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WWII Sleeveless Sweater Vest

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Holly Shaltz, Fiberist
PO Box 136
Boyne City MI
49712 USA
(231) 582 3206
(231) 582 0426

Print Version Here


Sharon Earley of the American Red Cross in San Antonio, Texas, bought on eBay an old Bucilla Yarn booklet, entitled "Practical, Warm Hand Knits for Service Men," full of instructions for knitting items for military men during World War II. The booklet is Volume 318, dated 1940, and is marked 10 cents!

Sharon sent me scans of each page of the booklet so I could put them on my website as companions to the WWI knit patterns. Since the instructions are relatively modern, I've simply retyped them verbatim. Please read the World War II Pattern FAQ if you have any questions.

Abbreviations used: st - stitch, sts - stitches, k - knit, p - purl, tog - together

Sleeveless Sweater No. 200

Sleeveless Sweater Vest
Sleeveless Sweater Vest

Medium Size

MATERIALS: Bear Brand or Bucilla "AA" De Luxe Knitting Worsted, 3 skeins, or Bear Brand or Bucilla Standard Knitting Worsted, 3 skeins.

1 Pair Bucilla White 14-inch Knitting Needles, Size 9, Article 3846.

MEASUREMENTS-- Chest measure (when slightly stretched), 38 inches. Length from lower edge to armholes, 14 inches.

[For a smaller size (34-36) use No. 8 needles]

Gauge: 4 sts = 1 inch, 6 rows = 1 inch

Cast on 72 sts, work in ribbing of k 2, p 2, for 3 inches, then work in stockinette stitch (k 1 row, p 1 row) for 11 inches, ending with a k row. * Next row (wrong side) k 6, p to the last 6 sts, k 6. K the entire next row. Repeat from * for 7 inches (42 rows), ending with a k row. K 4 ridges (8 rows) in garter st (k all rows). Next row on wrong side k 6; p 1 and k 1, alternately, for 11 sts; k 6; bind of the next 26 sts for front of neck; k 6; p 1 and k 1, alternately (ribbing of k 1, p 1, for 11 sts; k 6.

First shoulder: k 7, ribbing of p 1, k 1, on 10 sts, k remaining 6 sts to neck edge; turn, k 6, ribbing of p 1, k 1, on 11 sts, k 6. Repeat these 2 rows until there are 19 rows of ribbing, ending at neck; break off.

Second shoulder: beginning at neck edge, work second shoulder same as first, ending last row at armhole. Work back to neck, cast on 26 sts for back of neck, work pattern as before across shoulder (k 6, ribbing on 11 sts, k 6). K 8 rows (4 ridges) in garter stitch on all 72 sts. * K 1 row; next row k 6, p to the last 6 sts; k 6. Repeat from * for 7 inches. Work in stockinette stitch for 11 inches, then work in ribbing of k 2, p 2, for 3 inches. Bind off loosely, knitting the knitted and purling the purled sts. Sew side seams up to the garter stitch border, this leaves 9 inches open for armhole.

rainbow stripe

rainbow stripe