Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Knitting Bohemian

This top is one of my most favorite that I have designed. I first began knitting shirts by simply thinking up something I wanted to make and tried making it. With no real knowledge of shaping or measurements and a few first failed attempts, this was my second success at creating exactly what I had pictured. There are definitely changes that I would make, so please feel free and edit this pattern to your desires. By all means, this is not a professional written or designed pattern, but I have had so many people asking for it, I decided to share it. Any feedback on how to make it better would be great!

Share your version with me and others on Ravelry! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-knitting-bohemian

Please view this page for a list of abbreviations and techniques: http://illuminknitdesigns.blogspot.com/2011/06/basics_15.html

· Yarn: Hempton (40% Cotton 30% Hemp 30% Modal); 3 (3, 4, 4) skeins Beige (069) (MC); 2 skeins Olive Green (066) (CC)
· Needles: size US 5 circular 40” and US 2 circular 40”
· 8 beads of your choice or more if you want!
· 1 button of your choice
Gauge: Size US 5: 5st/in 9 rows/in; Size US 2: 5.5st/in 9.5 rows/in
Size:   XS (S, M, L)
Bust: 32 (34, 36, 38)

Note: This pattern is done in the round working on the magic loop (circular needles) and is knit bottom up.
Bottom Ribbing
CO 200 (210, 220, 230) stitches with size 5 needles with CC making sure to place a marker at the beginning of the row and exactly halfway through the row
Knit in a 3x2 ribbing for 1.75 (1.75 ,2, 2.25) inches
Switch to MC & size 2 needles. Knit gradient as follows (continuing 3x2 ribbing):
MC – knit 1 row; CC – Knit 3 rows; MC – knit 2 rows; CC – knit 2 rows; MC – knit 3 rows; CC – knit 1 row; MC – knit 4 rows
Knit 1 row with MC

Decreases (if you need less waist shaping, replace some decrease rows with regular knit rows)
Begin side dec. as follows (decreasing 4 st every 3 rows 12x):
Row 1: Start at the end of the last row that was knit with 2 stitches left unknit - ssk  (beginning of row) k1 k2tog knit 94 (99, 104, 109) st. ssk k1 (halfway through row) k2tog knit 97 (102, 107, 112)
Rows 2 & 3: Knit - end with 2 st left at the end of the 3rd row
Row 4: ssk (beginning of row) k1 k2tog knit 92 (97, 102, 107) st. ssk k1 (halfway through row) k2tog k 96 (101, 106, 110)
Rows 5 & 6: Knit - end with 2 st left at the end of the 3rd row
Row 7: ssk (beginning of row) k1 k2tog knit 90 (95, 100, 105) st. ssk k1 (halfway through row) k2tog k 95 (100, 105, 109)
Continue in this same manner until 152 (162, 177, 182) st remain (-48 st) or until you feel like you’ve done enough waist shaping, but be sure you have a total of at least 7.5” of the piece knit
Knit for 5 (5, 5.5, 5.5) inches leaving markers in place
Begin side increases as follows (decreasing 4 st every 5 rows 4x):
Row 1: Start at end of the last row that was knit with 1 stitch left unknit – m1L k1 (beginning of row) k1 m1r knit until 1 stitch before the next marker m1L k1 (halfway through row) k1 m1r
Rows 2-5: knit
Repeat rows 1-5 4x
Knit 3 rows (leave markers in place)
Bust Shaping (Short Rows)
Knit until 11 (11, 8, 6) stitches remain before the marker W&T
Repeat on wrong side (purl side)
Knit until 5(5,4,4) stitches before the previously wrapped stitch, W&T
Repeat on wrong side (purl side)
Knit until 5(5,4,4) stitches before the previously wrapped stitch, W&T
Repeat on wrong side (purl side)
Knit until 4 stitches before the previously wrapped stitch, W&T
Repeat on wrong side (purl side)
For sizes 36 & 38 ONLY: Complete one more set of short rows – same as the last set.
Pick up wraps as you knit back and knit until 1 st before the marker, W&T
Purl back and pick up wraps. Purl until 1 st before marker. W&T
Go back to knitting in the round while picking up last 2 wraps (wrap that was done on the purl side will be backwards – you’ll need to turn your work around to pick up that wrap normal and then remain knitting on the right side)
Knit for 2 (2, 3, 4) inches (still leaving markers)
Change to CC and knit for 0.5 (0.5, 0.75, 0.75) inches

Measure your neck where the choker will be sitting. Multiply that number by your ribbing gauge down at the bottom of the shirt and cast on that number rounding to the nearest multiple of 5.
Knit in 3x2 ribbing for 1”
Add buttonhole using the Japanese technique: take a piece of yarn and find a 2 stitches in your fabric where you want your button to be. Place your needle in between those 2 stitches from the back and begin whip stitches making a hole. Make as many whips as you need to get a nice reinforced, yet subtle buttonhole.  
Attach strings (I used double strands, but you are free to use a braided, i-cord, etc technique) and beads artistically to your desires! Sew in ends.


  1. Love this pattern enough to lose weight, knit it and wear it!

  2. This is lovely!! Thank you so very much for being willing to share!

    SassySean on Ravelry

  3. Hello there, I am starting a blog about my own designs, in knit and fabric. Your lovely top was the inspiration for a top of my own; the design is heavily modified, using an existing strapless top for the base and featuring a cabled choker, but it has many of the same elements of yours. May I still post a tutorial for it, with a link to your pattern?

  4. Hi Kalile-
    I am grateful that my top has inspired you! :) That's where all great designs begin, and I'd love to see yours. A link to my design would be greatly appreciated and I'd love for you to e-mail me the link to yours as soon as you've published it: illuninangel@gmail.com. Can't wait to see it!

  5. I stumbled here and I love this design so much, as well as the other top. I find this on especially inspiring!

  6. I love the upper part of this design, very hot today! My figure is more or less like an apple, so the entire garment is not for me:-((

  7. This is stunning!!! Thank you for sharing your brillance!

  8. how do I follow your blog (old and decrepid 50 yr old but like your cool stuff !)

    @patriciapye (twitter)

  9. WOW!! This pattern is amazing!! It'll be perfect for my holiday later this year!! I'm adding this to my queue right now!!
    Thank you for making your pattern available for free :)

    WoolyGreenDragon (on Ravelry)

    1. @Samantha - Glad you like my patterns! Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions. :)

  10. Very cool pattern. Also very cool that you shared it.

  11. Hello! Thank You for sharing this pattern. I haven't knit anything in over 10 years but found this pattern easy to follow and it knit up beautifully. I have had many great comments on this design and always make sure to let people know its your design. Thank You and please keep sharing your designs :)

    1. Thank you! Your comment means a lot to mean! So glad this was an easy and satisfying project for you! Please share your photos on Ravelry if you have an account! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-knitting-bohemian

  12. I'm excited to do this. I've been planning to make a wedding dress but the pattern I want to use's bodice isn't quite to my fancy; this is perfect!!

  13. That sounds wonderful! I would love to see photos when you finish!