Hetman vest by Olga Casey

I am attempting this vest (http://olgacasey.blogspot.com/2011/08/hetman.html), but being a relatively new knitter, I have questions.

First, I need to up-size this a bit, any clues as to how o do this?
Second, there are instructions to "add a stitch" for the back of the vest. Does this mean I should make a stitch, or is there another technique I need to learn?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Image icon Finally, finished!460.05 KB
Joe-in Wyoming's picture

The first thing would be to knit a generous test swatch with the needles and yarn you are going to use. That will give you the gauge and you can adjust needle size to match your needs. That accomplished, you can always add more stitches to make the size you want. That will mean adjusting all your counts - width and height - to match what you need for a good fit, based upon the measurements for the wearer.

As to adding a stitch, there are several ways to make one - as you have already surmised - and you can use your favorite or, perhaps, the pattern suggests one. [I didn't look at it.] My guess is the extra stitch is to center the shaping and/or pattern for the back.

I hope you have a great time knitting this project. Remember to be easy on yourself and not stress too much...the first time doing a new project or technique is a learning experience and you can only improve with time. Lots of luck.

ETA: Just looked at the pattern. It is styled to be a loose fit which is a plus as it is a great beginning project. The shaping is minimal and functional - another plus. As always, we are only a click away to offer advice and tips. Take care.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

kiwiknitter's picture

Hi Jay, This is a great garment and I know just the person I will knit it for! Thank you for sharing this with us. Joe has given you great advice. It isn't a difficult pattern and you should be able to knit it fine. I read your profile - I did needlepoint for years before switching to knitting. Now, my eyes are not what they once were so no more fine knitting. It will be fun to do something in a chunky knitting wool for a change. Best wishes for your successful project!

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Knitting fool's picture

Thanks, for your input! I am going to try to add stitches to both length and height to get the size I am going to need. I just got the yarn today, so I'll be ready to go as soon as I finish up my current project.
I would really appreciate it, kiwiknitter, if you could clue me in on any snags you might hit as you knit this. Also, I'd really like to see your finished vest.

Thanks again, guys!

Knitting fool's picture

Well, I'm in the final stretch of knitting the back of this vest. I chose to begin with the back, as it seemd to be the easiest part of the vest. I added stitches to the width and the height, and I think I did is correctly, because if I lay this piece on my back, it looks like it is going to fit!

I now will be starting on the left front. I practiced the mitered knitting with some scrap yarn and I think I found some errors in the pattern that will be easy to correct. The one part of this vest that has me confused is how to use the instructions for the left front to knit the right front of this. The cast-on for the front pieces form the horizontal and the vertical bands for both pieces. I am unsure how to get started on the right front piece. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Knitting fool's picture

I have successfully completed the two front pieces and the back piece for this vest! All that remains now is the final assembly, trimming out the collar and the arm holes and making and adding the frog closures and iCord ornamentation.

I had to figure out how to up-size the pattern, as the pattern as written would not have fit me. Also, having never made a vest before I had to learn how to make the right front piece having only instructions for the left side. To keep myself sane with the miter, I created an Excel spreadsheet that kept track of the rows and when to make the decreases. I wasn't too sure about this when I first decided to make this vest, but it's going to be a go to garment this fall. When I have it complete, I will post a photo or two.

CLABBERS's picture

Hi Jay,
I haven't been on here for awhile, so it was nice to read all your progress in one sitting. Like you, I have also found that and Excel spreadsheet is a knitters great friend. I must admit though that I usually just draw a grid on a scrap of paper and keep my stitch counts and rows on that. That way, I don't struggle with creating the spreadsheet and modifying it. I just use the pencil eraser on my scrap paper as it goes faster for me. I am anxious to see the finished product. If you took pictures of the individual pieces along the way, please post them as well.

Knitting fool's picture

Well, guess what? My vest still isn't finished!!! I am struggling with the closures and the embellishments on the front pieces. I pinned all of it down over two thicknesses of foam board, but when it came time to baste, and then sew them on, it all went to hell in a hand basket. I put it all aside, and began knitting hats and scarves for homeless veterans. Now that I have seriously depleted my yarn stocks, my attention has again returned to the vest. I am going to try using a hot glue gun to tack the Icord pieces to the vest to hold them more securely while I sew them on. Wish me luck...

Bill's picture

DON'T USE HOT GLUE! ...you can tack stuff in place with an Elmer's glue stick...that will wash out. The kind of glue stick kids use.

Knitting fool's picture

Finally finished!!! See above for the photo. I ended up needing to add a little to the size of the vest as it wasn't fitting as loosely as I wanted. I simply knitted some side gussets and seamed them into the vest. I am quite please with how this turned out for my very first vest project. I sure learned a lot doing it.