Etereo : - Spring + Summer 2023


Etéreo, a free knitting pattern from



beauty shotby

Mellow Tangy


Ah, summer evenings. Warm breezes waft along, sending you into a deep state of relaxation. Crickets chirp gently in the background. The scent of blooming flowers permeates the air… Ack! Wait – was that the whine of a mosquito? Isn't that my hair plastered to the back of my neck? I'm drenching the sheets with my overheated body. Will someone please find me a fan or get me to an air-conditioned room?!?!

I love summer. I really do. But I find it very difficult to fall asleep on summer nights when the mercury remains high after sundown. Anything that contributes to my coolness quotient at bedtime is appreciated. I need sleepwear that's lightweight, cool to the touch and breathes well while still providing decent coverage.

Voila! Here's a nightgown that meets all those requirements plus shows off some really spectacular stash yarn. Having never previously knitted with bamboo, I was amazed at the sleek, soft fabric it created. And oh, the colors! Bamboo takes dye beautifully. The six-skein gradient packs offered up by Theodora's Pearls were just crying out for a special garment. At the end of a long summer's day, my Etéreo is the perfect choice for chilling out. Etéreo is the Spanish word for "ethereal".

Bottom line, Etéreo is a simple shift. Do with it what you will! As designed, it's a midi-length, six-color striped whisper of a garment, form fitting and slightly revealing. I wear it as a nightgown but it could also be worn as a dress. I sized up to make a looser, less sheer version in a nubby cotton yarn from Knit One, Crochet too. Fabulous! Etéreo would work well made from any plant fiber yarn. Knit it up in two colors or twelve. Add or subtract color bands to make it into a mini, knee-length or maxi dress. I've included an after-the-fact option for wider straps. (Some of us need to wear a bra under this thing...) Enjoy creating a bespoke Etéreo for yourself and an entirely different version for a friend. Then get out there and enjoy summer. Stay cool, my friends.

spacer model: Carrie Sugrue, Suzie Briddsang

spacer photos: Suzie Briddsang, Karen Tischer

Print Essentials Print Everything


Women's XS[S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X]
shown in size M with 0 inches/0 cm of ease; size 1X with 8 inches/20 cm of negative ease; size 2X with 0 inches/0 cm of ease.


Chest circumference at underarm:  27.25[30, 32.75, 35.5, 38.5, 41.25, 44, 46.75, 49.5] inches/ 69[76, 81, 90, 98, 105, 112, 119, 125.5] cm after blocking. Garment will stretch to approximately 28[31, 34, 36, 40, 42, 46, 50, 53.5] inches/ 71[79. 86.5, 91.5, 101.5, 106.5, 117, 127, 136, ] cm after wearing
Length:  34.25[34.75, 35.5, 36, 36.75, 37.25, 37.75, 38.5, 39] inches/ 87[88.5, 90, 91.5, 93.5, 94.5, 95.5, 98, 99] cm after blocking. Note: Garment length will increase slightly with wearing


spacer Theodora's Pearls Auxanometer Gradients [100 % bamboo; 200 yds per 50 g skein, package of six skeins for a total 1200 yards.]; colors: Azurite (M sample shown above) and Cheryl's Jewels (1X sample shown immediately below).


spacer Elspeth Lavold Hempathy (41% hemp/34% cotton/25% modal, 153 yd/140 m per 50 g skein); colors: Old Ivory, Summer Cloud, White Beach, Pale Pistachio, Brown Sugar and Deep Mulberry;  1[1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2] skeins each (shown below)


spacer Knit One, Crochet Too Pea Pod [100% cotton; 262 yd/240 m per 100 g skein]; 1 skein each in Tangerine, Taupe, Mauve, Spring, Lipstick, and Caribe. (shown at very bottom with wider straps)

Yarn Characteristics
spacer Theodora's Pearls Auxanometer is a fingering-weight, 4-ply yarn made from 100% bamboo. It is light in weight, drapes beautifully and has just enough spring to provide a bit of memory for the garment. It is also soft to the touch (nice for those sensitive bits) and entirely machine washable. This yarn can stretch a LOT, both in width and length. Most plant fiber yarns will stretch during use (bamboo and other smooth rayons will stretch the most), but should tighten up after washing and machine drying.To compensate, Etéreo is designed with 6-8 inches/15-20 cm of negative ease.

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below - every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 US #4/3.5 mm circular needle, 24 inches/60 cm long
spacer 1 US #5/3.75 mm circular needle, 24 inches/ 60 cm long
spacer 1 US #6/4 mm circular needle, 24 inches/ 60 cm long
spacer 1 US #7/4.5 mm circular needle, 24 inches/ 60 cm long
spacer 1 set of US #4/3.5 mm DPNs or 1 US #4/3.5 mm circular needle, 12 to 16 inches/ 30 to 40 cm long

spacer one stitch marker
spacer 2 stitch holders or scrap yarn for holding live stitches
spacer sharp yarn needle for seaming and working in ends


20 sts/30 rows = 4 inches/10 cm in stockinette stitch on smallest needles


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

Etéreo is worked from the top down. The front and back sections are constructed flat, then joined under the arms to work in the round. Next, spaghetti straps are constructed by picking up and casting on stitches and working in the round. If narrow straps aren't your thing, check out the optional addition for widening into tank top style.

Etéreo is essentially a rectangular garment with a slight A-line flare. To produce that shape, the pattern calls for an increase in needle size after every third color band. However, you may choose to vary the amount of increase in your needle size to alter the garment's overall shape. If you have a large bust, you may choose to increase by 2 needle sizes at the first needle size change. To give the garment a widely flaring, flouncy silhouette, increase by 2 needle sizes (instead of 1) each time.

Fiber Choice
Prefer cotton for your summer nightgown? No problem. Hemp and linen yarn are also good choices for Etéreo – though they can prove to be a bit rough on your (ahem…) softer parts. By the third or fourth wash, both fibers soften a great deal.

A note of caution: no matter which bast fiber you use, the nightgown will stretch with use in between washings. On the first wearing, it might cling to your body more than you'd like. The armholes will feel a little shallow. Both qualities are intentional. Wear Etéreo a few times before a final evaluation. As the fabric loosens and the straps lengthen, you'll find it settles into a just-right fit.

Color bands
Instructions for the garment make reference to “color bands”. Each color band is worked as follows:
Rnd 1: Using a new color, knit to end of rnd.
Rnd 2: Knit to end of rnd.
Rnd 3: (K2tog, yo) to end of rnd.
Rnds 4-20: Knit to end of rnd.

If working sizes 2X to 5X in the 200 m skeins of Auxanometer, work Rnds 1-3 as above but only work Rnds 4-18 for each color band. This will make a shorter garment but ensure sufficient yarn for two complete color bands in each of the six colors.

As you change colors, leave at least 6-7 inches/15-18 cm of length on each both strands of yarn. You'll want this length later, when you go back to weave in the ends. If the loose ends are too short, they'll inevitably work their way through the adjacent lacy rounds and show themselves on the right side of the fabric. (I don't know how yarn could be cognizant of such a thing but believe me, it happens.) By leaving significant length, you can weave your ends into the fabric well above or below the yarnover rounds.

Another option is to use a magic knot, also called a fisherman's knot, right at the point you need to change colors. Here's a photo tutorial.


With any color and using your smallest needles, CO 24[30, 36, 42, 48, 54, 60, 66, 72] sts.
Rows 1-5: Knit to end of row.
Row 6 [RS]: Change to new color if you'd like straps and garter stitch bands at the neckline to be in the same color, (k6, m1) to end of row. 28[35, 42, 49, 56, 63, 70, 77, 84] sts.
Row 7 [WS]: Purl to end of row.
Row 8: K2, (k2tog, yo) until 2 sts remain, k2.
Row 9: Purl to end of row.
Row 10: Knit to end of row.
Row 11: Purl to end of row.
Rows 12–19: Continue working in stockinette stitch.
Row 20: Using a new color, knit to end of row.
Row 21: Purl to end of row.
Row 22: K2, (k2tog, yo) until 2 sts remain, k2.
Row 23: Purl to end of row.

Begin increases for armhole:
Row 24 [RS]: K2, m1, k2, m1, knit until 4 sts remain, m1, k2, m1, k2. 4 sts increased, 32[39, 46, 53, 60, 67, 74, 81, 88] sts.
Row 25 [WS]: Purl to end of row.
Work Rows 24-25 five more times. 52[59, 66, 73, 80, 87, 94, 101, 108] sts.

Repeat Row 24. 4 sts increased, 56[63, 70, 77, 84, 91, 98, 105, 112] sts.

Next row [WS]: Purl to end of row, CO 6 sts. 62[69, 76, 83, 90, 97, 104, 111, 118] sts.
Next row [RS]: Knit to end of row. CO 6 sts. 68[75, 82, 89, 96, 103, 110, 117, 124] sts.
Next row: Purl to end of row.
Place all stitches on stitch holder.

Repeat all directions as for Front.

From this point forward, the garment will be worked in the round.

Work color band 1:
Next round 1: Knit all Front sts, knit all Back sts, pm and join to work in the round. 136[150, 164, 178, 192, 206, 220, 234, 248] sts.
Continue as instructed for Color band Rnds 2–20.

Work color bands 2-4:
Change to needles 1 size larger.
Work three color bands.

Work color bands 5-7:
Change to needles 1 size larger.
Work three color bands.

Work color bands 8-10:
Change to needles 1 size larger.
Work three color bands.

Bottom edge
Change to a new color if desired.

Decrease round:
Size XS: [K15, k2tog] 8 times. 128 sts.
Size S: [K13, k2tog] 10 times. 140 sts.
Size M: [K11, k2tog] 12 times, knit to end. 152 sts.
Size L: [K10, k2tog] 14 times, knit to end. 164 sts.
Size 1X: [K10, k2 tog] 16 times, knit to end. 176 sts.
Size 2X: [K9, k2tog] 18 times, knit to end. 188 sts.
Size 3X: [K9, k2tog] 20 times, knit to end. 200 sts.
Size 4X: [K8, k2tog] 22 times, knit to end. 212 st.
Size 5X: [K8, k2tog] 24 times, knit to end. 224 sts.

Round 1: Purl to end of round.
Round 2: Knit to end of round.
Repeat Rnds 1-2 three times more.

Next round: BO all stitches purlwise.

Work spaghetti straps:
Note: Leave yourself ends of at least 6-7 inches/15-18 cm for strengthening the join with the garment body.

With chosen strap color and your smallest size needles (either DPNs or circular needles) and with RS facing, start at right side of the armhole and pick up 40[43, 46, 49, 52, 55, 58, 61, 64] sts, attach working yarn and CO 16[19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 40] sts, pm and join to knit in the round. 56[62, 68, 74, 80, 86, 92, 98, 104] sts.

Rnd 1: Purl to end of round.
Rnd 2: Knit to end of round.
Repeat Rnds 1-2 twice more.

Next round: BO all stitches purlwise.

Repeat these steps for the second armhole. Use the long ends at beginning and end of spaghetti strap to reinforce the connection with the garment body.

After-the-Fact Tank Top Straps (shown immediately above)
You may prefer to wear Etéreo with a bra or simply like the idea of wider straps. If so, work as indicated below; you may work the increased width in one, two or three colors.

Note: Leave yourself ends of at least 6-7 inches/15-18 cm for seaming.

Using your chosen color, and with the RS facing you, pick up and knit 16[19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 40] sts on the inside (closest to neck) of the spaghetti strap.
Row 1 [WS]: Purl to end of row.
Row 2 [RS]: Knit to end of row.
Row 3: Purl to end of row.
Row 4: K 2[3, 2, 3, 2, 3, 2, 3, 2] , (k2tog, yo) until 2 sts remain in row, k2.
Row 5: Purl to end of row.
Row 6: Knit to end of row.
Row 7: Purl to end of row.
Row 8: Change color if desired and knit to end of row.
Knit 5 rows.

Next row: BO all sts purlwise.

Repeat these steps to widen your second spaghetti strap. Use long ends to seam or sew straps to garment at neckline in front and back.


Weave in all ends or tie off with magic knots/fisherman's knots. Handwash or machine wash on a gentle cycle and in cold water and lay flat to dry.

A – chest circumference: 27.25[30, 32.75, 35.5, 38.5, 41.25, 44, 46.75, 49.5] inches/ 69[76, 83, 90, 98, 105, 112, 119, 125.5] cm
B – front/back width: 5.5[7, 8.5, 9.75, 11.25, 12.5, 14, 15.5, 16.75] inches/ 14[18, 21.5, 25, 28.5, 32, 35.5, 42.5, ] cm
C – armhole depth:  5.5[6.25, 6.75, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9.25, 9.75, 10.5] inches/ 14[16, 17, 19, 20.5, 21.5, 23.5, 25, 26.5] cm
D – length from underarm: 28.75 inches/73 cm


designername Suzie Briddsang is an avid knitter, spinner, writer, gardener and appreciator of both cityscape and landscape. She makes a living leading small groups of fiber-obsessed folks on trips to the British Isles, Iceland and the Faroe Islands with Rowan Tree Travel. Suzie has owned multiple herding dogs but never an actual sheep.

She's also a recovered angora rabbit wrangler (having penned The Nervous New Owner's Guide to Angora Rabbits) and blogs occasionally at studiobriddsang.

Pattern & images © 2023 Suzie Briddsang