Child’s T-Top

  Original T-Top

This sweater is based on the old OXFAM charity sweater of the 1980’s; it uses the measurements of that size 2 sweater. It is an over-sized boxy garment, and would probably be considered closer to a size 4 by modern standards, though it could  be a little longer if intended for a 3-4 year old.  It has no bands; edges are allowed to roll. Some yarns can be blocked with steam, and these will roll only a minimum amount. Soft yarns cannot be steam blocked; it will ruin them. The edges on these will roll a lot. Suggestions for optional waist band and sleeve edge finishing are also included at the end of the pattern.

The sleeve edges roll to the inside. Even after steam blocking, you can see how they curl under. There really is no way to prevent this without adding hems or bands of some kind.


 

Materials 
Approximately 5 oz knitting worsted weight yarn, size 4 on ball band
Waste yarn and ravel cord
Gauge: 18 sts, 26 rows = 4”   4 ½ sts, 6 ½ rows =1”
Tension: approximately 6-7 on LK 150, 5-6 on Brother KX 350

This is a beginner pattern. You should know how to cast on with waste yarn and ravel cord, remove stitches on waste yarn, and be able to do a neat ewrap cast on and backstitch bind off. A cast on rag and ravel cord will be used for casting stitches at the neck edge. The advantage of using a cast on rag is that it can be used over and over, saving waste yarn that is normally thrown away. Using a pre-made cast on rag prevents wear on the fabric, since there is no need to put stitches into hold beside the working needles while casting on with waste yarn.

Before beginning sweater, make 3 cast on rags; two must be at least 20 sts, and one must be at least 32 sts. These will be used when casting on the sleeve and neck stitches.

This garment is made in one piece, beginning at bottom of back, knitting up to the shoulder and creating a slit for neck, then knitting down to bottom of front. You will need a separate piece of yarn, approximately 2 yards of main color, to work the neck opening. Break off this amount and set aside.


 

Cast on 60 sts with waste yarn and ravel cord, ending with carriage on the right side of bed.  Change to main color. RC 000. Knit even to RC 56.
Cast on for sleeves. Bring forward 20 new needles for sleeves on right side. Hang a cast on rag on these needles. Manually knit ravel cord through each stitch.. Ewrap the 20 sleeve stitches. Knit 1 row to the left. Bring 20 new needles for sleeve into work position. Hang a cast on rag and knit 1 row of ravel cord. Ewrap cast on these new needles. Knit even to RC 92.

Neck. Using the separate yarn, backstitch bind off the center 32 stitches for neck edge. Hang the cast on rag on these 32 needles, and knit 1 row ravel cord. Hang weights on the cast on rag. Using the separate piece of main color yarn, ewrap cast on over the ravel cord. Note: it can be a little difficult to use such a long strand of yarn to backstitch; you may find it easier to use a shorter length to bind off, and a separate strand to make the ewrap cast on. Hang clips or clothes pins on the yarn tails to keep them down away from the carriage.

Reset row counter to 92. Carriage should be on the right. Thread carriage with main yarn. Knit even to RC 128, ending on right. Keep first 20 sts for sleeve in work position, place remaining 80 sts in hold position and set carriage to hold. Knit 8 rows waste yarn and remove sleeve stitches from machine. Return 20 sts on left side for sleeve to position C (upper work position.) Place carriage on left side of bed. Knit 8 rows waste yarn and remove sleeve stitches from machine. Reset row counter to 128. Thread carriage with main color. Knit to RC 184. Backstitch bind off.

If the yarn can be steamed, block it now, taking care to keep the edges straight.

Join underarm seam. Turn garment wrong side out, with the knit sides facing each other. Pick up 20 sts of back side of sleeve seam from ravel cord. Pick up 20 sts of front side of sleeve seam onto the same needles. 2 sts will be in each hook. Backstitch bind off. Repeat for the other sleeve seam.

Sew side seams using mattress stitch method. Remove the waste yarn from the neck edge. Work in yarn ends.


 

sweater 2

Variations

It is easy to make a few changes to this sweater. Bands can be added to the lower edge, hems added to the sleeves, and bands to the neck.


 

hem outside

Add bands to the lower edge
This is a very oversized garment. It fits the child better if the band is 3 or 4 stitches less than the body. Begin the garment with waste yarn and ravel cord, end with waste yarn. Rehang the cast on edge onto 57 needles, decreasing 3 stitches by placing 2 sts into the hooks of needles 15 and 1 right of center 0, and needle 15 left of center 0.

Carriage on right. RC 000. T 3. Knit 6 rows. T 4. Knit 1 row (this allows the hem to fold more easily.) T 2 ½. Knit 5 rows. Backstitch bind off. Do not remove waste yarn yet. Repeat the hem on the other edge. Sew the side seams. Fold up the hem and pin in place so that the edge follows the row of waste yarn. This is why it was left in place; it creates a marked line for the hem. Sew hem.


 

neck and sleeve

Neck
For a fatter roll at the neck edge, knit 6 rows on the neck stitches. On the back, keep the 32 center stitches in work position, and place both sleeve sections into hold. Knit 6 rows and bind off. For the front, hang the cast on rag and waste yarn, ewrap cast on the 32 neck stitches. Keep sleeve stitches in hold on both sides. Knit 6 rows. Return the sleeve stitches to work position and complete the garment. Do not steam block the neck roll; it rolls better when left unblocked.

For a narrow stand-up band, pin the bound off edge down to the inside and hem in place. This can be turned into a wide turtle neck or cowl simply by knitting more rows. Children have short necks, so don’t add too many.


 

Hem the sleeves
Turn under 3 stitches on sleeve edges and sew a hem. This prevents the sleeve from rolling inwards. You can make this a decorative touch by planning for it in advance. When casting on for the sleeve, leave the 4th needle from the edge empty. After the garment is knitted, and before joining the underarm seam, drop the 4th stitch from the edge (the one just inside the empty needle). Ravel it all the way back to the beginning. We will be making a mock cable in this run. See lesson 2 for instructions. This creates a firm, decorative hem edge. Fold the hem to the inside and sew in place.

Note: to keep the seam from being noticeable on the right side of the garment, split the sewing yarn and use a single ply for seaming. Also, try using a whip stitch, and catching down every other row. Stitches can be ¼” apart and still hold the hem in place.

Carriage on right. RC 000. T 3. Knit 6 rows. T 4. Knit 1 row (this allows the hem to fold more easily.) T 2 ½. Knit 5 rows. Backstitch bind off. Do not remove waste yarn yet. Repeat the hem on the other edge. Sew the side seams. Fold up the hem and pin in place so that the edge follows the row of waste yarn. This is why it was left in place; it creates a marked line for the hem. Sew hem.


 

This pattern was developed specifically for beginner lessons on the Facebook Plastic Midgauge Knitting Machines group, and was written specifically for new knitters just learning to use a machine. If you have more experience, you can omit the waste yarn at the beginning, cast on for sleeves, and possibly the cast on for the neck.