I'm Krisha - a Scandinavian mama and physician, a crafter, and an avid coffee drinker - trying to nudge my family towards a greener lifestyle!


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baby vest with room to grow!

This autumn we spent a long weekend in NYC with our American cousin (and her parents of course) and I had  the great pleasure to visit the purl bee in person. 

It was as beautiful and inspiring as you can imagine. And to be honest a wee bit overwhelming. Bringing my entire entourage with me I experienced a bit of a "knitters" block. But their service and patience with my raindripping peeps gave me enough time to make away with 2 skeins of the super soft Mano Maxima a super soft, hand dyed, 100% merino wool in a faboulus color combo. 


Half an hour after I left the store I remembered that I really wanted to shop yarn for a baby vest and so the rest of the trip I imagined the most super vest to grow in for Baby A. I really do find that children's clothes should be designed with a room to grow, especially home made ones. You put so much time and effort into them  (and the really beautiful yarns are not cheap either)  

I whipped up this baby vest in a short weekend with one of those skeins, and have been meaning to share it for the longest time. But then there was the shortage of daylight for beautiful photoes  as well as my ambition to write down and share the pattern. Writing this pattern took a long time - and made it very clear that I do not quite know how to write knitting patterns - yet!    Let me tell you though - this vest has been the missing link in her wardrobe this winter. It is perfect for layering and I expect we will be using a lot over lighter blouses this spring.  I reckon it's a size 18mo. through 3 years as you only have to move the button along the suspenders, since I find that toddlers tend to grow considerably more in lenght than width.

The only drawback with these super soft lightly spun yarns is that they tend to get small fleece lumps all over after use- but I have a remedy for that - which I will share with you in the near future!

You can find the pattern and more photos below.

Baby vest with room to grow.  

1 skein Mano Maxima (100g) or any other yarn with the approx same gauge

needels 5,5 european 

k2tg = knitt 2 together

k2tg twisted = knit 2 together from the opposite side. This is to make the deceased stich “lean” the right way.

Cast on 100 stiches and knit 6 rounds i garter stich.

Connect the knitting on the circular needle and knit 4 purl one. Continue until the bodice measures approx 19 cm.

Divide the knitting in two  ( 50 stiches in front 50  back.)  and on the following round cast of 3 stiches knit 44, cast of 6 stiches continue knitting 44 stiches and then cast of 3 stiches. You should  now have a bodice with 6 stiches cast of under the arms on both sides.

Knitting up the back:

You will now continue to knit back and fort. 

1 st. row of back:

Start knitting up the back from the purl side ( reverse)  like so:  knit  two then purl where you knit  on the front and knit the purl stich i.e you continue in pattern. Knit the last two stiches on the needle.  You will  for the rest of the back always knit the first and last to stiches on the needle both on the front and on the reverse side. This becomes the edging along the openings for the arms.

2 nd. row:

From the front - knit two, k2tg. Knit the next 38 stiches in pattern. k2tg. knit two. 42

3rd. row:

From the back - knit 2, k2tg  knit the next 36 stiches in pattern but reverse. 40

4th row:

Like row two. (  you now only have 34 stiches in the middle) 38

5th row:

from the back , knit two continue in pattern on the stiches in the middle, en round by knitting two ( no decreasing from the back)

6th row:

Continue decreasing like in like row 2 ( 32 stiches) 36

7th row:

Like row 5

8th row:

like row 2 (30 stiches in the middle) 34

You are now finished decreasing for the arms in the back. Continue in pattern for 5,5 cm but  knitt the first two and last two stiches at the beginning and end of EVERY round (i.e. both from the front and from the back)

Then starting from the back,

row A, knitt 12 in pattern ( first to stiches knit)  then knitt 10  stiches ( this will become 

the edging at the neck) Then continue knitting the 12 last stiches in pattern ( last two stiches on needle are knit) 

From front:

Row B, knitt 12 stiches in pattern ( do not forget that the first two are knit) then 10  stiches knit, then the last 12 in pattern ( last two knit)

From back

Row C

Like row A only you now knit 10 in pattern 14 knit in the middle then 10 in pattern (remember first and last two on every stich are knit)

From front

row D

knit 2, 10 stiches in the pattern, knit 2, cast of 10, knit 2,10 stiches in pattern, knit 2

You are now about to start on the “suspenders” 

From the back ( staring from the edge):

knit 2  10 stiches pattern knit 2

Front - (you are starting this front row from the middle)

knit 2 k2tg (twisted) continue in pattern ,8 stiches, then k2tg , knit 2

Continue decreasing from the front 3 more times  unntill you have 9 stiches on your needle.

Then knit back and forth untill you for 5 cm.

then knit 2, k2tg,knit 1, k2tg ,twisted, knit 2

then knit 4 rows  cast of.

The other suspender are knitted the same way only mirrored.


from the back, do one row in knit (not purl :-)) 

The decreasing for the arms are done the same on the front as the back , however you do not continue the knit 4 purl 1 pattern, but rather knit the front, purl the back. and as on the back the first and last 2 stiches are always knit to form a nice edge. 

After decreasing , knit until it measures 5,5 cm (like the back)

Then from the front knit the 10 middle stiches both from the back and front for 4 rows (= 2 “rows garter stich)

from the front cast of the 10 middle stiches.

You do now have 12 stiches left on either side

from the back : knit 2 , purl 8 , p2tg “twisted” - (towards the center)  knit 2

from the front  - continue knitting 2 tg towards the center fir 4 rows until you are left with 7 stiches on the needle.

next row.

Knit 2 cast off 3 ( button hole) knitt 2


knit 2 cast on 2 stiches knit 2


knit 3 rows  

Cast off. 

Knit the other side the opposite way- cast of and sew on the buttons.

If you want to give the pattern a go and run into trouble along the way I would be more than happy to answer questions! And If you make one I would love it if you shared an image of it in the comments section

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Reader Comments (3)

What a marvelous gift this pattern is! It turned out really beautifully...you ought to be proud!

Purl Soho is definitely on my bucket list...their space looks gorgeous. Thanks for your post!

Isn't Purl nice? I might have said this before, but I went into total raptures when they carefully cut my fabric with a ruler and rotary cutter instead of ripping it off the bolt!

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNina

Thank you for your kind words Melissa
Nina - I should have bought some fabric just to experience that!

March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKrisha

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