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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 (181)

Est il possible d'avoir les explications de ce pull en français.
merci beaucoup
bonne journée
September 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMes ptits titis
Hi cdt-

We don't have plans to translate this into French at the moment but it is something we're considering moving forward. Thank you so much for your interest!

September 5, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Heather and Risa...
I am not sure what the fluctuation is coming from. Are you knitting 2 at the beginning of Row 3? If this isn't the case, perhaps a YO is getting dropped along the way. This is quickly mess up your stitch count.
Please let me know if you make any progress or if you have any other questions.
September 5, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I knit this in a few days and included darts for the's PERFECT! I usually knit everything in the matter what the pattern says...but I wanted to follow the pattern exactly. I love this so much that I'll be knitting a few more in different colorways. Thank you for posting this pattern for free!
September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaria H
Has anyone figured out how to do this with crochet? is it even possible?
September 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEliza
can you make this top in all lattice from the band
September 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterannette
Hey Annette.
Yes ma'am, you sure can! I would probably skip the eyelet row at the top of the rib, and just go right from the rib to the lattice. I really hope you make it and share it with us! It's a great idea.
October 1, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi - I'm just getting ready to start this for my daughter. I have never made a garment except lace shawls, lots of socks, etc. and I'm not good about changing things up, so I planned to follow the pattern down to the yarn choice (and I might do it in the round following your instructions above). I accidentally ordered Madelinetosh DK instead of Sport weight. Is that going to make much of a difference? Will I have to change to a different size needle or adjust stitches (I don't like to swatch either! :-(

I'm excited to get started. This is a great top!
October 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
Hi Diane,
There is not a HUGE different between the Sport and DK from Madeline Tosh. There is a difference though. The most important thing is to get the gauge right. Adjust your needles to get 6 stitches to one inch in stockinette. It is possible to get 6 stitches to the inch with the DK, but your fabric is going to be much stiffer. It will be a much tighter knit. If you can, I would try and get your hands on the Sport, but if you can't, swatch it out, see how if feels.
Let me know if you have any other questions!
October 8, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am working on this pattern (lauras-loop-cap-sleeve-lattice-top) using the round circular needles & I don't understand how I am going to join the lattice work with the main body? Could you help, please!!
October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterI Rabideau
Hi I Rabideau,
To begin the lattice portion of the sweater, divide the body stitches in two. You will work the lattice across the first half up and over the shoulders and down the front, and then you'll have to join the lattice to the second half of the body stitches by grafting them.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for writing in.
October 10, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Wondering if it would be alright to start this at the Lattice with a provisional cast on and then, knit the body in the round. Any recommendations for doing it that way??
October 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda
Hey Brenda,
That is a fantastic idea. Do a provisional cast on, follow the lattice instructions and then after you've worked both the back and front, join for working in the round!
October 16, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Here's a picture (i hope you can view it) of me wearing my just completed top!

I am starting a second one in a lovely deep brown and bright yellow with chunky yarn. This yarn was a super thin alpaca that I bought years and years ago. I had to disassemble a sock in order to complete the sweater, but I felted the pair so no bother! I used one needle size up for each set and started with 69 stiches I think and stiched the small size. Next one I might make a few inches longer. It is my first completed sweater! I love things that can be knit right up with no hassle! Thanks for this wonderful tutorial!
October 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElena
Hi - I'm just getting ready to start this and plan to knit it in the round. Someone on a listserv said this about changing a pattern to knit in the round and I was wondering if anyone has found this to be a problem....

> Be aware that any garment that is made with side seams and you choose to knit in the round may hang and fit differently from the original. Seams are put in to add a stablizing effect on the garment.
November 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
This is probably a dumb question, but I'm knitting this in the round and plan to do mostly lattice with a smaller strip of the solid part (per my daughter's request). So for the lattice rows of pattern, am I correct in assuming that I leave out the knit rows 2 and 4 since I'm knitting in the round or am I way off in my interpretation?

Thanks in advance.
November 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
Hi Diane,
If working this lattice in the round, Rounds 2 and 4 should be Purled.
Hope your daughter likes it!
November 19, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
If you were working this garment on circular needles, I noticed you said cast on 204 stitched, what length of needles would you recommend?
December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatiana
Hi - I'm using 40" and then when I split to do the lattice, I switched to 32".

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
Hi Katiana,
Great question... You never want your needles to be longer than the circumference of your piece. I suggest a 32 inch or shorter. I like to use as short a needle as possible, so I would use a 20 inch needle, but if bunching bothers you, a 32 inch is perfect.
December 15, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Laura - I just finished the back lattice and did the cable cast on and I'm starting the front lattice. The instructions say to start with Row 3 of the lattice pattern, but if I start with row 3 my lattice pattern is off, I'm not sure what I did. Is there any reason why I can't start with Row 1 so my lattice continues in pattern or is it supposed to be off-set when you start the front lattice?

I'm on the home stretch now -- trying to get this done before my daughter gets home for the holidays!

Thanks so much for your help.
December 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
Hi Diane,
The most important thing is for your lattice to work out right, so if that means you need to start with Row 1 after the Cable Cast On, then start with Row 1. If you followed my pattern however, starting with Row 1 means that your lattice will no longer be staggered like it is on the back side.
Hope your daughter loves it.
Happy Holidays.
December 20, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I love this pattern and I'm making it for my daughters birthday. On the lattice top, is there any reason other than aesthetic to knit on the wrong side? I purled on the wrong side and like the smooth pattern on the front. I don't want to get too far into it and find out there is some logistical reason for the knit on the WS. Thanks
January 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBetsy
I love how this sweater/shirt looks! This is my first time knitting a big project, and I am very excited. However, in knitting the lattice, my stitch count quickly increased so now I have started k2tog the last two stitches of rows 2 and 4. This preserves the lattice pattern, but I was wondering what I could be doing wrong? Also, on row 1 I usually end up with only one extra stitch at the end of the row instead of two to knit together. The same happened with the eyelet row. I would love some help!

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannah
Hi Betsy,
I have not swatched up the lattice with the WS knitted, so I am not entirely sure if it changes the row gauge or not. It might be a bit more open, but, nothing that would drastically change the construction of the top. I love a stockinette lattice, I had actually never done a garter lattice until this pattern. I bet the stockinette lattice looks lovely.
Hope your daughter likes it.
January 7, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Hannah,
I am not entirely sure what is amiss. I do remember the first time I worked in this lattice stitch, I often got off by one, but usually it was do to either doing one too many YOs or K2TOGs or forgetting the K1 or K2 at the beginning of the row. It took me a minute to get in the rhythm.

As for the eyelet row, are you starting with K2? I have had our technical editor proof the pattern, and we think it is correct. Please let me know if you have any other questions or if these problems persist.
January 7, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I think that may have been my problem for the eyelet row. I will try to do the front lattice and pay special attention to the stitch count, and hopefully it all works out! It looks fine even if I am not getting the pattern completely right, so I guess that's good. Thank you very much!
January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannah
I saw in the comments that somebody here who made it put in darts. I am pretty busty and I would love to put some shaping in the body so it doesn't just hang like a box, but I'm still kind of a beginner. Could somebody tell me how to put darts in this sweater?

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi
Hi Naomi,
Thank you for the interest in the pattern. Unfortunately right now we do not have the resources to re-work this pattern to include darts. Have you looked at Ravelry for any patterns that have the specific structure you like? They have a great search function. I will try to think of a good beginner pattern with darts to send your way.
Thank you again.
January 30, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi there. Because I have a large bust, I've decided to add 12 stitches to the largest given for 38 (am I right in assuming that is the bust size). So, using a size smaller needle (4), I've stopped at 115 stitches because it seems huge. Should I keep going? I'm so confused. I'm using Tosh Sport and, like I said, even smaller needles than called for. I just don't want to start over.
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercolleen
this is beautiful & i cant wait to make it. the colour possibilities are endless. thank you!
February 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterblacklabel
i am loving knitting this sweater so far - but help! i am making the medium size. i just started the lattice portion in the back body (I'm about 2-3 repeats through) and realized that my stitch count went from 109 to 113. is it supposed to have increased? if so, any recommendations for how to get back down to 109 without having to backtrack?

thanks :)
February 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterleah
Hi Leah.

I don't have the best of news.... If you have magically added stitches, what I recommend is tearing back until you have the correct number.

It is so easy to add or subtract stitches with the lattice stitch. Don't feel alone. I think a lot of people found themselves in your same boat.

Let me know if I can help in any other way.
February 6, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Colleen,

The finished measurement for the largest size bust is 38 inches in circumference.

If you are comfortable with placing / centering neckhole in the lattice stitch without getting off pattern, wonderful... add away.

12 extra stitches should add 2 inches to the bust if you are hitting gauge. I would definitely knit a swatch to make sure you are on gauge, otherwise, it is going to be a guessing game as to how big your piece will come out.

Thanks for the interest in the pattern.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
February 6, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
this is my first sweater as it seems to be others as well. I have all my yarn ready, tested my gauge, and am trying to get my head around this project before aimlessly diving in. First, I am knitting in the round. I am going to knit a medium as I am tall and want to be sure its not a mid-drift on me! That being said I am casting on 216 stitches (109 x2=218-2 extras for seeming=216). I will then stitch the RS ribbing as directed...k2, p1 and will not stitch the last k1 at the end (stop me if I'm wrong). My question is more around the eyelet row. what stitch do I skip since I am 1 stitch shorter than the pattern will have. I imagine it will be one of the 1st k2 stitches but please help me out. After that I plan to knit (forever/until the lattice) then I will add on another stitch to get out of the round and into the lattice top.

I am working this in the madeline tosh sport gossamer and antler but had initially purchased the louet euroflax for a more summer weight fiber...needless to say I am much more jazzed up about working with the tosh sport but now have 4 skeins of crunchy linen to find a project for!
February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterali
Hi Laura,

Thanks for the advice - and the encouragement to go back and start over. It took an additional 2 false starts, but I figured out where I was adding stitches! On Row 3, right before the final k1, I was doing a yo. I guess I was following the pattern a little too closely. But happy to say that I'm now on track.

So for all the others out there who are magically adding stitches, that could be where you're going wrong too!

February 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeah
Hi Leah.
So glad it's working out! Thanks for sharing your experience with the pattern. It is definitely helpful and encouraging to all.
February 11, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Ali.
Unfortunately we do not have the resources to re-write this pattern for working it in the round. Others asked if it was a possibility and of course, yes, it is, but only if you are comfortable figuring out the math and grafting the lattice and stockinette portion.

A quick response is... you need to make sure you have the appropriate number of stitches before starting the lattice portion of the pattern. If this means increasing or decreasing (depending on the number you've casted on), then make sure to rectify the count before beginning the lattice stitch.

As for the Euroflax you have... have you seen the Everyday Raglan. Or even the Short Row Sweater. Either of those would be lovely in the linen, and it's almost the season for it.

Do let me know if you have more questions. I am sorry I cannot re-work the pattern for you at this time.

February 11, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am SO excited to start knitting this, I just received the yarn (using the exact same as in the pattern) and have one small question. I plan to knit up a gauge swatch and want to make a 4x4 inch swatch and then wash/block it to check my gauge again. I have never been so precise but I want this to fit properly (I'll be making a small).

My question is this: is there enough of the secondary color (used in the lattice work) to make a swatch of that size (approximately)? I read in the comments there will be left over of the secondary color when knitting up a small, I'm just wondering if you think there is enough to knit up a swatch I won't need to frog and use as part of the garment.

Thanks in advance, and thank you especially for all the wonderful, amazing patterns you give out for free! :)
February 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJayme
Hi Jayme,
If you are making a small, then yes, you should have enough of the contrast color to knit up a 4-inch square swatch.

It's great to hear you are so excited about the project. Let me know if you have any other questions.
February 19, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
All my knitting seems to turn out the wrong size (usually too big), and before I cast on here, I wanted to clarify about the bust size - is that measured under the breasts, like bra size? Or is that around the most largest part of the breast?

Thanks for your help - I want the sizing to turn out perfect for once for me!
February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSofia Wahaj
Hi Sofia.
That is the measurement of the finished sweater across the bust of the piece, right under the armholes.

Let us know how it turns out!
February 20, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Laura,

Thanks for reminding me about the lattice work. I'm actually going to go back to the largest given for the latticework as I am blessed with small shoulders. Big bust, though, which always screws me up when I sew things -- one must accommodate. :) I am going to knit the larges size given for the sweater bottom and lattice and then sneakily increase across the bust (and hope for the best....)
February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercolleen
Is the cable cast on the only way to add the front neck? Each time I attempt this, I get a weird long strand at the after the first 25 stitches that I knitted. Also, it seems that after I do the cable cast on, I won't be able to knit the last 25 stitches.
March 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLouri
Which needle are you casing on to using the cable cast on? I am afraid you are casting on to the wrong needle and that's why you are getting a long strand and isolating those end stitches.
March 11, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Wondering if anyone can help me, after I bind off the correct number of stitches, what do I do with the extra stitch on my needle? Should that count as the yarn over?
March 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercasey
Hi Laura,

I am trying to cast onto the left needle. Thanks for your help!

March 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLouri
Ok, you are going to want to cable cast on to your right-hand needle and then work across the remaining stitches on the left-hand needle.. This should solve the problem. PLEASE let me know if I can help more!!!

I just noticed that the image above the instructions is TOTALL misleading. This is probably what confused you. Apologies!
March 12, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Casey,
Great question. The answer is no, do not count that as a yarn over.
Thanks for writing in and let me know if you have any other questions.
March 12, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I have recently figured out that there is a major and confusing flaw in this pattern. It is written as if (yo,k2tog) is equal to 2 stitches when this is actually three stitches. This only matters in the lattice section but it has stumped me especially in the neck section. I have figured out that if you are making a medium the pattern for the lattice body will have the following changes: row3: k2, (yo,k2tog) to end of row, knit last 2. I kept on addi g stitches because i had two left over at the end of this row and i finally realized its because the pattern is incorrect. Also when doing the neck section you: k1, (yo,k2tog) 8 times (instead of twelve). Please review my changes and tell me if you agree.
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

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