.

      Cables will always affect your gauge and how the fabric lays, so you’d need to be thoughtful about them and how they would affect your overall stitch count.

    • There is a pattern on Ravelry that uses cables as you suggest – Dorothy’s Vest by Bonnie Dean

  4. The sweatshirty V detail just makes this! Indeed very cute. I wonder how it would look on someone with a very substantial bust like me.

        • I’m thinking that if you did a few short rows for a bust increase and made it a bit longer for proportion, this would look very nice on someone who’s more generously endowed.

          • Ugh, I love when I don’t finish typing and hit “send.”

            Anyway…that’s what I do when I knit for my mom. I’m a very small bust size, and she is definitely not…but to adjust for fit when I’m knitting for her from a pattern I’ve used for myself, short rows are my best friend.

  5. Beautiful – wish we could feel it. I know you are a fan of that extra purl stitch for fake-seam structure. Maybe this was too light to need it – I’m thinking you didn’t do that here? Although if anyone could hide that kind of work with beautiful finishing skills it’d be you.

    • This is so light and slight I wasn’t worried about side seams for structure. But I did debate whether I’d rather knit it flat or in the round. I generally prefer knitting things in pieces, but especially since the bottom part of this was going to be so boring, I decided to do it all in one go.

      • Thanks. And I think knitting in pieces would have involved too much math and thinking about where to place the seams.

  6. Sounds like a dream; also like that first image. My caption is “And now, Karen will read from the book of slow fashion.”

  7. LOVE IT!!! I love the little details you added: the ‘sweatshirty V’ and the reverse stockinette at the sides. Brilliant, as always!

  8. It looks great on you. I find my favorite knits turn out to be the boring makes.

  9. In love ( again.) To take a sweatshirt and knit it! Its a layering dream. And I love rolled hems. And the side panels, the little sweatshirt triangle at the neck… be still my heart!

  10. Lovely drape on the garment. I’m not familiar with those yarns and don’t think outside the square to think about mixing yarns together.
    I have brought a small stash of yarn with me to knit garments for my six grandsons while cruising around the Netherlands for the next 5 months. Once that’s gone I will look for some yarn a bit like this and create something for me
    Thank you for the inspiration

  11. LOVE! i confess i was thinking “really? not for me but looks like karen” when it first appeared in the blog – and now i love it! and it is perfectly fabulous on you to boot!

  12. I think you’ve got it! You’re lookin’ pretty spiff. And, I think you’ve found your hairstyle. Love it! 👍

  13. I’m thinking about using Pebble for a tunic type knit later in the year, it sounds dreamy. I’m a sucker for any yarn with the word “cashmere” printed on it’s label though….

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  15. Love it – and oh please, a pattern for those not nearly as accomplished as you!

  16. Hi Karen!
    Love knitted vests and yet have not knitted one for myself yet ( only baby sizes!) But this might be y clue! I’m just about to dye a cotton/wool blend which could be perfect, could you say how much yarn you used?
    Merci mille fois!

    • Unfortunately, I didn’t think to weigh my yarns before I started, and with them twined together now there’s really no way to know! But I’d guess about 3 skeins of the Balance and maybe 1.5-ish of the Pebble? Really hard to say!

      • Thanks a lot, that gives me an idea of the total weight of the sweater vest, so some idea of quantity /yardage of similar yarns needed ( for stash diving)!

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  22. Just noticed this. Would like to bang out a bunch (maybe with pockets?) using stash…maybe higher neck to keep warm, but not as much as the dickey. Hmmm…

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