[blue sheep]


the knitsmithy

the blue blog

works in progress

finished projects

free patterns


Happy Knitty knitting!


Inspired by a maternity top that I didn't get to wear nearly enough while I was pregnant, this sweater is an attempt to recapture the feminine feeling that my maternity clothes gave me during the full bloom of my pregnancy. The high empire waist, low v-neck and a-line shape so common to maternity wear are brought together here in a light wool/cotton blend, perfect for the season. The delicious red yarn conveys the ripe fullness promised by both spring and pregnancy. The a-line shape and ribbing are repeated in the bell sleeves, but this sweater would make a great tank as well. Just knit the armhole openings a half inch shorter and finish them off with a simple crochet edging. Featured in the Spring 2004 issue of Knitty.

Pattern is here at Knitty! And here are some ideas for modifying the pattern:

The Rosebud Tank:

Yarn: I'll be making a tank myself sometime this summer (for the Belly Time Knitalong). I haven't decided what yarn I'll use - not quite sure about wool/cotton for real summerwear. On my list of possible substitutes are Dale Svale, Rowan Cotton Glace, Patons Grace. You all have any other ideas?

Edging: I'm thinking of doing a picot, flower or bobble edge at the bottom to add a little something special to the tank (gotta make up for the loss of those lovely sleeves!).

Waist: And another nice feminine addition would be a drawstring tie slipped through an eyelet round in the ribbing under the bust (see instructions below) that could be tied to make a little bow in front.

Pattern Change: Remember to shorten the armholes about half an inch. That should keep the bra line nicely covered.

The Rosebud Maternity Top:

Edging: First, I'd probably change the rolled stockinette edging to garter or seed stitch (6 rows maybe), so that you're not losing any length there. You could do matching garter/seed stitch on the sleeves as well.

Pattern Change: You might also consider knitting the first three inches of the front and back separately, joining to knit in the round afterwards, so that there are side slits giving you even more room to grow. I'd do the edges of those panels (first and last 5 stitches perhaps) in a matching garter/seed stitch as well, so they lay nice and flat.

Pattern Change: Maternity tops often have a curved front panel to compensate for that round belly requiring more fabric in the middle than on the sides. You could accomplish this by doing short rows on the front half. You can do this even if you haven't separated the front and back sections.

I'd recommend knitting your edging and then one more round, then beginning the short rows by knitting to 3/4 of the stitches of the front (= 76[80, 84, 88, 92] stitches), wrapping the next stitch and turning. (If you've never done short rows before, check out the short row primer in Knitty or the tutorial at Borealis Sweaterscapes). Next row: Purl one half of your stitches for the front (= 50[54, 56, 58, 60] stitches), wrap the next stitch and turn. Next row: Knit to the wrapped stitch, knit stitch and its wrap together, knit another three stitches, wrap the next stitch and turn. Next row: Purl to the wrapped stitch, purl stitch and its wrap together, purl another three stitches, wrap the next stitch and turn. Continue in this manner, knitting or purling four more stitches (the wrapped stitch plus the three following it) each row until you have reincorporated all the front stitches. Then follow pattern normally.

Waist: A drawstring tie would also be a nice touch here, keeping the top of the top sitting nicely over your bust and not stretched out over your belly. Do an eyelet round on the third round of your ribbing (*K2tog, yo* around). Crochet a chain about 12"-18" longer than needed to go around your torso. Slip the tie through the eyelet round and tie with a bow in back.

all patterns and images © Alison Hansel
and are shared here for individual personal use only