How to make a granny square vest – The Agnes Sweater Vest

wearing Agnes sweater vest full view
Agnes sweater vest front closeup
wearing agnes sweater showing the back

This granny square vest idea has been swirling around in my head for a while and was definitely a labor of love! I’ve named it after my grandma Agnes, who has knit, crocheted and sewn so many beautiful things over the years. The afghan she knit me years ago lives on my couch and I use it daily! She also helped instill a love of sewing in me with her adorable dresses she would make for my dolls growing up. She’s always been an inspiration to me – so this sweater is dedicated to her!

I didn’t write this as an official pattern but more of a tutorial of how to make the Agnes Sweater Vest. I hope that reading through my notes will inspire you and help give you a starting point to make your own!

Agnes sweater vest granny squares layout

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Supplies

These are the supplies that I used to make my Agnes Sweater Vest but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. You may want to experiment with a different yarn weight, needle size or bigger or smaller granny squares to make it your own.

Yarn

Worsted Weight – I used leftover yarns from previous projects and they are all Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and Simply Wool Worsted.

I only used less than one skein of each color to make this sweater. The Wool of the Andes comes in 50g/110yd (100m) skeins, and the Simply Wool Worsted that I used for the main color (Wendy/white) comes in 100g/193yd (176m) skeins and I used almost the whole skein. However, it does depend on how big and how many square you choose to make, and if you want the ribbing wider or longer. It’s a good idea to have extra just in case!

These are the colors I used, if you’re curious:

  • Brass Heather (caramel brown) – Wool of the Andes (I LOVE this color and also used it for my Holiday Slipover)
  • Mink Heather (medium gray) – Wool of the Andes
  • Pampas Heather (green) – Wool of the Andes
  • Winnie Twist (light gray twist) – Simply Wool Worsted (discontinued…but they have it in Aran weight)
  • Winkle (light gray) – Simply Wool Worsted
  • Wallace (brown) – Simply Wool Worsted (I’ve used this color before for my Miles Shirt Jacket, but in Aran weight)
  • Wendy (creamy white) – Simply Wool Worsted (I love this creamy color and also used it for my Seasons Cardigan)

Needle Size

4.5mm crochet hook and 4.5mm (US 7) 16″ and 29″-36″ circular knitting needle

I’ve used these bamboo interchangeable circular knitting set for a couple of years now and it’s great because I know I will always have the needle and cable length I need for a project. Another option is this circular set from Knit Picks which has less needle and cable options, but comes with cable keys to help tighten your needle tips to the cables.

Gauge / Finished Size

This all depends on the yarn weight / needle size you decide to use. I used an existing sweater vest I made to get a rough idea of the final fit. During the blocking process I also manipulated the vest a little to get the measurements and shape I wanted and that made some of the squares bigger than others – but really not that noticeable!

You could take some quick body measurements to get a rough idea of the size you want – like your bust, waist, shoulder, armhole and overall length. Or you can always wing it, like I did, and figure it out as you go. 🙂

I’ve included the final dimensions of my version (below) to give an idea of what measurements to aim for. For reference I’m 5’4″ with a bust measurement of 34.”

drawing of finished Agnes sweater measurements

Steps

Crochet the granny squares

It’s been a while since I’ve crocheted anything so I used the tutorial from Purl Soho as a refresher. I started with one granny square to place at my shoulder to see how wide I wanted it to be there. A 4-round granny square in the yarn weight and needle size I chose ended up being a great width for me.

I crocheted the first 3 rounds in different yarn colors but made the last round the same color – feel free to experiment! Keep in mind that when you seam the squares together, the seams will be more visible if your final round isn’t all the same color.

Throughout the process I would safety pin my squares together to check the fit. This was a little time-consuming but it helped me to know how many squares I needed to make to get the fit I wanted.

agnes sweater vest squares safety pinned together

In total, I made 25 granny squares and laid them out like the picture below. The back has one more row than the front and I have only one square to connect at the sides. If you want more ease on the sides, you can add another square, or even connect the sides with crochet rows.

I then whip-stitched them together but use whatever method you prefer. I found it easiest to connect the squares in rows first, and then seam the rows to each other. You could weave in all your loose ends now if you want to get this part out of the way now (I didn’t…and did them all at once at the very end – This is for sure the most time-consuming part).

Pick up stitches at the neck

After all the seaming was done, I tried it on again to double check the fit, and then it was time to pickup stitches for the ribbing at the neck and arms! I chose to knit the ribbing, but there are other options you could choose to finish the edges. I know there is a way to crochet ribbing or a simple edge stitch – just depends on the look you want!

Pick up 76 stitches in each chain stitch around and 4 in each corner. I ended up adding 4 single crochet stitches at the corners to help round out the neckline and make it easier to pick up (see photo above). You may have to experiment here depending on how big or small you want your neckline circumference.

K1, P1 for 4 rounds. Then knit the set-up round for the tubular bind-off as follows:

Round 1 – [Slip 1 wyif, K1] repeat until end of round

Round 2 – [K1, Slip 1 wyif] repeat until end of round

Bind off using the sewn tubular bind-off method (or your bind-off method of choice). Here is a written tutorial and video tutorial showing this method.

Agnes sweater vest showing picking up stitches

Pick up stitches at the armholes

Pick up 124 stitches in each chain stitch around. Pick up about 3 stitches at each seam where the squares meet and 3 stitches in the corners. I also added 3 single crochet stitches in the corners like I did at the neckline.

K1, P1 for 4 rounds. Then knit the 2 set-up rounds for the tubular bind-off (see neckline step).

Bind off using the sewn tubular bind-off method.

Agnes sweater vest showing split hem

Split Hem

Starting at the FRONT right, find the middle at the sides and pick up 71 stitches (or an ODD number of stitches) in each chain stitch. Then knit the hem as follows:

WS – Slip first stitch purlwise wyif, [K1, P1] until end, knit the last stitch.

RS – Slip first stitch purlwise wyif, [K1, P1] until end, knit the last stitch.

Knit for 11 rows or 2″ (or desired length).

Knit the 2 set-up rows and then bind off using the sewn tubular bind-off (like you did for the neckline and armholes).

Repeat these steps for the BACK hem, picking up in the same stitch at the sides that you picked up at the front. This helps prevent a gap, but you can also add a few discreet stitches the top of the split.

Weave in remaining yarn ends (or if you’re like me, ALL the ends). Block and gently shape to desired measurements. Wear with pride! 🙂

Final Notes

There is something so classic and nostalgic to me about granny squares that I’ve only ever made into blankets. So now I’m very happy to have, essentially, a blanket I can wear and incorporate into my wardrobe!

I truly hope that this was helpful and that I laid it all out in a way that makes sense! Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments. And if you do make a version of the Agnes Sweater Vest, I would love to see it! You can use the hashtag #agnessweatervest or send me a pic through my Instagram, bethanylynne_makes. 🙂

Lastly, if you made it this far, thanks for reading! And happy crocheting / knitting!

Bethany signature

11 thoughts on “How to make a granny square vest – The Agnes Sweater Vest”

    1. Hi Kertu!
      Thanks for asking, I will add in approximate quantities! Since I used leftover yarns, It’s hard to tell exactly how much of each color I used, but I know that I didn’t use more than one skein of each. The Wool of the Andes comes in 50g/110yds (100m) skeins, and the Simply Wool Worsted that I used for the main color (white) comes in 100g/193yds (176m) skeins and I used almost 1 skein. Hope that helps!
      -Bethany

  1. Wow, thank you for sharing the granny square vest tutorial. My daughter really wants one so you’ve given me the inspo that I need. Love how you pulled it all together with some knitted stitches for the sleeves, collar and waistband.
    Helen Neals

  2. Hi Bethany,

    This is gorgeous! You made precisely the vest I’ve been dreaming about making! If you don’t mind, I have a couple questions, along the same lines as the previous commenters:
    1. Any chance you could weigh the final vest? I know, such a weird question, but I’d love to know how much yarn you ended up using, so I can approximate it for myself. I’m planning to dye a bunch of colors, and knowing the final weight would help with estimations!
    2. You mentioned that you didn’t use all of any of the skeins of accent colors, but they come in two different skein sizes – 50g and 100g. Did you use more than half of any of the 100g skeins?

    Thank you so much, and I understand if these questions are more than you want to answer. You’ve already done a great amount of work just making this blog post, and it’s really appreciated!
    Catherine

    1. Hi Catherine,

      Thanks for your question! I’m happy to answer as best I can! So I weighed the vest and it came to about 8.5oz (around 241g). For the 100g skeins that I used for accent colors I would say I used about half or 50g or less…some colors I used more of, like the brown, and some I only used in a couple of places. I do wish I had kept better track of the amounts of yarn I used. I love the idea of you using your hand dyed yarn and it makes my day to hear that you are making your own Agnes Sweater Vest 🙂

      I’m tempted to make another vest and keep track of my yarn usage a little better and include it in the post! If after your experience you have any input on yarn usage, feel free to let me know or add a comment – I’m sure it would help others too!

      Bethany

      1. Hi Bethany,
        Thank you very much for your weights and measurements, that helps a lot in trying to figure out how much yarn I’ll need. I’m racing toward the finish line, and can’t wait to wear my version! Is there a way to link my vest to yours on Ravelry, so I can explicitly credit the tutorial? I’ll mention it in my notes, but please let me know if you’d prefer another reference back to you too. Thanks again for putting together such a thorough tutorial!
        Best,
        Catherine

        1. Hi Catherine!

          I’m so happy that it helped! I figured out how to add the pattern to Ravelry so you should be able to find it by searching Agnes Sweater Vest. Excited to see your version 🙂 It means a lot that you chose to make it! Thank you!
          Bethany

  3. Hi Bethany.
    I was so happy to find your vest. Thank you for sharing the pattern. Are you willing to share your height? Also, what is the length and width of the vest? I’m trying to surprise my granddaughters!
    I’m thinking you said the squares are 4”
    I know, I can probably figure out the dimensions myself, but……..

    1. Hi Barbara,
      How special that you are surprising your granddaughters! I’ve actually been meaning to add my finished dimension to the pattern so at least it gives others an idea of what measurements they need to aim for. I’m 5’4″, 34″ bust and the vest approximately measures 13.5″ at the bust, total length is 17.5″, the width at the hem is 18.25″, the shoulder width is about 5″, and the armholes are 10″ deep. I will add a drawing to the post for a better visual.
      Hope that helps!

      Bethany

      1. Thank you so much! The vest dimensions are so helpful and your measurements are in the area of my granddaughters. Couldn’t be better! Happy New Year

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