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.
- 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”)
I love the simple lines of this light, top-down pullover. You can make it with any fingering weight yarn, variegated (Manos Alegria, Malabrigo Mechita, Koigu KPPPPM), semi-solid (Madeline Tosh Merino Light, Manos Alegria, Malabrigo Mechita), ombre (Cascade Heritage Wave), or solid (Cascade Heritage).
- Size: S (M, L, XL)
- Bust 33.5(37.5, 41.5, 45.5) inches
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
- 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
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
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
- 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
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
(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
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
Photos: Ankstrick, cochenille
This little cardie will be cheap, cheerful, and relatively fast, made in economical Cascade Eco on 6mm/US10 needles! It’s knit in one piece from the top-down – guaranteed to be your go-to fall cardigan. Make, wear it, love it – ’nuff said.
- XS(S, M, L, XL, XXL)
- Finished bust circumference: 80 (86, 94, 105, 114, 124) cm/ 31.5 (34, 37, 41, 45, 49)”
- Cascade Eco: 2 to 3 skeins (see pattern for details)
- Pattern via Ravelry
- 5mm/US8 circular needles (see pattern for details)
- 6mm/US10 circular needles (see pattern for details)
Modern Top-Down Knitting by Kristina McGowan ~ $35.95
Like the convenience of knitting top-down, but don’t like the frumpy old patterns available? You are really going to like this book! The contents is in the subtitle: Sweaters, Dresses, Skirts & Accesories Inspired by the Techniques of Barbara G. Walker. Yes, walker is the lady who wrote 4 tomes of lace charts, but she is also the mistress of top-down knitting (see Knitting from the Top). The book offers a pile of sweaters (blessedly with set-in slevees), hats, some skirts, some jackets, several dresses, some tunics, some tanks, a wrap, a cowl, gauntlets, and slippers. The pieces are fashion forward but also classic (McGowan is a garment designer in NYC).
The instructions on how to make short-row set in sleeves is summary, so if you are interested in the formula for that I’d refer you to Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard, where’s it’s all laid out in detail. Otherwise, Niiiiice!
Addenda Nov 18, 2010
Ad Maude suggests, Barbara Walker’s Knitting from the Top is an excellent resource!
As always, you can find us at www.knitomatic.com.