Beginning with a thoughtful design and ending with a flattering fit, there’s a lot to love about our Criss Cross Top!

Criss Cross Top | Purl Soho

Form follows function, here, with easy stitch patterns that each do their job. Reverse stockinette serves as a beautiful all-over ground, while 1 x 1 ribbing gives structure and definition to edges. One simple cable at the front neckline provides all the drama.

Criss Cross Top | Purl Soho

Knit from the bottom up, you start with the front hem, then knit the back hem, then join in the round, and separate again to work the front and back. A back neckband anchors the front shoulders, and before you know it, it’s time to slip on your own gorgeous Criss Cross Top!

Criss Cross Top | Purl Soho

We knit up ours in our 100% merino wool Worsted Twist. It has an incredibly soft and cozy touch, works up as a fairly quick knit, and comes in a beautiful palette of gentle colors. Pick your favorite and cast on for this free pattern… Free? Yes!

Criss Cross Top | Purl Soho

Designed for Purl Soho by Adam Aronowitz.

MATERIALS

Criss Cross Top | Purl Soho

GAUGE

20 stitches and 31 rows = 4 inches in reverse stockinette stitch

SIZES

34½ (37¾, 41, 44¼, 47¼, 50½)

To fit actual chest circumference 31–33 (34–36, 37–39, 40–42, 43–45, 47–49) inches, with approximately 2–4 inches of ease

  • Finished Chest Circumference: 34½ (37¾, 41, 44¼, 47¼, 50½) inches
  • Finished Length From Top Of Shoulder: 21¼ (22¾, 23¼, 24¾, 25¼, 26¾) inches

Criss Cross Top | Purl Soho

SAMPLE: The top pictured here is size 34½ inches modeled with 2½ inches of ease.

NOTES

SLIP STITCHES

Slip stitches purlwise unless directed otherwise.

Ssp (SLIP SLIP PURL)

Slip 2 stitches knitwise, one at a time, return them to left-hand needle in new orientation, purl them together through back loops. [1 stitch decreased]

For our photo tutorial, please visit our Purl 2 Together Through Back Loop Tutorial.

Sssp (SLIP SLIP SLIP PURL)

Slip 3 stitches knitwise, one at a time, return them to left-hand needle in new orientation, purl them together through back loops. [2 stitches decreased]

P3tog (PURL 3 TOGETHER)

Insert right-hand needle into next 3 stitches purlwise and purl them together. [2 stitches decreased]

PATTERN

FRONT HEM

Cast 92 (100, 108, 116, 124, 132) stitches onto 24-inch circular needles. Do not join for working in the round..

Row 1 (wrong side): Slip 1 (see Notes) with yarn in front (wyif), [p1, k1] 6 times, place marker (pm), k24 (28, 32, 36, 40, 44), pm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k2, [p1, k1] 4 times, pm, k24 (28, 32, 36, 40, 44), pm, [k1, p1] 6 times, k1.

Row 2 (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 6 times, slip marker (sm), purl to next marker, sm,  [p1, k1] 4 times, p2, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 6 times, k1.

Row 3: Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 6 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k2, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 6 times, k1.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until Front Hem measures 3 inches from cast-on edge, ending with a wrong-side row. Cut yarn and set aside.

BACK HEM

Cast 92 (100, 108, 116, 124, 132) stitches onto 32- or 40-inch circular needles. Do not join for working in the round.

Row 1 (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 6 times, pm, k66 (74, 82, 90, 98, 106), pm, [k1, p1] 6 times, k1.

Row 2 (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 6 times, sm, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 6 times, k1.

Row 3: Slip1 wyif, [p1, k1] 6 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 6 times, k1.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until Back Hem measures 3 inches from cast-on edge, ending with a wrong-side row.

JOIN HEMS IN THE ROUND

NOTE: In the following section you will join Front and Back Hems for working Body in the round.

Joining Round (right side): Working across Back Hem stitches, slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 6 times, sm, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 6 times, slip last stitch of Back Hem onto a cable stitch holder; pick up Front Hem with right side facing you, and holding cable stitch holder in front of work, use Back Hem needle to p1 from Front Hem, place marker on right-hand needle for Left Side, p1 from cable stitch holder; working across Front Hem stitches, [k1, p1] 6 times, sm, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, p2, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 6 times, slip the last stitch of Front Hem onto cable stitch holder; pick up Back Hem with right side facing you, being careful to not twist the stitches and holding cable stitch holder in back of work, p1 from Back Hem, place unique marker on right-hand needle for end of round, slip stitch from cable stitch holder to left-hand needle. [184 (200, 216, 232, 248, 264) stitches total: 92 (100, 108, 116, 124, 132) stitches each for Front and Back]

BODY

CONTINUE BODY IN THE ROUND

Round 1: [P1, k1] 6 times, p1, sm, purl to next marker, sm, [(p1, k1) 6 times, p1, sm] 2 times, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, p2, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 6 times, p1.

Repeat Round 1 until Body measures 9½ (10½, 10½, 11½, 11½, 12½) inches from Joining Round.

DIVIDE BODY

Division Round: [P1, k1] 6 times, p1, sm, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, p1, bind off 8 stitches in pattern for Left Underarm (removing Left Side marker), [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, p2, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, p1, bind off 8 stitches in pattern for Right Underarm (removing end-of-round marker). [168 (184, 200, 216, 232, 248) stitches remain: 84 (92, 100, 108, 116, 124) stitches each for Front and Back]

Place 84 (92, 100, 108, 116, 124) Front stitches on stitch holders or scrap yarn.

BACK

NOTE: In this section of the pattern you will be working back and forth over only the Back stitches.

WORK ARMHOLES

FOR SIZES 44¼, 47¼, AND 50½ INCHES ONLY

Row 1 (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, purl 2 together (p2tog), purl to 2 stitches before next marker, ssp (see Notes), sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [2 stitches decreased]

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, slip slip knit (ssk), knit to 2 stitches before next marker, k2tog, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1. [2 stitches decreased]

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 – (–, –, 1, 3, 4) more time(s). [– (–, –, 100, 100, 104) stitches remain]

FOR ALL SIZES

Row 1 (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, purl 2 together (p2tog), purl to 2 stitches before next marker, ssp (see Notes), sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [2 stitches decreased]

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 seven (9, 11, 9, 7, 7) more times. [68 (72, 76, 80, 84, 88) stitches remain]

Next Row (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1.

Next Row (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1.

Repeat last two rows until Armhole measures 5½ (5¾, 6, 6½, 6¾, 7) inches, ending with a wrong-side row.

SHOULDERS

Row 1 (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, p3tog (see Notes), purl to 3 stitches before next marker, sssp (see Notes), sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [4 stitches decreased]

NOTE: With right side facing, place a removable marker around first and last stitches of previous row to indicate where to attach Front Shoulders.

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 six (7, 8, 8, 9, 10) more times. [40 (40, 40, 44, 44, 44) stitches remain]

BACK NECK

NOTE: For the following section you will be working the ribbed section back and forth in short rows while eliminating Back Neck stitches to form Neckband.

RIGHT BACK NECK

Row 1 (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, p2tog, turn. [1 stitch decreased]

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 with yarn in back (wyib), sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1.

NOTE: With right side facing, place a removable marker around stitch below first stitch on left-hand needle to indicate where to attach Front Shoulder.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 eight (8, 8, 10, 10, 10) more times, then repeat Row 1 once more. [30 (30, 30, 32, 32, 32) stitches remain]

Cut yarn. Place last 10 stitches on right-hand needle onto stitch holder or scrap yarn for Right Back Neck edge. [20 (20, 20, 22, 22, 22) stitches remain]

LEFT BACK NECK

Row 1 (wrong side): With wrong side facing, slip 1 to right-hand needle, join new yarn and [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, ssk, turn. [1 stitch decreased]

Row 2 (right side): Slip 1 wyif, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1.

NOTE: With wrong side facing, place a removable marker around stitch below first stitch on left-hand needle to indicate where to attach Front Shoulder.

Row 3: Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, ssk, turn. [1 stitch decreased]

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 eight (8, 8, 10, 10, 10) more times. [10 stitches remain]

Cut yarn, leaving a 36-inch tail. Place remaining 10 stitches onto stitch holder or scrap yarn for Left Back Neck edge.

FRONT

NOTE: In this section of the pattern you will be working back and forth over only the Front stitches.

Return 84 (92, 100, 108, 116, 124) on-hold Front stitches to 24-inch circular needles.

SHAPE ARMHOLES

FOR SIZES 44¼, 47¼ AND 50½ INCHES ONLY

Row 1 (right side): Slip 1 to right-hand needle, join new yarn and [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, p2tog, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, p2, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, purl to 2 stitches before next marker, ssp, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [- (-, -, 106, 114, 122) stitches]

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, ssk, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k2, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to 2 stitches before next marker, k2tog, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1. [2 stitches decreased]

Row 3: Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, p2tog, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, p2, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, purl to 2 stitches before next marker, ssp, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [2 stitches decreased]

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 – (–, –, 0, 2, 3) more times, then repeat Row 2 once more. [– (–, –, 100, 100, 104) stitches remain]

FOR ALL SIZES

Row 1 (right side): Slip 1 to right-hand needle (wyif for Sizes 44¼, 47¼ and 50½), join new yarn (for Sizes 34½, 37¾, and 41) and [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, p2tog, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, p2, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, purl to 2 stitches before next marker, ssp, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [2 stitches decreased]

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k2, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1.

Row 3: Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, p2tog, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, p2, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, purl to 2 stitches before next marker, ssp, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [2 stitches decreased]

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 two (4, 4, 4, 2, 3) more times. [76 (80, 88, 88, 92, 94) stitches remain]

Work 1 wrong-side row even.

WORK CABLE CROSS + DIVIDE FRONTS

NOTE: In the following section you will work the cable cross at center front and then divide for Left and Right Fronts. At the same time, you will shape Armholes and Front Neckline.

Row 1 (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, p2tog, purl to next marker, sm, slip 9 stitches onto cable stitch holder and hold in back of work, from left-hand needle [p1, k1] 4 times, p1, from cable stitch holder [p1, k1] 4 times, p1, sm, purl to 2 stitches before next marker, ssp, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [74 (78, 86, 86, 90, 92) stitches remain]

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k2, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1.

Row 3: Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, p2tog, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, p2, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, purl to 2 stitches before next marker, ssp, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [72 (76, 84, 84, 88, 90) stitches remain]

Row 4: Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1, place last 36 (38, 42, 42, 44, 45) stitches worked onto stitch holder or scrap yarn for Right Front, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1. [36 (38, 42, 42, 44, 45) stitches remain for Left Front]

LEFT FRONT

SHAPE ARMHOLES + NECKLINE

Row 1 (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, p2tog, purl to 2 stitches before next marker, ssp, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [2 stitches decreased]

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 one (1, 3, 1, 1, 0) more time(s). [32 (34, 34, 38, 40, 43) stitches remain]

SHAPE NECKLINE

Decrease Row (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, purl to 2 stitches before next marker, ssp, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [1 stitch decreased]

Next Row (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1.

Working in established pattern, repeat Decrease Row every right-side row 8 (12, 9, 15, 17, 19) more times, then every 4th row 3 (1, 4, 2, 2, 1) time(s), ending with a wrong-side row. [20 (20, 20, 20, 20, 22) stitches remain]

FOR SIZES 34½, 37¾, 41, AND 44¼ INCHES ONLY

Decrease Row (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, remove marker, ssp, remove marker, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [19 stitches remain]

Next Row (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 3 times, p1, k3, p1, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1.

Next Row (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1, p3, k1, [p1, k1] 3 times, k1.

Next Row: Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 3 times, p1, k3, p1, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1.

Decrease Row (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1, p1, ssp, k1, [p1, k1] 3 times, k1. [18 stitches remain]

Next Row (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 3 times, p1, k2, p1, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1.

ALL SIZES

Work even until Armhole measures 8¾ (9¼, 9¾, 10¼, 10¾, 11¼) inches, ending with a wrong-side row.

Place Left Front stitches onto stitch holder or scrap yarn.

RIGHT FRONT

SHAPE ARMHOLES + NECKLINE

Return on-hold 36 (38, 42, 42, 44, 45) Right Front stitches to 24-inch circular needles.

Row 1 (right side): With right side facing you, slip 1 stitch to right-hand needle, join new yarn and [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, p2tog, purl to 2 stitches before next marker, ssp, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [34 (36, 40, 40, 42, 43) stitches remain]

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1.

FOR SIZES 34½, 37¾, 41, 44¼, AND 47¼ INCHES ONLY

Row 1 (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, p2tog, purl to 2 stitches before next marker, ssp, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [2 stitches decreased]

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 zero (0, 2, 0, 0, –) more times [32 (34, 34, 38, 40, –) stitches remain]

SHAPE NECKLINE: ALL SIZES

Decrease Row (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, sm, p2tog, purl to next marker, sm, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [1 stitch decreased]

Next Row (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 4 times, sm, knit to next marker, sm, [k1, p1] 4 times, k1.

Working in established pattern, repeat Decrease Row every right-side row 8 (12, 9, 15, 17, 19) more times, then every 4th row 3 (1, 4, 2, 2, 1) time(s). [20 (20, 20, 20, 20, 22) stitches remain]

FOR SIZES 34½, 37¾, 41, AND 44¼ INCHES ONLY

Decrease Row (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1, p1, ssp, k1, [p1, k1] 3 times, k1. [18 stitches remain]

Next Row (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 3 times, p1, k2, p1, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1.

Decrease Row (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 4 times, remove marker, p2tog, remove marker, [p1, k1] 4 times, k1. [19 stitches remain]

Next Row (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 3 times, p1, k3, p1, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1.

Next Row (right side): Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1, p3, k1, [p1, k1] 3 times, k1.

Next Row: Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 3 times, p1, k3, p1, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1.

Decrease Row: Slip 1 wyif, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1, p2tog, p1, k1, [p1, k1] 3 times, k1. [18 stitches remain]

Next Row: Slip 1 wyif, [p1, k1] 3 times, p1, k2, p1, [k1, p1] 3 times, k1.

ALL SIZES

Work even until Armhole measures 8¾ (9¼, 9¾, 10¼, 10¾, 11¼) inches, ending with a wrong-side row.

Do not cut yarn.

FINISH

ATTACH FRONTS TO BACK SHOULDERS

With wrong sides of Right Front and Right Back Shoulder facing each other, align live stitches of Right Front between markers on Right Back Shoulder. There are 7 (8, 9, 9, 10, 11) selvedge stitches (columns of slipped edge stitches) between markers on Back Shoulder, which will be joined to the 18 (18, 18, 18, 20, 22) Right Front stitches. Here’s how…

Insert right-hand needle into first stitch of Front, then into first selvedge stitch of Shoulder, use working yarn to wrap yarn around needle as if to knit and draw stitch through both the selvedge and live stitch, dropping live stitch off left-hand needle.

Insert needle into next stitch of Front, then into same selvedge stitch just worked, wrap working yarn around needle as if to knit and draw stitch through both selvedge and live stitch. Pass first stitch over second stitch. [1 stitch bound off: 17 (17, 17, 17, 19, 21) Right Front stitches remain]

FOR SIZES 34½ AND 37¾ INCHES ONLY

*Insert right-hand needle into next stitch of Front, then into next selvedge stitch of Shoulder, wrap working yarn around needle as if to knit and draw stitch through both the selvedge and live stitch, dropping live stitch off left-hand needle. Pass first stitch over second stitch. [1 stitch bound off]

[Insert needle into next stitch of Front, then into same selvedge stitch just worked, wrap working yarn around needle as if to knit and draw stitch through both the selvedge and live stitch. Pass first stitch over second stitch.] 2 times. [2 stitches bound off]

Repeat from * 3 (1, –, –, –, –) more time(s). [5, 11, –, –, –, –) Right Front stitches remain]

FOR ALL SIZES

**Insert right-hand needle into next stitch of Front, then into next selvedge stitch of Shoulder, wrap working yarn around needle as if to knit and draw stitch through both the selvedge and live stitch, dropping live stitch off left-hand needle. Pass first stitch over second stitch. [1 stitch bound off]

Insert needle into next stitch of Front, then into same selvedge stitch just worked, wrap working yarn around needle as if to knit and draw stitch through both the selvedge and live stitch. Pass first stitch over second stitch. [1 stitch bound off]

Repeat from ** until all Front Shoulder stitches have been bound off and attached to Back Shoulder.

Cut yarn and pull through last stitch.

Repeat for Left Shoulder, joining new yarn at beginning of sequence.

CONNECT BACK NECK STITCHES

Place each set of 10 Back Neck stitches onto a double pointed needle. Holding the needles parallel with wrong sides facing each other, work a Modified 3-Needle Bind Off over the Back Neck stitches.

Cut yarn and pull through last stitch.

WEAVE ENDS + BLOCK

Weave in all ends and block as desired.

Criss Cross Top | Purl Soho