Tracery by Kathleen Sperling


July 2013
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
30 stitches and 33 rows = 4 inches
in chart pattern stitch, blocked
US 2½ - 3.0 mm
960 - 1344 yards (878 - 1229 m)
XS, S, M, L, 1X, 2X
Flag of English English
This pattern is available from for $6.50.
Errata available: /patterns/show

(I will eventually be updating the downloadable file.)

1) Second-last line of “bottom” section should read:

You will have completed a total of 15[19, 19, 21, 19, 15] patt rnds, including the first one immediately following the 2 purl rnds.

2) Second-last line of “right front” section should read:

Cont patt as set, dec 1 st at neck edge every RS row until 16[16, 21, 21, 21, 23] sts rem. 69[73, 75, 77, 79, 81] rows have been worked flat in total.

Gothic is a style of architecture from the high and late medieval period of European history. This garment was inspired by Gothic-style stained-glass windows. The name of the pattern, ‘Tracery’, is the term used for the stonework sections which contain the glass of Gothic windows.

This pattern is not steeked; however, anyone with experience who would prefer to steek this pattern shouldn’t have too much trouble adapting it.

Other buying options:
* Etsy

Designer note: I’ve had it suggested to me that people might like a cowl version of this pattern to make instead of the vest. I’m not planning to release a separate pattern, just because adaptation to a cowl is fairly straightforward. But I’ve included some notes at the bottom of this page which will hopefully help.

Skills required

  • knitting and purling
  • increasing and decreasing
  • stranded knitting worked in the round and flat
  • chart reading
  • three-needle bind-off (explained in magazine)

Size information

  • XS: 30.75” finished bust, to fit 28”, finished length 17.5”
  • S: 35” finished bust, to fit 32”, finished length 18”
  • M: 38.75” finished bust, to fit 36”, finished length 18.25”
  • L: 43” finished bust, to fit 40”, finished length 18.5”
  • 1X: 46.75” finished bust, to fit 44”, finished length 18.75”
  • 2X: 52” finished bust, to fit 48”, finished length 19”

Yarn requirements

Each skein is assumed to be 192yds.

On the sample shown, MC is the black and CC is the variegated. (Yes, really!)

  • XS: 3 skeins MC, 2 skeins CC
  • S: 3 skeins MC, 2 skeins CC
  • M: 3 skeins MC, 3 skeins CC
  • L: 3 skeins MC, 3 skeins CC
  • 1X: 4 skeins MC, 3 skeins CC
  • 2X: 4 skeins MC, 3 skeins CC

Other materials needed

  • 2 stitch markers
  • spare length of yarn 30-40” long
  • spare length of yarn 20” long
  • 3 stitch holders
  • tapestry needle

So you wanna make a cowl

Note: This has not been tested! But it will probably work nicely and, assuming you’re getting the gauge as given for the vest pattern, should result in a cowl about 20” in circumference and about 11” tall.

  • Cast on 150 sts with MC in a smaller needle size (let’s say two sizes smaller?)
  • Work about a half-inch of garter stitch
  • Switch to the main size needles
  • Joining in CC, work 5 repeats of the 30-stitch repeating section of the chart for the vest pattern, starting at row 1 of the chart and ending with row 82 of the chart
  • Switch back to the smaller needles and work about another half-inch of garter stitch in MC, then bind off

Cast on 180 stitches if you’d prefer a cowl about 24” in circumference.