Pattern: Split Back Tank

This simple tank is worked seamlessly from the top down. The ribbed edging is worked as you knit so there are no picking up stitches at the armhole. I did pick up stitches around the neck to stabilize the stockinette stitch, but if you really hate picking up stitches, you could just crochet the edging, or skip it entirely and let it roll 🙂

To get a pretty, even edging, you will want to slip the first stitch and knit the last stitch on every row. This will create little loops on each edge. Not only do they create a professional looking finish, the loops also make counting rows a breeze. Every loop that you see on the edge represents 2 row worked. So if you count 14 loops on both edges, you can know you’ve worked 28 rows, without counting the individual rows.

The top starts by working the upper back, then stitches are picked up and short rows are used to shape the shoulder. The pieces are joined and briefly worked in the round before being split at the back to work back and forth. This transition from working the round to working flat will be a little bit awkward on the needles, but it gets better with each row.

MATERIALS

Madeline Tosh, Tosh Merino Light, 1.5 skeins

US 6 24” circular needle

Tapestry needle

GAUGE

4”= 22 stitches and 30 rows in stockinette stitch on US 6 needles

PATTERN

Back

Cast on 38 stitches. *Purl to the end of the row then cast on 7 stitches. Turn work. Knit to end of row and cast on 7 stitches.* Repeat from * to * 2 more times. You should have 80 stitches on your needles.

*Next row (right side): Slip 1, (knit 1, purl 1) 3 times. Knit until there are 7 stitches remaining. (Purl 1, knit 1) 3 times, knit 1.

Next row (wrong side): Slip 1, (purl 1, knit 1) 3 times. Purl until there are 7 stitches remaining. (Knit 1, purl 1) 3 times. Purl 1.*

Repeat from * to * 13 times more.

You’ll now begin shaping the bust.

*Next row (right side): Slip 1, (knit 1, purl 1) 3 times, increase 1, knit until there are 8 stitches remaining, increase 1, (knit 1, purl 1) 3 times, knit 2.

Next row (wrong side): Slip 1, (purl 1, knit 1) 3 times. Purl until there are 7 stitches remaining. (Knit 1, purl 1) 3 times. Purl 1.*

Repeat from * to * 13 times more. You should have 108 stitches.

Cast on 14 stitches for the underarm. Break yarn and place these 122 stitches on hold to be worked later.

Left Shoulder

Pick up 21 stitches from the wearer’s left shoulder on the back piece. Purl 1 row. Knit 6, wrap and turn. Purl to the end of the row. Turn, Knit 13, wrap and turn. Purl to the end of the row.

*Next row (right side): Slip 1, knit until there are 7 stitches remaining, (purl 1, knit 1) 3 times, knit 1.

Next row (wrong side): Slip 1, (purl 1, knit 1) 3 times, purl to the end of the row.*

Repeat from * to * 13 times more.

You’ll now begin shaping the neck and bust.

*Next row (right side): Slip 1, knit 1, increase 1, knit until there are 8 stitches remaining, increase 1, (knit 1, purl 1) 3 times, knit 2.

Next row (wrong side): Slip 1, (purl 1, knit 1) 3 times, purl to the end of the row.*

Repeat from * to * 9 times more. You should have 41 stitches.

Cast on 18 stitches for the neck. Break yarn and place these 59 stitches on hold to be worked later.

Right Shoulder

Pick up 21 stitches from the wearer’s right shoulder on the back piece. Purl 6, wrap and turn. Knit to the end of the row. Turn, purl 13, wrap and turn. Knit to the end of the row. Purl 1 row.

*Next row (right side): Slip 1, (knit 1, purl 1) 3 times. Knit to the end of the row.

Next row (wrong side): Slip 1, purl until there are 7 stitches remaining. (Knit 1, purl 1) 3 times. Purl 1.*

Repeat from * to * 13 times more.

You’ll now begin shaping the neck and bust.

*Next row (right side): Slip 1, (knit 1, purl 1) 3 times, increase 1, knit until there are 2 stitches remaining, increase 1, knit 2.

Next row (wrong side): Slip 1, purl until there are 7 stitches remaining. (Knit 1, purl 1) 3 times. Purl 1.*

Repeat from * to * 9 times more. You should have 41 stitches.

Join Fronts

You will now work across both front pieces to join them. Begin with the right side of the right shoulder facing you.

Next row (right side): Slip 1, (knit 1, purl 1) 3 times, knit 1, increase 1, knit to the end of the piece. Then begin working from the left front with the right side facing. Knit across the 18 stitches cast on for the neck and working over the left front piece, knit until there are 8 stitches remaining, increase 1, (knit 1, purl 1) 3 times, knit 2. You should have 102 stitches.

You’ll now continue shaping the bust.

Next row (wrong side): Slip 1, (purl 1, knit 1) 3 times. Purl until there are 7 stitches remaining. (Knit 1, purl 1) 3 times. Purl 1.

*Next row (right side): Slip 1, (knit 1, purl 1) 3 times, increase 1, knit until there are 8 stitches remaining, increase 1, (knit 1, purl 1) 3 times, knit 2.

Next row (wrong side): Slip 1, (purl 1, knit 1) 3 times. Purl until there are 7 stitches remaining. (Knit 1, purl 1) 3 times. Purl 1.*

Repeat from * to * 2 times more. You should have 108 stitches.

Cast on 14 stitches for the underarm. You should have 122 stitches. Do not break the yarn.

Join Front and Back

You will now work across the front and back pieces to join them. Start with the right side of the front piece facing you and working on the 14 underarm stitches you just cast on. (Knit 1, purl 1) 3 times, knit 1, place marker, knit 1, (purl 1, knit 1) 6 times, purl 1, knit until there are 7 stitches remaining, (purl 1, knit 1) 3 times, purl 1. Now you will begin to work across the back, starting with the stitches you cast on for the underarm. (Knit 1, purl 1) 3 times, knit 1, place marker, (knit 1, purl 1) 7 times, knit until there are 7 stitches remaining, (purl 1, knit 1) 3 times, knit 1.  Work in rib as set to the first marker. This marker will indicate the beginning of the row.

You should have 244 stitches. Work 5 rows in pattern as set, keeping armholes in 1×1 rib and the rest in stockinette stitch.

Begin Split

You will now begin working flat. It will be a little awkward at first because of the transition from working in the round to working back and forth, but after an inch or so, it becomes a lot easier.

Next row (right side): Knit all stitches to second marker, slip marker, knit 58 stitches, turn work.

Next row (wrong side): Slip 1, (purl 1, knit 1) 3 times. Purl to marker, slip marker, purl to next marker (that indicated beginning of round), slip marker, purl until there are 7 stitches remaining, (knit 1, purl 1) 3 times, purl 1.

You’ve now started the split. From here, you will work back and forth and the beginning of the split will mark the beginning of a row.

*Shaping row (right side): Slip 1, (knit 1, purl 1) 3 times, knit 1, SSK, knit to 1 stitch before marker, increase 1, knit 1, slip marker, knit 1, increase 1, knit to 1 stitch before next marker, increase 1, knit 1, slip marker, knit 1, increase 1, knit until there are 10 stitches remaining, knit 2 together, knit 1, (purl 1, knit 1) 3 times, knit 1.

Work 5 rows evenly, maintaining stockinette pattern with 1×1 ribbing on the ends.*

Repeat from * to * 12 times more. Then work 1 more shaping row and 1 more even row. Piece will measure something like 10.5”. (Note: if you want to make the top longer, keep working in the pattern as set, working a shaping row every 6th row until you reach desired length.)

*Next row (right side): Slip 1, (knit 1, purl 1) 3 times. Knit until there are 7 stitches remaining. (Purl 1, knit 1) 3 times, knit 1.

Next row (wrong side): Slip 1, (purl 1, knit 1) 3 times. Knit until there are 7 stitches remaining. (Knit 1, purl 1) 3 times. Purl 1.*

Repeat from * to * 2 times more.  Bind off.

Finish

Neck edging: Starting at the middle of the top of the back and with right side facing, Pick up 19 stitches from the back, 35 stitches from left front, 18 stitches from neck, 35 from right front, and 19 more from the back. Place marker and join. You should have 126 stitches. Knit 2 rows. Bind off loosely or with a half-stretchy bind off (read notes on this pattern for half-stretchy bind off instructions).

Weave in ends and block.

The last step is to share your work with me on Ravelry or using the hashtag #samsweaterz in Instagram. Happy knitting! ❤

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