Cap Sleeve Lattice Top

I can remember lying for hours under the pergola in my grandmother's yard. In the fall I'd watch the grid-like shadows shift across the grass as the sun moved across the sky. And in the spring I'd stare up, tracking the path of the vines weaving in and out of the lattice work structure. Empty or abundant, I loved the woven wood overhead.

My fondness towards this geometric patterning does not stop at the garden wall. It carries over to painted kitchen floors, pie crusts and, as you see here, knits! The lattice stitch I used is an organic interpretation of the woven grids and crisscrossing ridges that I find so fascinating and beautiful!

I made this Cap Sleeve Lattice Top with one of our newest (and most favorite!) yarns, Madeline Tosh's Sport. It's a superwash merino wool, machine spun but hand dyed, with gorgeous depths of color (even in the neutrals). The pattern, like the sweater, is easy breezy, knit up the back over the shoulders and down the front, two seams and you're done!

Watching the sparce grid of the pergola become overrun with wisteria and roses was a sure sign of the hot summer days to come. This sweater is a delightfully quick project to welcome spring and to wear right through summer. I think if I found myself sitting under that pergola right now, I'd be sporting this top, cool beverage in hand, gazing up at the greenery! -Laura


  • For the main color: 2 (2, 3) skeins of Madeline Tosh's Sport, 100% superwash merino wool. I used the color Silver Fox. (Another great yarn option is Anzula's Cricket in the color Seaside!)
  • For the contrast color: 1 (1, 2) skeins of Madeline Tosh's Sport, 100% superwash merino wool. I used the color Antler. (Another great yarn option is Anzula's Cricket in the color Au Natural!)
  • US #5 circular needle, any length between 16 and 24 inches
  • US #6 circular needle, any length between 16 and 24 inches


6 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch on larger needles


Small (Medium, Large)
  • Finished Chest Circumference: 34 (36, 38) inches
  • Length from Underarm to Cast On Edge: 12 (13, 14) inches
  • Length from Shoulder to Cast On Edge: 18 1/2 (20 1/2, 22 1/2) inches


To alter the size be sure to cast on an odd number that is a multiple of 3 plus 1.



Back Ribbing

Using the smaller needles, cast on 103 (109, 115) stitches, leaving a 24 inch tail.

Row 1 (Wrong Side): P1, *k1, p2, repeat from * to end.

Row 2 (Right Side): *K2, p1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 1 3/4 inches from cast on edge, ending with a WS row.

Change to larger needles.

Eyelet Row (RS): K2, *yo, k2tog, k1, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, yo, k2tog.

Back Body

Next Row (WS): Purl.

Next Row (RS): Knit.

Continue in stockinette stitch until piece measures 12 (13, 14) inches from cast on edge, ending with a RS row.

Cut yarn leaving a 24 inch tail.

Back Lattice

Change to contrast color.

Lattice Row 1 (WS): K1, *yo, k2tog, repeat from * to end.

Lattice Row 2 (RS): Knit.

Lattice Row 3 (WS): K2, *yo, k2tog, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Lattice Row 4 (RS): Knit.

Repeat Lattice Rows 1-4 until you have 6 1/2 (7 1/2, 8 1/2) inches, ending with Lattice Row 4.

Back Neck

Next Row (WS): K1, (yo, k2tog) 11 (12, 13) times, bind off in knit following 57 (59, 61) stitches, *yo, k2tog, repeat from * to end. (46, 50, 54 stitches)


Front Neck

Next Row (RS): K23 (25, 27) cable cast on 57 (59, 61) stitches, knit to end. (103, 109, 115 stitches)

Front Lattice

Starting with Lattice Row 3, work the four Lattice Rows until piece measures 6 1/2 (7 1/2, 8 1/2) inches from cable cast on, ending with Lattice Row 4.

Front Body

Change to main color.

Next Row (WS): Purl.

Next Row (RS): Knit.

Continue in stockinette stitch until piece measures 10 1/4 (11 1/4, 12 1/4) inches from end of lattice stitch, ending with a WS row.

Eyelet Row (RS): K1, *yo, k2tog, k1, repeat from * to end.

Front Ribbing

Change to smaller needles.

Next Row (WS): *P2, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

Next Row (RS): K1, *p1, k2 repeat from * to end.

Repeat previous 2 rows for 1 3/4 inches.

Bind off in pattern on WS, cut yarn leaving a 24 inch tail.


Seam the Sides

Take your knit piece and fold it in half so that the bottom hems align. Using the mattress stitch and the tails of yarn you left, seam the rib and stockinette sides of the sweater together at the main color.

Block your new top if you want and wear it all spring!

133 Responses to Cap Sleeve Lattice Top

Click here to add a comment
  1. Rachael says:

    Hello and thank you for a wonderful pattern!
    I am just starting on the lattice portion of the shirt while knitting in the round.
    I have followed the instructions where it says: Lattice Row 1 (WS): K1, *yo, k2tog, repeat from * to end. I have done this on the wrong side of the garment but it has come out as purl stitches on the back. Is this supposed to happen or have I done something wrong? I am new to the lace stitches with yarnovers so I could be doing it all wrong.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. purl bee says:

    Hello Rachael.
    You are quite welcome for the pattern. I am thrilled you like it.
    The Lattice portion of the piece should be worked flat. I imagine you worked the body in the round, but are now working back and forth in rows? I just want to be sure I fully understand where you are in the project.

    This lattice is a garter stitch lattice. By that I mean that you knit on both the right and the wrong sides. It give the lattice a bit more texture and dimensionality.

    It sounds as though you're doing everything correctly. The lattice pattern will take shape after a few rows and the intended texture will become more clear.
    Please let us know if you have any questions though!

  3. Laura says:

    Hi, I just started knitting this in the round, and it's going smoothly so far. I think I understand the lattice part, but I just want to make sure. It sounds like I knit until the piece measures 12 (13, or 14) inches, and then do I just put the front sts on a holder, and continue following all the lattice instructions with just the back sts, and then graft the lattice back onto those front sts?


  4. purl bee says:

    Hi Laura,
    Yes, you are correct… once you've worked from the bottom edge to the underarm, you put the front stitches on hold and continue the lattice instructions on the back stitches, up and over the shoulders, down the front and then graft the lattice to the front body stitches.

  5. Reky says:

    Hi Purl Bee,
    I love your pattern. It is exactly what I was looking for. After a long period without time for knitting I've decided to start again with something smart but not to complicated. Now I'm looking forward to a favorite summer garment.
    Thanks for the trouble you took to write down the pattern and for offering it for free.
    Yours, Reky

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I'm slightly confused, why is the front stockinette part shorter than the back?

  7. Leslie says:

    Approx yardage used for MC & CC? For a small, were 2 full skeins of Tosh sport (270 yd) too much? just enough? I'm thinking of trying a knitpicks cotton sport, but not sure how many skeins I"ll need.

  8. purl bee says:

    Hi Elizabeth.
    The stockinette portions are equal lengths on the FRONT and BACK. I think I may know where the confusion lays though.

    First you work the BACK. You rib for 1 3/4 inches and then work in stockinette stitch until the piece measures piece measures 12 (13, 14) from the cast on edge. This includes the ribbing.

    Then when working the FRONT the pattern instructs you to continue in stockinette stitch until piece measures 10 1/4 (11 1/4, 12 1/4) from the lattice stitch. At this point you will begin ribbing adding on 1 3/4 inches giving you the same total length in the FRONT and BACK.

    Please let me know if you have any questions at all!
    Thanks for writing in.

  9. purl bee says:

    Hi Leslie.
    For the Knitpicks, I would go with 5 skeins of the MC and you may be able to do the CC in 2, but 3 skeins would certainly se safer.
    Hope this helps.

  10. Anna says:

    Hello Laura,
    thank you for posting this lovely pattern. I can't wait to wear it. But I have one question on the instructions: I just finished with the front ribbing and changed to the main color again. In the instructions it says that you finish the front lattice with a lattice row 4 (knit). Then follows the first round wiht the main color which makes to rounds in knit (or, of course, purl). But the back lattice starts in row 1 right away with a y/o and k2tog, so the passage from main color to lattice of front and back looks slightly different. Should'nt I also stop with a lattice row 3 at the front lattice and then directly change to main color to avoid this difference?
    I hope you understand what I mean. I would be glad if you could help. Thanks in advance. Greetings from Germany

  11. purl bee says:

    Hi Anna,
    Great question. Thanks for asking.

    You are correct, transitioning from stockinette to lattice on the BACK you go from a MC row of knit and then a CC row K1, *yo, k2tog, repeat from * to end. And then, transitioning on the FRONT you work a CC row of knit before beginning stockinette in the MC.

    I did this on purpose. Because you are working the lattice bottom up on the BACK and top down on the FRONT, I found that having CC row of knit before MC of stockinette actually looks more similar to the transition in the BACK, than if I have stopped with Row 3 of the lattice before working stockinette.

    I encourage you to please play around with it and switch colors as you desire. This is just how I chose to work the pattern. Thanks again for writing in.

  12. Sandy says:

    I am making this top for my daughter who has a 32" I bust. I thought by making the small it would work if it measured 34" as 2 " of ease would be ok. I am also extending the length by quite a bit since she is very long in the torso. My problem is that I believe that the top is going to be too large since it is measuring about 18" across. I see that you said to change sizes the stitches need to be divided by 3 plus 1. What stitch count do you suggest for a 32" bust (size x-small)?

  13. purl bee says:

    Hi Sandy.

    If you are working the Small pattern and have cast on 103 stitches, but are getting an 18-inch wide fabric, then your gauge is 103 stitches / 18 inches = approximately 5 3/4 stitches to the inch.

    If you would like a finished dimension of 34 inches in circumference then… (1/2 of 34 inches) x 5 3/4 = 97 stitches. You need to cast on a multiple of 3 + 1 stitches. And 97 stitches is perfect.
    Hope this helps.

  14. maggie says:

    first of all I'd like to thank you for this amazing pattern! as a teenage knitter, its hard to find patterns that I'd actually want to wear, and for free! this might be my very first big project. thanks again!

  15. Alexis says:

    Purl Bee
    I am beginning the front body and was wondering why it is 1 1/2 inches shorter on this side?

  16. purl bee says:

    Hi Alexis,
    The front is the same length as the back.
    1 3/4 inches of ribbing, then stockinette until the entire piece measures 12 (13, 14) inches, then 6 1/2 (7 1/2, 8 1/2) inches of lattice… totaling approx.18 1/2 (20 1/2, 22 1/2) inches from bottom edge to the shoulder

    6 1/2 (7 1/2, 8 1/2) inches of lattice, then 10 1/4 (11 1/4, 12 1/4) inches of stockinette, then 1 3/4 inches of ribbing… totaling approx.18 1/2 (20 1/2, 22 1/2) inches from shoulder to bottom edge

    I hope this helps clear things up. Please let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for writing in!

  17. Keeley says:

    Hi guys!

    You may have already answered this – I'm knitting this in the round but I'm a little confused about how to get lattice part going. When its knit flat, you knit over the shoulder. How do I do the top part easily in the round? Any help?


  18. purl bee says:

    Hi Keeley,
    I haven't tried working this in the round, but I can take a guess at how people have tried to do it…
    - work in the round up to the underarms
    - divide for front and back, place front stitches on hold
    - continue working up back in lattice stitch as pattern is written above, work up and over the shoulders and down the front
    - graft the front lattice stitches to the front stockinette stitches
    I hope this helps.
    Let me know if you have any questions!

  19. Annette says:

    I'm thinking of putting beads on the front lattice work…where would I put them..on which stitch? Thank you!

  20. purl bee says:

    Hi Annette,
    Wow. That sure would fancy this garment up! I have to admit I have never done any bead work before and am utterly useless when it comes to your question. Perhaps some of our other readers would have some ideas!
    Sorry to not be of more help.
    Thanks for writing in.

  21. Margarete says:


    I know you put the work on a dress form but it still doesnt show how it would really look like on a real person. These pictures would reallllllllly help me. Hope you can help

  22. purl bee says:

    Hi Margarete-

    We can help! Here is an image search I did on Flickr that has several people wearing their finished tops!

    Hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any more questions


    • Margarete says:

      No, I don’t have any more questions, thank you for answering my question though

  23. Krissi says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful pattern! I was so scared of knitting a top, but this was so easy to follow. I -just- finished seaming mine up and I’m so happy with it. :) I love your projects so much!

    (If you want to take a peek at how mine turned out, it’s on my Ravelry page AND also here: )

  24. Marcela says:

    I’ve noticed a lot of knitters have made this top knitting in the round. Is there a reason for why you originally made this pattern for knitting back and forth rather than in the round? What are the pros and cons to doing it each way? Thanks for the help/advice in advance :)

  25. Esther says:


    I’m about to finish the back lattice. I’m a bit confused as to why you mean by “K1, (yo, k2tog) 11 times, bind off in knit following 57 (59, 61) stitches, *yo, k2tog, repeat from * to end. (46, 50, 54 stitches)”
    Because it seems to me as it won’t be symmetrical…

    • Laura from the Purl Bee says:

      Hi Esther,
      Thanks for writing in.
      I made the sweater as written so the lattice pattern isn’t broken up or interrupted. This piece is meant to be sweater for a beginner and I did not want to complicate the pattern over something I felt wasn’t too grand of a detail. That said though… Definitely fee free to bind off 2 fewer stitches so that you can begin the second half of the row with k2tog before you *yo, k2tog… Just be sure to adjust the return row in relation to that modification.
      Thanks for asking Esther!

      • Esther says:

        I guess my question isn’t clear… When you do the (yo, k2tog) 11 times, you end up knitting 22 stitches, right? Then you bind off 57 stitches. And then, you have 46 stitches left?
        Shouldn’t what is gonna be your two sleeves have the same amount of stitches? It looks like it from the pictures, so I feel like I’m missing something.
        Thank you for your pattern, I love it!

        • Laura from the Purl Bee says:

          Hi Esther.
          Thanks for writing back in. Sorry I wasn’t understanding before.

          You begin the row by knitting one, then you (yo, k2tog) 11 times… this is 23 stitches. Then you bind of 57, and then you (yo, k2tog) to the end of the round. At this point you’ll have 46 total stitches, 23 stitches on either side of the bound off stitches.

          Hope this helps.
          Please let me know if I’m still not answering your question. I really want to help figure this out with you!

          • Esther says:

            Ok, that makes more sense!
            Thank you so much for taking the time and explaining it several times!

  26. Laura says:

    Hi, I’m looking forward to making this for my first “big” project and I’m wondering, would it be possible to make the sleeves a little longer by simply adding some increases? If so, where would I need to add them?



    • Laura from the Purl Bee says:

      Hi Laura,
      To lengthen the cap sleeves, you could make increases along the edges, while you are working the lattice portion of the sweater, the fabric will widen and the cap sleeve will fall farther off the shoulder.
      Hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

two × 3 =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



Subscribers receive a FREE premium Purl Soho Pattern of your choice (up to a $15 value!). learn more