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« Molly's Sketchbook: Summertime Wallet | Main | Molly's Sketchbook: Broken Dishes Baby Quilt »

Laura's Loop: 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

The Materials

  • 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

The Pattern


6 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch on larger needles


Small (Medium, Large)

Finished Dimensions

Bust 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!

Reader Comments (182)

It's lovely, but could you give some suggestions on how to wear it - as a shirt or as a vest over another shirt?
May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
Hi Monica-

You can wear it however you like! We like it as a shirt worn over a camisole or tank top.

Thank you for your question!

May 3, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Can you post a modeled pic please? I love the design, but I'd like to see how it looks on a person before attempting it.
May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhoebe
Love this work by Laura!!
May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrent Pease
Hi Phoebe-

We've added a picture of it on a dress form so you can see better how it fits.

Thanks for your question!

May 3, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Totally gorgeous and uses one of my favorite yarns -- might be time to try knitting my first non-sock garment for an adult (me!)
May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarvi
I have found my next project! Perfect for warmer weather...thank you for posting this beautiful piece. xo.
May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
Wow! Love this! Do you think it is possible to knit the body in the round?
Thank you!
May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica
Veronica... You can totally knit the body in the round. I would cast on (102+102) 204 stitches. The extra stitch on both sides is for seaming, but since you wouldn't be, you can forget about that extra stitch. Right before you begin the lattice portion of the pattern, just make sure to cast on an extra stitch! Great idea. Thanks for writing in. -Laura
May 5, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Any suggestions for a non-wool yarn that would work with this pattern? I have a skin allergy to wool, but it's such a cute pattern I'd love to make one for myself.
May 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAB
Beautiful! I can't wait to make this!
May 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
Hi!! I am getting ready to order some yarn to do this project. Did you use the entire 3 skeins for it?? Or Did you have quite a bit of leftover? I am looking at a 400 yard skein for the body and a 145 yard skein for the lattice... Or should I just double that order? Thank you!! I am super stoked to start this!!!
May 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJae
I love this top and would love to make it. Are their directions for 1X or 2X?
May 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara
Lovely sweater! I was wondering: how can I alter the sizing to an 8 year old? I would love to try and make this sweater for my daughter... As I am not at all an excellent knitter, I am not familiar with the counting (plus I am used to count in centimeters...) Would you be able to help me out? Thanks so much!
May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarielle
Hi Barbara-

It's only available in small medium and large at this point. Thank you for your question!

May 7, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Another fantastically beautiful pattern! Thank you so much!
May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMargie
Great pattern! What bind off method(s) do you recommend for the neck and the front ribbing? Thanks!
May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
Hi Marielle, right now I only have the pattern written for Adult Small, Medium and Large. If you wanted to to size it down, just make sure to cast on a multiple of 3 +1. You could use a shirt of your daughters as a guide for height to underarm, heigh of armhole/lattice stitch, etc.. And when you get to the neck, bind off approximately 50% of your cast on number. Hope this helps. -Laura
May 8, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Jae. I'm happy you are so excited to knit this! As for the yardage... it depends on what size you are making. With the Small size, there was some yarn left over for both colors. With the Medium size you will use up all of both yarns. With the large, there will be some left over. Hope this helps! -Laura
May 8, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi AB: For some non-wool options check you can check out some other similarly weighted yarns here:[]=4
Two of my favorite non-wool options are Louet's Euroflax and Cascade's Pima Cotton.
Hope this is helpful. Enjoy the pattern. --Laura
May 8, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
absolutely beautiful.

i really want to try knitting one of these in the round.

I've always been a bit wary of garments, but this looks too cute to pass up.
May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbeks
Heather, Great question! I bound off in knit at the neck and I bound off in pattern at the rib! -Laura
May 10, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
hi!! first of all I'm sorry for my english, I'm a spanish native speaker so it's gets hard sometimes to write.
secondly, it's a beautiful pattern, once i saw it I went immediatly to buy the skeins.
so... i'm a fairly new knitter and i was wondering how many stitches are after the back lattice? i'm doing the large size, so I suposse it should be 115, but I've done it twice and it keeps adding a few stitches and i dont know if they're supossed to be there!!

thank you!
May 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjavi
Hi Javi. Glad you like the pattern. As for the stitch count... you should definitely have 115 stitches after doing the lattice. Are you binding off / cable casting on the correct amounts? --Laura
May 18, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I'm knitting the medium of this pattern now and I'm loving it so far! I have a question about the numbers, though. The pattern gives the length from shoulder to cast on edge as 18 1/2 (19 1/2, 20 1/2) inches. I take this to mean the total length of the garment from top to bottom, either the front or the back. When you begin knitting from the bottom, you work the stockinette section until the piece measures 12 (13, 14) inches. Then it says to work the lattice until you have 6 1/2 (7 1/2, 8 1/2) inches. As I am making the medium, if my stockinette section is 13 inches, and my lattice section is 7 1/2 inches, then the total length of my piece is 20 1/2 inches rather than the 19 1/2 as directed at the beginning. Am I misunderstanding what these numbers are saying? Thanks!
May 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHilary
Please Please Please issue this pattern in 1x size! My daughter wants me to knit this for her and she has a 46" bust and my brain just cannot wrap around the math that will be needed!
May 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVicky
i am going to attempt this pattern as my first adult garment project. very excited to use my madeline tosh color, pretty in pink ,for the body. do you have any suggestions for a contrast color for the lattice? thanks!
June 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdesirae
Hi there,

I'm about to start this top and am VERY excited. I'm going to knit it in the round as you instructed in a previous comment response... but I was wondering what I should do when I get to the Lattice section? I can't get my head around- how to do this bit...?

Can I knit this in the round...? Even though the front and back are different..? Or do I knit it separately and then attach it... or are there instructions for knitting that in the round as well? (I'm also knitting this in one solid color...) Or would one start with the Lattice, knitting the back then the front, then switching to knitting in the round? Working top down.

Much help appreciate! ; )

thanks so Much!
June 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterabiigail
Hey Abigail. I am 2/3 done with this and I am knitting the entire thing on a round as one piece like the directions say. I haven't had any issues at all. Its getting pretty long, but i just push it aside and keep going. :) Good luck!!
June 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessi
Hi Abigail, if you want to knit this in the round, I recommend casting on at the bottom and working in the round (see previous comments above) until you come to the lattice portion of the sweater. At this point you can work back and forth from the back, up over the shoulders and then graft it to the front or you can work back and forth from the front and then also from the back and graft along the top of the shoulders, whichever you prefer. Hope this helps. -Laura
June 7, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Desirea. I just love that Pretty in Pink color! I would pair it with the Antler (or another off white) or another pink. I do love playing around with different tones of the same color. Best of luck with the sweater! --Laura
June 7, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Hilary. You are completely correct. The overall dimensions were wrong. I have corrected them now (18 1/2, 20 1/2, 22 1/2 inches, respectively). Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. Hope you enjoy the sweater! --Laura
June 7, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hey! I'm almost done with the back lattice portion, and I'm a bit concerned about the shape. It looks like my lattice work is leaning diagonally.... Is that normal? Have I done something wrong? I've been following the pattern for the lattice section, but I've been doing it at random whenever I can find a minute to knit, so maybe I messed something up along the way? Or perhaps it does lean a little bit and will fix itself when the neck & front piece are done..... Any ideas/suggestions?

Thanks! Beautiful pattern & lovely blog!!!
June 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecca
Hi Becca. I know what you are talking about. Do not fret. Once you block the sweater and seam it up, the slant will disappear. Thank you so much for the kind words. Let us know how it goes! -Laura
June 28, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Laura, thanks for you response to Becca. I just had the same problem and was ready to rip out the lattice. This is my second attempt, but when I completed the lattice for the front, I decided it was too large, so I started over. Strangely, I did not have the problem with lattice on that one. It was perfect.
I am almost finished with the lattice on the front, but had trouble telling whether it was long enough. So I have folded it in half from top to bottom, matched the lattice sections and pinned it all together at the seams. It does line up. I've sprayed it with water and will see how it looks when it dries. Think it should be okay.
One caution I would make is to check the number of sts frequently when doing the lattice. If you're off 1 st, it makes a big difference.
Thanks again for a wonderful pattern.
July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMargie S
Hi Laura ! Thanks for this beautiful pattern. This sweater is just perfect for summer !
I'm knitting it and think i have the same problem as Becca... Except my back lattice is leaning diagonally on just one side (the left one, whereas the right one is not leaning). Is it normal and will disappear when i block the sweater ? Because i always have 103 stiches. Maybe I misunderstood a point... For the back lattice, does I repeat the lattice rows 1,2,3 and 4 or just 1 and 4 ? Until now, i repeated rows 1, 2,3 and 4 !
Thank you for your answer !
July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMademoiselle Charivari
Good Morning Mademoiselle Charivari.
Thank you, I'm glad you like the sweater. You are doing it right if you are repeating rows 1, 2, 3 and 4. As for the slanting... this should correct once blocked. Let us know how if finishes up! -Laura
July 16, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Laura,
Thank u for the great pattern. It's my first official sweater, and just finished it. Wish I could post a pic.
Laura S.
July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura S
Hi Laura,
Just wonderful! As soon as I saw it I decided I would definitely make one for me (I usualy knitt for family and friends...). I just finished it with an alternation: I don´t like ribbing hem so I used picot edge - it´s gorgeous!
Thank you all in PurlBee for the wonderful patterns and ideas you share with us! Your site is the reason I started knitting again after 20 years. I live in Greece and knitting is not as famous as it used to be some years ago, I couldn´d find intresting patterns and so I gave up. But after I found your site - which I visit everyday - I always have a nice project on the run. I WISH I COULD VISIT YOUR SHOP ALSO!!!
Thanks again,
July 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterspelanna
Hi guys,

has anyone tried starting with the lattice on provisional cast on and then knitting the body in the round top down? I'm keen to try this but find it hard to work out how many stitches to cast on for size medium or small. Thanks
July 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLucie
ok i'm trying this as my first ever jumper for myself. i'm totally confused about the width of the main body. I have cast on 115 stitches for the ribbing, then have done the eyelet row and it's gone down to 39 stitches! am i reading the abbreviations wrong? Yo means yarn over and k2tog means knit 2 together? help!
August 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbindy
omg, you can ignore my last comment...totally had the wrong idea of what 'yarn over' was! oh youtube, you are a saviour!!! i really hope this turns out, i've had about 5 restarts already.
August 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbindy
Hi Bindy, Glad you figured it out. You Tube really can save the day sometimes. Holler if you have any other questions! Let us know how it turns out! -Laura
August 7, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello there.

I have restarted the lattice portion about ten times and always have the same problem. On lattice row 3, I always end up with two extra stitches at the end of the row instead of just 1. Am I supposed to start Lattice Row 3 with KNIT 2 TOGETHER? I have recounted the number of stitches when I start this row, and always have 109, so I don't know whats happening. I just wanna wear this sweater! Thank goodness summer doesn't come to San Francisco until October! :) Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!
August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRisa
I can see from all the comments how popular this little jumper is - and also think it's super. It's definitely on my 'to do' list. Thanks so much - delightful.
Shirley I.
August 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShirley I.
Any way to get this pattern in 1X or 2X?
September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJANIE
Hi, love this pattern! Could it be knit in the round?
September 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia
Hi Janie.
Right now the pattern is only available in Small, Medium and Large. Thank you for your interest though, and perhaps soon we will have it in more sizes.
September 4, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Olivia,
This pattern can be worked in the round up to the lattice portion. I would cast on (102+102) 204 stitches. The extra stitch on both sides is for seaming, but since you wouldn't be, you can forget about that extra stitch. Right before you begin the lattice portion of the pattern, just make sure to cast on an extra stitch!
Hope this helps.
September 4, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I'm running into the same stitch count issue as Risa (just above). My stitch count in the lattice work portion keeps fluctuating. Help!
September 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

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