Embla Vest Pattern

It can be awfully hard to pinpoint where an idea began it’s journey toward fruition. I’ve wanted to design my own tree of life motif for years, and finally picked up a hook to start experimenting with it just a few months ago. I vaguely thought about adding the motif to the middle of the vest design I was working on, and so I tinkered until this was possible and set down a general framework for the pattern.

Today I finally finish this saga, with the premier of the Embla Vest crochet pattern – available as a downloadable, printable, ad-free PDF in my Etsy Shop , Ko-Fi Shop, and Ravelry Store <3 Keep reading for all the details!

During the making of this pattern, life happened, and then death happened. In the course of this, the Embla Vest became very personal to me (more so than other designs, although it’s hard to judge) and getting through the process of creating this pattern became a journey of emergence. I’m so glad I’m here now! Ha 🙂

The vest design itself was inspired by several stylistic sources including steampunk waistcoats and some of my personal crochet heroes’ designs, and I made SO MANY of them before I settled on what looked accurate to the vision in my mind’s eye. The resulting design is the new award winner for Most Drafts Crocheted, a title formerly held by the Ida Shawl (worth it in both cases!)

Yes, there was struggle and heartache. Through it all, I kept creating – because there isn’t any other way. I hope you love this design as much as I do, and I hope you make it for someone you love and they love it, too <3 Read on for the full details!

The Embla Vest is a playful and versatile garment inspired by the Norse creation myth, in which the gods breath life into a dead tree to create the first woman, named Embla. I drew from many different design elements to create this unique and customizable piece of wearable crochet art.

This circular vest is worked in the round, featuring a stunning Tree of Life motif in the center and blends beautifully outwards in #4 worsted weight variegated yarn to make the perfect lightweight layering piece.

In addition to the FIVE sizes (XS-XL) this vest features lots of customizing options, including instructions for a solid back (alternative or in addition to the Tree of Life), sleeves, and hood! Create a structured, waistcoat look by working the buttons instructions, or make a fairy tail cardigan featuring a lace-up front. All sizes and styles fit with a wrapping collar, a dainty pointed back, and front panels that draw away in a figure taper.

The PDF file includes written instructions for every size in step-by-step order with stitch counts and 75+ bright, clear tutorial photos. The Embla Vest PDF also comes with the Tree of Life mandala, a separate BONUS PDF file for the full Tree of Life dreamcatcher design (also available here on the blog).

4.5 mm hook
Lion Brand Shawl in a Cake or Shawl in a Ball (#4 weight, 150 g, 481 yds)
Main Vest: 1, 1, 1, 2, 2 skeins
Hood: ½  skein
Sleeves: 1 skein
Tree Motif – 50 yds Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton (#4 weight, 100 g / 186 yds)
Tapestry Needle
Stitch Markers

Sizes and Finished Measurements: X-Small (XS), Small (SM), Medium (MD), Large (LG), X-Large (XL)
Finished measurements are approximate
Bust:  30”, 34”, 38”, 42”, 46”
Length (back collar to bottom point): 19”, 21”, 23”, 25”, 27”
Arm Opening (circumference): 9”, 10”, 11”, 12”, 13”

All instructions are written in English in U.S terminology.

I have real bits of bark on my sleeve. That’s authenticity.

In the outdoor photoshoot I am proud to be sporting 100% handmade/small business apparel – here’s where it’s all from!
Floral Berry Crown: @daizel_doozle
Hi-Lo Scrunchie Dress: Elven Forest
Tie-Dye Yoga Pants: Dimples Dyes
Macrame necklace & bracelet: Selinofos Art

The sleeved vest costume also includes a piece by Dimples Dyes (halter top) and Selinofos Art (Pendant necklace). And more by me (crocheted leather feather head wrap)

And of course, in several of these photos I’m also wearing one of my one-of-a-kind pixie belts, which you can get all the how-to instructions for FREE here on my blog.

Now, go out there, make some stuff, and hug a tree.

<3 <3 <3


16 thoughts on “Embla Vest Pattern

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  1. This is absolutely gorgeous, and probably my next project. I discovered your blog a few months ago and have slowly been making my way through your patterns. I’m almost finished with my first lotus mandala duster (using the same shawl in a ball you’ve used for this!). Your patterns are so clearly written that I’ve developed a much better understanding of crochet in general. Really appreciate all the work you’ve put into your craft, and your gift of sharing! Your inspiration of creating amidst chaos is golden.

    1. Thank you so much Alyssa 🙂 🙂 Your comment seriously has made my day in a big way <3 I am so glad you like what I have to share, I really do put a lot of love into it so feedback like yours, as you say, is golden! Thank you!

  2. I’m wondering, my daughter wants me to make this exact colors vest, tree of life, can you please send me the colors and brand of yarn you used? I already have the pattern, thank you so much in advance

    1. Hi Renee! Can you please e-mail me directly and attach a picture of the specific vest you are referring to? There are several pictured here and I don’t know which one you are referring to 🙂

  3. Hello, I know this call for aran weight yarn. If I were to use worsted weight do I need to change my hook size as well?

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