The Details: That sweatshirt V-patch look

The Details: That sweatshirt V-patch look

I mentioned when I first envisioned this little sweater vest that it was inspired by a jersey garment I once owned and adored — a sleeveless fleece top modeled on a classic sweatshirt. Unlike my version (full post here), that one did have a waistband; and I don’t remember whether it had the side panels or not, but I believe it did. I’m certain, however, that it had that classic sweatshirt neck detail of the little V patch just under the ribbed collar. Does anyone know if there’s a proper name for this neck detail? I don’t believe I’ve ever heard one, which is surprising given how ubiquitous it is. It must have a name — and I’m sure one of you will know. Anyway, I knew I wanted this vest to have it, and it was simple enough to do!

I’ve seen various such treatments in many knitted garments over the years (a favorite being Ysolda’s Polwarth sweater), but rather than studying them, I just measured the V on a sweatshirt in my closet and got out my trusty pencil and Knitters Graph Paper Journal and charted it out. Because of the marl here, I was concerned about the V having enough contrast with the main fabric, being rather small, so to help it stand out I worked the adjacent stitch on each side as a twisted knit stitch (knit through the back loop, in other words) holding only the grey yarn, then worked the stitches within my V in reverse stockinette. For the first few rows, I thought the grey stitch wasn’t accomplishing anything meaningful (and you definitely can’t see the lower ones shown in the chart below, meant to mimic the overstitching), but in the end I think that subtle frame of grey twisted stitches does help set it off just enough.

Mine is basically 13 sts wide (and 8 rows tall), which is slightly more than the number of stitches I bound off at the center for the start of the neck shaping. That was a conscious choice and meant the V business continued upwards at the neck edge for a couple of rows into the shaping, as you can see in the upper chart below — which made it a little more complicated. (And I have no idea why I didn’t BO an odd number so it was perfectly centered; told you I was apathetic!) But the easiest thing to do would be simply to make your patch the same number of stitches wide as the center neck BO called for in your pattern, as shown in the lower chart below, and then all there is to do is begin knitting it that many rows before your neck BO. In the totally hypothetical 13-st example shown, 8 rows before you reach the neck BO, you’d start this. Make sense?

IN SHOP NEWS: We’ve got the indispensable Cocoknits Knitter’s Block back in stock, plus a full complement of Bento Bags once again, and all the other beauties over at Fringe Supply Co.

Happy weekending!


PREVIOUSLY in The Details: How I sew elastic waistbands

14 thoughts on “The Details: That sweatshirt V-patch look

  1. Love, love, LOVE your sweet little sweater vest! BTW, I went to the Levis website and looked up their classic sweatshirt and they simply call it a “triangle stitch”. A bit boring if you ask me. V-patch is much more fun. V for victory! and all that. ;)

  2. Got super curious, so I trawled around for 30 seconds for a decent answer to the v-stitch question! I think I like the simplicity of Sunspel’s answer the best, so far:

    “The technical name is the ‘V-Stitch’ or ‘V-Insert’, a piece of ribbed cotton jersey or elasticised material commonly found in waistbands. These were originally used as a means of collecting sweat around the chest and neckline after exercise.

    Further to their practical uses, the V-Stitch was put in as a way of controlling the stretch of the neckline when pulling the garment on. Today, with improvements on design of the sweatshirts the triangle is more of a visual feature harking back to collegial sportswear.”


        • Hilarious you mention this… I work in the garment industry for a workwear manufacturer – and we commonly refer to this design feature as the “Taco Chip”! Absolutely NOT a technical term – as stated above the more official term is “V-patch”. Traditionally it was made of the same ribbing as the neck band/cuffs on a sweatshirt and gave enough stretch that you could have a snug crewneck on the garment but still have enough stretch to pull it over your head.

  3. We had a tech designer (in Men’s knits and sweaters) who insisted the triangle detail was called a “dorito,” and I’ve accepted no other name since then!

  4. Ooooh I do like the Ysolda brioche rib one. Karen yours is lovely in it’s simplicity and customizable if someone wants it larger etc. nice detail.

  5. Pingback: New-again Favorites: Sweatshirt sweaters | Fringe Association

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