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21 Free Vest Knitting Patterns

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Knitted vests are versatile layering pieces that you can wear year-round. From breezy summer vests to fitted fall layers, it’s hard to find an occasion when a vest isn’t a great option. And the best part is, they’re relatively easy to make! Here are 21 free vest knitting patterns for everyone, from beginners to expert knitters. Happy knitting!

photo collage of woman wearing yellow knit vest against pastoral background, woman wearing beige knit vest against room backdrop, woman wearing green knit vest outside with brick wall backdrop, and woman sitting on a couch wearing a red knit vest

Knitted Vest Patterns

Vests are fun to knit because they’re similar to sweaters but a bit quicker and easier since they don’t have sleeves. They’re the perfect wearable project for those who have some knitting experience but don’t feel like committing to a full sweater project.

Vests come in many styles, like open-front designs, pullovers, button fronts, v-necks, turtlenecks, and even hooded vests. You can wear them alone, over a t-shirt, layered with a button-up shirt, or under a coat. 

21 Free Vest Knitting Patterns

Take a look at these free vest knitting patterns for your next project.

Knitting Techniques to Know

Though knitting a vest is simpler than knitting a sweater, you’ll still need to know a handful of basic knitting techniques. Some of these include:

Not all of the skills listed above are required for every vest – check your individual pattern for more information.

Can a beginner knit a vest?

Yes, beginners can knit simple vest patterns once they know basic knitting techniques like casting on, binding off, and knit and purl stitches. Vests are fantastic for beginning knitters because they have simple shapes and no sleeves.

A few of the easiest vest patterns from the list above are the Timbo Vest (#1), the Open Trails Slipover (#2), and the Sideways Garter Vest (#5).

Vest Knitting Supplies

To knit your vest, gather the following supplies:

  • Knitting needles (straight, circular, or DPNs – check your pattern for the correct needles and size)
  • Yarn
  • Stitch Markers
  • Other notions (scissors, yarn needle, buttons, etc.)

And now that you have your tools and materials, let’s jump into the patterns.

Tips for Knitting Vests

Take your measurements to choose the right size.

Most knitted vest patterns are available in a variety of sizes. Since you’ll want your vest to fit just right, it’s important to consult your pattern’s size chart before getting started. Take the time to take measurements so you can choose the best size option for you. 

Make a gauge swatch.

After you’re confident that you’ve chosen the correct size, it’s time to knit up a gauge swatch. It may not feel fun at the moment when you just want to get started, but it will be SO worth it when you end up with a vest that actually fits well! 

After knitting your gauge swatch, you can adjust your needle size up or down if needed to achieve the correct gauge.

Block the finished pieces.

After you’ve finished knitting, block your vest so it looks great and keeps its shape. To block your vest, soak or spritz it with water, pin it in the correct shape, and then let it dry.

More Knitting Patterns

If you love knitting, here are some more free patterns to take a look at.

photo collage of woman wearing yellow knit vest against pastoral background, woman wearing beige knit vest against room backdrop, woman wearing green knit vest outside with brick wall backdrop, and woman sitting on a couch wearing a red knit vest

What’s Next?

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