Picovoli
by Grumperina

Yarn for this project was kindly donated by: Spirit Work,

Dress it up, or dress it down! The Picovoli t-shirt pattern lets you choose whether delicate picots surround the neckline, armholes, and/or hem, or whether the lines remain unadorned and straight. Flattering and feminine design details – ballet neckline, full-fashioned shaping, and close-fitting style – are achieved simply: the t-shirt is knit in the round, from the top down, and in one piece, so there’s no seaming. For knitters who choose straight edges, finishing is limited to weaving in ends from joining skeins. The versatile Picovoli can be your top for your next occasion, casual or dressy!

Difficulty level
Intermediate

Materials

Debbie Bliss Cathay, 50% cotton, 35% viscose microfibre, 15% silk, 109 yds / 100 m per 50 g skein, color #8: 4 (5, 5, 6, 7, 8) skeins

Circular needles: US 4 / 3.50 mm or size needed to obtain gauge; 16" / 40cm or 20" / 50cm (for the first few rounds) and 24"/ 60cm or 29" / 80cm (for the rest of the sweater).

Markers of two different colors/styles
Spare lengths of yarn
Tapestry needle

Yarn substitutes
KnitPicks Shine or Shine Twist

Sizes
Finished bust: 28 (32, 36, 40, 44, 48) in / 71 (81, 91, 101.5, 112, 122) cm
Finished length to shoulder: 18.25 (19.5, 20.5, 21.5, 22.5, 23.5) in / 46 (49.5, 52, 54.5, 57.5, 59.5) cm
Suggested bust measurement of wearer: 30 (34, 38, 42, 46, 50) in / 76 (86.5, 96.5, 106.5, 117, 127) cm

Note: This pattern is for a close-fitting garment – about 2 inches smaller around the bust than the wearer’s actual bust measurement. The negative ease produces a streamlined silhouette while compensating for cotton’s tendency to stretch during wear. In order to assess whether this fit will work for you, select a sweater knit from a similar fabric, one which fits you the same way you’d like your Picovoli t-shirt to fit you. Measure the sweater, and compare its dimensions to the finished dimensions of the Picovoli.

Gauge
22 sts and 30 rnds = 4” / 10cm square in circular stockinette stitch (after blocking)

Note: The top is knit in the round – if you know that your gauge varies drastically between knitting flat and knitting in the round, take the time to make a circular knitting swatch. Cotton and cotton blends, which are a good choice for this top, tend to stretch or bloom when wetted. Therefore, measure gauge after washing and/or blocking your swatch.

Abbreviations
k-f/b: increase 1 stitch by knitting in the front and back loops of the same stitch
yo: yarn over
m1(left): pick up running thread from front to back, knit the strand through the back loop
m1(right): pick up running thread from back to front, knit the strand;
ssk: slip slip knit – slip 2 stitches individually as if to knit, then knit them together through the back loop.
pm: place marker
sm: slip marker

Before you begin: Since the t-shirt is knit from the top down, you can try it on as you go. Place the stitches on a spare length of yarn, or shuttle some of them to a second circular needle, then try on your project-in-progress. Be sure to try it on after completing a few rows of the bust section (check that the neckhole and armholes fit), towards the end of the bust section (there should be enough fabric to cover your bust), and throughout the waist-shaping portion (garment should follow your natural curves). Women with fuller busts may want to consider adding short-row shaping in the bust section.

Yoke
Choose whether you would like a picot or a straight neck edge and start accordingly:
Picot: using a provisional method, cast on 120 (136, 140, 140, 144, 148) sts. Join, being careful not to twist sts. This is the start of the round, located at the back of the neck. Identify it with a contrasting marker. Begin stockinette st. Work 3 rounds even. Picot eyelets: *k2tog, yo; rep from * until the end of the round. Work 1 round even.
Straight: cast on 120 (136, 140, 140, 144, 148) sts. Join, being careful not to twist sts. This is the start of the round, located at the back of the neck. Identify it with a contrasting marker. Begin stockinette st. Work 1 round even.

Note: If you leave a long tail of pattern yarn when casting on, you can use it to stitch down the picot neck edging.

Place markers for the raglan seams as follows: k 19 (21, 21, 21, 21, 22), pm, k 22 (26, 28, 28, 30, 30), pm, k 38 (42, 42, 42, 42, 44), pm, k 22 (26, 28, 28, 30, 30), pm, k 19 (21, 21, 21, 21, 22). Increase round: *knit to 1 st before marker, k-f/b, sm, k-f/b; rep from * at each marker, knit to end of round; 8 sts increased (1 st each side of each raglan seam); 128, (144, 148, 148, 152, 156) sts on needle.

Continue making increase rounds according to finished bust size:

28" / 71cm (32" / 81cm): work increase round every other round, 10 (12) more times, ending with an even round; 208 (240) sts – 60 (68) sts for front and back, 44 (52) sts for sleeves.

36" / 91cm (40" / 101.5cm, 44" / 112cm, 48" / 122cm): *work 1 round even, work 2 inc rounds; rep from * 8 (10, 11, 13) times. 36" / 91cm and 44" / 112cm sizes only: work 1 round even, then 1 additional increase round. All sizes: work 1 round even; 284 (308, 336, 364) sts on needle – 78 (84, 90, 98) sts for front and back, 64 (70, 78, 84) sts for sleeves.

Bust
Divide for armholes and shape underarm. Choose whether you would like picot edging around the armholes. Knit accordingly, removing markers from the yoke section as you come to them:
Picot: k to first marker, * sl all sts between here and the next marker onto a length of yarn and hold for picot edging, cast on 17 (20, 21, 26, 31, 34) *, join to front sts and k across them to next marker, repeat between *s, join to back sts, k to end of round; 154 (176, 198, 220, 242, 264) sts.
Straight: k to first marker, cast off all sts between here and the next marker, k across the front sts to next marker, cast off all sts between here and the next marker, k to end of round. K to armhole edge, cast on 17 (20, 21, 26, 31, 34), join to front sts and k across them to armhole edge, cast on 17 (20, 21, 26, 31, 34), join to back sts, k to end of round; 154 (176, 198, 220, 242, 264) sts.

Note: When forming the armholes by casting on mid-row, you may want to cast on fairly tightly and/or use a smaller needle; the knitted cast-on in purl forms a nice, snug edge. Be aware that the first and last cast-on stitches tend to be loose. To remedy this, pick up an extra stitch at each edge of the knit fabric, then k2tog the extra stitch with the first and last cast-on stitches, respectively.

K 38 (44, 50, 55, 60, 66), place contrasting marker. This marks the beginning of the round from now on (at your right side). Knit even for 4 (4.5, 4.75, 5.25, 6.25, 7)" / 10 (11.5, 12, 13.5, 16, 18) cm, approx. 30 (34, 36, 39, 47, 52) rounds, or length required to nearly cover bust while stretching lightly.

Waist decreases
Work 1 round even while placing markers for the shaping as follows: k 17 (19, 22, 26, 30, 35), pm, k 43 (50, 55, 58, 61, 62), pm, k 34 (38, 44, 52, 60, 70), pm, k 43 (50, 55, 58, 61, 62), pm, k 17 (19, 22, 26, 30, 35).

While shaping, you will leave 34 (38, 44, 52, 60, 70) sts untouched at each side, and decrease/increase the number of stitches in the front and back sections.

Decrease round: k to first marker, *sm, SSK, knit to within 2 sts of next marker, k2tog, sm*, k to next marker, repeat between *s, k to end of round; 150 (172, 194, 216, 238, 260) sts. Repeat decrease round every 3rd (3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 2nd) round 7 (7, 8, 8, 9, 9) times more; 122 (144, 162, 184, 202, 224) sts. Knit even for 2" / 5 cm (approx. 15 rounds).

Waist increases:

Increase round: k to first marker, *sm, m1(right), knit to next marker, m1(left), sm*, k to next marker, repeat between *s, k to end of round; 126 (148, 166, 188, 206, 228) sts. Repeat increase round every 3rd round 6 times more; 150 (172, 190, 212, 230, 252) sts. Knit even for 1.5" / 4cm (approx. 11 rounds).

Choose whether you would like picot edging at the hem.
Picot: *k2tog, yo; repeat from * until the end of the round. Work 2 rounds even. Do not cast off, place sts on a length of yarn or proceed to finishing.
Straight: Cast off all sts loosely.

Note: For a straight hem, you may want to cast off using a needle one size larger than what you used for the rest of the pattern. This will ensure that the cast-off edge is not too tight, and the t-shirt won’t ride up over your hips. If you are adding picot edging at the hem, leave a long tail after you’re done knitting, and use it to secure the picots.

Finishing:

For picot armholes: with RS facing, replace 44 (52, 64, 70, 78, 84) held sts on needle. Join yarn, *k2tog, yo; repeat from *, end with k2tog; 43 (51, 63, 69, 77, 83) sts. Turn work. Work 2 rows in st st. Fold edge along picot row and sew live stitches in place. Repeat for other armhole.

For picot neckline: fold edge along picot row, remove provisional cast on and sew live stitches in place.

For picot hem: fold edge along picot row and sew live stitches in place.

Weave in all ends.

Note: You may want to separate the plies of your pattern yarn and use only some of them to secure the picot edging without adding extra bulk. If you’ve added picots around the armholes, the yarn tails can be used to stitch down the picots and/or neaten up the corners of the armhole. The picot hem is sewn into place and is therefore not very elastic; since it needs to slide over your bust, do not make it too tight, and/or try on your garment before deciding where to secure the ends.

Kathy, aka Grumperina, studies, knits, and sleeps (only when she’s run out of yarn) in the Boston area. Weblog and e-mail.

 

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