Dianthe Bells Amazon Author

Rake Knitting Vintage Vest

Rake Knitting

Free Vintage Boy’s Vest Pattern








For those who find endless pleasure in the array of hand looms obtainable these days, it is worthwhile for the sake of the craft to look into the “rakes” beginnings as occupational therapy. At the end of this post is a link to the free PDF compiled by Bertha Thompson in 1924, describing how the wooden looms are made, the stitches and useful patterns. She begins:

“Who does not remember the spool-knitter of his childhood, perhaps a homemade affair—a large empty spool with four wire brads driven in around the opening at one end—on which one made an endless rope of colored yarns, to use, maybe, for reins when playing horse. Our ex-service patients in the army and public health service hospitals have seized upon the principle of this toy, and have applied it in making “rakes” of various sizes on which they have “knitted” a large number of articles, from silk neckties to wool shawls, caps, sweaters and capes.”

Experienced knitters can bypass basic instructions and follow this boy’s sleeveless sweater (vest) pattern. Main photo shows twins wearing rake knitted slipovers.



6 ounces of four-fold (4 ply/Fingering) yarn
No. 2 (⅜ inch—¾ inch) makes a very good sweater
No. 3 (⅜ inch—⅝ inch) makes a closer sweater
Refer to diagrams
US terms used























1. Cast stitches on about 80 nails, 40 in each row.
2. Knit 2½ inches of triple stitch.
3. Change from triple stitch to double stitch by winding rake and lifting the two lower threads over the upper thread and off the rake.
4. Knit 10½ inches double stitch.
5. Cast stitches off four nails at both end of knitting, A-A.
6. Knit 1¼ inches.
7. Cast stitches off two nails at each end of knitting, B-B.
8. Knit 1¼ inches.
9. Cast stitches off two more nails at each end, C-C.
10. Knit 2 inches.
11. Cast stitches off twenty nails, ten nails in each row, directly in the center of the knitting to make the back of the neck.
The knitting is now in two parts and two balls of yarn must be used. To Knit the Front of Sweater Refer to Figure 40 (Diagrams). Larger images in book.
12. Knit the shoulders straight for 3 inches.
13. Then, to make the V neck, every time the yarn is wound toward the center, add one nail on each shoulder piece until the two parts of the knitting meet in the center at E.
14. Add two nails at C and B on both armholes.
15. Add four nails at A on both armholes.
16. If the sweater is to be left open down the front for a few inches and laced with a cord, continue using the two balls of yarn, winding each from the side of the sweater to the center only and back to the side.
If the sweater is to be closed from the point E down, cut off one ball when the last winding brings it to the armhole at A. Continue knitting the full width of the front with the other ball.
17. Knit 10½ inches.
18. Change from the double stitch to triple stitch for the band by winding once across the rake and back to make three threads around each nail before lifting the lowest thread over the upper two and off.
19. Knit 2½ inches triple stitch, to correspond to the band at the bottom of the back of the sweater.
20. Cast knitting from the rake.
21. Take up the loose stitches at the beginning of the knitting at the lower edge of the back.
22. Sew up the under arm seams.
23. Crochet around the armholes and the neck with a single crochet stitch. If the neck has been left open down the front for a few inches, crochet around this opening, making loops for the cord lacing.


Making Straight rakes and Circular rakes.
Four-fold yarn or silky wool is used for most garments.
Medium and heavy-weight sweater yarns may be used for men’s sweaters.
Two-fold yarn and silky wool is used for light-weight garments.
Chapter 1—Tools and Materials
Chapter 2—Winding a Long Rake
Chapter 3—Winding Round Rakes
Chapter 4—General Instructions:
1—How to Change from Single or Double Stitch to Triple Stitch.
2—How to Change from Triple Stitch to Single or Double Stitch
3—How to Cast Off Stitches in Shaping Garments
4—How to Add Stitches in Shaping Garments
5—How to Cast Off Knitting from the Rake
6—How to Take Up the Loose Stitches at the Beginning of the Knitting
7—How to Sew Garments Together
8—How to Make Buttonholes
9—How to Determine the Quantity of Yarn Required for Any Pattern
10—How to Adapt the Patterns for Smaller or Larger Garments
11—How to Make Other Patterns
Chapter 5—To Make Shawls and Scarfs General Directions
Explanation of Diagrams of Borders
Narrow Scarfs and Mufflers
Chapter 6—Harmonious Combinations of Colors in Shawls Color Arrangements Suggested for Eighteen Borders.
Chapter 7—Bed Jacket Chapter 8—Boy’s Slipover Sweater
Chapter 9—Child’s Sweater Jacket
Chapter 10—Men’s Sweaters 1—Buttoned Down the Front, with Sleeves, Collar and Pockets.
Chapter 11—Cap
Chapter 12—Stocking Cap

Rake Knitting Patterns Free PDF


West Yorkshire Spinners Signature  75% wool 25% nylon 4ply. Shown in Mallard