We could quote plenty of famous creative people.. fashion designers, writers, architects, artists, artisans, musicians… on the importance of paying attention to details. Perhaps the best-known phrase is attributed to German architect Mies Van der Rohe, who probably borrowed his “God is in the details” from someone else, who may have said something slightly different. Whatever the case, the point is, details matter.

Top + Bottom Top | Purl Soho

So what does this have to do with our Top + Bottom Top? Everything. At first glance, this lovely little pullover, perfect for summer knitting and wearing, looks like just that: a lovely little pullover. Simplicity itself. And it is.

Top + Bottom Top | Purl Soho

But there are design elements that give our Top + Bottom Top quiet gravitas: the wisp of a hem around the bottom, shoulder seams that skew to the back, and pretty armhole and neckline decreases. It’s the kind of sweater your impeccably stylish friend would own… And you’d want to borrow.

Top + Bottom Top | Purl Soho

It’s no surprise that Cattail Silk, a yarn spun and dyed in Japan, is knitted throughout, beginning with an ephemeral hem. We used the color Flower Field Gray to make it, then picked up another Japanese beauty, the raw and refined Field Linen in Queen Anne’s Lace, to knit the piece in the round to the underarms. Working the front and back yoke in just the Cattail Silk creates a seamless shift in weight and texture.

Top + Bottom Top | Purl Soho

Both yarns are available in palettes that complement each other no matter the combination. There are 18 different shades of Cattail Silk and 11 colors of Field Linen to choose from, so pick your favorites and cast on for your summertime Top + Bottom Top!

Top + Bottom Top | Purl Soho

Share your progress and connect with the community by tagging your pics with #PurlSoho, #PurlSohoBusyHands, #PurlSohoTopAndBottomTop, #PurlSohoCattailSilk, and #PurlSohoFieldLinen. We can’t wait to see what you make!

Materials

Top + Bottom Top | Purl Soho
  • Yarn A: 1 (2, 2, 2) (2, 2, 2, 2) skein(s) of Purl Soho’s Cattail Silk, 100% silk. Each skein is 618 yards/ 100 grams; approximately 580 (670, 735, 790) (860, 930, 1005, 1105) yards required. We used the color Flower Field Gray.
  • Yarn B: 2 (2, 2, 2) (2, 2, 3, 3) skeins of Purl Soho’s Field Linen, 100% linen. Each skein is 295 yards/ 100 grams; approximately 370 (430, 470, 505) (550, 590, 645, 705) yards required. We used the color Queen Anne’s Lace.
  • US 6 (4 mm), 32- or 40-inch circular needles
  • US 3 (3.25 mm), 32- or 40-inch circular needles
  • US 3, 16-inch circular needles
  • Two spare US 3 double pointed needles (optional, for finishing)
  • Stitch holders or scrap yarn
  • Two removable stitch markers
  • A stitch marker

Gauge

  • 28 stitches and 32 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch with Yarn A and smaller needles
  • 22 stitches and 27 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch, holding Yarn A and Yarn B together and using larger needles

Sizes

NOTE For help picking a size, please check out our Understanding Ease + Selecting Size Tutorial!

33¾ (38¼, 42½, 45¾) (50¼, 54½, 57¾, 62¼)

To fit actual chest circumference of 29-32 (33-36, 37-40, 41-44)(45-48, 49-52, 53-56, 57-60) inches, with approximately 2-5 inches of positive ease

  • Finished Chest Circumference: 33¾ (38¼, 42½, 45¾) (50¼, 54½, 57¾, 62¼) inches
  • Finished Length from Shoulder to Bottom Edge: 22¼ (22¾, 23, 23¼) (23½, 23¾, 24¼, 24¾) inches
  • Finished Length from Underarm to Bottom Edge: 14 (14, 13½, 13¼) (13, 13, 13, 13¼) inches

SAMPLE: The top pictured here is size 38¼, worn with 2 inches of ease.

Top + Bottom Top | Purl Soho

Notes

Construction

You will work this garment in the round from bottom edge to underarms, then divide Front and Back and work each separately.

Special Instructions

Csd (Centered Single Decrease)

NOTE: Visit our Centered Single Decrease Tutorial for more help with this technique.

Slip 2 stitches knitwise, one at a time. Insert left needle into front of two slipped stitches, knit together. Next, insert left needle into second of just-decreased stitches, k2tog (next stitch on left needle and stitch you just picked up). [1 stitch decreased]

K3tog (Knit 3 Together)

Insert right needle into next three stitches and knit together. [2 stitches decreased]

Ssp (Slip, Slip, Purl)

NOTE: Our Purl 2 Together (p2tog) + Slip Slip Purl (ssp) Tutorial describes this decrease in greater detail.

Slip one purlwise, slip one knitwise, replace slipped stitches back onto left needle, p2tog through the back loop. [1 stitch decreased]

Sssk (Slip, Slip, Slip, Knit)

Slip three stitches knitwise, one at a time. Insert left needle into front of slipped stitches and knit together. [2 stitches decreased]

Pattern

Body

With Yarn A, cast 248 (280, 312, 336) (368, 400, 424, 456) stitches onto longer, smaller circular needles. We used a basic Long Tail Cast On.

Place marker (pm) and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Continue in stockinette stitch, knitting each round, until piece measures ¾ inch from cast-on edge.

Change to larger needles and join Yarn B. Continue with Yarns A and B held together.

Decrease Round: *K1, csd (see Special Instructions), repeat from * to end of round. [186 (210, 234, 252) (276, 300, 318, 342) stitches remain]

Continue in stockinette stitch until piece measures 14 (14, 13½, 13¼) (13, 13, 13, 13¼) inches from cast-on edge.

Divide Front + Back

Division Round: Bind off 11 (11, 13, 15) (19, 23, 25, 27) stitches for Right Underarm; k81 (93, 103, 110) (118, 126, 133, 143), place previous 82 (94, 104, 111) (119, 127, 134, 144) stitches onto stitch holders or scrap yarn for Back; bind off 11 (11, 13, 15) (19, 23, 25, 27) stitches for Left Underarm; knit to end of round. [82 (94, 104, 111) (119, 127, 134, 144) stitches remain for Front]

Front

Shape Armholes

NOTE: You will now work back and forth on just the Front stitches, turning the work at the end of each row.

Set-Up Row (wrong side): Purl to end of row.

Cut Yarn B.

Change to shorter, smaller circular needles and continue with only Yarn A.

Row 1 (right side): K1 (1, 2, 0) (2, 1, 2, 0), *knit front and back (kfb), k2, repeat from * to end of row. [109 (125, 138, 148) (158, 169, 178, 192) stitches]

Row 2 (wrong side): P4, purl 2 together (p2tog), purl to last 6 stitches, ssp (see Special Instructions), purl to end of row. [2 stitches decreased]

Row 3: K4, slip slip knit (ssk), knit to last 6 stitches, knit 2 together (k2tog), knit to end of row. [2 stitches decreased]

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 zero (2, 5, 6) (7, 9, 10, 12) more times. [105 (113, 114, 120) (126, 129, 134, 140) stitches remain]

Next Row: Purl to end of row.

Next Row: Repeat Row 3. [2 stitches decreased]

Repeat previous two rows 0 (2, 1, 1) (2, 3, 3, 2) more time(s). [103 (107, 110, 116) (120, 121, 126, 134) stitches remain]

Next Row: Purl to end of row.

Next Row: Knit to end of row.

Next Row: Purl to end of row.

Next Row: Repeat Row 3. [2 stitches decreased]

Repeat previous four rows 1 (2, 1, 1) (1, 0, 0, 0) more time(s). [99 (101, 106, 112) (116, 119, 124, 132) stitches remain]

Continue

Still working on Front stitches only, continue in stockinette stitch until piece measures 5½ (6, 6¾, 7) (7¼, 7½, 8, 8¼) inches from Division Round.

Bind off for Front Neckline

Bind-Off Row (right side): K38 (38, 40, 43) (44, 45, 47, 51), place previous 38 (38, 40, 43) (44, 45, 47, 51) stitches onto stitch holders or scrap yarn for Front Left; bind off following 23 (25, 26, 26) (28, 29, 30, 30) stitches for Front Neckline; knit to end of row. [38 (38, 40, 43) (44, 45, 47, 51) stitches remain for Front Right]

Work Front Right

NOTE: For a clean neck edge, use a Sloped Bind Off.

Set-Up Row (wrong side): Purl to end of row.

Row 1 (right side): Bind off 3 stitches, knit to end of row. [35 (35, 37, 40) (41, 42, 44, 48) stitches remain]

Row 2 (wrong side): Purl to end of row.

Row 3: Bind off 2 stitches, k4, ssk, knit to end of row. [32 (32, 34, 37) (38, 39, 41, 45) stitches remain]

Row 4: Purl to end of row.

Row 5: Bind off 1 stitch, k3, ssk, knit to end of row. [30 (30, 32, 35) (36, 37, 39, 43) stitches remain]

Row 6: Purl to end of row.

Row 7: K4, ssk, knit to end of row. [1 stitch decreased]

Rows 8 and 9: Repeat Rows 6 and 7. [28 (28, 30, 33) (34, 35, 37, 41) stitches remain]

Work 3 rows even in stockinette stitch.

Next Row (right side): Repeat Row 7. [27 (27, 29, 32) (33, 34, 36, 40) stitches remain]

Work even in stockinette until piece measures 9 (9½, 10¼, 10½) (11, 11¼, 11¾, 12) inches from Division Row, ending with a wrong-side row.

Place stitches onto stitch holders or scrap yarn.

Cut yarn, leaving a 20-inch tail.

Work Front Left

With right side facing you and using shorter, smaller circular needles, join Yarn A.

Row 1 (right side): Knit to end of row.

Row 2 (wrong side): Bind off 3 stitches purlwise, purl to end of row. [35 (35, 37, 40) (41, 42, 44, 48) stitches remain]

Row 3: Knit to end of row.

Row 4: Bind off 2 stitches purlwise, p4, p2tog, purl to end of row. [32 (32, 34, 37) (38, 39, 41, 45) stitches remain]

Row 5: Knit to end of row.

Row 6: Bind off 1 stitch purlwise, p3, p2tog, purl to end of row. [30 (30, 32, 35) (36, 37, 39, 43) stitches remain]

Row 7: Knit to end of row.

Row 8: P4, p2tog, purl to end of row. [1 stitch decreased]

Rows 9 and 10: Repeat Rows 7 and 8. [28 (28, 30, 33) (34, 35, 37, 41) stitches remain]

Work 3 rows even in stockinette stitch.

Next Row (wrong side): Repeat Row 8. [27 (27, 29, 32) (33, 34, 36, 40) stitches remain]

Work even in stockinette until piece measures 9 (9½, 10¼, 10½) (11, 11¼, 11¾, 12) inches from Division Round, ending with a wrong-side row.

Place stitches onto stitch holders or scrap yarn.

Cut yarn, leaving a 20-inch tail.

Back

Shape Armholes

With Yarn A and shorter, smaller circular needles, work as for Shape Armholes section of FRONT.

Continue

Continue even in stockinette stitch until piece measures 4 (4½, 5¼, 5½) (6, 6¼, 6¾, 7) inches from Division Round, ending with a right-side row.

Mark first and last stitch of last row worked with a removable stitch marker.

Work 9 more rows in stockinette stitch, ending with a wrong-side row.

Shape Back Shoulders

Row 1 (right side): K4, sssk (see Special Instructions), knit to last 7 stitches, k3tog (see Special Instructions), k4. [4 stitches decreased]

Row 2 (wrong side): P4, p2tog, purl to last 6 stitches, ssp, p4. [2 stitches decreased]

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 eight (8, 8, 9) (9, 9, 10, 10) more times. [45 (47, 52, 52) (56, 59, 58, 66) stitches remain]

Do not cut yarn.

Finishing

Seam Shoulders

Top + Bottom Top | Purl Soho
Left Shoulder

Slip on-hold Front Left stitches onto a double pointed needle and hold in front of and parallel to Back Shoulder edge. Working from Armhole towards Neckline, use Yarn A and a second double pointed needle to graft Front Left stitches to Back Shoulder by working the stitches on the double pointed needle and picking up into the Back Shoulder and binding off as you go. Here’s how…

    … inserting second double pointed needle into first stitch on front needle and under both legs of first stitch at edge of Back Shoulder, marked by removable stitch marker.

    Top + Bottom Top | Purl Soho

    Knit together stitch through front needle and Back Shoulder stitches, using 20-inch yarn tail from Front Left.

    Top + Bottom Top | Purl Soho

    Repeat these steps, knitting next stitch from front needle together with next stitch along Back Shoulder edge.

    Top + Bottom Top | Purl Soho

    Now that you have two stitches on working needle, bind one off.

    Continue working Front Left stitches together with Back Shoulder stitches, binding off as you go.

    Top + Bottom Top | Purl Soho
    Right Shoulder

    Slip on-hold Front Right stitches onto a double pointed needle and graft Front Right stitches to parallel Back Shoulder as for Left Shoulder, working this time from Neckline towards Armhole.

    Neckline Edge

    With right side of Back facing you and returning to remaining Back stitches, use yarn that is still attached to bind off all Back stitches. Continuing around Neckline, pick up and knit 1 stitch into each row or stitch, binding off as you go.

    Armhole Edges

    With right side facing you, join Yarn A at center of Underarm and use double pointed needles to pick up and knit 1 stitch into each stitch or row around entire Armhole edge, binding off as you go.

    Repeat for other Armhole.

    Weave In + Block

    Weave in remaining ends and gently wet block.

    Top + Bottom Top | Purl Soho
    Top + Bottom Top | Purl Soho