22 July 2015

Pattern: A Vest for Charles

A Vest for Charles $7 on Ravelry (no account necessary)

Charles Musgrove had the good taste to fall for Anne Elliot, but ended up marrying her sister Mary. Doesn’t he deserve a handknit, too? Inspired by a knitted vest worn by Charles I to his execution in 1649 (and still in the Museum of London today), this vest should bring Charles Musgrove better luck.

Two stitch patterns from the original are used: the Diamonds and Crosses brocade border is separated by welting and topped by King Charles Brocade (a.k.a., Double Diamond). The King’s vest was knit in silk by a master knitter at 21 stitches per inch! A more manageable gauge and rustic woolen-spun yarn make this vest au courant for the  Everyman (or woman).

What you'll love about knitting A Vest for Charles:
  • Worked all in one piece from the bottom up to the underarms, then the fronts and back are worked separately, finally joined with a three-needle bind-off
  • Integrated button bands and Seed stitch edgings make for a handsome, virtually finish-free project.
  • Historic knit-purl patterns, one above the hem and the other over the rest of the body, will pique and keep your interest while knitting
  • Bonus: A vest means no sleeves! You will still create a handsome, fully-fashioned garment without having to knit sleeves.

What you'll love about wearing A Vest for Charles:
  • Subtle knit-purl patterns make this a special knit that whispers about how it was hand-crafted with love and talent
  • Button-up style means this is a versatile garment that you can dress up or down
  • You're wearing an item inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion, as well as by a pivotal moment in British history

Finished Size
31¾ (36, 39¾, 44, 47¾, 51½)-inch/80.5 (91.5, 101, 112, 121.5, 131) cm chest circumference, buttoned, with 5-stitch front bands overlapped
Vest shown measures 36 inches (91.5 cm)

Brooklyn Tweed Shelter (100% Targhee-Columbia wool; 140 yds [128 m]/1.75 oz [50 g]): #08 truffle hunt, 5 (6, 6, 7, 8, 9) skeins. Size 6 (4 mm) 29-inch or longer circular (cir) needle (ndl).  Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge, and choose length close to desired chest circumference. 
Stitch holders or waste yarn
Spare cir ndl same size or smaller than main needle for three-needle bind-off
Tapestry needle 10 (11, 11, 11, 12, 12) ½-inch buttons

17 sts and 30 rows = 4 inches in St st

Skills Needed
Casting on
Binding off
Three-needle bind-off
Chart reading
Working flat
Sewing on buttons

Previously published in Jane Austen Knits, Fall 2013, and The Best of Jane Austen Knits


Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

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