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Here it is!  I mentioned in my last post that I had accepted a challenge to reproduce a vest that my grandma used to make for some of my younger cousins.   I thought that they were owls, and knitted up the dress for my niece before I saw pictures of the back.  I’d forgotten–or maybe never saw–that they had kitty tails!  I hope that, with the pictures, my instructions will be fairly easy to follow (even though I’m obviously not a professional photographer, as evidenced by some fuzz and discoloration.) I’m not really satisfied with the buttons I had on hand, so I hope you’ll overlook them, but I was really anxious to get it posted. I’ll switch them out if I can find some better kitty eyes, but for now, MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!


Materials needed: Four ounces of worsted weight yarn, size 9 knitting needles (or size to produce the desired knitting gauge) You’ll also need a size I(or 9) crochet hook and a tapestry needle.
Gauge: 14 stitches makes 4 inches. 22 rows make 4 inches.


Finished measurements: 10.5″ X 13″ (11.5″ X 14.5″) Differences in the instructions for the larger size are in blue in parenthesis.  If not noted, the instructions are identical for both sizes.

Skills Required:  Casting on, garter stitch, stockinette stitch, cable stitch, crochet chain and slip stitches, binding off, side seam (mattress stitch) and seaming two bound off edges. Refer to verypink.com to brush up on any of these methods.

Tips to remember:

  • Any time you change from knit to purl (or purl to knit) in the middle of a row, you have to move the working yarn forward or backward of the right needle (or “yarn over.”)  This step is not noted in the pattern, but if not followed, will result in increased stitches and “holes” in the pattern.  (This doesn’t apply to a continuous knit row, or purl row where yarn over results in the increase and hole.)
  • Remember this:  Odd numbered rows are worked from the right sideEven numbered rows are worked from the wrong side.  This will help you count rows, and keep track of where you are in the pattern.

The front and back of the vest are identical with one noted exception–the tail row.

Cast on 40 (44) stitches, making sure to leave a generous tail 18 to 24 inches long.  These will be used to seam the sides.  (See my post on Grandma’s Booties for help casting on.) Tip:  After you have knit several rows, use a crochet hook to “use up” the tail temporarily to keep it from tangling with your working yarn.
Rows 1-10 (1-12):  Work in RIB STITCH (K1, P1, K1, P1 repeating across each row.)

Rows 11-46 (13-50): Work in STOCKINETTE STITCH (Knit row, Purl Row, repeat.)
Row 47 (51): Purl across the row.
Beginning with row 48 (52) you will be working a garter stitch along the first and last four (six) stitches of each row.

Row 48 (52): P 4 (6), K 32, P 4 (6)


(The next row is the only difference between front and back of the vest.)
Row 49 (53) : (Front) P6 (8), K8, P2, K8, P2, K8, P6 (8)

Row 49 (53): (Back-tail) P6 (8), (K4, take next stitch off left needle with size I crochet hook, chain 12, slip stitch (11) in each chain stitch. Slip final crochet loop onto the right knitting needle, K3, P2) Repeat sequence in () twice K2, P4 (8)

Row 50 (54)  P4 (6), K2, (P2,K1, P2, K1, P2, K2), repeat sequence in () twice, P4 (6).
Row 51 (55) :  P6 (8), K8, P2, K8, P2, K8, P6 (8).
Row 52 (56) :  Repeat Row 50 (54)
Row 53 (57) :  Repeat Row 51 (55)
Row 54 (58) :  Repeat Row 50 (54)
Row 55 (59) :  Repeat Row 51 (55)
Row 56 (60) :  Repeat Row 50 (54)
(First Cable Row-neck)IMG_1538

Row 57 (61):  P6 (8), (place 2 stitches on cable needle–I just use a double pointed needle–and place behind, k2, knit the 2 stitches from cable needle, take next 2 stitches off onto cable needle and bring to front, k2, knit stitches from cable needle, P2) Repeat sequence in () twice, P4 (6)
Row 58 (62):  P4 (6), K2, P8, K2, P8, K2, P8, K2, P4 (6)
Row 59 (63):  P6 (8), K8, P2, K8, P2, K8, P6 (8)
Row 60 (64):  Repeat Row 58 (62)
Row 61 (65):  Repeat Row 59 (63)
Row 62 (66):  Repeat Row 58 (62)

Row 63 (67): (Ears) P6 (8), (remove 1 stitch with cable stitch needle and place behind, K2, Knit 1 stitch from cable stitch needle, K2, place 2 stitches on cable stitch needle and place in front, K1, K2 from cable stitch needle,  P2) Repeat sequence in () twice, Purl 4 (6)

Row 64 (68):  P4 (6) ,K2, P2, K4, P2, K2, P2, K4, P2, K2, P2, K4, P2, K2, P4 (6)
Row 65-70 (69-74):  Work in garter stitch Purling each row.

Row 71 (75):  Bind off using crochet hook in this method from verypink.com.  Leave a 10 to 12 inch tail on each (front and back) to sew up the shoulder seams.

IMG_1546Once you have finished knitting the front and back, place them together with wrong sides facing.  If you crocheted the long tail, unravel it now, and thread it into a tapestry needle.  Stitch up the sides using the mattress stitch from the bottom edge of the ribbing up to the first row of purl stitches under the arm.  Secure and weave in the ends.IMG_1542

Turn inside out, and seam the shoulders along 9 (10) stitches from the outer edge, leaving a neck opening about 22 (24) stitches wide. Reinforce the seam at the neck, and weave in the ends.IMG_1547

Finish the vest by sewing button eyes on each kitten.IMG_1550