For once, I found myself without any knitting deadlines. The only thing pressing was a pile of patterns to write and sweaters to size. I needed something to knit during breaks away from the computer. And how could I go to knit night without any knitting!
Summer weather was just starting to sneak in and I was ready to begin another summer top. I already knew which yarn I would usePebbles. The vintage-y feel of this cotton yarn inspired me to work on a retro looking top. I knew that I wanted waist shaping, set-in puff sleeves, and a square neck with a shawl collar. With these details in mind, and given the texture of the yarn, I decided that the piece should be worked in Stockinette stitch. Having become enthralled with different types of closures, I thought that this would be a good piece for a strip of snap tape. I like that the snaps leave an uninterrupted front when closed, and I also like the way that the tape band looks when the top is left open. For another little detail, I added a duplicate-stitch pear, inspired by my co-worker Kristen TenDyke who keeps a bowl of beautiful fruit in her office.
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75% cotton, 25% acrylic
I have to admit that when I first saw Pebbles, I did not get the “I must knit with this now!” feeling. However, from the moment my needles hit the yarn, I was in love.
Pebbles knits up into a fabric that reminds me of vintage tablecloths that have been washed a million times. Although it has a super soft texture, Pebbles projects are sturdy and hold their shape. The yarn is composed of two plied strands which are each composed of four single strands of cotton and one of acrylic that are tightly twisted together. The way that the two main plies are twisted and wrapped around each other forms a yarn with a slightly nubby texture.
Pebbles knits up around 5½ stitches per inch, depending on the fabric you want, and comes in 22 colors. It also looks great knitted with two strands held together. And it’s machine washable, too.
Here is the free downloadable Pebbles Pear Top pattern.
If you have difficulty downloading or printing the PDF pattern above, try these: page 1, page 2
There are several ways to work the button and buttonhole bands on cardigans. You can knit them in at the same time that you work the rest of the front pieces. You can cast on stitches for the bands at the same time you cast on stitches for the rest of the front, work the bottom border over sweater front and band stitches, then place the band stitches on a holder to be worked and sewn on after you’ve completed the rest of the front piece. You can pick up stitches along the front edge of a completed front piece and work a band perpendicular to the front. Or you can knit the bands as separate pieces and sew them on.
For the Pear Top, I knitted separate bands and seamed them to the fronts. I wanted to knit the bands on smaller needles to keep the ribbing snug and to have more control over how the bands fit the rest of the piece. Although I love snaps right now, I can also picture this top with red vintage buttons. Sewing on the bands allows me the option to replace them later, if I ever decide that the sweater has to have those red buttons.