There was a great big, old, white clapboard house near where I spent my summers as a kid. The shutters were white. The doors were white. The fence that wrapped around the vast corner lot was even white. And under each and every window was a white flowerbox overflowing with brilliant red geraniums. A house that nearly disappeared during the snowy winters was enlivened every summer by those rows of exuberant red.

While a lot of red is pretty powerful stuff, a well-balanced dash of it adds vibrancy and spice, elegance and timelessness.

To design a shirt evocative of that beautiful home from my memories I turned to Habu Textiles. The white “clapboard” backdrop is a narrow ribbon-like yarn called Silk Gima. The silk stitches create a subtle texture perfect for planting my “flowers”:  garter ridges of red and salmon in Habu’s Linen Wrapped Silk. This multi-fibered yarn creates depth within the stripes and a glow, not unlike those sun-lit geraniums, where the colors transition from one to the next.

This Striped Summer Shirt is my flowerboxes. Summer is nearing, and I am ready and raring to sport these charming stripes! –Laura

PS: In a sailor boy mood? Click below to see an alternate blue color palette!

Materials

  • Main Color (MC): 7 (8, 9, 10, 11) skeins of Habu's Silk Gima, 100% silk. I used the color 00 White.
  • Contrast Color 1 (CC1): 2 cones of Habu's Linen Wrapped Silk, 99% silk, 1 % linen. I used the color 5 Red.
  • Contrast Color 2 (CC2): 1 cone of Habu's Linen Wrapped Silk, 99% silk, 1 % linen. I used the color 8 Salmon.
  • A US #2, 32-inch circular needle (A circular needle is required because the stitch pattern, when worked flat, requires you to slide the stitches from one end of the needle to the other. I highly recommend using Skacel's Addi Turbo Rocket circular needles. They have the tips of Skacel’s lace needles and the body of their original nickel-plated Addi Turbos!)
  • A US #2, 12 or 16-inch circular needle (optional; for picking up and working upper sleeves)
  • A set of US #2 double pointed needles
  • 1 removable stitch marker

For a blue colorway…

  • MC: 7 (8, 9, 10, 11) skeins of Habu's Silk Gima, 100% silk. In the color 00 White.
  • CC1: 3 (3, 4, 4, 4) cones of Habu's Wool Crepe, 100% wool. This is the color 3 Blue.
  • CC2: 2 cones of Habu's Wool Crepe, 100% wool. This is the color 5 Light Blue.

Gauge

26 stitches and 35 ½ rows = 4 inches in striped stitch pattern, blocked (See BEGIN STRIPING section below for swatching in the round and/or see CONTINUE BACK EVENLY for swatching flat.)

NOTE: Blocking this fabric drastically changes the gauge, so it is essential you block your gauge swatch. I suggest submerging your swatch in water rather than simply spritzing or steaming it. After submerging, gently squeeze out any excess water, then lay the swatch flat on a towel and pin in place to dry. Allow the swatch to dry completely before you measure the gauge.

Sizes 

XSmall (Small, Medium, Large, XLarge)

  • Finished Chest Circumference: 34 ½ (38 ¾, 42 ½, 46 ¾, 50 ½) inches
  • Finished Length from Shoulder to Bottom Edge: 21 3/4 (22 ¼, 22 ¾, 23 1/2, 24) inches
  • Finished Length from Underarm to Bottom Edge: 14 inches, with directions to modify
  • Length from Center of Neck to Cuff: 26 ½ (27 ½, 28 ½, 29 ½, 30 ½) inches
  • Ease: This piece is designed with a 2 to 3-inch ease.

striped_shirt_schematic-1

 

Notes

sskp (slip slip knit pass): slip two stitches together knitwise, knit 1, pass slipped stitches together over knit stitch and off needle. [2 stitches decreased]

Pattern

Body

Begin at Bottom Edge

With MC, cast 224 (252, 276, 304, 328) stitches onto the longer circular needle. Place marker and join for working in the round being careful to not twist the stitches.

Work in stockinette stitch, knitting each round, until piece measures 1 1/2 inches from the unrolled cast on edge.

Begin Striping

NOTE: For our Working Stripes in the Round Tutorial, please click here.

Round 1: With CC1, knit.

Round 2: With CC1, purl.

Rounds 3, 4 and 5: With MC, knit.

Repeat Rounds 1-5 twenty one more times (or until pieces measures approximately 10 ½ inches from unrolled cast on edge, unblocked). Don’t be alarmed at how short the Body may look at this point; it is designed to block to 14 inches. To alter the bottom-hem-to-underarm length multiply your desired length by ¾ and work to that unblocked measurement.

Divide Front and Back

Round 1: With CC1, knit 112 (126, 138, 152, 164) stitches, place these stitches on hold for FRONT, knit to end of round. [112 (126, 138, 152, 164) stitches remain for BACK]

Back

NOTE: You will now be working back and forth in rows rather than in the round. Each row in this pattern ends with the instructions to either "turn" or "slide" the work:

"Turn" means to do what you would normally do when knitting rows with a circular needle. That is to say, put the needle in your left hand into your right and the needle in your right hand into your left, and flip the work around so the opposite side is facing you.

"Slide" means to keep the same side of the work facing you and to push all the stitches to the right end of the circular needle. Without turning the work, start the new row as you normally would.

Shape Back Sleeves

Row 1 (wrong side): With CC1, knit to end of Back stitches, slide.

Cut CC1.

Row 2 (wrong side): With MC, purl to end, turn.

Row 3 (right side): With MC, cable cast on 6 stitches, knit across these cast on stitches and then knit to end, turn. [118 (132, 144, 158, 170) Back stitches]

Row 4 (wrong side) With MC, cable cast on 6 stitches, purl across these cast on stitches and then purl to end, turn. [124 (138, 150, 164, 176) Back stitches]

Row 5 (right side): Join CC1, knit to end, turn.

Row 6 (wrong side): With CC1, knit to end, turn.

Cut CC1.

Row 7 (right side): With MC, knit to end, turn.

Row 8 (wrong side): With MC, cable cast on 6 stitches, purl across these cast on stitches and then purl to end, turn. [130 (144, 156, 170, 182) Back stitches]

Row 9 (right side): With MC, cable cast on 6 stitches, knit across these cast on stitches and then knit to end, slide. [136 (150, 162, 176, 188) Back stitches]

Row 10 (right side): Join CC1, knit to end, turn.

Cut CC1.

Continue Back Evenly

NOTE: For this section do not cut CC2 between stripes. Loosely carry CC2 up the edge to minimize the number of ends you’ll have to weave in.

Join CC2 on wrong side...

Row 1 (wrong side): With CC2, knit to end, slide.

Row 2 (wrong side): With MC, purl to end, turn.

Row 3 (right side): With MC, knit to end, turn.

Row 4 (wrong side): With MC, purl to end, turn.

Row 5 (right side): With CC2, knit to end, turn.

Row 6 (wrong side): With CC2, knit to end, turn.

Row 7 (right side): With MC, knit to end, turn.

Row 8 (wrong side): With MC, purl to end, turn.

Row 9 (right side): With MC, knit to end, slide.

Row 10 (right side): With CC2, knit, turn.

Repeat Rows 1-10 five (five, six, six, seven) more times.

FOR SIZES -- (Small, --, Large, --) ONLY

Repeat Rows 1-5 one more time.

FOR ALL SIZES

Next Row (wrong side): With CC2, knit 36 (43, 47, 53, 59) stitches, place these stitches on hold for BACK LEFT SHOULDER, loosely bind off following 64 (64, 68, 70, 70) stitches for NECK, knit to end, place previous 36 (43, 47, 53, 59) stitches on hold for BACK RIGHT SHOULDER.

Cut CC2 and MC.

Front

Shape Front Sleeves

Slip FRONT on-hold stitches onto longer circular needle. Join CC1 to wrong side and...

Work Rows 1-10 of the SHAPE BACK SLEEVES section, above.

Continue Front Evenly

Work Rows 1-10 of the CONTINUE BACK EVENLY section, above, six (six, seven, seven, eight) times.

For Sizes -- (Small, --, Large, --) Only

Work Rows 1-5 in the CONTINUE BACK EVENLY section, above, one more time.

For All Sizes

Next Row (wrong side): With CC2, knit 36 (43, 47, 53, 59) stitches, place these stitches on hold for FRONT RIGHT SHOULDER, loosely bind off following 64 (64, 68, 70, 70) stitches for NECK, knit to end. [36 (43, 47, 53, 59) stitches remain on needle for FRONT LEFT SHOULDER]

Cut MC.

Shoulders

Left Shoulder

With the FRONT LEFT SHOULDER stitches already on the longer circular needle, working from neck-side to shoulder-side, slip the BACK LEFT SHOULDER stitches onto the other end of the needle. The tips of the needle should point away from the center of the sweater.

Holding the needles parallel in your left hand, use either the shorter circular needle or a double pointed needle to work a 3-needle bind off to graft the shoulder stitches together. For our 3-Needle Bind Off Tutorial, click here.

Cut CC2.

Right Shoulder

Orient the FRONT RIGHT SHOULDER stitches and BACK RIGHT SHOULDER stitches onto the longer circular needle as you did for the left shoulder stitches. Join CC2, and once again use a 3-needle bind off to graft the shoulder stitches together.

Cut CC2.

Sleeves

Seam Underarm

NOTE: Before you seam together the cable cast on edges at the underarm, it’ll make your job easier if you first weave in the Contrast Color tails, just around this area.

To seam the first underarm, hold the FRONT and BACK cable cast on edges parallel. Use a tapestry needle threaded with the MC yarn and seam together these edges, starting at the armpit and working outward. Sew under the knit stitch at the cast on edge of one side and then under the knit stitch directly opposite. Continue back and forth until you reach the end.

Pick Up for the Sleeve and Start Striping

With right side facing and starting to the left of the underarm seam, use the shorter circular or double pointed needles and CC2 to pick up a total of 77 (83, 89, 95, 101) stitches around the armhole. To do this, first pick up 2 stitches from MC stitches to the left of the seam; then continue up the armhole, picking up 1 stitch for each MC row and 1 stitch at the 3-needle bind off ridge; then continue down the other side, picking up 1 stitch for each MC row; and lastly, pick up 2 stitches from MC stitches just before the underarm seam. Place removable stitch marker and join for working in the round [77 (83, 89, 95, 101) stitches]

Round 1: With CC2, purl.

Rounds 2, 3 and 4: With MC, knit.

Round 5: With CC2, knit.

Cut CC2.

Transition Colors and Continue Evenly

Round 1: With CC1, purl.

Rounds 2, 3 and 4: With MC, knit.

Round 4: With CC1, knit.

Repeat Rounds 1-5 six (five, three, two, zero) more times.

Shape Sleeve

NOTE: If using a 12- or 16-inch circular needle, remember to switch to double pointed needles when necessary.

Round 1: With CC1, purl.

Round 2: With MC knit.

Round 3: Remove beginning-of-round marker, with MC, k1, mark previous stitch with removable stitch marker, knit to one stitch before marked stitch, remove removable stitch marker and place on right needle.

Round 4: With MC, slip slip knit pass (sskp; see NOTES above), knit to end. [2 stitches decreased]

Round 5: With CC1, knit.

Repeat Rounds 1-5 thirteen (15, 17, 19, 22) more times [49 (51, 53, 55, 55) stitches

Continue Evenly

Round 1: With CC1, purl.

Rounds 2, 3 and 4: With MC, knit.

Round 4: With CC1, knit.

Repeat Rounds 1- 5 three (2, 2, 1, 0) more time(s) or until 1 ½ inches shy of finished length.

Cut CC1.

With MC, knit evenly for 1 1/2 inches.

Bind off loosely.

Repeat the entire SLEEVES section for second sleeve.

Finish

Block sweater and allow to dry completely before you weave in the ends.