no sew vest???

I'm looking to do my first sweater. I'm no good at sewing and don't want to put the effort into something and have it come out bad. I am interested in doing a vest (no sleeves). But are there any patterns that don't need sewing? Can this be done fully in the round? I'm ok with picking up stitches, I just really, really, really don't want to sew just yet.

Britisher's picture

I hate sewing too, so I would suggest knitting in the round, using circular needles. That gets you out of having to sew up the sides of a garment, and if you choose a Raglan sleeve sweater rather than a vest, you have virtually nothing to sew at all, and the whole garment is constructed of three tubes joined together under the arms.

Knitting a vest in the round is fine, but usually you need to change to knitting back and forth once you come to the armholes. Once you finish the main body of the garment, you then need to pick up stitches around the armholes and head opening and make some sort of finishing to each. This probably sounds far worse than it is in practice, and is pretty much a standard technique that is needed in virtually all vests, sweaters and cardigans.

As for a pattern, there is a nice vest in "Knitting with Balls", and plenty of free patterns on the Internet. If you haven't done so already, now would be a good time to to request an invitation to join It has a really good library of patterns including those available for free download, those contained in pattern books, and those which can be downloaded for a fee from the web.

Best of luck with your next project.

ronhuber's picture

There are a couple ways you can knit a vest without sewing. You can knit it in the round all the way to the top by making steeks for the V neck and the armholes. When you cut these steeks you then just pick up stitches and make borders for the armholes and V neck. OR you can knit the vest from side to side and and then pick up stitches for the bottom border. Start at the button band and work toward a side increasing and decreasing for the V neck and armhole, knit across the back and reverse for the other side. You would have to sew the shoulders. However, I would recommend you try at least one made in pieces for the experience of leaning how to sew two pieces of knitting together. Lots of advice on the internet. I knit almot everything in the round - not because I dislike sewing - but I find it much more convenient and faster. IMHO we should try new things all the time and in that way we become better people. Whatever you decide, good luck.

Britisher's picture

Yeah that is quite true. I omitted the idea of steeks, on the grounds that the idea scared me witless when I first heard about them. Although I have now proved to myself that a steeked garment doesn't fall to pieces the minute that the first thread is cut, it does take quite a lot of confidence to do for the first time.

Personally, I am not in favour of taking knitted fabric to the sewing machine, the technique that even the great EZ herself uses in "Knitting Without Tears". So if using an animal fibre, I would recommend a crocheted steek, rather than a sewn one.there is a nice explanation of crocheted steeks at

steve kadel's picture

i knitted a shrug in one piece from top down, where you later lick up at the armholes to make sleeves with dpn in round. for vest, you can just leave off sleeves

we put birds on things

YarnGuy716's picture

You can do the vest in the round, from bottom up as Britisher describes. Rather than seaming the shoulders you can join them with a 3 needle bind off. Thats how I do most of my vests. If you're feeling up for a sweater the Knitting Pure and Simple Henley Neck Down Pullover is a great seamless sweater.

Britisher's picture

Sure thing. Three-needle bind off is just great for shoulders and takes hardly any time to learn. It also fulfills the knitters' golden rule: "Never sew what you can knit".

knit_knot_eat's picture

Thanks for all of the ideas. I can definitely knit in the round and then front and back once I reach the arms and then do a 3 needle bind off to seam them together. But I need a pattern. I just don't know if I can wing it without one.