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Forest keys vest

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This boxy generously oversized cropped vest is inspired by the forest. Despite it being a very simple design, there’s something very special in it for me, parts of my heritage and whimsical inspirations. 

First of all, those spiky tree-like elements of the colourwork pattern come directly from traditional Ukrainian embroidery. These patterns are common in wooded areas around Carpathian mountains and symbolize the abundance of spruce trees. 

Moreover, there are small “forest keys” encoded into each of the pattern repeats. A clay fairy @forest.keys inspired me for those. I’m mesmerized by the idea of having a secret key to the forest, that’s why I also created a set of “spare keys” for everyone to choose from or maybe even create their own. 

The vest is worked top down, with back and fronts worked flat and then joined in the round for the body. All the edges are finished with applied i-cord. The pattern features three types of colourwork: stranded worked flat, in the round and intarsia, and is a treat for someone who loves colourwork as much as I do or wants to master a new skill.

The pattern is written for five sizes 1 [2, 3, 4, 5] to fit 74-84 [94-104, 114-124, 134-144, 154] cm // 29-33 [37-41, 45-49, 53-57, 61] in bust circumference with ca. 25-40 cm (10-15 in) of positive ease with finished bust circumference of 113 [130, 148, 165, 183] cm // 44.5 [51.25, 58.25, 65, 72] in. 

The sample is shown in size 1 on a 160 cm (5.3 ft) tall model with ca. 84–66–94 cm (33–26–39 in) body measurements. For the finished garment measurements, please refer to the graph provided.

After the test I added an option to adjust the width of the body for sizes 2, 3 and 4 by reducing the number of sts on the underarms. This creates intermediate sizes with the finished bust circumference of 122 [139, 157] cm // 48 [54.75, 61.5] in and allows you to pick the amount of positive ease you are most comfortable with. 

MC: ca. 120 [140, 160, 180, 200] g of fingering weight yarn Pegulhal by Retrosaria, 100% wool with 220 m (241 yds) in 50 g skein, shown in colourway 4; with an estimated yardage of ca. 525 [615, 705, 770, 795, 880] m // 575 [675, 770, 865, 965] yds. 

CC: ca. 33 [37, 43, 49, 54] g of the same yarn, shown in colourway 3; with an estimated yardage of ca. 145 [165, 190, 215, 235] m // 155 [180, 205, 235, 260] yds. 
Or any other yarn(s) to match the gauge. 

Needles and notions
A pair of 3.5 mm (US 4) circular needles with ca. 60–100 cm (24–40 in) cables; spare cables or scrap yarn to keep stitches on hold; a few stitch markers; two or three 3.5 mm (US 4) or 3.0 mm (US 2-3) double pointed needles of any length for i-cord edging; a crochet hook of any size close to the needle size and some scrap yarn for provisional cast-on; a tapestry needle to weave in the ends.

23 sts & 32 rows in 10 cm (4 in) measured over stockinette stitch worked in the round after blocking on 3.5 mm (US 4) needles; 23 sts & 28 rows in 10 cm (4 in) measured over colourwork worked in the round after blocking on 3.5 mm (US 4) needles. Adjust the needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

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