Tapestry Vest - ombre knit reversible vest knit pattern using sport or worsted weight yarn - DIY knitting pattern

in: Adults



Experience Level: Beginner

An incredibly easy knit, the Tapestry Vest was designed for Knitapestry in Waldwick, NJ to showcase the beautiful, rich colors of Fiberspates “Cumulus”. Alpaca and mohair blend yarns work best for this vest because the drape is luscious and the halo of the fibers help the colors fuse as you create an ombré effect. The vest can be worn in two different ways. If the cast-on edge of the back is worn at the lower back, the vest will have vertical stripes, a dramatic shawl collar, and a fitted look. If the cast-on edge of the back is worn at the top of the neck, the vest will have horizontal stripes, a less fitted body, and a smaller shawl collar. A great layering piece in the fall, winter, and spring – this vest will be one of your first picks when dressing for cooler weather.

Construction Details 

The back of this vest is worked first. Stitches are then picked up around three sides of the back and the collar is worked second. There is no seaming necessary for this garment. To achieve the ombré effect, the yarn is held double strand throughout the vest. Colors are switched out one strand at a time to introduce the next color.

Techniques Necessary

·         Cast on

·         Knit

·         Pick up stitches

·         Cast on using the knit or cable cast on

·         Bind off

Size options: Small/Medium (Large/Extra Large)

Finished measurements:

Finished back width: 18 (21)”

Finished length (approximate): 20 (22)”


Yarn: 4 colors of fingering/sport weight (CYCA #2) mohair or alpaca yarn. Fuzzy/fluffy yarns are best for creating the ombré effect.

In this sample, Fiberspates “Cumulus” (74% baby suri alpaca, 26% silk; 164 yds/150 m per 25g ball) was used in the following colors and quantities:

Color A #900 “Pillar Box” – 3 (4) balls

Color B # 901 “Ruby Red” – 2 (3) balls

Color C #908 “Plum” – 2 (3) balls

Color D #907 “Magenta” – 3 (4) balls

To use one color of yarn single strand 850 (1200) total yards of worsted weight (CYCA #4) are needed.


Gauge: 16 stitches and 32 rows = 4” in garter stitch on US 8 (5 mm) needle holding 2 strands of yarn together.

Needles: US 8 (5 mm) 40” circular needle. Adjust needle size as necessary to obtain correct gauge.

Other materials: Tape measure, at least 2 lock-ring stitch markers, stitch holder or spare US 8 (5 mm) or smaller circular needle.

Additional Notes: 

  • A collar schematic is provided to help the knitter visualize where and how to pick up and cast on stitches for the collar.
  • The vest can be worked with one strand of yarn if desired. Use worsted weight (CYCA #4) instead and overlook the instructions for doubling yarn and working the ombré effect
  • The fabric is intentionally worked a bit loosely to create great drape and softness.
  • You may change the color lengths and shading as you desire. However, keep in mind that the yardage requirements will alter if you change stripe length.