I’m so happy to report that my Anna Vest pattern — originally designed for Tolt’s book Farm to Needle: Stories of Wool back in 2015 — is finally available for standalone download through Ravelry. Originally inspired by a vintage men’s pattern from WWII, this cute little waistcoat pairs classic style with modern shaping in a versatile layering piece. As those who’ve already knitted it can attest, it is an excellent project for learning garment finishing techniques such as inset pockets and a sewn-on, 1×1 button band. But for this revised edition, I’ve added the options to omit the pocket(s) and/or work a simpler, quicker, picked-up garter-stitch button band instead. The original sewn-on band (on the grey sample) is quite polished, and has very tidy buttonholes as well, but it is a project and a challenge unto itself. It’s totally worth every minute, but life is also short oftentimes, and the picked-up version (on the plum sample) is perfectly lovely and way less daunting. So I approve of you doing it either way! And since many people have knitted this vest more than once (myself included), there’s always the option to do both and compare.
A few things to note:
– There was a cut-and-paste error in the layout of the book, with an errata note on the Ravelry pattern page. That error does not exist in the standalone PDF pattern, so the erratum only applies if you’re knitting from the 2015 Farm to Needle book version of the pattern. (Hopefully this 2018 PDF version is error-free!)
– We did an Anna Vest Knitalong a few years ago, so there’s all kinds of additional tips and info if you take a scroll back through that, including in-depth tutorials for how to knit the inset pockets and how to attach the sewn-on button band (if you choose that option).
– There are 6 sizes to choose from in the pattern, and I want to emphasize that this vest looks great on all body types. In fact, I mentioned when it first published that I had seen its predecessor (in 38″ circumference) on a whole slew of women at Stitches South and it looked amazing on every single one of them. When the pattern published, Tolt posted pics on their blog of the whole staff wearing the size 38 sample, and you can see what I mean!
– And thank you so much to my friends at Kelbourne Woolens for providing the yarn, Germantown, for the new plum-colored sample (which is officially called Rhododendron).
I hope you love the pattern, and I can’t wait to see what you make of it! For existing projects, see the #annavest and #annavestkal feeds on Instagram and the finished projects on Ravelry.
p.s. I was really excited to shoot the plum vest and waxed plum Field Bag together, and meant to release them on the same day. In the few days since the bag released, we’ve been totally wiped out of them. There are still some at or en route to a few of our stockists — most notably, there will be some in Harrisville Designs‘ booth at Rhinebeck this weekend — and we will have one more small batch at Fringe Supply Co. in early November, after which we have a fabric shortage problem until spring!
Thank you, thanks you!! Already bought and in my library. I’m planning on diving into my hand spun to find a suitable yarn, but if that doesn’t work it’s one of the new black shades from Harrisville. How convenient that Rhinebeck is this weekend….
Oh YES, now I want one in Nightshades.
I really do need to get my hands on a few hanks of “Insomnia.”
Congratulations on the pattern release!
Thought of your Anna earlier this week while watching the film “Phantom Thread.” In a scene at the English country house, the character Alma wears a knitted vest in a perfect rusty orange over a creamy button-down—and she looks so elegant and comfortable. (You can see the scene here: http://www.vulture.com/2018/01/daniel-day-lewis-tea-phantom-thread-clip.html. I have to confess that despite all of the gorgeous couture in the film, my favorite costumes were the country-house looks, including DDL’s much-discussed gansey.)
Made me want to knit the look for myself, and Anna is the perfect fit.
I completely agree — I loved her in all of her around-the-house clothes.
Congratulations on getting the Anna vest pattern released!
I knit it last summer (#SOB18) and although I could have used the errata, I found the project to be a great learning experience (those pockets, AND the sewn on button band) and loads of fun. I highly encourage those who will be knitting ANNA to follow the sewn on button band, as it’s a great tool to add to your kit.
Congratulations ! This could be the perfect layer for this strange autumn we’re experiencing in Paris right now …
May I ask : if you are so into sewn-on button-band (I am too sometimes), why not extending the idea and make sewn-on armhole-bands ? It would look so perfectly polished.
Do it! I can’t wait to see how it turns out. ;)
ah ah ah ! I’ll keep you informed !
So glad to hear it’s available as a single pattern. The original techniques used for this vest are ones I want to master and this is the right size project to try. I adore pockets! Sewn on button bands have defeated me in the past and it’s time to try again.
Sorry, somehow missed this one yesterday — do give the tutorial about that a read when you get to it! Linked in the post above.
A couple of questions about needle size. The main needle size is US 8. Is that due to Andalusian stitch? Normally in a worsted yarn on a size 8 I would get 17 stitches to 4 inches rather than 20. The bottom ribbing lays nice and flat. Did you use a needle 2 sizes smaller i.e. a 6?
Every knitter (and yarn) is different, which is why you should always swatch (and block) and use whatever needle size will give you the correct gauge. (Unless you intentionally want to knit it at a different gauge and know how to account for what that will do to the finished dimensions.) Suggested needle sizes are just that — a suggestion for what to swatch with first.
The plum with your matching bag makes it so beautiful. Have you previously commented on the coppery/camel coat? Is it hand sewn? It looks so comfy!
It’s Elizabeth Suzann from a few years ago.
Yahoo! I’ve been waiting for this pattern and now its MINE. Thank you, Karen. Love it in the plum.
Can’t wait to knit this vest!! Thanks for publishing. And where oh where do we find your beautiful cocoon coat??
It’s Elizabeth Suzann from a few years ago.
Anna goes into my FOR ME queue for after the holidays. Really looking forward to stitching multiples of this one!
Wonderful, congratulations! You are on a roll with that luscious plum color.
Beautiful and I love these photographs of you in it.
Hurray! I have yarn waiting to become this vest. Could not find the book here in BC thus am very glad to buy the pattern online.
Thanks so much, Karen. I was just looking at it a couple of weeks ago, and wishing for your edition. It’s a terrific looking vest!
Thank you for keeping your blog. So many have gone by the wayside, completely neglected.
I know instagram is supposed to be all that and then some. Everyone doesn’t agree and this someone misses her morning, getting out the door time with her previously, much loved blog reads. So again, thank you, thank you, thank you!
I still believe in blogs; thanks for being with me. ;)
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Do you think this pattern would work for a man, is there a large enough size option that could be used? Its really nice.
Yeah, for sure. It’s inspired by a WWII men’s pattern and there’s no waist shaping or anything. You’d probably just want to make the body longer. And usually men’s buttonholes are on the opposite side, so if you want to do that, just reverse the button band instructions. But your choice of yarn and buttons would be the main things to make it look a little more masculine.
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