Engaging Bouclé Top
Cool summer top from 1935, knitted in bouclé cotton/linen mix, using an eyelet lace pattern for the body, and ribbing for the yoke. I have adapted the yoke slightly, and given a better fit to the sleeves.
"This engaging affair uses a fairly thick wool (quickly knitted!)".
Here I demonstrate its versatility - it could be worn as a smart top with a skirt - or in the garden with denim shorts!
The basic pattern for most of the top is two basic rows:
1st Round: *
k2tog; k2; yarn forward; k1; yarn forward; k2; k2tog through back loops;
repeat from *
[Editor's note: If you are knitting in the round, the alternate rounds are knitted; if you are knitting back and front on 2 needles, for example, when you divide at the armholes, then the second row is purl.]
The back and front are knitted together in the round.
Using a No 11 (3mm) circular needle, cast on 198 stitches.
Change to a No 10 (3¼mmm) needle, and work in pattern as given
above, for an inch. Change to No 9 (3¾mm) needles and continue
in pattern for another inch, then to No 8 (4mm) needles and carry on with
these until work measures 13 inches from commencement, ending with a plain
knit row (2nd round of pattern), but cast off the last 8 sts of the round
Divide front and back and work each side separately as follows:
Cast off the first 8 sts of the round, then, with one stitch on the right hand needle, commence the pattern row, and work 9 pattern repeats; k1.
Cast off the next 16 sts; then, with one stitch on the right hand needle, commence the pattern row, and work 9 pattern repeats; k1.
You should have 83 sts to work for the back and front.
Turn the work and purl back across 83sts.
Continue working back and forth across these 83 sts in pattern as set,
starting and ending each row, with one plain knitted stitch. Work 2 inches
(about 6 more eyelet rows), ending with a purl row.
Here shape the neck.
Next Row: k1, *
k2tog, k2, wool forward, k1, wool forward, k2, k2tog *
; put the next 63 stitches on to a spare needle; join in a second ball
of wool, repeat from * to *
once, k1. Continue on the latter 10 stitches till work measures 19½
inches from commencement. Cast off 9 stitches from armhole end.
Finish off the opposite shoulder to match.
Rejoin the yarn to other set of 83sts, with wrong side facing, and purl back across 83sts.
Complete the front exactly as you did the back.
Join the shoulders either by stitching or grafting.
Using the No 10 needles with points at both ends, or a circular needle,
and with the right side of the work facing, knit up 236 stitches, starting
at a shoulder seam as follows:
[Editor's note: It took me a while to work out the "continue decreasing in this manner" so at the end of the instructions I am including my explanation of the yoke decreasing. Rounds 2 through 5 are the four decreasing rows that are repeated.]
With right side facing and using No 8 needles, pick up and knit 67 sts around the head of the sleeve, (leave the cast off armhole sts).
You will knit backwards and forwards in pattern across these sts, shaping
the sleeve by knitting short rows.
1st Row: K2,
* k2tog; k2; yarn forward; k1; yarn forward; k2; k2tog through
back loops; repeat from * to the last 2 sts,
Knit the next 3 rows.
Sew up sleeve seams under the arms, and sew in all ends.
Sew four buttons up each of the two front corners of yoke.
5 x 50g balls Stylecraft Sirocco 80% cotton, 20% linen; 98yds/90m per ball.
Numbers 8, 9, 10, and 11 (4, 3¾, 3¼ and 3mm) circular needles.
8 decorative buttons.
Yarn knits to 20st and 28 rows to four inches on No 8 needles.
One pattern = 1½ in on No 8 needles.
Original sized for bust 34 inches; length 18 inches.
A word on the wool.
I wanted to knit this in a bouclé or slub cotton and just could not find what I wanted - there is the fabulous Debbie Bliss Astrakhan, but that is too wintry and thick. Then, in a local haberdashers, I found this Stylecraft yarn which is absolutely what I was looking for and has the benefit of being natural fibre and very good value!
Original: Paton's Super Brindle, which comes (came) in white flecked with colours. This was probably finer than Sirocco - more a straight DK at 22 sts per 4 inches I am guessing.
These follow the foundation decreasing "Round 1". Instead of writing out every stitch, I have indicated the number of sts between the decreases; "rib" means k2 p2 rib, following the ribs as set out in the row below.
2nd Round: rib 26, p2tog, rib 58, p2tog, rib 54, p2tog,
rib 58, p2tog, rib 28.
6th Round: rib 24, k2tog, rib 54,
k2tog, rib 50, k2tog, rib 54, k2tog, rib 26.
10th Round: rib 22, p2tog, rib 50,
p2tog, rib 46, p2tog, rib 50, p2tog, rib 24.
14th Round: rib 20, k2tog, rib 46,
k2tog, rib 42, k2tog, rib 46, k2tog, rib 22.
18th Round: rib 18, p2tog, rib 42,
p2tog, rib 38, p2tog, rib 42, p2tog, rib 20.
22nd Round: rib 16, k2tog, rib 38,
k2tog, rib 34, k2tog, rib 38, k2tog, rib 18.