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

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

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  • Reply SusyQ March 4, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Love your site and plan to be on it a lot since I found you!

  • Reply krystle pyette March 4, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    That vest is really cool! I might have to work up some handspun for it…

  • Reply hannah March 6, 2015 at 7:11 am

    So funny, I looked at this post last week and the moto vest didn’t do anything for me… I look at it this week and my heart starts racing. I can’t live without it now!! The hunt for yarn begins…

    • Reply Karen Budnick March 6, 2015 at 10:54 am

      Love your podcast. I just bought some “Balance” O-Wool to make a baby sweater after I heard about it on your podcast. My great-nephew will be raised as organically as possible so I know his mommy will love the sweater.

  • Reply Natalie March 9, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    My spongey mind cannot saturate with discovery. Finding you is wonderful, inspiring, and homey. Where else can a nature loving, obsessive knitting girl from Northern CA, living in Idaho find kin but on Instagram? Hallelujah interwebs!

    Anyhoo. Loving the podcast, the hopalong yer gettalong KNITalong now little dawgies, and your polished look. Congrats on getting the whole thing up and off the ground. Are you more in CA or ID? Will enjoy your work wherever you are, and hope to see you somewhere, someday.


  • Reply claire Brennan March 11, 2015 at 1:20 am

    I cannot wait to listen to this podcast and discover a bit more about Andrea 🙂

  • Reply Annelisse March 11, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    I live in Sausalito and would love to visit Knitterly! This is the first podcast I’ve listened to and I’m glad I did!

  • Reply Karen March 12, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    I really enjoyed the last podcast with Andrea Mowry, and the ownwer of Knitterly in Petaluma. I alsp plan on making the moto vest and Andrea’s hat and headband! Yay!

  • Reply Aileen March 14, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Another great episode! Feeling energized and inspired!

  • Reply Woolful | Woolful Podcast Episode 17: Indian textiles, natural dyeing, perfection and living a non-disposable life - Woolful March 31, 2015 at 12:01 am

    […] you so much to everyone who has participated in the March knit along of the Moto vest. Tomorrow we’ll be kicking off the April knit along, a fun quick knit for kids and bunny lovers […]

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