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Summer time and the living is breezy in this sleeveless shell with built-in ventilation!

An insertion of lace ladders from Barbara Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns into a wide ribbing at the waist gives a touch of sexiness and will keep you feeling cool when things heat up.

The top is knit in the round to the arm openings, then divided for the front and back which are knitted flat on circular needles.

The simple lace stitch uses common decreases and YOs. The shoulder straps can be joined by kitchener stitching, 3-needle bind-off or sewing bound off stitches together. Your choice!

model: Theresa Vinson Stenersen photo: Sigurd Stenersen

XS [S, M, L, XL]

Chest: 34[36, 38, 40, 42] inches
Length: 17.5 [18 ,18.5 ,19,19.5] inches



Cotton Sport by Almedahls [50% cotton, 50% acrylic; 115m per 50g skein];
color: 740; 4 [5, 5, 5,6] skeins
(Or any cotton or cotton-blend yarn that knits to correct gauge.)
1 US #4/3.5mm 24-inch circular needle
1 US #6/4mm 24-inch circular needle
If kitchener stitching: tapestry needle and scrap yarn
If 3-needle bind off: extra knitting needle in larger size
If seaming: tapestry needle
If adding a crocheted edging: size F crochet hook


18 sts/24 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch using larger needles.


Note: In pattern when "slip 1" is used, if ...

...slip 1 is followed by a purl stitch: slip as if to purl with yarn in front.
...slip 1 is followed by a knit stitch: slip as if to knit with yarn in back.

Stockinette Lace Ladder

Round 1: *ssk, double yo, k2 tog*

Round 2: *k1, [k1, p1] into double yo, k1*

CO 150[160, 170, 180, 190] sts with smaller circular needles.
Join, placing marker to indicate beginning of round and being careful not to twist work.

Work in k2, p3 ribbing as follows: k1, *p3, k2* to 4 sts from marker, p3, k1.
Continue ribbing for 0.5[1, 1, 1.5, 2] inch[es].

Work one decrease row as follows: k1, *p2tog, p1, k2*, end p2tog, p1, k1.

Work in Stockinette Lace Ladder pattern for 3 inches.

Work one increase round as follows:
*Inc by knitting into front and back of st, p2, k1* [returns you to original stitch count]

Work in k2, p3 ribbing as before for 2 more inches.

Change to larger circular needles and continue in St st with k2, p3 ribbing at underarms for 4.5 inches as follows: *k1, p3, k 67[72, 77, 82, 87], p3, k1* x 2 [place a contrasting color marker after first repeat to mark opposite underarm.]

Divide for front:

Work to within 2 sts of marker indicating beginning of round and BO 4 sts firmly in purl, p1, k 52[62, 72, 82, 92], p2.
Turn work.
You may either leave the remaining sts on the circular needle or place them on a separate circular needle or spare piece of yarn.
Continue to work on the sts for front of top for 1 inch as follows, ending with a WS row:

Row 1 [WS]: slip 1, k1, p to 2 sts from end, k2.

Row 2 [RS]: slip 1, p1, k to 2 sts from end, p2.

[See note for slipping stitches above.]

Then begin decreasing by working Row 2 as follows:

Row 2: slip 1, p2, ssk, k to 4 sts from end, k2 tog, p2

Decrease a total of 10 times, until there are 51[56, 61, 66, 71] sts remaining, then work Row 2 as before [no decreases] for 1 inch more.

Divide for shoulder straps:

On next RS row: work 20[22,24,26,28] sts, BO next 11[12,13,14,15]sts in purl, work remaining 14[18, 22, 27, 31] sts.
[From this point you will be working on one shoulder strap first then going back to finish the second shoulder strap.]

Continuing to work back and forth on 14[18, 22, 27, 31] sts, decrease at neck edge as follows:

Row 1 [RS]: slip 1, ssk, k to 2 sts from end, p2

Row 2 [WS]: slip 1, k1, p to end.

Continue to decrease in this manner until 10[12, 14, 16, 18] sts remain.

Work over these sts without decreasing until work measures 17.5[18, 18.5, 19, 19.5] inches from cast on row.

You'll have to make a choice now about how you'll eventually want to attach the front shoulder straps to the back straps [3-needle bind-off, Kitchener stitch or seaming].

For the first two, slip the 10[12, 14, 16, 18] sts to a spare piece of yarn.

If you plan to sew the straps together, bind off the 10[12, 14, 16, 18] sts.

Work Next Strap:

Reattach yarn to left front at arm edge and work these 14[18, 22, 27, 31] sts, decreasing at neck edge as follows:

Row 1 [RS]: slip 1, p1, k to 3 sts from end, k2tog, k1.

Row 2 [WS]: slip 1, p to 2 sts from end, k2.

Continue to decrease until 10[12, 14, 16, 18] sts remain.

Work over these stitches without decreasing until work measures 17.5[18, 18.5, 19, 19.5] inches from cast on row and slip to spare yarn/bind off as for previous strap.

Return to the unworked undearm stitches and reattach yarn.

Bind off first 4 sts firmly in purl and work back as you did for the front.




Attach front to back shoulder straps by Kitchener stitching or a 3-needle bind off or sewing bound off edges together.
You may also want to single crochet by picking up stitches in the slipped stitch edging around neck and arm openings to add more stability and correct any tendency for the edges to roll.
Weave in ends.


Theresa has just started her first job in Norway and her knitting productivity has taken a nose dive.

Watch and see if she gets anything crafty done at her weblog, Bagatell.