Now that my daughter is going to a daycare, i have been thinking in terms of practical, yet very cute clothes for her. Vests seem to be a good option for the fall. I have sketched down and wrote up patterns for 4 of those. This one is the first i am test knitting/making for my daughter (size 3-4T). Pink tunic is in size 1-2T (but the length is as in 3-4T). The vest is currently worked out in 4 sizes i am listing bellow. I might also add smaller or bigger sizes depends on the response i get.
1-2T (19-21"chest) shown here in pink
2-3T(20-22" chest) shown here in blue
3-4T(22-24" chest) shown here in green
The vest is knitted in the round from waist up to the underarms. Then the work is split into 2 pieces. The back and front are knitted identically. Then the shoulders are joined via graft or 3 needles bind off. The stitches than picked up from the waist and knitted in the round down to the hemline. Several options are given: the vest can be worked either in one color or in 2 colors (use your imagination here!). I am providing my 2 color option here. I am also giving 3 different option for the hem, but once again let your imagination guide you here as well. "Sprite" can be knitted in different lengths to be either a vest/tunic or dress. The instructions here are given for the tunic length.
24 sts to 3.25 inches in the honeycomb pattern or
21 sts to 4 inches in stockinette stitch in the round
I recommend to use wool yarn with bounce and good stitch definition as we are talking cables here.
My yarn recommendations: Zara from Filatura di Crosa, Drops Extra fine Merino, Extra fine Merino DK from Berroco (just to give an idea, but not to limit to)
3, 4, 4, 5 balls of any dk wool (125 yards per ball). I have used Zara.
And if you are going to work with 2 colors then 1 ball of the contrast color yarn
3 mm circular needles (60 cm length or 24")
4 mm circular needles (60 cm and 80 cm)
2 stitch holders
2 different color stitch markers
Decorative buttons if you want to use any.
kfb = knit into the front and back of the stitch
pbf = purl into the back and front of the stitch
C3B = slip 3 stitches on holder and hold to the back, knit next 3 sts, then knit 3 from holder
C3F = slip 3 stitches on holder and hold at the front, knit next 3 sts, then knit 3 from holder
C2B = slip 2 stitches on holder and hold to the back
C1F = slip 1 stitch on holder and hold to the front
1x1 rib = *knit 1, purl 1*
ssk = slip 1 st knit wise, knit next one, pass the slipped stitch over the knitted one
k2tog = knit 2 stitches together
yo= yarn over needle
Since we need live stitches, then you can use one of the following two methods to cast on:
1. Provisional cast on: using a crochet hook make a chain of #of stitches for your size + 10. Then pick up stitches from the chain.
2. Cast on the number of stitches you need in scrap yarn, then switch to main yarn and knit a row, joining in the round at the end.
With either method, using 3 mm needles pick up or knit 124 (136, 148, 156) sts. Place marker, join in the round.
Then with the main yarn, knit a round and place a second marker after 62 (68, 74, 78) sts to mark middle of the work. Latter both markers will be used to separate front and back.
Knit 8 (10, 10, 12) rnds in 1x1 rib.
The 2 color option shown here (knit 1 round in main color, then 1 rnd in contrast color, etc, finishing with main color).
Switch to bigger needles. Knit this round and evenly increase by 20 (20, 20, 24 sts), ie kfb into every 6-7th stitch or so. So that you have 144 (156, 168, 180) sts.
Start Honeycomb Pattern:
Rnd 1-4: p2, *k2, p4*. Repeat * till last 4 sts, k2, p2
Rnd 5: C2B, k1, purl 2 from holder, *C1F, p2, knit 1 from holder, C2B, k1, p2 from holder*. Repeat * till last 3 sts, C1F, p2, knit 1 from holder
Rnd 6-10: k1, *p4, k2*. Repeat * till last 5 sts, p4, k1
Rnd 11: C1F, p2, k1 from holder, *C2B, k1, p2 from holder, C1F, p2, k1 from holder*. Repeat * till last 3 sts, C2B, k1, p2 from holder
Rnd 12: as Rnd1
On Rnd 12, knit in pattern to last 6 sts. Bind them off purl wise. Remove the marker, and bind off 6 more sts purl wise(ie 12 sts bound off).
Starting new round count.
Rnd1: Knit in pattern (rnd 1 of honeycomb) to 6 sts before the second marker, bind them off purl wise, remove marker and bind off 6 more sts purl wise(another 12 sts bound off), knit in pattern to the end of the round.
From now on both front and back will be knitted separately and identically. Total number of stitches for each piece now should be 60 (66, 72, 78) sts.
Note (read! it is important): Follow the established cable pattern, only this time it is knitted not in the round, but in rows. One thing to keep in mind, there will always be 5 rows in between each cable crossing. The example of how to knit on the wrong side is given bellow as Row2. Also when working decreases and cable at the same time, only do cable crossings if it is within the honeycomb pattern. If you are a stitch short, then just either purl or knit unpaired stitches however they appear.
The rest of the instructions are given row by row for more clarity.
Row 2 (WS): Knit first 2 sts, purl all the purl stitches and knit all the knit stitches to the last 2 sts, knit 2. This will apply to every wrong side row.
Row 3 (RS): k2, ssk, *pattern* to last 4 stitches, k2tog, k2.
Row 5: k2, ssk, *pattern* to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2.
Row 7: k2, ssk, *pattern* to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2.
Row 9: k2, ssk, *pattern* to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2 (8 sts have been decreased, 4 on each side)
Total stitch count at this point is 52 (58, 64, 70) sts.
For sizes 1-2T and 2-3T only:
Row 11: k2, *pattern*, k2.
Row 13: k2, *pattern*, k2.
Row 15: go to Row19 and continue from there
For size 3-4T and 4-6T only:
Row 11: k2, ssk, *pattern* to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2.
Row 13: k2, ssk, *pattern* to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2.
Row 15: k2, ssk, *pattern* to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2. (total 14 sts have been decrease, 7 on each side. This count includes the decrease from row 3-9)
Row 17: k2, *pattern*, k2
Row 18: as Row2
Total stitch count at this point is 52 (58, 58, 64) sts
At this point the bodice should measure about 3 (3, 3.75, 3.75) inches from the start of the Honeycomb pattern.
Row 19 (RS): k2, pattern next 12 sts, p2tog, knit next 22 (28, 28, 34) sts in 1x1 rib starting with knit stitch, pattern next 12 sts, k2
Row 21: k2, pattern next 12 sts, knit next 23 (29, 29, 35) sts in established 1x1 rib, pattern next 12 sts, k2
Row 23: k2, pattern next 12 sts, k2, bind off purl wise 19 (25, 25, 31) sts, k2, pattern next 12 sts, k2
Row 24 (will be starting to knit right shoulder strap over 16 sts): k2, purl purls and knit knits, k2
Work those 16 sts (don't forget to always knit first 2 sts and last 2 sts) till the armhole measures 4 (4.5, 5, 5.5) inches from the cast off underarm stitches.
Leave stitches on holder.
Left shoulder strap: with the wrong side facing, reattach yarn. And repeat as for the right shoulder strap starting with row 24.
Back: repeat as for the front piece.
At this point either sew shoulder straps together, graft, or do a 3-needle bind off (3 needle bind off is my preferred method).
Unravel waste yarn and pick up 124 (136, 148, 156) sts. Place marker and join in the round.
Knit next round and evenly increase 6 (4, 2, 4) sts so that the total number of stitches comes to 130 (140, 150, 160) sts.
The skirt will be divided into 10 sections, with each section containing 13 (14, 15, 16) sts.
The cable will be a part of each section. The cable motif is worked over 6 sts, so that there are 7 (8, 9, 10) sts between each cable.
Before starting cable work and knitting the skirt, MOVE MARKER 3 STS FORWARDS!
Now you are ready to start.
Rnd1-2 (set up rounds): *purl 7 (8, 9, 10) sts, knit 6*
Rnd 3: *purl 7 (8, 9, 10) sts, C3F 9knit 3, then knit 3 from holder)*
Rnd 4 (will also contain first increase): *pbf, purl 5 (6, 7, 8), pbf, knit 6* (20 sts increased)
Rnd 5-8: *purl 9 (10, 11, 12), knit 6*
Rnd 9: *purl 9 (10, 11, 12), C3B (k3, then 3 from holder)*
Rnd 10-14: *purl 9 (10, 11, 12), knit 6*
Repeat the increase round 2 more times. Each increase is at approximately 2 (2.5, 3, 4) inches intervals. Rnd4 is not going always be an increase round. If it is not an increase round, it is knitted as Rnds 5-8. There are total 3 sets of increases, each increasing the count by 20 sts (total 60 sts increased). If you want the skirt to be fuller, you can do more increases and space them more closely.
Repeat Rnds 3-14 till the skirt measures 5.5 (7, 8, 10) inches from the lower edge of 1x1 rib at the waist. The length here is given for the tunic length. You can easily adjust it to make it a vest or a dress as well. End with either Rnd 3 or 9 for Hemline Version1. End with either Rnd8 or Rnd 14 for Hemline Version2. And for the Hemline Version 3 end with either Rnd 4 or 10.
Hemline Version 1 (about 1.5 inches long):
The center of the ruffle will be the middle 2 sts of the 6 knitted stitches.
Rnd 1: purl 15 (16, 17, 18), yo, k2, yo, * purl 17 (18, 19, 20), yo, k2, yo* till 2 last sts, p2
Rnd 2: purl 15 (16, 17, 18), k4, * purl 17 (18, 19, 20), k4, * till 2 last sts, p2
Rnd 3: purl 15 (16, 17, 18), yo, k4, yo, * purl 17 (18, 19, 20), yo, k4, yo* till 2 last sts, p2
Rnd 4: purl 15 (16, 17, 18), k6, * purl 17 (18, 19, 20), k6, * till 2 last sts, p2
Rnd 5: purl 15 (16, 17, 18), yo, k6, yo, * purl 17 (18, 19, 20), yo, k6, yo* till 2 last sts, p2
Rnd 6: purl 15 (16, 17, 18), k8, * purl 17 (18, 19, 20), k8, * till 2 last sts, p2
Rnd 7: purl 15 (16, 17, 18), yo, k8, yo, * purl 17 (18, 19, 20), yo, k8, yo* till 2 last sts, p2
Rnd 8: purl 15 (16, 17, 18), k10, * purl 17 (18, 19, 20), k10, * till 2 last sts, p2
Rnd 9-10: as Rnd 8
If you are using 2 colors, then switch to contrast color at this point.
Knit one round
Purl next round.
Bind off loosely in knit wise manner.
Hemline version 2 (about 2 inches long):
Total number of stitches at this point should be 190 (200, 210, 220) sts unless you had more or less increase rounds while knitting skirt portion of the tunic/vest/dress.
Rnd 1: knit
Rnd 2: purl
Rnd 3: knit
Note: If you are using contrast color, then knit Rnds1-3 with it.
Rnd 4-6: *k1, p1*
Rnd 7: *k1, pbf*
Rnd 8-10: *k1, p2*
Rnd11: *k1, p1, pbf*
Rnd 12-13: *k1, p3*
Rnd14: Bind off in pattern.
Hemline version 3 (about 2 inches long):
Should have 190 (200, 210, 220) sts at this point (only if you have done 3 sets of increases).
Rnd 1: Knit (if you want to use another color as a highlight, switch to it and knit this round with contrast color)
Rnd 2: Purl
Rnd 3: Knit (if you are using contrast color, then you are knitting this round with main color), and evenly increase what would be each section between cables by 5 (4, 7, 6) sts.(240, 240, 280, 280 sts)
Note: If you have done fewer or more increases than 3 sets, then make sure when you do increases mentioned in Rnd3, the total number of stitches in the section that would be between cables should be a multiple of 6 and more than you have started with at the beginning of the round (ie don't decrease stitches, but rather increase them)
Rnd 4: k1, p4, *k2, p4* to last 7 sts, then k2, p4, k1
Rnd 5-13: Start working honeycomb pattern from Rnd11 and finish with Rnd 6.
Rnd 14: knit (if you are working with contrast color, then knit this round with it and all the following rounds too).
Rnd 17: Bind off purl wise.
Weave in any ends. Sew on buttons or do embroidery. Block. Done. Take pictures!