Category Archives: top-down

PROJECTS Unexpected Summer Knits

Sometimes you need to see a finished project on a real person to see how unexpectedly great it can be. The following are a few projects I just stumbled across that made me say YAAAAASSSSSS. Simple, unexpected little details can take a garment from an ordinary top to something special.

All of these projects work beautifully in Quince & Co Kestrel – an aran to bulky weight organic linen that loosens up completely for an easy summer garment.

See more projects for Kestrel HERE

Use Code QUINCE15 at checkout to receive 15% Off Quince & Co Yarns, until July 15th.*

*Discount can not be combined with any other discounts or sales, and is subject to change without notice.

Photos: gracececelia on Ravelry


A cropped little top is the prettiest thing when paired with a summer dress or loose skirt/pants. It gives you just enough coverage with tons of casual, easy to wear style. This tops is knit at a loose, comfortable tension on 6.5mm/US10 needles, so you’ll whip it up quickly and it’ll breathe beautifully. Linen tends to be VERY stretchy, I would go down two sizes in the pattern for a comfortable fit.

Ursa is constructed from the top-down with raglan shaping for the sleeves and optional horizontal bust darts in 3 cup sizes. The pattern includes directions to try it on as you work and notations to help you tweak the size (including the length, if cropped isn’t your thing!) according to your preference. Also included in the pattern are links to custom video tutorials that will walk you through the techniques for half brioche stitch and German short rows.

See more Ursas made with Quince & Co Kestrel

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner to Intermediate


To choose your size, measure the circumference around the fullest part of your bust, then add 2-6” (depending on how much ease you want) and choose the closest size. If you are between sizes, you can size up or down depending on whether you want more or less ease in the bicep (see full schematics illustration in the photos to the left).

  • Finished bust circumference: (34, 38, 42) [46, 50, 54] {58, 62, 66} inches / (86.5, 96.5, 106.5) [117, 127, 137] {147.5, 157.5, 167.5} cm


Please note that Linen (Quince & Co Kestrel) is very stretchy, especially knit at a looser tension like recommended in this pattern (on 6.5mm/US10.5 needles). I highly recommend going down two sizes in the pattern, as the fibre will relax after washing and your garment will grow.

  • Quince & Co Kestrel: With Long Sleeves – (6, 7, 8) [8, 9, 10] {11, 12, 13} … for a top with short sleeves you can probably omit at least 2 skeins of yarn.
  • 6.5mm/US10.5 needles (you can go down to 5.5mm/US9 for a tighter tension)
  • Stitch Markers
  • Pattern

Yarn Alternatives

Another good yarn option that isn’t quite as precious as linen is the Rico So Cool So Soft, a super soft, bulky weight, 100% pima cotton yarn. For this yarn, choose your sizing like normal, and if you want you can go up to a 7mm/US10.75 needle with it, or if you want a looser texture go up to an 8mm/US11. If you want to make short sleeves you can probably omit at least 1 ball of yarn.

Photo: jkstarnes
Photo: marieleecarter


Shrugs were going hard when I first started out in this industry, and I’m really glad to see them creeping back into summer silhouettes. Their relaxed elegance make for the most comfortable, versatile summer cardie on the planet (especially paired with linen)! This one looks amazing over a casual top with pants, or pair it with a loose dress. They’re just the happiest cocoons you ever wore.

Birdie’s construction is simple – it’s just of two identical pieces worked flat and joined at center back (done with my favourite, the super-easy 3 needle bind-off), then closing the cast-on edges to form the sleeves makes it a refreshingly simple knit. Geometric stitch patterns provide a pleasing contrast to the soft hand of the fabric that Quince & Co Kestrel creates.

See more Birdies made with Quince & Co Kestrel

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner


  • 33¼ (33¼, 40, 40)” [84.5 (84.5, 101.5, 101.5) cm] wide and 26¾” [68 cm] deep / to fit bust size 30-36 (36¼-42¼, 42½-48½, 48¾-54¾)” [76-91.5 (92-107.5, 108-123, 124-139) cm]


  • Quince & Co Kestrel: 9 (9, 11, 11) skeins
  • 4.5mm/US7 – 32″ circular needles
  • 5.5mm/US9 – 32″ circular needles
  • spare 5.5mm/US9 needle
  • 4.5mm/US7 double pointed needles
  • Pattern
Photos: tiny laser


This top is just cool … I love the take on the peek-a-book back that keeps your beautiful body all yours … unless you want it otherwise, in which case you can definitely knit it shorter and share with flare (as the Toltec say, ALL bodies are beautiful, so enjoy your body exactly the way you please).

Francis is leverly constructed in one piece, this tee can be worn with the opening in the front or back. The garment is worked in a single piece from cuff to cuff in stockinette, with a garter stitch panel providing textural interest. Perfect for advanced beginners (the pattern comes with a free Project Tutorial to guide you).

See other Francises (Franci?) made with Quince & Co Kestrel

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner to Intermediate


  • Finished Bust: 31.5 (33.75, 37.75, 40.25, 42.5, 45.25, 48)“
  • Finished Length: 20.25 (21, 21.5, 22.25, 22.75, 23.5, 24)”




When I came across this project it immediately struck me as a great little summer tee … an it would be PERFECT made with Quince & Co Sparrow. Treit is a light tee, worked bottom up, with a cropped length and leafy lace yoke. After a few rounds of twisted rib at the collar, the cropped body (which can be knit longer if desired) is knitted to the underarms. Two sleeve caps are knitted, body and sleeves are joined, and the yoke is worked from a lace chart to the neck. There are optional instruction to raise the back of the neck neck with short rows (a nice feature for more experienced knitters, and great that it isn’t necessary for those who need to keep thins KISSasble (you remember K.I.S.S., right? I refer to the sage life advice, “Keep It Simple Stupid”, not the 70’s band with the black & white getups.)

P.S. Quince & Co Sparrow is ON SALE until the end of July!


A. If you want to reproduce the ‘tweedy’ texture, use one of ‘Marled’ colours (they are marked in the drop-down menu of colours on our site). If you aren’t so keen on it, that’s cool too, just use one of the regular colours for a more refined finish.

B. I would DEFINITELY suggest the use a lifeline when knitting this project. Linen is slippey, and lace is lace, so do yourself a favour and give yourself a safety-net. If you are not already familiar with this concept, now’s the time to add this very, very handy little hack to your “I wish I knew that BEFORE ….” life list.


  • Finished bust circumference: 33 (35, 38, 41, 45, 48, 51, 54, 57, 60) inches or 84 (89, 96.5, 104, 114.5, 122, 129.5, 137, 145, 152.5) cm
  • The pattern recommends you choose the next size up from your normal bust size, but linen is very stretchy, so if you plan to wear this top over a tank or cami you may want to take that into consideration and not size-up.


  • Quince & Co Sparrow: 4 (4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7 8, 9) skeins
  • 3.75mm/US5 – 24″ & 29″circular (or longer for larger sizes) longer and below gauge-size circular needles of
  • 3.25mm/US3 (or 3mm) – 16″ & 29″circular (or longer for larger sizes)
  • 3.75mm/US5 – 12″ circular needles (or double pointed needles)
  • 3.25mm/US3 (or 3mm) – 12″ circular needles (or double pointed needles)
  • Stitch markers in two colours
  • Waste yarn (for putting stitches on hold)
  • thin waste yarn to use as a lace “lifeline”
  • Pattern

Sweater Quantities

To make life easier, here’s a list of colours that we have in relevant sweater quantities … well, at least at the time of publishing … once it goes live it’s in the hands of a higher power (the yarn gods?):

  • Butternut
  • Eclipse (first 2 sizes)
  • Fen
  • Frond MARL (up to 6th size)
  • Fundi
  • Little Fern (first 2 sizes)
  • Lunar
  • Maize
  • Mineral MARL
  • Rille MARL
  • Rosa Mundi MARL
  • Sans
  • Surf MARL 253 (up to 8th size)
  • Venice 218 (first 2 sizes)
  • Viburnum (first 2 sizes)


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Photo: Brandi Simons

Big Mike

I think my client Adrienne just introduced me to my soul mate, Big Mike. Big Mike hails from Huge & Huggable Mochimochi, and we’re going to have to continue to get to know each other better before we commit (I have to acquire the book), but I really feel like he’s the ‘one’. It;s no surprise that I’d fall hard for him, I’ve always felt pretty sentimental about Claes Oldenberg’s ‘Floor Burger’, it’s one of my must-sees on every visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario. I’ll probably use Berroco Vintage Chunky, it’s the right tension and it wears well, and that’s important because this dude is gonna received a LOT of hugs!


  • 14″ (35.5cm) wide and 10″ (25.5cm) tall



PROJECT Norwegian Fir

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Photo: OGE Knitwear Designs

Norwegian Fir

I love the combination of simplicity and detail in this little cardie. It makes a great little baby gift made with Cascade Ultra Pima (ON SALE NOW), a silky, soft and machine washable cotton yarn. (Seriously, Ultra Pima is so soft and comfortable that it’s the recommended yarn for Knitted Knockers.) It also won’t break the bank so your gift will impress without stress. The pattern is a seamless, top-down knit, a simple construction with a little bit of interest in the lace detail to keep things interesting.


Just one small caveat: I’ve listed the yarn amounts below based on the pattern specs, but I have a *feeling* that the baby sizes are a bit too generous. Trolling through the completed projects on Ravelry, it seems like 3 to 6 mos & 6 to 12 mos should require 2 skeins, and 12 to 18mos should be 3 skeins. The pattern is heavy on garter stitch, which sucks up yarn, so if you are a tight knitter (which also consumes extra yarn) I would lean towards the conservative side and go with the buffer yarn. If you’re on the average or looser side of the spectrum you might not need all the yarn the pattern is suggesting. I think the yardage amounts for the larger sizes might be ok. If you don’t enjoy playing yarn chicken, go with the recommended amount below -the worst thing that can happen is you might have extra yarn for a matching hat (and moms always tell me that they LOVE receiving baby hats and use them constantly).


  • 0 to 3 (3 to 6, 6 to 12, 12 to 18) months, 2 to 3 (4 to 5, 6 to 7,  8 to 9) years


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PROJECT Vodka Lemonade

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Vodka Lemonade

I came across this little version of Vodka Lemonade and I thought it was just a lovely little summer cardie. The Raveler above, greenthumbs, made it with Cascade Ultra Pima (ON SALE NOW), a silky and soft cotton that you’ll love wearing and enjoy knitting with. Ultra Pima is also extremely affordable and has great yardage. The pattern is a simple top-down knit, so it’s easy to make modifications for length or width, and instructions are given with tips and hints on how best to alter for your shape.


  • finished bust: 32 (34,36,38,40,42,44)(46,48,50,52) inches


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PROJECT Ondawa (in denim)

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Ondawa (in denim)

My friend Reney is into Rowan Original Denim yarn (ON SALE NOW), and the other day she asked me a common question; What would look good in it? This is a question I both dread and adore. The dread comes on first because I usually need time to think about things and give a thoughtful answer. Then, once I’ve had some time to process, comes the love; I get to trot out all the different ideas and examples, it’s a big creative game of research and “compare and contrast”.

One thing that’s at the top of my mind for Rowan Original Denim is Guernsey or Gansey (a style of fisherman’s sweater) – the denim yarn looks STUNNING knit up in a guernsey. The picture above is a project I found on Ravelry of Michelle Wang’s Ondawa made with Rowan Original Denim – I think it’s a thing of beauty!


Find our Denim Hacks & reference links (basically, wash it in vinegar to stabilize the colour and knit it a smidge longer).


  • finished bust: 43¼ (47½, 51¾, 56¼, 60½, 65)”
  • Sized to fit approximately 30-32 (34-36, 38-40, 42-44, 46-48, 50-52)” bust


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Photos: janetwynne, Brooklyn Tweed, Amirisu.

Other patterns that I think would look amazing made with denim are Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood and Void by Melanie Berg (the denim Guernsey Wrap on the left is made by janetwynne).

guernsey 3 copy.jpg

Guernesy looks especially good on men (maybe because they were created for them): above are Bowline by Tin Can Knits (you should knit with 4mm/US6 needles and make one size larger) and Beagle by Norah Gaughan.

Flax combo.jpg

Photos: Tin Can Knits, jennyinmaine.

Flax is a simple top-down, seam-free FREEBIE from Tin Can Knits that would look awesome made with Rowan Original Denim for anybody at any age to be worn in any season!









Spring is finally here (if in name only) and we’re starting to start thinking outside the warm & woolly box! I love this simple tank, and I like even more the idea of making it with super soft, cool, and easy to care for (machine wash & dry) Quince & Co Sparrow! The pattern is knit in the round, from the top-down, so you can try it on as you go, and make it as long or cropped as you like.

Project Hack

  • Linen is very stretchy, consider going down a size when you plan your project.
  • Size (measures at bust): 30” (33”, 36”, 39”), (42”, 45”, 48”)



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FREEBIE Riverside Pullover



Riverside Pullover

I love the simple lines of this light, top-down pullover. You can make it with any fingering weight yarn, variegated (Manos AlegriaMalabrigo MechitaKoigu KPPPPM), semi-solid (Madeline Tosh Merino LightManos AlegriaMalabrigo Mechita), ombre (Cascade Heritage Wave), or solid (Cascade Heritage).


  • Size: S (M, L, XL)
  • Bust 33.5(37.5, 41.5, 45.5) inches

Yarn Options

Manos Alegria: 3(3, 4, 5) skeins

Malabrigo Mechita: 3(3, 4, 5) skeins

Madeline Tosh Merino Light: 3(3, 4, 5) skeins

Koigu KPPPPM: 6(7, 9, 12) skeins

Cascade Heritage: 3(3, 4, 5) skeins

Cascade Heritage Wave: 3(3, 4, 5) skeins

Other Materials

  • FREE Pattern
  • 3.75mm/US5-32″ circular needles
  • 3.25mm/US3-24″ circular needles (for neckline)
  • 3.75mm/US5 double pointed needles
  • stitch markers
  • tapestry/darning needles


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FREEBIE Smithfield Pullover


Smithfield Pullover.jpg



Smithfield is an easy to knit and wear top down pullover with a turtleneck, rib details and allover texture. It’s designed to be worn with a few inches of positive ease, but how much ease is entirely a personal matter. The best way to get just the right amount is to find a piece of clothing that fits just the way you want your sweater to fit and measure it. Lay the garment on a flat surface and measure the span across the chest from underarm to underarm. Then while you’ve got it there, check the length too. Top-down raglans are really easy to modify so measure the length from the under arm to the hem and again to the sleeve cuffs. Compare these measurements to those of the schematic and choose the size that most closely matches the measurements from the garment you measured.


  • Bust Circumference: 33.75[37.25, 41, 45.25, 48, 51.5, 55]inches
  • Length (Shoulder to back hem): 26.75[27.5, 28.25, 28.5, 29.25, 29.5, 29.75] inches

Yarn Options

Malabrigo Rios: 5(6, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8) skeins

Cascade 220 Heathers: 5(6, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8) skeins

Cascade 220 Superwash: 5(6, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8) skeins

Berroco Vintage: 5(6, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8) skeins

Other Materials

  • FREE pattern
  • 4mm/US6-16″ circular needle
  • 4.5mm/US7-24″ circular needles
  • 4mm/US6 double pointed needles
  • 4.5mm/US7 double pointed needles
  • stitch markers
  • scrap yarn
  • darning/tapestry needle


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Mrs Garter

Mrs Garter

I really like Mrs Garter sweater for fall. It’s a very versatile little jacket knit from the top-down in the round, which means minimal finishing – yay! The design is interesting enough to turn heads, but simple enough that you’ll actually be able to get through it and actually wear it *this* fall. The pattern also comes with both a short and long version, and instructions for both asymmetrical and symmetrical fronts.

I also love the arms – they’re designed using the contiguous method, so you can have set-in style sleeves without all the drama of setting them in and seaming them. (Don’t worry, contiguous isn’t hard, it’s similar to top-down raglan). Why is a set-in sleeve desirable? Because EVERYONE looks good in a set-in sleeve. Raglans look amazing on people with big shoulders and small busts, but they don’t do much for people like me with small shoulders and a bust. So when I see a pattern with a contiguous sleeve, I get excited.

The pattern calls for an Aran weight yarn, like Cascade Eco, which will knit to a dense-ish tension on the prescribed 4.5mm/US7 needles (great for a jacket, gives it some structure). If you want something more pliable and sweater-like consider a worsted weight yarn like Cascade 220 or Cascade 220 Superwash.


  • XS(S, M, L, XL, XXL)
  • Finished chest/bust: 33(35, 38, 41, 44, 48)”/ 82 (88, 96, 105, 112, 122) cm


Cascade Eco

(see pattern for detailed yardage amounts)

  • One Colour, short version: 3(3, 4, 4, 5, 5) skeins
  • One Colour,  long version: 3(4, 4, 5, 5, 6) skeins
  • Two Colour,  short version: colour A/body  2(2, 2, 2, 3, 3) skeins, colour B/garter sections 2(2, 2, 3, 3, 3) skeins
  • Two Colour, long version: A/body  2(2, 2, 2, 3) skeins, colour B/garter sections 2(2, 3, 3, 3, 3) skeins

Cascade 220 or Cascade 220 Superwash

  • One Colour, short version: 6(7, 8, 9, 10, 11) skeins
  • One Colour,  long version: 7(8, 9, 10, 11, 12) skeins
  • Two Colour,  short version: colour A/body  3(3, 4, 4, 5, 6) skeins, colour B/garter sections 3(4, 5, 5, 6, 6) skeins
  • Two Colour, long version: A/body  3(4, 4, 5, 5, 6) skeins, colour B/garter sections 4(5, 5, 6, 6, 7) skeins

Other Materials

See pattern for full details

  • 3.5mm/US4 needles (see pattern for full details & type)
  • 4.5mm/US7 needles (see pattern for full details & type)
  • Pattern via Ravelry

Mrs garter COMBO

Photos: Ankstrick, cochenille