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How to Knit a Sweater Vest

I’m on the knitting train again, and it’s taken me all sorts of places the last couple months. We’re at my current stop today, which is how to knit a sweater vest. I’m really happy to share this knitted sweater vest pattern with you all.

I know, I know, the words “knitted sweater pattern” just conjures up all kinds of terror for a lot of people 😱

They seem really intimidating and people wait for years of knitting scarves and hats before they summon the courage to try one.

You can do this. I’ll show you how to knit a sweater vest to get you started. No sleeves means less work and more successful knitting. Then you’ll see, knitting a sweater is totally doable. You can do it too!

If you’d like to own the ad free, printable and downloadable PDF version of this knitted sweater pattern, it’s available for purchase on all our sales channels below. 

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If you like this knitting pattern and would like to see more patterns like this, check out these other knitted patterns below

1 Lacy Knitted Sweater / 2 Knitted Sweater Dress

Materials

*These materials contain affiliate links, for which I make a small commission. It’s no extra cost to you, makes shopping easier and helps to keep the lights on.

Stitches Used & Code

  • CO = Cast on
  • BO = Bind off
  • K = Knit
  • P = Purl
  • K2tog = Knit 2 stitches together (Right leaning increase)
  • SSK = Slip 2 stitches knitwise and these 2 stitches together through back loops (Left leaning increase)
  • PM = Place marker
  • SM = Slip marker
  • REP = Repeat
  • ST = Stitch(es)
  • SK = Skip
  • RS = Right side
  • WS = Wrong side
  • ” = inches

Skill: Easy

Notes:

  • The pattern is written in English US terminology 
  • The pattern is made as US women’s sizes XS( S, M, L, XL, XXL )
  • In this picture I have demonstrated with size Small
  • This vest is worked flat in two separate pieces from the bottom up and then sewn together. For the neckline and the armhole ribbing, we’ll pickup stitches and knit in a round

Yarn needed: 170( 190, 230, 260, 300, 330 ) Yards

Gauges blocked: 9 st X 13 rows = 4″ in stockinette stitch

Measurements (After blocked)

  • XS = 16″ Width across X 14.46″ Length
  • S = 17.77″ Width across X 14.46″ Length
  • M = 20.44″ Width across X 15.69″ Length
  • L = 22.22″ Width across X 16.30″ Length
  • XL = 24.88″ Width across X 17.53″ Length
  • XXL = 26.66″ Width across X 18.15″ Length

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE PATTERN

How to Knit a Sweater Vest: The Written Pattern

BACK PANEL

RIBBING

Use US 11/8 mm needles

CO 38( 42, 48, 52, 58, 62 ) ST

Row 1 – Row 8: *K1, P1* REP from *TO* across. Total of 38( 42, 48, 52, 58, 62 ) ST

BODY

Use US 13/9 mm needles

Row 9 (WS): P across. Total of 38( 42, 48, 52, 58, 62 ) ST

Row 10 (RS): K across. Total of 38( 42, 48, 52, 58, 62 ) ST

REP Row 9 and Row 10: 5 more times for all the sizes. You’ll have a total of 20 rows

Row 21: P across. Total of 38( 42, 48, 52, 58, 62 ) ST

Row 22: K 2, SSK, K until you have 4 ST left, K2tog, K the last 2 ST. Total of 36( 40, 46, 50, 56, 60 ) ST

Row 23: P across. Total of 36( 40, 46, 50, 56, 60 ) ST

REP Row 22 and Row 23: 7( 7, 9, 10, 12, 13 ) more times. You’ll have a total of 37( 37, 41, 43, 47, 49 ) rows

*In each row you will decrease 2 ST (1 ST on each side). The end of row 37( 37, 41, 43, 47, 49 ) you’ll have a total of 22( 26, 28, 30, 32, 34 ) ST left

Row 38( 38, 42, 44, 48, 50 ): K across. Total of 22( 26, 28, 30, 32, 34 ) ST

Row 39( 39, 43, 45, 49, 51 ): P across. Total of 22( 26, 28, 30, 32, 34 ) ST

REP Row 38( 38, 42, 44, 48, 50 ) and Row 39( 39, 43, 45, 49, 51 ): 4 more times for all the sizes. You’ll have a total of 47( 47, 51, 53, 57, 59 ) rows, then BO all stitches and cut the yarn.

FRONT PANEL

For the front panel, CO the same number of the stitches as the back panel and Row 1 – Row 37( 37, 41, 43, 47, 49 ) make the same as the back panel

Now we’re going to make the shoulder shapes

LEFT SHOULDER SHAPE

With US 13/9 mm needles

Row 38( 38, 42, 44, 48, 50 ): K 4( 6, 6, 7, 7, 8 ) ST, now you’ll have 18( 20, 22, 23, 25, 26 ) ST on the left needles DO NOT knit them, we’re going to leave them on hold and we’ll come back and knit them after we’re done with the left shoulder shape, turn. Total of 4( 6, 6, 7, 7, 8 ) ST

Row 39( 39, 43, 45, 49, 51 ): P across. Total of 4( 6, 6, 7, 7, 8 ) ST

REP Row 38( 38, 42, 44, 48, 50 ) and Row 39( 39, 43, 45, 49, 51 ): 4 more times for all the sizes. You’ll have a total of 47( 47, 51, 53, 57, 59 ) rows, then BO all stitches and cut the yarn leave 6-10″ long tail

RIGHT SHOULDER SHAPE

With US 13/9 mm needles

Row 38( 38, 42, 44, 48, 50 ): With the right side facing up and you have 18( 20, 22, 23, 25, 26 ) ST, now we’re going to BO some ST at the middle for the neckline, add new yarn and then BO 14( 14, 16, 16, 18, 18 ) ST, K the rest of the ST across. Total of 4( 6, 6, 7, 7, 8 ) ST

Row 39( 39, 43, 45, 49, 51 ): P across. Total of 4( 6, 6, 7, 7, 8 ) ST

Row 40( 40, 44, 46, 50, 52 ): K across. Total of 4( 6, 6, 7, 7, 8 ) ST

REP Row 39( 39, 43, 45, 49, 51 ) and Row 40( 40, 44, 46, 50, 52 ): 3 more times for all the sizes. You’ll have a total of 46( 46, 50, 52, 56, 58 ) rows

Row 47( 47, 51, 53, 57, 59 ): P across. Total of 4( 6, 6, 7, 7, 8 ) ST, then BO all stitches and cut the yarn leave 6-10″ long tail

JOIN ALL THE PIECES TOGETHER 

SEW THE SHOULDER SEAMES

For the shoulder seams, you can use which ever method you prefer to sew. I’m sewing stitches to stitches. Take the back and front panels, place them with the correct side facing up, and we’ll sew in the right side using the tail that we left earlier. Sew 4( 6, 6, 7, 7, 8 ) ST of the front and back panel together at each shoulder seam. Check picture below

how to knit a sweater vest tutorial, sewing the shoulder seams together

SEW THE SIDE SEAMES

Fold your vest in half at the shoulder seam with the wrong sides facing each other. Cut a new strand of yarn 20-30″ long, enough to sew the side seam. You can use which ever method you prefer to sew. I’m going to use a mattress stitch. Start sewing from the bottom up to the side seam, sew up 20 rows for all the sizes. Both sides are sewn the same. Weave all the ends.

sewing the side seams on this knitted sweater vest pattern

NECKLINE RIBBING

Use US 11/8 mm (16″ circular needles)

With your vest RS facing out, Pickup stitches evenly around the neckline. You can start anywhere you prefer. I start at the middle of the back. You should have a total of 48( 48, 52, 52, 56, 56 ) ST around the neckline, If you have a couple more or less it’s ok but be sure that you have an even number of stitches.

Round 1: PM, *K 1, P1* REP from *TO* around. Total of 48( 48, 52, 52, 56, 56 ) ST

Round 2: SM, *K 1, P1* REP from *TO* around. Total of 48( 48, 52, 52, 56, 56 ) ST, then BO in pattern which is 1 X 1 rib BO

ARMHOLES RIBBING

Use US 11/8 mm (16″ circular needles)

With your vest RS facing out. Pickup stitches around the arm hole. Start from the underarm, *pickup each of next 2 ST, SK next ST* REP from *TO* around, make sure that the underarm doesn’t have a big hole, if so you can pickup more stitches to avoid it. You should have a total of 38( 38, 44, 46, 52, 54 ) ST around the armhole, If you have a couple more or less it’s ok but be sure that you have an even number of the stitches.

Round 1: PM, *K 1, P1* REP from *TO* around. Total of 38( 38, 44, 46, 52, 54 ) ST

Round 2 – Round 5: SM, *K 1, P1* REP from *TO* around. Total of 38( 38, 44, 46, 52, 54 ) ST, then BO in pattern which is 1 X 1 rib BO. Weave all the ends

That’s it. See? You did it! You learned how to knit a sweater vest. How did it go, was it as difficult as you thought it would be? Let me know in the comments if this was your first or 100th sweater and how the knitted sweater pattern worked for you.