Pattern: Crop Top

As a lifelong member of the itty bitty bitty committee, I am blessed that serious support isn’t something I have to worry about. I am totally obsessed with these little bra tops. I wear them in place of a regular bra pretty much everyday (even in the summertime!). They are great for wearing under other knits or blouses. They’re super cute worn on their own or layered up together. Something magical happens with that wool and small amount of sweat each day, so that the more you wear (and don’t wash :D) these, the more they will shape to fit your individual curves. While we often think of wool as keeping us warm, it does actually breath really well so these take a lot before they are worn enough to justify a wash.

I was first inspired by Girly Knits bra top pattern, which is written much better than this one, and is available free here. Go check it out!! I like her pattern, but I wanted something top down and with thinner yarn.

So– soft, breathable comfort with minimal washing. LOVE.

When choosing a yarn, I recommend a 100% wool or a wool/nylon sock yarn. You want something light and stretchy. I do not recommend cotton or acrylic for this top. The wool is critical.

One of my favorite things about this pattern is that it allows you to use up an entire 100 g skein of yarn, such as some pretty Madeline Tosh or Hedgehog Fibres. Because it’s worked top down, you can essentially just knit until you run out of yarn. If you’re trying to use up an entire skein, I recommend breaking the yarn after completing the waist shaping (and before you begin waist ribbing), then working the straps and edging, and finally rejoining the yarn to the waist. From here knit until you’ve got maybe 5 yards or so left, and bind off.

There are a ton of ways to modify this pattern and I’ve made quite a few versions. Check out the captions on each pic to see the yarn I used and the modifications I made to each.

 

A. Yarn: Claudia Handpaints (2 skeins). Worked in 3×1 rib as written in this pattern.

B. Yarn: ToshMoLight, 1 skein. Trimmed with Manos Del Uruaguay’s Marina. Worked 6″ of ribbing.

C. Yarn: Drops Alpaca, 1.5 skeins. For this one I picked up stitches around each armhole to make a wider strap.  Layered with garter stitch cardigan in ToshMoLight.

D. Yarn: Hedgehog Fibres, skinny singles, 1 skein

E. Yarn: Madeline Tosh Euro Sock, 1 skein. This one worked with about 2″ of ribbing, i-cord straps, and a lining, which was picked up and worked bottom-up in reverse to match the outside then seamed to the front piece. It made a nice thicker bra that is good for wearing with thinner tops ;p

(The one at the top was made for a friend using Madeline Tosh Twist Light in Horoscope.)

The pattern in worked top down, starting flat then joined to work in the round. Stitches are picked up around the neck and cast on to form the straps and edging. Depending on how you intend to wear the top and how much ribbing you do at the waist, you may want to sew in some elastic to your top.

Depending on your height and bust you may wish to make a longer or shorter armhole. To adjust the length of the strap, simply cast on fewer or more stitches when creating the straps. Do keep in mind that the straps will stretch quite a bit as you wear the top. I’d recommend stretching out the ribbing and getting a gauge estimate to know how many stitches to add or takeaway. This pattern creates a 7.5” armhole.

I highly recommend using some sort of stretchy bind off for this pattern. In my experience, most stretchy bind offs become too stretchy though. I use a modified stretchy bind off. I call it a half stretchy bind off. Instructions are below.

Half-stretchy Bind Off:

  1. Knit 2, pull first stitch over the second as in a normal bind off. This leaves 1 stitch on the right needle.
  2. Knit the next stitch. Wrap yarn around the right needle counterclockwise. Pull the 2 stitches over the wrap.
  3. Knit 1. Pull the first stitch over the one you just knit as in a normal bind off.

Repeat steps 2 and 3.

This pattern is available free here on my blog, or you can purchase a PDF from my Ravelry shop.

MATERIALS

400-ish yard of fingering weight wool or wool/nylon yarn.

US 2 24” circular needle

US 1 24” circular needle

Elastic thread (optional)

Tapestry needle

2 stitch markers

GAUGE

4″= 24 sts and 32 rows in stockinette stitch

PATTERN

Right Front

Using US 2 circular needle, cast on 5 stitches. Purl 1 row.

Next row (right side): Knit 2, increase 1, knit 1, increase 1, knit 2.

Next row (wrong side): Purl 5, increase 1, purl 2. You will have 8 stitches.

*Next row: Knit 2, increase, knit until there are 2 stitches remaining, increase 1, knit 2.

Next row (wrong side): Purl until there are 2 stitches remaining, increase 1, purl 2.*

Repeat from * to * 15 more times. You will have 56 stitches. Cut yarn and place stitches on holder (or just let them hang out on the circular needle).

Left Front

Using US 2 circular needle, cast on 5 stitches. Purl 1 row.

Next row (right side): Knit 2, increase 1, knit 1, increase 1, knit 2.

Next row (wrong side): Purl 2, increase 1, purl 5. You will have 8 stitches.

*Next row: Knit 2, increase, knit until there are 2 stitches remaining, increase 1, knit 2.

Next row (wrong side): Purl 2, increase 1, purl to the end of the row.*

Repeat from * to * 15 more times. You will have 56 stitches. Don’t break yarn.

Join Fronts

You should now have 2 triangles each with one long side and one short side. The long sides will shape the neckline and the short sides will shape the arm holes. Put the right front back on the circular needle if you placed them on the stitch holder.

Working on the right side of the left front, knit 2, increase 1, knit across left front, cast on 1 stitch, then knit across the right front until there are 2 stitches left, increase 1, knit 2. You should have 115 stitches on your needle. Purl 1 row. Cast on 5 stitches at the end of the row. 120 stitches. Break yarn and place the front on hold to be worked later.

Back

Using US 2 circular needle, cast on 67 stitches. Purl 1 row.

*Next row (right side): knit 2, increase 1, knit until there are 2 stitches remaining, increase 1, knit 2.

Next row (wrong side): purl 2, increase 1, purl until there are 2 stitches remaining, increase 1, purl 2.*

Repeat from * to * 11 times more. You should have 115 stitches on your needle. Cast on 5 stitches. 120 stitches. Don’t break yarn.

Bodice

You will now join the front and back pieces and begin to work in the round. With right side of the back pieces facing you, knit 2 stitches, pm, knit across the remaining back stitches. Then with the right side of the front facing, knit 2 from the front, pm, knit to the end of the row. Join and begin working in the round. The first stitch marker you placed will mark the beginning of the round. You will have 240 stitches.

*Knit 2 rows, slipping the markers as you come to them.

Next row: slip marker, knit 1, knit 2 together, knit to 3 stitches before next marker, SSK, knit 1, slip maker, knit 1, knit 2 together, knit to 3 stitches before the next marker, SSK, knit 1. 4 stitches decreased.

Knit 1 row even.*

Repeat from * to * 7 times more. You will have 208 stitches remaining.

Switch to US 1 needles, and begin working in a k2, p2 rib. Knit for 2-4’ or as long as you can stand or until you’re left with about 15 grams of yarn left. Bind off with your favorite stretchy bind off method.

Straps and Edging

Using size 1 circular needles and starting at the center of the back with right side facing, pick up 34 stitches, cast on 45 stitches for the straps, pick up 29 stitches across the long side of the right front, pick up 1 at the center of the neck, pick up 29 across the long side of the left front, cast on 45 stitches to form the strap, pick up 33 stitches across the back. You should have 216 stitches. Place marker and join to work in the round. Work 2 rows in k2, p2 rib stitch. Bind off using a stretchy bind off.

Finishing

Weave in ends and block lightly with a steamy iron. Be careful not to burn the wool! If you’re using elastic, sew it into the first row of ribbing on the bodice.

Last step is to share your work so we can all see your creation!! Please tag me on Instagram or post with the hashtag #samsweaterz. Thanks! 🙂

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