Machine Knit Vest (or sleeveless pullover)

Today I present my very fist machine knit garment: a men’s sleeveless pullover.  Now, I know this is like the least exciting thing in the world to knit. But, I wanted to make something for Jordan as a thank you for turning our dining room into a knitting room. It came out so well! I. Can’t. Even.

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The inspiration for this pattern is from a 1969 machine knitting magazine. It was a good first project as I got to work increases and decreases, binding off for shaping, ribbing bands and seaming the garment on the knitting machine. Yes, you read that right: I can even seam the garment on a knitting machine.

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I can’t take all the credit for this, blog reader Jeannie hooked a sister up. Turns out she’s an avid machine knitter and lives just three miles from my house. When operator error prevented me from getting anywhere near gauge, she told me to come on over. Do you know how incredible it is to find a machine knitter in biking distance????  She showed me how to measure more accurately and how to use Design A Knit software to tweak the pattern.

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I told Jordan to pose like a 1960s dad. He clearly went the authoritarian route.

DAK is MAGIC.  While I loved DAK, it was too rich for my blood and isn’t native to Apple (that said, I did use VMware to create a Windows environment and run a demo version on my iMac). But, I also don’t have a laptop which would make the in screen knitting much more user friendly.  So, for a birthday gift to myself, I bought Garment Designer which also drafts for sewing patterns. More on that in an upcoming post (although, I seem to be a liar about things I’m going to blog about so please don’t commit this to memory).

I used a wonderful cashmere/merino/silk blend 4 ply yarn from Colourmart.  It’s an inky navy blue with flecks of baby blue and white. The color name is Galaxy. And, the resulting fabric really does look like a night sky full of stars.

The shoulders (as drafted) are a little wide for modern times and the V came out three inches longer than drafted too. Jordan’s also much broader at the shoulder/ back area than through the torso so I’ll have to accommodate for that the next time.

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End result, a not terrible vest for Jordan. I need to get better about my finishing and weaving in ends (I have a sewing mentality of just knotting things off. Doesn’t work the same…) I think I’m going to knit the same pattern in a 40 chest for my dad with my leftover yarn. This time, I’ll try some new techniques like short rows for the shoulder seams.

Boring, long and droning Ravely notes here.





  1. Very nice work for your first! DH looks good in it and I know you’ll make it perfect for sure!

  2. It looks wonderful! So proud of you—it was a delight helping you!

  3. I actually think it turned out totally wearable! And the…erm…fabric? is an awesome color. Great job! 🙂 Very interested in hearing more about this Garment Designer program–especially from a sewist’s perspective. Lekala patterns have made me really think about getting some sort of pattern drafting software…

  4. Looks great, first project down, can’t wait to see what’s next. My sister loves her knitting machine.

  5. I am super impressed! You have really got the hang of that knitting machine, and I can’t wait to see what else you accomplish!

  6. This is so cool and I’m thrilled for you that you got such a great finished item out of your knitting machine! Congrats!

  7. Wheeee! I like Jordan’s lawyer boss pose and I’m so happy you made something wearable on yoru machine! Also, please tell us more about that Garment Designer program… I’ve been looking an alternative to teh $3000 drafting programs I can’t afford. Also just noticed the little worm on a hook in your blog them and giggled dementedly,

  8. It really looks great on him, and you’ll have a blast learning to short row – it makes a huge difference. As far as the width of the shoulders are concerned, blocking it a little more severely may help. Do you have any wires? I usually block before and after seaming, and dimensions can change quite drastically.

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