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moto vest

Knitalong Knitting

March Knitalong: The Moto Vest

March 3, 2015

Each month we host a knitalong, something that can be completed in a month’s time and features a special small farm yarn.

I have been anticipating this knitalong for a couple months now and although I wanted to start early, I held off so I could knit it along with all of you. This pattern, the Moto Vest designed by Shelli Westcott, is the perfect layering piece, versatile in both design and material. I’ll be knitting mine with an alpaca blend from Radius Yarns, though I already have plans for another in a lighter weight yarn as well. When I was visiting Knitterly, the yarn shop that Shelli owns and operates in Petaluma, I kept eyeing different variations of this pattern and was surprised how simple it was to alter and knit up. I asked Shelli to share a little about this pattern, her Radius yarn and the alterations you can make to the pattern to fit your needs and likes. I hope you’ll join us! Visit our Ravelry group to share your progress and ask any questions…

moto vest shelli westcott


I was inspired to design this pattern with the Radius Lopi bulky, a yarn I just fell in love with but felt it really was too big and too heavy to make a sweater out of that would work in the Bay Area climate. I wanted to create a project that would be simple and any level of knitter could make it…whether it be your second or fiftieth project. Because I was using this bulky weight, I wanted to keep it small. The bulky yarns have less yardage and are heavier, so again, something versatile was key. I designed the Moto Vest, the perfect layering companion, for under a jacket or over a flannel shirt. The collar can act as a scarf, keeping you warm, and lays outside of your jacket, but the body keeps your torso and spine warm, where you can lose a lot of heat. The pattern was really well received so I began using all thicknesses of yarns I found in the shop, from light worsted on a size 10.5 needle, to bulky on a size 13, and knit several different lengths, from your waist to below your front pockets. Of all the one’s knit, the long vests are the most popular. Another fun thing to do is adjust the number of stitches cast on for the scarf and the back, resulting in either a thicker or thinner scarf and back.

Here are some fun combinations we’ve made up, all with yarn you can get from shop.knitterly.com

Radius Light Worsted
3 skeins – size 8-10 needle
Cast on 58 for scarf,
46″ long (scarf)
Cast on 30 for back,

11″ long (back)

Radius Bulky
3 skeins – size 13-15 needles
45″ long (scarf)
12″ wide (scarf)
12″ wide (back)

Woolfolk Far
5-6 skeins – 8 to 11 size needles
50″ long (scarf)
13″ wide (scarf)
13″ wide (back)

Plymouth Colca Canyon (nice thin alpaca)
5 skeins – size 15 needles
Cast on 30 for scarf,
58″ long (scarf)
Cast on 26 for back,
15″ long (back)

Twirl Petals (held double)
4 skeins – size 10-10.5 needles
Cast on 30 for scarf,

52″ long (scarf)
Cast on 20 for back,

20″ long (back)

moto vest shelli westcott