inspired by Trishna, using acrylic wool and number 3 needles. Here is my pattern:
Cast on 74 stitches.
Knit 6 rows.
Knit 4; keep purling until the last 4, and those you knit. Make the first (lowermost) buttonhole around the 8-10th line from casting on.
Keep doing this until you have completed approx 7”. Make 3 to 4 buttonholes at appropriate places along the right vertical rib.
Knit 10, purl 4, knit 12, purl 4, knit 15, purl 4, knit 12, purl 4, knit 9. Do this for three rows. *Include the topmost buttonhole in this final ribbing.*
You should be back at the side from which you started the last step.
Close 8, knit 2, purl 4, knit 2, close 8, knit 2, purl 4, knit 2, close 11, knit 2, purl 4, knit 2, close 8, knit 2, purl 4, knit 2, close seven.
So now you have four sets of stitches which will form the shoulder straps. You can continue knitting with the only same two needles (as I did) or slip off the sets you are not working on to other needles or a stitch holder.
Knit 2, purl 4, knit 2 each strap until it’s about 2 and a half inches long. I knitted the seams in a Three Needle Bind-Off (so I didn't know what it was called when I did it, because I just did what my aunt instructed over the phone!) to join each shoulder, so I didn’t cast off strap #1 until #2 was ready to join it, and I held #3 until #4 was done. All easy with a stitch holder and still very doable with just an extra needle.
Then you weave in trailing ends, stitch on buttons and feel very good about yourself. At least, that’s what I did.
Oh and if you, like me, are a complete novice at this, you may benefit from this site I just discovered.
Lastly, just because he's cute, here's a picture of my other baby wearing the same vest, Mach 1. It has mistooks aplenty and buttonloops because then I was as yet uninitiated into the mysteries of Wool Forward Knit Two.