Stripey chevron CustomFit sweater vest
Dude. I have made the most amazing stripey chevron sweater vest.
I’ve wanted a stripey chevron sweater vest ever since I saw Mia’s vest ages ago. I’d already made one attempt at knitting a vest, but it was a terrible failure. Back too big, neckline too high… and since I’d made my own varying-width stripes with six different colors of yarn, I wasn’t in the mood to rip it all out and start all over. Determined to eventually have my own vest, I decided to use a self-striping yarn for the next project.
When KnitPicks announced they would be discontinuing Felici Sport, I grabbed some up on clearance, in the Recess colorway. By using a self-striping yarn, I was giving up the freedom to create my own stripe width, but it was worth it for the option to not weave in 87 million ends for the front.
Once I had my colorway for the front, it was time to pick one for the back! I wanted a solid back, also like Mia’s vest, and went with Stroll Sport, which is also discontinued, in the Peapod colorway. This green is more pronounced than the green in Recess, but I think they compliment each other perfectly.
Also? Because I got everything on clearance discount, I barely spent $32 for the yarn and I still have 2 balls of Felici and 1.5 balls of Stroll. Expect to see some winter accessories made with the leftovers in a few months.
To knit this sweater vest, I used Amy Herzog’s CustomFit generator. I love Amy’s patterns; I’ve taken classes with her and have bought her Knit to Flatter book, which is excellent, but for this pattern, I wanted to try the generator. It’s pretty awesome! It forces you to knit a swatch (I know, I know) and count your own stitches and rows, instead of trying to make gauge for someone else’s pattern. It then takes your own tension and a whole buttload of measurements, asks what type of sweater you’d like (sleeves, neckline, trim, etc), and spits out a perfect pattern for $9.99.
The pattern was great and easy to follow, so all I had to do worry about the chevrons. I had a basic stitch pattern, but using a little math and the cast-on stitch count of 151, I came up with this repeat for my main pattern:
R1: k5, k2tog, [k5, yo, k, yo, k5, sl 2, k1, p2sso], k5, yo, k, yo, k5, ssk, k5
R2: Purl entire row
All was well and good until I got to the armhole and neckline shaping. CustomFit provides the directions for decreasing, but it was up to me to make sure my stitch count in the chevrons remained consistent throughout the shaping. I think I was a little off, but not by much. Of course, this is probably only an issue I can see.
I am busty and I have a squishy belly, but a fairly narrow back, often requiring me to make many modifications to the back pieces of shirts and sweaters. I’ve sometimes knit the back piece a size or two smaller, but then had to ensure the lengths were the same, or that the armholes would match up. Knitting this back was amazingly straightforward, as I knit it exactly as the pattern directed. There may be just slightly more ease that I would usually knit, but it definitely doesn’t take away anything in my love for this vest.
The tl;dr: I love my stripey chevron sweater vest, and I highly recommend the CustomFit generator to anyone who usually has trouble knitting ready-made patterns to fit.