Knitting the Woodlawn Vest


I’ve been a little slack when it comes to talking about the garments I’ve been knitting for Olann and.  To be honest, the time just seems to run away on me and before I know it, the next issue is released and that window of opportunity feels lost.  As Deirdre and I have decided to switch, from a bi-monthly publishing schedule to a quarterly one, hopefully they’ll be more time (for both of us) to do the things we planned to.

So, let’s have a look at the Woodlawn Vest in a little more detail.

Design by Evin O’Keefe, the Woodlawn Vest is a worsted/aran weight pattern, that includes sizes from preemie to twelve months.  Evin’s inspiration for the vest came from the ferns in her grandma’s garden.  Living in Cork, Evin and has already published one book, Bake Knit Sew: A Recipe and Craft Project Annual (Anchor and Bee, 2014), with plans to release Bake Knit Sew 2, in late spring.

The Woodlawn Vest is meant to be worn as an insulating layer, over either a long sleeve top in the Winter or short sleeves in the warmer months.  Although the yarn I used is so soft, it could probably be worn next to the skin.

Before I go on, the yarn used is from Irish Fairytale Yarn, in their Worsted Sock (75% Merino, 25% Nylon: 459 yards/420 metres/200g).  The shade is Petrol and apologies in advance for the different colours in these photos.  I took them all at the same time, but some have come out much lighter than others, I’m assuming it’s because of the little white top I have under the vest.


If you look at the bottom of the vest you can see, it’s pointed on either side, very reminiscent of a traditional waistcoat.  They’re is no special shaping used to create this feature, rather it is a ‘happy accident’ caused by the lace panels at either side of the vest.


If we have a closer look at the lace panels,  you can see how the increases and decreases cause the vest to pull in and in doing so, create the points.


It’s only when you see the side of the vest laid out flat, that you can really appreciate the fern lace design.  The fronds of the leaves radiating out at either side of the central stem, which draws up and creates the curved effect that becomes the points on the front and backs of the garment.


The repeat of eyelets across the centre panels of both the front and the back of the vest add an extra design element, which continues up over the chest and ties everything together.


If making a little Woodlawn Vest yourself, the eagle eyed among you, might notice that the eyelets on yours sit slightly differently?  We tweaked the design slightly before publishing it in issue 7 so the design runs bang on the centre of the vest.

Originally, the eyelets continued to run right up into the neck of the vest, but it was decided that the soft, rolled neck sits much better without the extra patterned row.  As well as being a great design feature, the soft neck makes the Woodlawn Vest much easier to get on and off baby’s heads.  Particularly, when they are premature and super tiny.


A couple of garter stitches at the side of the armhole, help to satabilise it and ensure it doesn’t roll.  These stitches continue up to the shoulder straps on either side, so they sit perfectly on bay’s shoulders.

The Vest itself takes a minimal amount of yarn to knit and the pattern is lovely and intuitive.  It would make a lovely gift, even a last minute one, as you’ll only need a few hours to knit even the largest size up.  It’s a unisex knit and looks great on Deirdre’s nephew Callan, the adorable little model in the magazine.  I myself am looking forward to having an excuse to knit it in a girly shade.

Not me personally,  you understand – right?

Happy Making

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