My pattern Penny was first published back in 2014 (almost a decade ago!). I recently revamped it a bit to make it easier to read/follow and I included a link to my new Penny Tips page which provides lots of tips & tutorials for making your own Penny. So in this blog post I’ll be talking a bit more about the update and share some of those new tips as well!
About the design
When I first designed Penny, I had been working at a yarn shop for a couple of years at that point. And I noticed that we had a number of customers who were looking for first garment project to graduate to after their first scarves and cowls, but they weren’t feeling quite ready to take on a sweater pattern. I had this idea to create a layering piece that would be knit like a long scarf but have armholes so you can wear it like a vest. A piece like this could be super approachable for more beginner knitters, but they would also learn some new skills (especially in creating the armholes).
The pictures below illustrate this “rectangle with armholes” shape of Penny:
There are 4 different sizes to pick-from in this pattern (S, M, L, XL) and these sizes will fit a bust range of 30″-60″. Each of the 4 sizes can fit many different bust sizes. Below is how Penny’s sizing relates to actual bust size:
- Size Small = fits busts 30-36″
- Size Medium = fits busts 38-44″
- Size Large = fit busts 46-52″
- Size X-Large = fit busts 54-60″
Due to the simplicity of this piece’s shape and construction, I thought it was a great candidate for multiple yarn-weights/gauges. So I provided instructions for 5 different yarn-weights – fingering, sport, dk/light worsted, heavy-worsted/aran and bulky. This way along with it being beginner-friendly it would also be super versatile in terms of yarn options. In all of the photos, I have used Knit One Crochet Too’s Soie et Lin which is classified as a worsted-weight, but it’s a light-worsted so I followed the “dk/light worsted” instructions for this sample.
One of the challenges in writing a pattern for multiple yarn-weights is how to present the instructions in a clear and concise manner. At the time of initial publishing I thought the best option was for each yarn-weight to have it’s own page and the instructions were basically copied verbatim on each page, with just a few of the numbers changing based on the yarn-weight. And I think this method worked, but it made for a long pattern and required me to fit all of the instructions on one page (since each yarn-weight needed to fit on one page, otherwise it would an even LONGER pattern!). But I recently solved this issue and now have a revamped, refreshed Penny Vest Pattern!
The pattern revamp
Now the Penny pattern has one set of instructions that apply to ALL yarn-weights (no more multiple pages to shuffle through). The only variables are the stitch counts in 5 areas of the pattern, listed as A, B, C, D & E in the instructions. When you get to a point in the instructions where it says to, say, “cast-on A stitches”, you simply refer to the table on page 2 which defines what “A” is depending on your chosen yarn-weight and chosen size (see below for a screenshot of this):
So for example, if you were following the sport-weight instructions and making a size M, you would cast-on 118 sts. If you were following the worsted/aran-weight instructions and making a size S, you would cast-on 80 sts.
This newly revamped version of Penny provides a cleaner and easier-to-read format and I hope it provides you with an even better knitting experience as well. Want to cast-on your own Penny? Click here for the pattern information!