Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Free Pattern: Silver Spring Tank

My major goal for this summer was to really embrace summer knitting (cotton! linen! tank tops! tshirts!). This knitted tank is named after the town in Maryland where I stayed while doing archival research in early June. I was pretty exhausted each evening so it also ended up being where I did most of the knitting for this piece.

I had a specific set of characteristics I was looking for in a summer tank top, namely: worsted weight cotton yarn, slightly cropped, high neck. 

This tank top knits up quickly and requires about 500 yards of a cotton worsted weight yarn at its smallest size. The yarn used here is Rowan Yarns Cotton Jeans in "Canvas." This particular yarn has been discontinued but any worsted weight cotton will do.  

This pattern has not been test knit so please let me know if you have any questions or problems along the way! This is also my first time writing a pattern for something that is not one-size, so I encourage you to check your gauge and also see as you go along whether the fit is to your preference. The size shown is the size 1.

This pattern is knit in two parts: a front and a back, has minimal shaping, uses a slipped stitch edge along the body to ease vertical seaming, and a straight-across neckline.

Sizes: 1(2, 3, 4)5(6,7,8)9(10,11)
Finished Measurements: 33.5"(36.5", 39.5", 42.5")45.5"(48.5",51.5",54.5")57.5"(60.5",63.5")bust
This is a 0 ease pattern.
Yarn Requirements: 500 yards of worsted weight cotton for smallest size
Needles: US 8
Gauge: 16 st and 24 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch

CO: cast on
k2tog: knit two together
ssk: slip slip knit
BO: bind off


For Front: 
Main Body:
CO 67(73, 79, 85) 91(97, 103, 109) 115(121, 127)
Next Row: *k1, p1, repeat from *, end k1
Repeat previous row until piece measures 1.5" from beginning
Next Row: Slip first stitch purlwise, knit
Next Row: Slip first stitch purlwise, purl, knit last stitch
Repeat these two rows until piece measures 13"(13", 15", 15")17"(19", 22", 26")28"(32", 36") from beginning. 

Shape Armholes:
BO 7(9, 11, 13) 15(18,21,24)28(32,36) knitwise, knit to end
BO 7(9, 11, 13) 15(18,21,24)28(32,36) purlwise, knit to end
Next Row: k1, k2tog, knit to last three stitches, ssk, k1
Next Row: purl
Repeat these two rows 2(2, 3, 3) 4(4, 5, 5) 5(5, 5) more times

Next Row: knit in stockinette stitch (knit right side, purl wrong side) until piece measures 19"(20", 22", 24") 26"(33", 38", 42") 50"(52, 54") from beginning

For neckline:
Knit 10(10, 10, 12) 12(15, 20, 25) 30, (35, 40), BO until last 10(10, 10, 12) 12(15, 20, 25) 30, (35, 40) stitches, knit 10(10, 10, 12) 12(15, 20, 25) 30, (35, 40) stitches.
Place live shoulder stitches on scrap yarn or stitch holder

For looser neckline:
Knit 10(10, 10, 12) 12(15, 20, 25) 30, (35, 40), join new ball of yarn, BO until last 10(10, 10, 12) 12(15, 20, 25) 30, (35, 40)stitches, knit 10(10, 10, 12) 12(15, 20, 25) 30, (35, 40) stitches. 

For each shoulder, knit back and forth in stockinette stitch until shoulder straps are desired length. 
Place live shoulder stitches on scrap yarn or stitch holder. 

For Back:
Follow instructions as for front.

With wrong sides facing, mattress stitch the two pieces using a vertical seam (see a tutorial from WAK here). I chose to begin seaming after the seed stitch hem.
Kitchener stitch shoulders (see a tutorial from Knitty here)
Weave in ends, wet or steam block.


  1. For beginners to using cotton it is worth making a swatch and washing it a few times to be on the safe side. Cotton might stretch or lose its shape, so drying flat and mopping up excess water with towels and without creasing the fabric is recommended. I read recently that alpaca can stretch over a long period of time, over months, even years. Perhaps this could a wise choice for knitting clothes for growing children. If the garments keep their shape, pass them on! Being cautious, I would look at several cotton mixes and blends before knitting a garment. Re: the style. A pattern with side seams and or rectangular modules should be easy to alter. If a top stretches, turn up the hem to shorten it, but if the top is on the wide side, add a simple pleat as in sewing, with a few stitches, at the centre neckline or waistline at the sides to create a gathered effect. I have not knitted much below 70% acrylic. ENJOY.

  2. Thanks, C! Great advice about working with cotton/different yarns and design.

  3. When you reach the decrease for the armhole then continue up to 19", do you continue to slip the first stitch and knit the ladt stitch on the purl row?

    1. Hi Mary,
      I did in my version -- I liked a bit of a neater edge. You can choose to just knit back and forth without the slipped stitch edge as well!

  4. Hello! I am planning on making this pattern on my upcoming vacation! It’s beautiful! I cannot wait!! I had a quick question before starting however, did you use a cord with your needles, and what length, or straight needles? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Maria, the size 8 needles I used were straight needles and about 16" in length (so quite long). Using a circular needle and knitting back and forth would work well. I also think a short straight needle would be just fine depending on the size you're knitting -- I just like to spread out my knitting on one needle to see how it's coming along :)

      Please share your FO when it's done -- I'd love to see it!

  5. So amazing that you adjusted the size range - really impressive!!

  6. Hi, Thanks for great pattern how long did you make your shoulder seams?

    1. Hi Shannon, it is shown here with no length added to the shoulder seams

  7. Please translate sizing for me

    1. Hi, you can think fo size 1 as XS and translate upward from there. As always, it is best to take your own measurements and pick the size that is best for you (this is a 0 ease garment)