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Free Pattern - Create a Knit or Crochet a Warm Multi-Colored Sweater Vest

Updated on September 14, 2012

Warm Yarn - Unique and Fun

Do you feel like making something one of a kind for yourself without hardly any effort at all? Winters can be cold and I love to wear my multi-colored striped vest over turtlenecks each season. It is so easy to make that no one can believe it.

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Create a Warm Knit Vest

The multi.colored sweater vest (version 1)
The multi.colored sweater vest (version 1) | Source

Yarn as a creative and useful resource

combine colors - you really can't go wrong
combine colors - you really can't go wrong | Source

How to make your vest

The vest is made in a rectangle. Measuring is probably the best way to go, although it is not necessary.

The length (up and down) measurement is from underarm to the lower edge of the vest. The width (around the body) measurement is from the center front of the vest (the middle of the chest) and all the way around the body, allowing overlap for closure.

Color strategy

For most of us, the bottom of the vest would be wisely constructed of darker tones to promote an illusion of slimness! I have made two or three of these vests before and stick with browns, blacks, purples, and burgundy tones from the waist down. Lighter tones look better from the waist up!

If the vest is being knitted, consider using the purl side for the outside. It gives a tweedy, muted look which can be really attractive, considering it's a mish-mash of a bunch of bright colors which might be a little harsh to take. If you like to crochet, double crochet is a good choice because the rows will go very quickly.

1-2-3 GO!

Chain a length which goes around the top, under your arms and meets in the middle. The overlap is sometimes best added at the very end, because it looks more finished in a vertical trim, separate from the striped pattern of the vest.

Using dark colors at the bottom, start knitting or crocheting! It's as simple as that! You can use tiny stripes or fat ones - or tie one color to another as each yarn roll runs out. There are no rules - you are the boss. It is your creation, and yours to enjoy! Pretty soon you will maybe feel that the vest is taking on a life of its own. It is leading the way, and you are following.

version 2, knitted, with cap sleeves, and a v-neck
version 2, knitted, with cap sleeves, and a v-neck

Finishing it off

When it's time to do the bodice area, here is the trick.

On the kitchen table, place a piece of white paper the width of one of your regular T-shirts. Place the T shirt on the paper so you can trace the T-shirt's shoulder dimensions. Now take your knitted or crocheted yarn vest, shaped like a rectangle, and fold it up like a finished sweater (back down, with two panels in the front. The upper arms and shoulders of the sweater can be traced onto paper to see the area you need to knit or crochet. Just continue knitting, but use your paper guide as a pattern. There will be three sections to create individually - two extended sections in the front (for Left and Right) and one wide yoke in the back. I knitted mine with a straight edge at the sleeve so it overhangs a little like a cap sleeve. Arm edgings (a finished vest sleeve) may be made by decreasing a little at the arms like an elongated C shape and then later finishing it off with a couple of rows of single crochet.

At the end, join the shoulder seams together. Right sides together, two times - once at the edges and then a row of stitches 1/8" inside.

The front is easily made by hand crochet. Before you start, you will need between five to nine attractive buttons which will compliment your vest. Two rows of single crochet stitching across the front edge, then chain stitch two or three or four stitches for each button hole and then a length of normal single crochet stitches until it's time to make the next button hole. I allow a width of three to four fingers between buttons so the vest stays warm and close to the body, buttons not too far and few between. Remember that women's styles are fashioned "right over left" and men's styles are "left over right".

Fun to create my daughter's warm yarn sweaters

This photo shows the buttonholes.  With the T-shirt underneath, I can trace a pattern to complete the upper body.
This photo shows the buttonholes. With the T-shirt underneath, I can trace a pattern to complete the upper body. | Source
Here is another rectangle based sweater using pink yarn!.  The arms were attached later but the principal is the same.  As she grew, the body was lengthened.
Here is another rectangle based sweater using pink yarn!. The arms were attached later but the principal is the same. As she grew, the body was lengthened. | Source

Create your own pattern and keep warm

This free pattern is a lifesaver, because it can be made in so many ways. If you use just one color of yarn, as I did in my daughter's vest, you can add different colors in the bodice section or just continue with the one-color theme. The main thing is to prevent getting a cold or the flu in the winter, and it's more fun to wear something creative than an old grungy sweater that is no longer attractive.

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