Vilonia

Vilonia is a racerback camisole with icord straps and side vents. Worked in dreamy 100% mulberry silk, it’s soft, smooth, and airy— perfect for summer wear! This pattern is seamless and worked top down. First the front piece is worked flat. Stitches are picked up at the edges to create i-cord straps, which are then joined together to form the back. The triangle shape of the back is created using shawl-style increases. This had the added benefit of creating a natural pleat right down the center of the back, adding natural shape and depth to the piece. Once the front and back are knitted, they are joined together to be worked in the round. Finally, they are split towards the hem to create side vents.

The actual measurement of the top is about 34” inches wide. If you wanted the make the piece larger (or smaller), I’d recommend adding more (or using less) increase rows on the front and back and perhaps casting on a few more (or less) stitches at the underarm. Just make sure you end up with the same number of stitches on both sides. Depending on your bust size, you may want to knit your straps a little longer than recommended, but be careful! Remember that silk and knitting are both naturally stretchy, and the straps may stretch up to 50% as you wear the top.

If you’re worried about making straps that are too long (or short), here’s an easy work around: After you finish the front, don’t pick up stitches for the i-cord yet. Cast on 6 stitches for the back, and work as indicated in the pattern all the way to the end. Then you can measure your armhole, and figure out exactly how long you want your straps to be before picking up stitches to knit the icord straps. Pick up stitches as indicated in the pattern, work your I-cord, finish off the stitches, and sew the straps to the back.

MATERIALS

2 skeins, Malabrigo, Mora

1 US 5 24” circular needle

2 US 5 double pointed needles

Stitch markers

Stitch holder or scrap yarn

Tapestry needle

GAUGE

4” = 23 stitches and 32 rows on US 5 needles in stockinette stitch

PATTERN

Front

Cast on 41 stitches. Knit 3 rows.

Row 4 (right side): knit 2, make 1, knit until 2 remain, make 1, knit 2.

Row 5 (wrong side): knit 2, purl until 2 remain, knit 2.

Repeat rows 4 and 5, 22 more times. You should have 87 stitches.

Break yarn and place stitches on hold to be worked later.

I-cord Straps

With right side of front facing, pick up 3 stitches from armhole edge of wearer’s right shoulder. Work I-cord for about 5” unstretched. Break yarn. Place stitches on hold to be worked later.

With right side of front facing, pick up 3 stitches from wearer’s left shoulder. Work i-cord to match left strap. Don’t break yarn. You will now join these two straps to begin the back.

Back

Row 1: Knit across 3 stitches from left strap i-cord. Then without breaking yarn, work across the 3 stitches on hold from right strap I-cord. You should have 6 stitches.

Row 2: knit all stitches.

Row 3 (right side) : knit 2, place maker, knit 1, place marker, increase 1, place marker, knit 1, place marker, knit 2. You should have 7 stitches and 4 markers placed.

Row 4: knit all stitches.

Row 5: Knit 2, slip maker, increase 1, knit to marker, increase 1, slip marker, knit 1, slip marker, increase 1, knit to marker, increase 1, slip marker, knit 2. You will have increased 4 stitches.

Row 6: knit 2, purl until 2 stitches remain, knit 2.

Repeat rows 5 and 6, 19 more times. You should have 87 stitches. You will now work across the back and the front to join the pieces and begin working in the round to form the body.

Body

With right side of back facing, knit to end of row, cast on 7 stitches using cable cast-on method, place maker, cast on 7. With right side of front facing, continue working across all these stitches to the end, cast on 7, place marker (this one will mark the beginning of the round), cast on 7. Join by continuing to work across the back piece, being careful not to twist. You should have 202 stitches. Continue working in stockinette stitch in the round until piece measures 8” from the underarm.  You will now split the piece into front and back to create side vents.

Side Vents

Place all front stitches on hold to be worked later. Remove marker. With right side of back facing work as follows:

Row 1: knit all stitches.

Row 2: knit 3, purl until 3 stitches remain, knit 3.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until vent measures about 2-2.5 inches. Knit 6 rows, creating 3 garter ridges on the right side. Bind off all stitches.

Put the front stitches you have on hold back onto the needle. Work the same as for the back vent.

Vilonia schematic

Finishing

Weave in all ends and block gently. I blocked mine by placing a tea towel over the knitting, then I used steamy iron on a low setting and gently pressed over the tea towel. Be delicate to avoid burning the silk! Share your project with me on Ravelry and instagram with #samsweaterz. Please reach out if you have any questions or notice any errors in the pattern. Hope you love it as much as I do!

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