Pattern of the Week: The Woodcutter’s Vest + 5 Tips for Crochet Plaid

If a day exploring the forest sounds fun to you, then The Woodcutter’s Vest from Interweave Crochet Winter 2018 is your perfect match. This eye-catching crochet plaid vest is fit for a day in the great outdoors.

The pattern is written in a wide range of sizes, so the vest can be worn by people of all genders, shapes, and sizes. Check out a child-size version of the pattern from Jennifer Pionk on her website.

Need help working up this plaid pattern? Here are some tips for making crochet plaid.


1. Master switching colors.

The checkered patterning is created by working two colors in one row and working over the nonworking color. There are no floats or pesky yarn ends with this color-changing method. For help on exactly when to change colors, check out the Secret to Crochet Color Changing.

2. Pick the right colors.

The key to a good buffalo plaid is your color choice. It is easiest to combine a color with black or white, but if you’re feeling brave, you could combine 2 different colors (like blue and green). Ultimately, you will need 3 colors of yarn: color 1, color 2, and a third color that’s a mixture of the other 2. You could try this with different shades of gray, green, or blue; the color choices are up to you! You could also pick a smaller weight yarn, hold 2 strands at a time, and mix your colors that way as seen in the Flip Side Jacket.

3. Make your color blocks totally square.

The pattern turns out best when your color blocks are square. In the Woodcutter’s Vest, this is achieved by making each square of color 4 stitches across and 2 rows of double crochet tall. This can be manipulated if you would like. You could also play with 2 single crochet stitches across and 2 rows tall, or 8 double crochet stiches across and 4 rows of double crochet tall. Just be sure you have an even number of rows so you can carry yarn up the side of the work as you change color rather than cutting and rejoining every color block.

4. Swatch first.

We all know swatching is essential, but it is especially important here. If you want to play with color or size of color blocks, definitely swatch first! You might work up a swatch to find you prefer smaller squares of color changes or a different shade of red. And of course, you’ll want to check your gauge to make sure this adorable vest will fit you (or for whomever you make it).

5. Keep a steady gauge.

The steadier your gauge, the more regular your blocks, the better your plaid will look. Keep as even tension as possible as you work up this plaid vest.

woodcutters vest

Ready to get started with this awesome crochet plaid vest? Check out the information below so you can start making!

Happy stitching!

-Sara Dudek
Associate Editor, Interweave Crochet


woodcutters vest

Pattern Details

Difficulty Easy

Finished Size 37 (41, 45, 49, 53)“ chest circumference. Sample shown measures 37”, modeled with 3” negative ease.

Yarn Lion Brand Yarns Wool-Ease (80% acrylic, 20% wool; 197 yd/3 oz): #620-153 black (MC), 7 (8, 9, 9, 11) balls; #620-138 cranberry (CC1) 3 (3, 4, 4, 5) balls; #620-102 ranch red (CC2) 2 (2, 2, 3, 3) balls.

Hook Sizes H/8 (5 mm) and G/6 (4 mm). Adjust hook size if necessary to obtain correct gauge.

Notions Stitch markers, 2; 24 (24, 24, 26, 26)“ separating zipper, 1; sewing needle and coordinating thread.

Gauge 16 dc = 4” and 8 rows = 3.5” with larger hook.

Notes Vest is 2 layers thick. Each panel (checkered outside and black inside) is worked separately then crocheted together.


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