How to Make a Granny Square Vest – The Agnes Sweater Vest

wearing Agnes sweater vest full view

The Agnes Sweater Vest is a fun and easy crochet project that is great for using up leftover yarn. This tutorial goes through every step of making this granny square sweater including tools and yarn used, and tips for adjusting the sweater design to fit your desired measurements. I hope that reading through my notes will inspire you and help give you a starting point to make your own!

The sweater was designed with oversized armholes and a slightly cropped length in order to layer easily over tops and dresses. The ribbing at the collar, armholes and hem are made by picking up and knitting in the round but this can be replaced with a crocheted finishing method of your choice.

Agnes sweater vest front closeup

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’s always been an inspiration to me – so this sweater is dedicated to her!

My grandma also inspired a love of sewing in me with her adorable dresses she would make for my dolls growing up. Today I love to sew my own dresses, jeans and design sewing patterns!

Supplies You’ll Need

Agnes sweater vest granny squares layout

This page contains some affiliate links to products and I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links (at no extra cost to you).

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 (US 7) 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.

holding a crocheted granny square in progress for the agnes sweater vest

Gauge

The granny squares, with my needle size and yarn choice, are 4″ (10.2 cm) before joining.

During the blocking process I manipulated the vest a little to get the measurements and shape I wanted which caused some of the squares to bigger than others – but really not that noticeable!

I used an existing sweater vest (my Holiday Slipover) to get a rough idea of the final fit that I wanted and laid the squares out on it as I went. 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. 🙂

Finished Size

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″ (163 cm) with a bust measurement of 34″ (86.4 cm).

Agnes sweater vest finished dimensions chart with inches and centimeter measurements

Tips on Sizing

A couple of things you could do to adjust the size to fit your measurements:

  • Add an extra round to your granny square. Keep in mind that since there is only one square at the shoulder, this will also make the shoulder width wider.
  • At the side seams you can add a few rows of single crochet to add width. You could also crochet rows in the same pattern – clusters of 3 double crochets – to match the granny squares.
  • Size up or down a hook size to change the size of your granny square.
  • Check out the hashtag #agnessweatervest on Instagram or Ravelry to see what others have done to adjust the fit.
wearing agnes sweater showing the back

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″ (10.2 cm) granny square with 4-rounds (in the yarn weight and needle size I chose) ended up being a great width at the shoulder 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 for the collar

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 (total) in each chain stitch around with 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 rounds for the tubular bind-off for knitting in the round as follows: (you can skip these set-up rounds if you choose to bind-off with a different method)

Round 1 – [K1, Slip 1 wyif] repeat until end of round (Knit the knit stitches and slip the purl stitches with yarn in front)

Round 2 – [Slip 1 wyib, P1] repeat until end of round (Slip the knit stitch with yarn in back and purl the purl stitches)

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 for the tubular bind-off as follows: (When knitting flat, the steps are slightly different than when knitting in the round.)

For both rows – [K1, Slip 1 wyif] repeat until end of round (Knit the knit stitches and slip the purl stitches with yarn in front)

Bind off using the sewn tubular bind-off.

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.

Finishing

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

45 thoughts on “How to Make a Granny Square Vest – The Agnes Sweater Vest”

  1. Hello Bethany. Thank you for this detailed tutorial. It’s what I’ve been searching for.
    I’m making a vest for a man & need a rounded neckline on both front & back. It seems I could do both sides like you did the back side. Do you have any other suggestions on accomplishing this?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Ruth,

      I’m happy you like the tutorial! For the rounded neckline, after the squares are all seamed together, I knit (you could also crochet) the neckline in the round so it’s rounded on both the front and back. Hopefully that answers your question!
      – Bethany

  2. Hi Bethany,

    Could you share the pattern you used for the granny squares themselves? I clicked on the link you shared for your granny square refresher but couldn’t find that exact pattern you’re using. I really liked the pattern you used!

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Nina,
      I’m happy to hear you like the granny squares I used for the Agnes! If you follow that link to Purl Soho’s website and scroll down to where it says “Classic Granny Square Pattern” that’s the same method I use for mine but I switch colors for every round. I am planning a tutorial soon on exactly how I crochet my squares specifically for the Agnes, but until then hopefully that link will help you out!
      Bethany

  3. Hello Bethany,
    Thank you for this amazing tutorial! Your steps were clear and easy to follow along. I finished my vest last week and it’s been bringing me a lot of joy to wear. I crocheted the edges since I’m not a big knitter and it turned out pretty good, though I do prefer the look of your knit edges. You are great!
    Warmly,
    Bonnie

    1. Hi Bonnie,
      I’m so happy to hear that your Agnes sweater is bringing you joy and that my tutorial was helpful! Thank you!
      Bethany

  4. Hi!

    Thank you so much for sharing this great pattern! I’m now starting the hem and I have a question – Should the WS and RS really be knit using the same steps (i.e. Slip first stitch purlwise, [k1, p1], knit last stitch) or should it be reversed in order to get the ribbing? Thanks again!

    Best regards,
    Erika

    1. Hi Erika,
      Yes, for the split hem method I used it should be the same pattern (k1, p1) as long as you’ve picked up an odd number of stitches and are slipping the first stitch. If you’re doing a slightly different method then it may be reversed in order to maintain the ribbing pattern. Hope that helps!
      -Bethany

    1. Hi Jen,
      Yes it’s possible, but only at the hem! The armholes and neckline will need circular needles or double pointed needles. Or you can always crochet the ribbing with a crochet ribbing stitch!
      – Bethany

  5. This is a very cute vest. But I don’t understand “Pick up 76 (total) stitches in each chain stitch.” Or “pick up 124 stitches in each chain stitch” for the armholes. Or “pick up 71 stitches in each chain stitch.” What am I missing? TIA

    1. Hi Michele,
      If you’ve ever picked up stitches in the armholes or neckline when knitting a sweater then it’s similar to that! The crochet stitches leave “chains” that the needle will go through to “pick up” the stitch and then knit. Here is a how-to article that might be helpful! https://elizabethsmithknits.com/happyharvesttips/picking-up-neckline-stitches/
      It will look a little different since you’ll be picking up stitches from crochet vs. knit stitches. Hope that helps!
      – Bethany

  6. Hi !

    What is the size of your squares (in centimeters if possible) ? I’m trying to do this sweater but with another pattern for the squares, so I need this number to know how to adjuste with my square’s size.

    (sorry for my English, it’s not my first language)

    Best regards,
    Félicité

    1. Hi!
      Thank you for bringing this up, I will add the square size to the article! The square size before joining together is 10.1cm (4″). Happy to hear that you are making your own sweater and love the idea of doing a different pattern for the squares. And your English is wonderful! 🙂
      -Bethany

  7. Hello! So the opening for your head is only a 4″ space? Is that tight to pull over your head or is there enough stretch to the vest that it’s not too small? I started my granny squares last night! So excited to do this project!

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Yes it is about a 4″ opening at the neck – but with the bind-off method I used, it’s stretchy enough to pull over my head. If you’re worried about it being too small, you could always pick up more stitches around the neckline.
      And I’m happy to hear you’ve start your own! Hope it goes well and let me know of any questions along the way!
      -Bethany

  8. Me encantó la hechura, las preguntas y las respuestas. Con todo ello pienso tengo las respuestas para el acabado de la prenda que estoy tejiendo para mi hija. Ése detallito de levantar 3 puntos en la esquinas, fantástico para darle redondez. Gracias.
    Podría ser que se pueda incluir para la próxima un linck en vivo ? Muchas gracias Betanía y a todas !

    1. Bethany Lynne

      Hi Gladys,

      I had to put your comment in google translate so I hope it got it right! I’m happy to hear that the tutorial was helpful in order to finish your daughter’s garment! Are you asking for a video of how to add the 3 stitches in the corner? That’s a great idea to include one and I may add it one day!
      Thanks again for following along with the tutorial and good luck with your sweater!

      Bethany

  9. Hi Bethany,
    I’m still sort of new to crocheting. I am a size large with a bust of 42 in. I like the 3 by 3 square pattern, is there any way I could increase the vest size without adding additional squares?

    1. Hi Kiera! So I am brainstorming ideas for how to grade this pattern to different sizes…but for now you could experiment with using a bigger crochet hook, which will get you a slightly bigger square without having to crochet more rounds. Or you could crochet a section of single or double crochet rows at the sides to give you that extra width at the bust. Hope that helps!

      Bethany

      1. Hi Bethany,
        I’m 5’5” with a 37” bust. My thought on adjusting the size was to add a round or two to each granny square. I have very limited crochet experience though. How would that affect sizing?
        Chelsea
        Ps. Do you have plans to make this into a pattern instead of a tutorial?

        1. Hi Chelsea,
          That would be a great option to adjust the size! I stared with measuring the square at my shoulder to get the width I wanted there, so make sure to check that if you’re going to add rounds to your granny squares. Another option would be to add rows at the sides if you get to that point and realize you want more width there. And I do have plans to make this into a pattern, hopefully soon!
          – Bethany

  10. This vest is just what I’m looking for. I’ll be making one soon. But that blouse! Would you share that information please?

  11. Hi there! Love this pattern and thank you for sharing it!!

    I’m working on the knit finishing parts and I’m confused about the 2 set up rows. Does it go opposite of the previous row (slipping on the previous knit, knitting on the previous purl)? I’m curious about what this does. Thanks!

    1. Hi Kelly!

      Thank you for asking this because I realize that I had made a mistake in my instructions! So the two set-up rounds for the tubular bind-off creates both sides of a tube at once and makes for a sturdier edge that prevents the hem from stretching out. The steps are different depending on if you’re knitting in the round or flat and I have edited the tutorial to reflect the correct steps. Basically, when knitting in the round, you knit the knit stitches and slip the purl stitches with yarn in back – and the opposite on the second round. When knitting flat, it’s the same for both rows; knit the knit stitches and slip the purl stitches. Hope that clears it up! Thanks again for your question!

      Bethany

  12. 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

  13. 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

          1. susan Ward metzger

            I’m looking to make this for my 9 year old granddaughter. Would you suggest going down hook size or doing less squares ?

          2. Bethany Lynne

            Hi!
            It’s so special that you’re making this for your granddaughter! I would start by sizing down a hook or two to see how big the square ends up. You could even do less rounds if you wanted. When I made mine, I started by figuring out how wide I wanted it at my shoulders since there is only one square there. So you may want to do the same for your granddaughter and figure out the square size based on her shoulder measurement. Hope that helps!
            -Bethany

  14. 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

    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. Bethany Lynne

        Do you mean the ribbing at the collar, hems and armholes? Yes, you can definitely crochet those edge with either a crocheted ribbing or a simple crochet edging!

        Bethany

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