I was looking for something to do with all of the extra yarn I have, when I discovered all I’ve got is really bright stuff. So, I made a rainbow. (I called this a chakra vest because if you google the word chakra, you will find a chart of where they are on a person, and you will see the colors in the rainbow vest also correspond to the chakra colors on the body.) Of course, if this is too crazy bright, and you don’t want to feel quite so much like Mork, you can always make it a solid color.
This vest is made with Red Heart yarn, 2 strands of it on each peg, and the large circular ring from the Knifty Knitter set.
Measuring yourself for the number of stitches to use: I have made a sweater before, so I used that to count the number of stitches I’d need for the right size. (As you can see, the stitches are really large, so counting them isn’t a nightmare like with smaller stitches.) If you don’t have any garments to use for counting, make a swatch with the same loom you will knit on, using the same yarn. Just make a strip around 20 stitches long, around 4 inches high, and you can hold this up to yourself and count how many stitches you’ll need for each area of your body. You can save this swatch and use it anytime you want to make something on the Knifty Knitter. Be sure not to stretch it when you measure or your garment will stretch over you. Here is a chart showing what I got to use as an example in the rest of this post. This chart gives you an idea of where on yourself you need to count stitches. For the part over the shoulder, you may want to add a border later on the neck and in each armhole (mine are big double crochet which are about an inch high each side), so you will want to take that into account when you are measuring if you will add a large border. I also measured the length I wanted each color row to be to get the colors to line up over the chakras on the body, which made each row of color not the same number of stitches. As you knit, you can hold it up to yourself to see where you want the length to end up.
Starting: The large loom doesn’t have that many stitches on it, mine has 41 pegs. So I made this vest as a front piece and a back piece, and sewed them together afterwards with seams on the sides. I made the front piece first, using 39 stitches to start at the hips and work up (about half of the 77. When I did the back piece I started with 38 to get my 77.) Knit upwards going back and forth, and decrease or increase (see below) gradually as you go to get to the next required number of stitches, (change by one peg on each end, knit a row or two, then do it again to increase or decrease gradually). Remember that you are making only one half of your garment at a time, so using my chart as an example, you don’t need to decrease 10 stitches on the front piece (the difference between 77 and 67), you only need to decrease 5 on the front piece, then do the same later when you make the back. Keep good notes on exactly what you do and what rows you decrease or increase on, so you can make the front and back match exactly.
The stitches are twisted, so not that easy to count rows with on the front. So I count the bars between the stitches on the back when I count rows. There are 3 rows of green/yellow mix in this photo, and 7 rows of yellow.
INCREASING This is one way to do it, not the only way. Do whatever works for you. Here is an example of one way to increase.
The stitches above end on the 3rd peg from the yarn holder. Below, a stitch was added on the end by wrapping the next peg when doing the e-wraps for the next row. There is nothing to flip off of that peg yet, but when you wrap and do the following row there will be. This increases this edge of the project by one stitch.
DECREASING Again, not the only way, but here in example of one way to decrease.
Above you see the stitches end on the 3rd peg from the yarn holder. Below, the stitch on the end was flipped onto the peg next to it (4th peg from holder). Photo below that, flip the stitch over as you normally would. You’re done, wrap the next row as usual, using all the pegs with yarn on them. You have decreased this end of the project by one stitch.
Work your way up, doing increases and decreases as needed until you get to where you want the armholes to be. I have made my neck hole start at the same row as my arm holes on the front piece, so this means I had to start the neck by making a hole in the middle of the front, and also decrease on each end by a LOT at once to make it get out of the way of the arms quickly. If you look at my chart, I had the bust stitch total number at 68, this means by the time I reached this point on the front piece, I had half, or 34 stitches on my loom for the front piece. So for the front, I wanted to end up with 7 over each shoulder, and 6 for the neck (this 6 will be decreased out as you do the neck hole, discussed below). 7+7+6=20 stitches to stay on the loom. 34 total now minus that 20 that I want = 14 –> That means I had 14 extra stitches, or 7 on each end that had to be gotten rid of for the arm holes to leave me with 7 stitches over each shoulder. Basically, decrease the two ends like crazy within a couple of rows. Don’t be shy about decreasing one peg, then another, then another, then starting the wrapping and doing the row, then doing the same on the next row.
The neck hole for the front piece:
For the front piece, I made a rounded v neck. This was done as shown below. The neck should wind up in the middle of the front piece, so on the 2 stitches that are in the middle of where you want the front total number to end up, do your wrapping very loose over those 2 pegs. You are about to stretch this yarn as far as it will go.
Then take the yarn off of each of those 2 pegs and put it on the peg next to it, moving outward. (This is what really stretches it, and if your loops weren’t loose enough, this is going to be hard to do, you may have to do one first, then the other instead of both at once). Then start wrapping the pegs on one side (over one shoulder), only back and forth. You’ll cut the yarn when finished and do the other shoulder afterward. You can then decrease both ends of each shoulder piece, the arm hole side and the neck hole side – there remains after this 2 more to decrease on the neck hole end (if you used 6 as your number).
This will look in the first row or two like it leaves a huge hole at the neck where the 2 knit rows divide for the neck, but here is what mine looks like in the front after it was done, with double crochet border. It does split, but its not that bad.
Neck hole for the back piece: For the back, I didn’t want the rounded v neck, but something that would go up higher and fairly straight across. I bound off 6 stitches on the bottom of the neck hole here. See where that bigger hole is? That was the first stitch to lay down with the rest going to the right. So, you can choose your method of making holes in your garments, this is what I did and that’s what happened. I don’t mind it, but if you like your clothes to look perfect, you may have to invent another method, perhaps removing your 6 loops from the pegs and running yarn through them or something like that.
Here is a close up of the back, and a chart for how the stitches were bound off straight across, which was done with a crochet hook. (These went left, mine go right on the sweater.)
Seaming up the sides and over the shoulders. The thing I found worked best for the sides is pulling yarn through both sides with a crochet hook, then pulling more yarn through making another loop, pulling it also through the first loop. (This looks a lot like the photo above, you get a crochet chain laying down over the seam.) You can of course do your seams any old way you like. For over the shoulders, you can seam up any old way, or do a grafting stitch to make the tops of the shoulders appear seamless (I did not use this method here, but have before for non-Knifty Knit sweaters.) For tips on how to do the grafting stitch, see this Knitting Daily page, a couple of paragraphs down, the “shortcut chant” works very well and makes this stitch easy to do: Knitting Daily: Finishing Tip: For Those Who Hate the Kitchener Stitch. You will have to take your stitches off of the pegs and put them on knitting needles to do the grafting.
Border: I did double crochet using the same 2 strands of yarn and a size K crochet hook on all borders. I did a little more than 1 dc per stitch at the hips, but it looks like 1 dc per 1 stitch would have come out about right.
If you found this post because you were looking for things to do with a Knifty Knitter round loom, you may also be interested in my long sleeve sweater post.