Category Archives: top-down





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



Golden Wheat

Golden Wheat

Photos: veera

Golden Wheat

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)


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Golden Wheat COMBO

Photos: veera

Spring Knit-Spiration

I’m super inspired by these spring/summer cardigans designed by Heidi Kirrmaier! I’m even considering ripping back a linen cardi in the works and starting again as one of these. According to Heidi, if you purchase both patterns (either together or if you bought the other one previously) you will receive 40% off the second one.

They are worked from the top down, entirely seamlessly, and are suitable for a knitter with some experience with top down knitting. The instructions comprise only a few repetitive elements, so it’s easy to find your knitting rhythm. 

Yarn: Louet Euroflax Sport or Cascade Ultra Pima or Cascade Ultra Pima Paints
Needles: 3.5mm/US4 needles (see pattern for details)

Needles: 5.5mm/US9 needles (see pattern for details)

NEW Book – Modern Top-Down Knitting

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!

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