by Even Howard
Did you ever have one of those relatives, possibly an uncle, older cousin -- or if you were really lucky -- a father, whose adventurous spirit caught up everyone around? It’s in honor of those eccentric men who always have a new story, can make a game out of nothing, or share something magical -- not necessarily child-safe, but fun nonetheless -- that I created this vest. It features three types of crochet cables, I call them ‘the big cable,’ ‘skinny straight cables,’ and ‘the X cables.’
This project is not for the faint of heart, or the beginner crocheter (sorry!) as you should have mastered all questions of crocheting in the round, joining rows, crochet stitch anatomy, and your own visualization techniques in order to succeed. Add on to that a 2ply yarn and well… (sorry!) If you are ready for a challenge, go ahead and make the pocket/swatch. If all goes well, you are on your way! The back pocket is optional, but gives a new Papa a place to put all manner of things for a little one, or hidden from them! I put in a bit of waist shaping too, just leave it out if you like by beginning with 210 stitches and cancel the side increases. Lastly, I have only written for one size as of now, a men’s large (44 in chest). If you need larger or smaller, just edit the number of side single crochets. Ready? Let’s go!
Make a gauge swatch: Chain 42. Chain 1 and turn.
Row 1: Sc in second chain from hook. Sc across. Ch 1 turn.
Row 2: Sc across, Ch1, turn.
Row 3: *Sc1, Double Crochet down around post of sc directly below (dblpst)*, repeat 7 more times. Sc 2. Dblpst 6. Sc 2. *Dblpst 1, sc 1*, repeat across to end.
Row 4: Sc across, working in tops of Dblpsts (skipping row 1’s sc is noticeable during the series of 6dblpst).
Row 5: Repeat Row 3.
Row 6: Repeat Row 4.
Row 7: Repeat Row 3.
Row 8: Repeat Row 4.
Row 9: This is where the trickiness begins! Please see the detail below for creating a big cable. This row contains the twist. Proceed as for row 3, checking detail when you come to the center twist. Note the twists use a Triple crochet rather than the Dbl used elsewhere.
Rows 10-18: Continue Alternating sc rows and dblpst pattern rows.
Row 19: Second twist happens here, it is exactly the same as before. the right should overlap the left throughout.
Rows 20- 35: Continue in pattern, adding twists after every five dblpst rows.
Rows 36-37: Sc evenly across. Cut thread leaving a long enough end to sew around to attach to back. Go ahead and block and measure this piece. It should be 21cm by 15cm.
US pattern notations used
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
dblpst = double crochet around post of sc directly below
Begin The Vest
Please review details shown at the end and read through thoroughly before beginning! Step numbers refer to vest front diagram at the end.
1. (rows 1-10) Chain 200 (210 for straight-sided version). Join with slip stitch taking care not to twist chain. Single crochet in each chain across and join with a slip stitch to finish row one. Chain one and continue to single crochet and join each round for 10 rows.
2. (rows 11-22) Row 11: Sc 10, work 6 double crochets around the corresponding post two rows below, sc2, *1 double crochet post stitch (dblps), sc1* (repeat 13 more times), sc2, dblps6, sc2, repeat * pattern again, sc2, dblps6, sc10. This completes the front side, continue around the back repeating the same pattern. Row 12: sc across. Continue to row 23 alternating cable making rows with single crochet rows.
3. (rows 23-75) These rows add increases at each side. If you started out with 210 stitches you can just continue on as for rows 11-22. Row 23: Increase one stitch at beginning of row by sc two into first sc. Continue to work in cable pattern across front and sc 10 side stitches. Inc1 in 11th sc. Continue around. Continue in pattern increasing 1stitch on each side every 10 rounds. Rows 74-75: Work even. Total stitches around=210. After finishing row 75, cut yarn and tie off.
4. (rows 76-84) This is where you begin to work back and forth, instead of in the round. We’ll start with the front side. Row 76: Join yarn 8 stitches away from left front cable with the wrong side facing you. (From now on, every sc row should be on the wrong side and every post stitch row should be on the right side) Sc evenly across, ch1 and turn 8 stitches after last large cable. Begin to decrease 1 sc on each side (creating armholes) every other row. Row 77: Sc 1, Dec 1, Sc 5. Work pattern across front and dec 1 stitch to match at the opposite end. Continue alternating sc rows and cable rows through row 84.
5. (rows 85-116) Row 85 marks the change to the X cable pattern. See details for changing from straight cables to X cables. Continue to alternate sc and cable pattern rows. Continue to decrease until there are two sc stitches left on each side of large edge cables, then work edges even. The X pattern is worked as follows, beginning from the large cable edge with the first pattern row that changes from skinny straight lines to inverted V’s: Row 1: *sc 3, dblpst together (see detail)* repeat 7 times across to next big cable, work big cable in pattern, repeat * pattern again. Row 2: work sc across (wrong side row). Row 3: sc 2, dblpst (catching both branches of stitch below), *sc 1, dblpst 1*, repeat * pattern across, leaving two sc before and after big cable. Row 4: work sc across. Row 5: sc 1, dblpst, *sc 3, dblpst together (creating the top of the diamond shape)*, repeat * pattern across, leaving 1 sc before and after big cable. Row 6: work sc across. Row 7 (identical to row 3, but shifted half a motif): sc 2, dblpst, *sc 1, dblpst 1*, work in *pattern across, leaving 2 sc before and after big cable. Continue working in X cable pattern, don’t forget about decreasing at the edges!
6. (rows 117-151) Row 117 should be a pattern row with a big cable twist. Row 118 is a sc wrong side row and begins the neck shaping. So, sc across and stop one stitch into the big center cable (see neck details picture). This is where you chain one and turn (don’t continue across!) Row 119: work 4 sc and continue with X cable pattern across (refer to detail picture to note how the edge of the diamonds follows the neckline. Row 120: sc across, dec 1 at the neckline edge, chain 1, turn. Row 121: sc 4, continue X pattern. Continue to dec during sc rows and adjust edge of the X pattern up to row 151.
7: (rows 152-158) During these rows you stop decreasing for the neck line and revert back to skinny line cables. Row 152: sc evenly across. Row 153: sc 4, *dblpst, sc 1*, repeat across, leaving two sc before big cable. Continue to row 158. The last row (158) is a plain single crochet row which will become your shoulder seam. Go back to step 6 and repeat for other side of neck line, making sure to start with a single crochet row on the wrong side of the fabric.
Continue from where you left off with step 4. Join yarn 8 stitches from the outside cable working on the wrong side, single crochet across, working 8 sc beyond last cable. Work in skinny cable pattern stitch while dec every other row (the same as the front). Stop decreasing when there are 2 sc left on either side of the big cables. Do not change to X pattern cable. Continue in skinny cable pattern to row 154. On row 154, sc 23, then ch 1 and turn. Continue in pattern for 4 rows, last row is a sc row. Cut yarn and tie off. Attach yarn on the wrong side and work opposite side of back neck shaping to match.
Sew shoulder seams with yarn and yarn needle or with crochet hook using slipstitch. Sc 1 row around neckline and armholes (see neckline detail). Sew on pocket to center back matching cables. Weave in all ends. Block to measurements. If your bottom edge curls after blocking, run one more row of sc along it.