I do my best to remain unbiased, but as an August-born gal, I have a soft spot for summer babies!

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

But like many knitters, I’m often challenged to find ways to spoil them when the temperatures rise. Even the biggest wool lovers among us balk at a lap full of hot yarn on a July afternoon. But I’ve got good news… this season, I’ve found summer’s cashmere replacement: Karin Oberg’s Kalinka linen!

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

There are three Kalinka collections, and I used one yarn from each to knit up my Linen Vests for Babies. With a subtle bloom and loftiness, I made the smallest vest in Kalinka 21, a gorgeous blend of wool and linen. The middle size is in Kalinka 41, a combo of linen and hearty cotton that works up into a denser, slightly more structured fabric. And the largest is in Kalinka, which is 100% linen, cool and collected even in the hottest climates.

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

Purl Soho is the only place to find Kalinka on this side of the Atlantic, and it’s here just in time for sweet summer babies and beautiful Linen Vests! -Laura

Materials

Gauge

26 stitches and 32 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

NOTE: The row gauge may vary slightly between yarns. The pattern is written to accommodate these differences.

Sizes

0-6 (6-12, 12-18) months

  • Finished Chest Circumference (including a 2 ¼-inch overlap): 17 ¾ (19, 20 ¼) inches
  • Finished Length from Bottom Edge to Shoulder: 11 (11 ¾, 13) inches
  • Finished Length from Bottom Edge to Underarm: 5 ½ (6, 7) inches

EASE: The garment is designed with a ¾- to 1 ¼-inch ease around the chest.
SAMPLES:  Each size is pictured here.

Pattern

Body

Cast on 130 (138, 146) stitches.

Row 1 (right side): Knit.

Row 2: Purl.

Continue in stockinette stitch, repeating Rows 1 and 2, until the piece measures 5 ½ (6, 7) inches from the cast-on edge.

Divide Fronts and Back

Row 1 (right side): Knit 33 (35, 37), place previous 33 (35, 37) stitches on a holder for Right Front, bind off the following 6 stitches for Right Underarm, k51 (55, 59), place previous 52 (56, 60) stitches on a holder for Back, bind off following 6 stitches for Left Underarm, knit to end. [33 (35, 37) stitches remain for Left Front]

Left Front

Shape Left Underarm

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

Row 1 (wrong side): Purl to last four stitches, p2tog tbl, p2. [1 stitch decreased]

Row 2: K2, ssk, knit to end. [1 stitch decreased]

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 one more time. [29 (31, 33) stitches]

Next Row (wrong side): Purl.

Next Row: Repeat Row 2. [28 (30, 32) stitches]

Shape Left Neckline

Row 1 (wrong side): P2, p2tog, purl to end. [1 stitch decreased]

Row 2: Knit to last 4 stitches, k2tog, k2. [1 stitch decreased]

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 seven (5, 6) more times. [12 (18, 18) stitches]

Next Row (wrong side): Purl

Next Row: Repeat Row 2.

Repeat last two rows 1 (4, 4) more time(s). [10 (13, 13) stitches]

Next Row (wrong side): Purl.

Next Row: Knit.

Next Row: Purl.

Next Row: Repeat Row 2. [9 (12, 12) stitches]

Beginning with a wrong side row, continue in stockinette stitch, until Left Front measures 4 ¼ (5, 5 ¼) inches from Underarm or until approximately ¾ inches shy of desired finished length, ending with a right side row.

Shape Left Front Shoulder

Row 1 (wrong side): Purl to last 2 stitches, p2tog tbl. [1 stitch decreased]

Row 2: Bind off 2 (3, 3) stitches, knit to end. [2 (3, 3) stitches decreased]

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 one more time. [3 (4, 4) stitches]

Repeat Row 1. [2 (3, 3) stitches]

Bind off the 2 (3, 3) remaining stitches.

Right Front

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

Shape Right Underarm

Slip the 33 (35, 37) Right Front stitches from the holder onto the circular or straight needle.

Joining yarn to wrong side…

Row 1 (wrong side): P2, p2tog, purl to end. [1 stitch decreased]

Row 2: Knit to last 4 stitches, k2tog, k2. [1 stitch decreased]

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 one more time. [29 (31, 33) stitches]

Next Row (wrong side): Purl.

Next Row: Repeat Row 2. [28 (30, 32) stitches]

Shape Right Neckline

Row 1 (wrong side): Purl to last 4 stitches, p2tog tbl, p2. [1 stitch decreased]

Row 2: K2, ssk, knit to end. [1 stitch decreased]

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 seven (5, 6) more times. [12 (18, 18) stitches]

Next Row (wrong side): Purl.

Next Row: Repeat Row 2.

Repeat last two rows 1 (4, 4) more time(s). [10 (13, 13) stitches]

Next Row (wrong side): Purl.

Next Row: Knit.

Next Row: Purl.

Next Row: Repeat Row 2. [9 (12, 12) stitches]

Beginning with a wrong side row, continue in stockinette stitch until Right Front measures 4 ¼ (5, 5 ¼) inches from Underarm or until approximately ¾ inches shy of desired finished length, ending with a right side row.

Shape Right Front Shoulder

Row 1 (wrong side): Bind off 2 (3, 3) stitches purlwise, purl to end. [2 (3, 3) stitches decreased]

Row 2: Knit to last two stitches, k2tog. [1 stitch decreased]

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 one more time. [3 (4, 4) stitches]

Bind off 3 (4, 4) remaining stitches.

Back

Shape Underarms

Slip the 52 (56, 60) on-hold Back stitches onto the straight or circular needle.

Joining yarn to wrong side…

Row 1 (wrong side): P2, p2tog, purl to last four stitches, p2tog tbl, p2. [2 stitches decreased]

Row 2: K2, ssk, knit to last four stitches, k2tog, k2. [2 stitches decreased]

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 one more time. [44 (48, 52) stitches]

Next Row (wrong side): Purl.

Next Row: Repeat Row 2. [42 (46, 50) stitches]

Continue Even

Beginning with a wrong side row, continue in stockinette stitch until Back measures the same height as the Fronts, from the Underarm to the Shoulder shaping, ending with a right side row.

Shape Shoulders

Row 1 (wrong side): Bind off 2 (3, 3) stitches purlwise, purl to last two stitches, p2tog tbl. [3 (4, 4) stitches decreased]

Row 2: Bind off 2 (3, 3) stitches knitwise, knit to last two stitches, k2tog. [3 (4, 4) stitches decreased]

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 two more times. [24 (22, 26) stitches]

Bind of remaining stitches purlwise for back of neck.

Finish

Sew Shoulders

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

NOTE: Repeat the following for each shoulder.

Holding the Front and Back bind-off edges parallel and wrong sides together, use a tapestry needle (threaded with the working yarn) to sew the edges together. Sew under the knit stitch at the bind-off edge on one side and then under the knit stitch directly opposite it on the other, continuing until you reach the end.

Work Attached I-Cord Along Right Armhole

With scrap yarn and a crochet hook, use a provisional cast on to cast 4 stitches onto a double pointed needle.

Join working yarn.

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

With the right side of your work facing you, work an attached i-cord, starting just to the left of the bound-off Underarm stitches. Work up the Back, across the shoulder, down the Front and across the Underarm to where you began, picking up 3 stitches for every 4 rows if working in Kalinka or Kalinka 21 and picking up 2 stitches for every 3 rows if working in Kalinka 41.

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

Use the Kitchener Stitch to graft together the beginning and end of the I-cord.

Work Attached I-Cord Along Left Armhole

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

Cast 4 stitches onto a double pointed needle.

Beginning in the same spot as for the Right Armhole, just to the left of the bound-off Underarm stitches, work an Attached I-cord up the Front, across the Shoulder, down the Back and across the Underarm to where you began.

Continue working a normal (unattached) I-cord for 6 inches.

Cut the tail and thread it through the remaining stitches to bind off.

Work Attached I-Cord Along Neckline

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

Cast 4 stitches onto a double pointed needle.

Work an unattached I-cord for 6 inches.

Continue working I-cord, now as an Attached I-cord, joining it to Right Front Neckline. Work up the Right Front Neckline, across the Back Neckline and down the Left Front Neckline.

Cut the tail and thread it through the remaining stitches to bind off.

Weave + Block

Weave in the ends and block as desired. Allow the vest to dry completely before continuing on to the following section.

Inside Ties

Cut + Hem

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

Cut two 7-inch pieces of trim and hem each end.

To hem, fold the edge of the trim in ¼ inch, and repeat once more. Sew the folds in place. I used the same technique here as in our

Rolled Edge Hem Tutorial and made two nearly invisible stitches at the bottom of the folds.

Attach Underarm Tie

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

Center the hemmed edge of the trim just under the Right Underarm stitches, wrong sides together, as pictured above.

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

With a threaded hand-sewing needle, sew the trim to the garment, tacking it in two places.

Attach Front Left Tie

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

Place the hemmed edge of the second piece of trim just under the Attached I-cord at the Left Front Neckline, wrong sides together, as pictured above.

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho

Sew the trim to the garment, tacking it in two places.

Enjoy your Linen Vest!

Linen Vest for Babies | Purl Soho