I made the pattern for this one as I knit, and my aim was to knit a basic, simple summer top, and yet incorporate a few of the most difficult, but useful or decorative, tecniques I know, and I was also adding a couple of techniques that I hadn’t tried before. The plan was that the design could be adapted to whatever pattern or decorations one wants. I’m also aware that people have different skill levels, so I have tried to describe easier ways to achieve the same or nearly the same effects.
Craft: knitting (incorporates other tecniques as well, but these are optional)
Yarn: Søstrene Grenes cotton, colors: white for the right side (main), apple green or any other color you like for lining, you can of course also use white for this (contrast)
Needle size: 3 mm. Your needle should be as long as possible, at least 80 cm, in order to hold all your stitches
Gauge: 22 m = 10 cm
Size: medium, european size 38-40, measurements as in chart to follow soon
Hips: 92 cm
Waist: 88 cm
Under bust: 89 cm
Bust: 92 cm
Method: Two color italian cast on in the round for double knitting. Make a slipknot using both main and contrast color. * Work under the main color, grab the contrast color, then go under the contrast color and grab the main color. * Repeat from * to * until you have the right number of stitches.
The reason for choosing this cast on method, is to make a nice knitted edge that won’t roll up, like it will if you just start knitting directly after a longtail cast on. By using a contrast color, the inside will not become yellow after use and washing as quickly as it will if the inside of the edges are white.
Start casting on with a slip stitch, and continue with your main color over your thumb and your contrast color over your index finger. The first stitch you cast on should be your contrast color. To start, go under the main color and pick up the contrast color, tug a little and secure this stitch, then go over the contrast color and pick up the main color, tug, secure and repeat. (Nah – no point in going into details – this is better explained in the video tutorials.) Cast on 204 stitches with your contrast color and 204 stitches with your main color, alternating between the two. You should have 408 stitches in total when finished.
(Alternative cast on for beginners: Cast on 204 stitches in contrast color, using long tail cast on – or another method that you prefer.)
1st round is your set up-round. To make it a little easier on yourself, turn your work, so that you start with your main color. You do this in order to prevent twisting. Knit your main color stitches and purl your contrast color stitches, alternating between the two, and always keeping the yarn colors separate (double knitting). Also be sure not to twist the stitches on your needle, it will be difficult to fix if you’re not experienced in the italian cast on method.
When you start the 2nd round, you join the sides of your work together and continue knitting in the round. Before you start, control count your stitches (and add some more if you need to). Be sure that there’s no twist in your work before joining. (You should check this again at the end of the 2nd round. If you do, after all, have a twist, this is your only chance of correcting this mistake almost invisibly, by twisting it back again.)
In the 2nd and following rounds, continue knitting your main color and purling your contrast color. Continue to keep your yarn colors separate, and do not ever twist or tangle them.
After having knitted a few rounds, you may have discovered a few mistakes. As in life in general, it’s better to add sugar and make limonade, when you’re confronted with such lemons. Mark the start of the round, and your mistakes – you will most likely be able to camouflage, or in a nicer word «incorporate», some of them in the design later on, if they’re not too many, too far apart or too huge. Errors that are closer to the start than about 20 cm will be hidden.
Decrease round (last round on lower edge):
When your work measures 3 cm, cut off your contrast color, and knit 2 together like this: Slip 1 stitch in your main color, then slip 1 stitch in your contrast color, then knit these two together (ssk). This is done for the two stitches to lie flat against eachother, and not become twisted in the decrease process. Repeat until all the stitches have been knitted together. The number of stitches should be 204 when you finish this round.
When finished, both sides of the edge will appear knitted, and the edge itself will be invisible from both sides.
(Alternative lower edge for beginners: Knit in the round with contrast color. When your work measures 3 cm, cut off your contrast color and continue in main color. Knit 1st round, purl 2nd round and knit 3rd round. Continue knitting all rounds in main color. Later on, under the assembly, you just sew the lining (in contrast color) loosely to the wrong side of your work. The purl row will make a nice detail, and will also decide where to bend the fabric. When measurements are given later on, you should also measure from the purl round.)
Put a stitch marker at the starting point of the next round, this marks your right side. Put stitch markers after stitch nr 25 and after stitch nr 77. These two will become your decrease/increase markers on the back. Then put a stitch marker after 102 stitches, to mark your left side. Finally ålace stitch markers after stitch nr 127 and 179 stitches, these are your decrease/increase markers on the front.
Knit a few rounds. Check your gauge. You may have knitted a little loose in the double knitted part, so it’s important that you check both the lower edge and the starting rounds of the main part.
Decrease rounds from hips to waist
Knit until you work measures 4 cm. (The 1st stitch marker marks the start of the round, the right side.) Decrease one stitch before the 2nd stitch marker, of the last two stitches before the marker, slip one stitch, then the other and knit those two toghether (ssk). Decrease 1 stitch after the 3rd stitch marker by knitting the first 2 stitches after the marker together (2tog). (The fourth stitch marker marks the left side.) Decrease 1 stitch before the 5th stitch marker, ssk, and 1 stitch after the 6th stitch marker 2tog. The reason why you should decrease in these ways on the left and the right side is that you want the decrease to be as invisible as possible and yet symmetrical. After the first decrease round, you should have 200 stitches left on your needle.
Repeat this decrease round every 2 cm until you have decreased 8 times in total, and have 172 stitches. Your work should measure 18 cm.
Knit 4 cm without decreasing.
Increase before stitch marker nr 2, after nr 3, before nr 5 and after nr 6 by picking up the yarn between two stitces, twisting the yarn so you get a little loop, and then knitting this loop as if it was a stitch.
Knit 2 cm, then increase once more, and knit 2 more cm after last increase round.
Round 1: Increase 1 stitch in each stitch by knitting the stitch from the round under the round you are now knitting, then knit the same stitch in the round you are now knitting. The new stitches are meant to be knitted in the contrast color, so that you again will get two separate layers of fabric.
Round 2: Purl 1 in contrast color, knit 1 in main color all the way round.
Round 3: Purl/knit as in round 2 over the whole back of the top – 90 stitches. Place a marker in the side. In the front increase 1 stitch in contrast color and 1 stitch in main color in the following stitches: left side: 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 33 and 38, and right side: 53, 58, 62, 65, 68, 71, 74, 77, 80, 83 and 86. Increase this way: Purl 1 in contrast color, grab the contrast color tread between the stitch you’re in and the next stitch, twist it and purl 1 in contrast color in this «stitch». Then grab the main color tread between the previous stitch and the stitch you’re in, twist it and knit 1 in main color in this «stitch», then knit 1 in main color. You should now have 2 stitches in contrast color and 2 stitches in main color the places where you have increased. After completing this round you should have 202 stitches.
Round 4: Knit/purl as in round 2, but switch stitches so that every other stitch is in main and contrast color. Switch like this (4 stitches, 2 contrast and 2 main color): Purl the first stitch in contrast color. Skip the next stitch in contrast color – just leave this on your left needle. Knit the third stitch in main color, but do not take the stitch off your left needle. Then purl the stitch you skipped in contrast color, and take both stitches two and three off your left needle. Then knit the last stitch in main color.
Round 5 and further: As round 2.
Knit until the double knitted part measures 3 cm.
On the last round in those 3 cm, stop 6 stitches before the round ends. Cast off these 6 stitches, the 90 stitches from the back and 6 stitches on the other side of the front part, using kitchener cast off method. First separate the main and contrast colors each on a separate needle. Then purl one row in contrast color. After that, go back and work in the main color. Cut the yarn 4 times as long as the back part. Go into the first stitch on the front/main color purlwise, then go into the first stitch on the back knitwise. * Go into the first stitch on the front knitwise, and take the stitch off, Then go into the next stitch on the front purlwise. After this go into the first stitch on the back purlwise, and take the stitch off. Then go into the next stitch on the back knitwise. * Repeat from * to * until you have 1 stitch left on the front and on the back. Pull the yarn through those stitches.
Go back to where you left off in the right side. Turn your work. Continue in the same colors, but when working from the wrong side you have to purl the main color and knit the contrast color.
You also need to twist the two colors in each side in order for them to come together in the sides. This is the reason for not separating the outside and the lining, so it is fairly important. When you come to the end of a row, knit and purl the last 2 stitches as usual. Turn your work. Take off the 1st stitch in one color, then move the 2 yarns to the back of the work, then take off the 1st stitch in the other color. (Do not knit or purl the first stitches in each color.) Then twist your yarns so that the yarn you are starting with holds on to the other yarn. Start knitting or purling the next to 1st stitches in each color.
In the first 6 rows, you’ll work the wrong side with no decreases. When working the right side, you’ll decrease 1 stitch on each side, like this: First you need to start on the right stitches – that is the 2 + 2 stitches before the marker on the left side, and the 2 + 2 stitches after the marker on the right side. Since these stitches are currently 1 contrast color, 1 main color, 1 contrast color and 1 main color, you first need to change places on the 2 stitches in the middle by moving the first stitch to your right needle, lifting off the next with your fingers, then moving the third to your right needle and placing the second stitch on your left needle, before moving the 2 stitches in contrast color back on your left needle. Now you can decrease. On the left side you first purl 2 together in contrast color. Then you slip, slip, knit the 2 stitches in main color. On the right side you do the opposite, slip, slip, purl the 2 stitches in contrast color, then knit 2 together in main color.
On the 7th row you shall split your work in a left and a right side. You start from the wrong side of the right breast part. (When you start on the left side, also start from the middle, knitting from the wrong side.) Place a stitch marker 2 stitches (count only main color stitches) from the middle of the front both on the right and on the left side of the front. On the 8th row (from the wrong side) do not decrease any stitches. On the 9th row decrease 1 stitch in each color on each side of the stitch marker nearest to the side.
Decrease like this both on the right and left side of the front: Before the marker, purl 2 stitches in contrast color together, slip, slip, knit 2 stitches in main color together. After the marker slip, slip, purl 2 stitches in contrast color together, knit 2 stitches in main color together.
Do not decrease on the 10th row. On the 11th row you shall not only decrease on both sides of the marker where you have decreased earlier, but also after the marker on the right side, and before the marker on the left side. Here you shall decrease like this on the right side: Purl 2 stitches in contrast color together, slip, slip, knit 2 stitches in main color together. On the left side you shall decrease like this: Slip, slip, purl 2 stitches in contrast color together, knit 2 stitches in main color together.
Continue decreasing 3 stitches as described on every right side row until you have only 6 stitches left in each color. On this last decrease row you’ll need to decrease so that you get 4 stitches in each color. One one the side, one in the middle and two near the center of the front part. Do not cast off those stitches.
Separate the main and the contrast color and knit i-cord ribbons. How to:Knit the 4 stitches as usual. Slide the needle across and do the same again. (Do not turn your work.) The thread will be pulled in as you go to form a small tubish strand. Do the same on all 4 ribbons until they reach the desired length.
Adapting to your shape
This is of course optional. But if your measures are different from the ones in the chart, you can decrease and increase more often or less often, and end with a few less or a few more stitches when you come to the waist and under the bust. If you do so, you may also need to adapt the pattern the last part, but your side marks should still be in the right place so this will not be too difficult.
(Alternative main part for beginners: Do not decrease or increase at all. This will make for a more loose-fitting top. When you come to the bust part, you will just follow your stitch markers, the stitch count will not be the same as in the main pattern.)
See the pattern for the sun hat.