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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 (185)

Thank you for the lovely pattern! I made the medium and the lattice part came down to below my bust, which is not how it looks on the model. Did I do something wrong, or is it supposed to do that
March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCece
Hi Cece.
Oh dear. How risque. That is not how mine came out. Perhaps your tension loosened quite a bit when doing the lattice rows. Maybe going down a couple needle sizes would pull this up some. Was the lattice portion also much wider than the body of the sweater?
March 25, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Christina.
Thank you for taking the time to write in. I really appreciate it.

I have looked over the pattern again and had my editor look at your comments as well. I am a little curious about how you mean that (yo, k2tog) = 3 stitches.

The yarn over creates a stitch and the k2tog creates a stitch = 2 stitches.
You go from 2 stitches to 2 stitches, keeping the stitch count consistent.

When you are binding off, are you binding off the FOLLOWING 57 (59, 61) stitches, or maybe are you binding off that last stitch from (yo, k2tog) and then the next 56 (58, 60)? This could get you off count at the end... making you make more stitches like you said.

Please let me know your thoughts. I'd love to get this working for you!
March 25, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hey there, I also love this sweater. It's my first non-tuque, sock, dish cloth project. I've run into a problem... once I started the front lattice it seems i've attached one of the sides.... I was just about to start the front thinking this was normal.... does the pattern call for stitching up both sides once it's done? i thought i was knitting the seam under lattice. not sure if my question will make sense? i hope so. any advice welcome.
March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCara
hi there, i realize now I knit in the round when i started the front lattice.... silly me. I've now ripped out the mistake but i'm having a hard time figuring out how to un-do stitches to start again (the yarn over and knit). Any tips or photos welcome. Thanks again for the comment section.
April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCara
Hi Cara,
Ripping back is a tricky and important part of knitting. My best advice is to pull your stitches out slowly, carefully watching what it is your working yarn is doing and how the k2tog and yo are interacting. After watching a few rows hopefully you'll be able to know where to slip your needles back in. Worst case scenario... rib back to the stockinette portion of the pattern.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks for writing in.
April 2, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Cara,
You question makes sense.
At the end of knitting, you are to sew up both sides of the garment.
I am afraid you might have gone a bit rouge.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
April 2, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

I love this pattern and I'm just about half done but I am so stuck at the neck part. I have tried it over 8 times. I was wondering if I could get a better break down of those two parts,back and front neck.

Thank you thank you
April 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia
Perhaps I am doing the yo stitch wrong then, because I thought the point was to make an extra stitch as well as a purl stitch. Any thoughts? I am to end of the sweater with my alterations so either way I made it work but maybe it's a little different looking.

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristina
Hi Patricia.
Thank for writing in and thanks for the compliment. Sorry the neck is giving you a hard time. What exactly is the problem with the neck? Or with the cast off and continuing in pattern? Are you having trouble with the cable cast on?

If it's the cable cast on, be sure you are casting those stitches onto your right-hand needle and then continuing to work. If you try and do it on the lef-hand needle, the working yarn ends up the wrong place.

Please let me know how else I can help.
Thanks again,
April 10, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi again Christina.
How interesting. I wish I could figure out what you were doing differently. I'm so curious how your sweater looks. I hope you love it, even if the pattern gave you a hard time.

You only worry about making a yo. There isn't a purl involved. Purl stitches are created on the front by knitting on the back. Is that what you mean?
April 10, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

First of all, this is beautiful!!! Great job on creating a gorgeous sweater - I have been looking for something like this for a long time!

Do you think I can get away with using Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima using the same pattern? I'm not that great at reading weights, so I was wondering if anyone has done this in a cotton yarn, using the same pattern and needles and had any tips for me, regarding which yarn to use and any modifications to the pattern that may be warranted?

Btw, I'd still do it in the Madeline Tosh, it's just that summer is coming and I'd love to wear this at the beach!

Thank you and congratulations on your great work, Laura!

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
Hi Maggie.
Thanks for writing in!

The Ultra Pima would be great. You can get 6 stitches to the inch with it. I will say, just as a heads up, because cotton is so much heavier a fiber than wool, you might not need to work the lattice portion for the full 6 1/2 (7 1/2, 8 1/2) inches. It is going to drape differently, hanging down with less loft than the merino. Just something to be aware of.

Do enjoy the pattern and let me know if you have any other questions.
April 22, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, just found this pattern and can't wait to try it out. I'm from the UK and wondered what size needles you use as the sizing here is a bit different? I can change the inchs to cms, but what mm size is it?

Thank you.
April 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTara
Hi Tara-

If you check out the link to the needles we suggest it includes a list of mm and UK sizes. You can see it here:

Thanks so much for your question and good luck with the project!
April 29, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am loving this new project, I decided to knit it all in one color. I am almost done with the lattice section on the back and need to add a new skein of yarn. Any recommendations, I am thinking of adding it on row 2 or 4 which is a knit row. Should I add at the end? I am worried about sewing the tails in seamlessly within the lattice.
May 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShayne Rennie
Hi Shayne.
You have good instincts. I would add it on either Row 2 or Row 4.

I would recommend weaving in your tail using a duplicate stitch method (can be seen here: Essentially just follow the path of the yard.

I knit one in all one color and loved it, hope you love yours too!
May 21, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thanks a lot for this pattern, it has been an inspiration and a knitting obssetion lately, though it's my very first sweater. I have a doubt now I'm starting the back lattice bit:
Am I supposed to start the Back Latice in the Wrong side row? Because I dis this and the stitches in the contrast color seem really odd, not like in the picture. They show to much in the front (Right side). So I was wondering, isn't it supposed to be started in the front so the stitches only appear in the back?
I always have issues with changing yarns, so this might be a silly question...
May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFilipa Cruz
Hello can I make this longer to wear as a swimsuit coverup or do you have a separate pattern for that?? Thank you. This is beautiful !!
May 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDeann
Hi Fillipa,
Yes, you start the lattice on the wrong side. The lattice portion of the sweater is quite textured. It is a garter stitch lattice rather than a stockinette stitch lattice so there is an added dimension to it.
May 26, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, so happy to have stumbled on this pattern, it looks gorgeous!! I am a beginner and therefore have insecurities before diving in, but am SUPER motivated having read the post trail and even more, the warm answers. Can't wait to get started!

Just one question, what kind of cast on method is used / recommended? Not sure what best matches the instructed "bind off in pattern" (which I just learned how to do on YouTube :-).

Thank you in advance for your answer, and once again, compliments to the creator of a beautiful pattern.
May 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNami
Hi Nami.
Great question! I used the Long Tail cast on method. It is my favorite; I definitely use it more than any other. Thank you for the kind words and for writing in.
May 30, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Unfortunately we do not have a pattern for that. And we are currently too short on resources to write it up at the moment. You could always just knit the desired length to the underarms (where the lattice begins), but if you intend it to cover your bum, there will probably need to be some additional shaping. I am sorry to not have what you're looking for. Laura
May 30, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I love this - so beautiful! Thank you, thank you for sharing this pattern!
May 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBethanie
I've been happily knitting this, my first sweater, and am at the point of working the neck; however, while my lattice looks correct, I seem to have picked up extra stitches and have 112 on my needles (I'm making size M). I'm not worried, but trying to work out how many stitches to leave for the shoulders versus binding off - should I have 25 stitches for each shoulder surrounding the neck (2x25=50 total st as in the pattern)? Or 36 (12 x [K1, yo, k2tog] = 36 x 2 = 72 st total)? I'm confused. Then of course is the question how many to cast back on. Since I knit the body of the sweater in the round, my plan was to kitchener stitch the lattice to the front, but now I have 3 extra lattice stitiches! I think I can fix the stitch count by casting off 3 more stitches than I cast back on at the neck, but I'm concerned about the pattern being off... Can you help?
June 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoy
Hi Joy.
Oh goodness, I have been where you are. My advice would be to rip out to where you picked up the extra stitches rather than trying to fudge it at the neckline. That way that lattice pattern will not be disrupted (or get off or shifted or strange looking) as it drapes over the shoulder.
Let me know what you decide to do and I can try and figure out how many for you to cast on. The problem there is that I am not sure you're lattice will align.
June 21, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Laura,
Firstly, this pattern looks so beautiful, I am eager to finish it! I have been practising different parts of this pattern before attempting it as a whole and I have been having the same problem as Christina, and ending up with an extra stitch on row 3 of the lattice. When I (yo, k2tog) I also get 3 stitches, not 2. I thought I would try to explain in detail how I get what I get what I get. Apologies is I over-explain.

I thought that yo was used to increase the stitch count by one and k2tog is used to decrease the stitch count by one. ie yo turns 1 stitch into 2 stitches, k2tog turns 2 stitches into 1 stitch, so 3 stitches becomes 3 stitches.

So on Row 3, I start with K2, after I repeat [yo, k2tog] (which is multiples of 3), I end up with 2 stitches at the end. If I do a [yo, k1], that creates an extra stitch so have followed Christina's suggestion and finish the row with [k2].

I know I must be reading something wrong, I just can't figure out which part!

Thanks for your help!
June 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLilly
Hi Laura,
After submitting my last post, I have just figured it out! Hopefully this might help others as well. I was reading [yo, k2tog] as two separate stitches when they are two parts of the same stitch! I now understand how it is 2 stitches and NOT 3, best explanation is this you tube I found

Thanks again!
June 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLilly
Dear purlbee team,
I changed the size of this top and cast on 76 stitches. Anything was fine till I started the lattice... When I work according to your description, I cannot repeat yo, k2tg till the end of the row but have one stitch left - which seems quite reasonable. Same with lattice row 3... I have two stitches left instead of the one I am supposed to have. I think, my cast on is wrong - but it is a multiple of 3 plus one, just as you said... Can you please help? Thank you so much!I changed the size of this top and cast on 76 stitches. Anything was fine till I started the lattice... When I work according to your description, I cannot repeat yo, k2tg till the end of the row but have one stitch left - which seems quite reasonable. Same with lattice row 3... I have two stitches left instead of the one I am supposed to have. I think, my cast on is wrong - but it is a multiple of 3 plus one, just as you said... Can you please help? Thank you so much!
June 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkerstin
Hi Kerstin.
Have you been double checking your stitch count at the end of each row? People have been picking up extra stitches by accidentally yarning over too often.

Are you knitting one at the beginning of Row 1?
Are you knitting two at the beginning of Row 3?

It's hard to know exactly where you are getting off, but if you are using a multiple of 3 + 1 (which you are), and following the pattern correctly, I am not totally sure what is happening without seeing it.

Please write back with more details or questions. I'd like to help sort this out for you.
June 24, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Laura,

I had to take out several rows several times earlier in my lattice work to correct an error, and I don't think I can bear to do that again! I'm about to board a plane and give it a go on my own, reducing my stitches in the cast off, and adjusting my pattern if needed to maintain the flow of the lattice. At worst I could add some stitches in the main body before I join the lattice...
June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoy
Dear Laura,
Thanks for responding that quickly. I indeed checked the number of stiches before I started the lattice and it - still - was 76. The longer I think about it, the more I get the impressn that in needs to be an uneven number of stiches, being a multiple of 3 plus 1. So I will give it another try tomorrow with 79 stiches cast on. Or do you consider this a stupid idea?
Thanks a lot for your help!
June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKerstin
I have started this gorgeous sweater in a merino/silk/bamboo blend. I am going to knit it in the round. If I do this and decide to do the lattice on the back and then the lattice on the front (from the bottoms up, if that makes sense), do I do both lattice sections the same and then join at the shoulders? And when I add in the extra stitch for the lattice, where do you suggest I add it in? At the beginning/end?

Thanks for any helpful suggestions!!!! I can't wait to finish this so I can start on the cable back shell :-)
July 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJudy
i think I need to clarify some things on my earlier post . . . to knit this sweater in the round, I cast on 204 sts, placing a marker where I joined and another after 102 sts. This is where I will divide for front and back. When I did the eyelet round i did a k1, *yo, k2tog to the halfway point, then repeated the k1, *yo, k2tog to the end.

When I am ready to do the lattice, where do you suggest adding back the extra st . . . before or after my markers? Then I will continue my lattice on the back to the neckline and do the same for the front (continuing from the bottom up to the meckline) and join the two pieces at the shoulder. I hope this makes a little more sense :-) Thanks again, Laura!
July 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJudy
Hi Judy....

As for your first question: No. Work in the round up to the point of the lattice, then work the lattice from one side (let's say the back) up and over the sounders and then graft the lattice to the stockinette of the other side (let's say the front).

As for your second question: You can add it wherever you'd like, either before or after.

Let me know how it goes!
July 8, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Dear Laura,
Casting on 79 worked perfectly well. So when altering the cast on one needs a multiple of 3 + 1, forming an uneven number. Just to let you all know. ;)
Concerning the lattice: Am I right to knit, not to purl two together? Looks lovely, but I was just wondering, because it is a WS row.
July 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkerstin
Hi Again Kerstin,
You are dead right!
I have edited that portion of the patter.
July 9, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I have just finished my top following your pattern and LOVE it. It was very simple to knit and I know I will get a lot of wear out of it... thanks for making it available!
July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeaf
This is an absolutely gorgeous pattern! I just came across it, and I really desperately want to knit it!!! Sad thing is, my mom won't let me knit something that is so see-through. It's rather disappointing, but, you did a marvelous job on the sweater! It's really beautiful. (:
July 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElyse
Is there a way to figure out how to make this into a long sleeved sweater???
Thank you
August 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
Hi Susan,
Great question.
You can add sleeves by picking up along the edges of the armholes... and then knitting down. You'll need to decrease as you go and I would end with a rib like at the bottom edge of the body of the sweater. Could be really cool. Let us know how it works out or if you have any questions along the way.
August 14, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello Laura,

I had trouble getting gauge for this sweater, but finally got it for the stockinette after downsizing. However, I'm running short on yarn for the lattice section (I'm making size M). I'm probably one inch short in total. Would it make sense to go back up in needle size? I think my knit rows have been pretty tight. This is my first sweater and I'm learning so much. Thanks!
August 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbigail
Hi Abigail.

Going up a needle size will definitely help get you more fabric, but it's going to open the lattice up too.

The lattice is also going to give some with blocking and wear. Be careful not to make it too long or it will fall at an awkward location on your body.

I am glad you are learning a lot. It's a great first sweater. Let us know how it goes!
September 3, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What I wonderful pattern! I knit mine up in the round and it came out beautifully! And for those needing to adjust the sizing - it's just a big rectangle, so easy to make it up as needed! Here's my version:
September 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMadeByMeg
Hi I left a comment in July but it still hasn't shown here...just needed clarification if the lattice pattern is meant to be skewed ? I have considerable skew on mine and everyone I have asked has said that it will get into alignment once stitched but I just can't see it happening... Is it possible that I did something wrong? Please advise as winter is newly over in Australia and I'm stalling finishing this top... By the way this was my first knitting project so possible that I misread the pattern...
September 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartha
Hello Martha.
I am so terribly sorry about your overlooked question (we had few days of serious technical difficulties in July, and unfortunately lost a few questions). The Lattice portion of the pattern is not skewed. The 'holes' that are created are staggered. It did slant a pinch before blocking, but not too badly.

Hope this helps. Please write again and I will be sure to address any of your questions as soon as I can.
September 9, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Laura, I wanted to thank you for sharing this beautiful pattern.
I just finished knitting the top, I really enjoyed making it. It looks and fits very well. Thanks!!
September 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterelenamar
Hi, I am on the lattice part and my work is skewing to the right (looking at it on the rs) and I can't figure out why it is doing that.
October 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey
Hi Lindsey,
Some slight skewing is natural, it will straighten up when you block your sweater.
October 5, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I just finished this and it looks great! Although it's a tad short on my torso and a tad too long over my bust. I followed the pattern for size Medium. I would recommend 14 1/2 inches for the stockinette body and only 6 1/4 inches for the lattice top (per side). That way it will hang nicely and still cover your bust. Hope this helps. Thanks again for this pattern - I am excited to wear this when the snow melts :)
December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

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