Top Down Summer Sweater – The Tara Top

By Jodie Morgan

| Updated:

My Tara Top project has provided plenty of learning curves in my knitting journey. (The designer of this fantastic pattern is Arnhild Skatvedt, a Norwegian knitter.)

I love the raglan sleeves and how the garter stitch patterning continues down the side of the body. The effect of twisted ribbing in this garment adds a classy touch. It’s quick to knit because it’s mostly stockinette in the round, top down.

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Here are some of the learning opportunities I’ve had so far:

Knitting up a gauge swatch on circular needles carrying the yarn behind to imitate knitting in the round with a 4 ply cotton yarn which is very different to the original yarns in the pattern

Swatching in green cotton yarn with yarns carried around the back when knitting on circular needles to reach gauge for my Tara Top project

The cotton yarn I’ve used bought online in Thailand, is 4ply and is different to the choice of yarns for the original pattern. The design was knitted with a mohair/silk blend (#1 lace) and 100% noil silk (raw silk created with shorter fibers) (#1 lace) held together. The drape of the fabric from those yarns looks different.

The 1 x1 Twisted rib neck band with the raglan garter stitch increases started

I love twisted 1×1 Rib, it’s a tighter looking rib with a twist. It’s a simple ribbing where you knit through the back loop and purl alternately. (KTB1, P1) The ribbed section at the top of the sweater is a much wider neck than many patterns, but that gives it a unique look.

Oops! A mistake picked up when my garter stitch raglan increases started to become stockinette stitches.

The garter stitch raglan increases somehow became stockinette raglan increases.

Back on track having redone the rows to fix the garter stitch raglan increases.

So I ripped back those rows and worked them again, ensuring the garter stitches were correct. I always need to check my progress to pick up mistakes before it’s too late!

Sleeve stitches held on scrap yarn and body stitches on the circular needle

The picture above is where I divided the sleeves and the body only to realise later I’d made a mistake in doing so

Realizing I'd not placed the correct stitches on the scrap yarn for the sleeves nor on the needle to continue knitting the body. I was missing a garter stitch on one side of the picked up underarm stitches

When placing the sleeve stitches on scrap yarn I mucked up the garter stitches that were meant to continue down on either side of the underarm.

I’m a visual learner. So to work out where I’d gone wrong, I drew diagrams of how I could transfer the right sleeve stitches on the scrap yarn and the right amount of stitches on the needle, to continue knitting the body.

Back on track with 2 garter stitches on either side of the underarm so they will create a feature down the sides.

I figured out how to have 2 garter stitches on either side of the picked up underarm stitches. The pic above shows that I’d got the garter stitches correctly and was back to knitting the body section in the round.

Not happy with different color of what was supposed to be the same dye lot. A distinct stripe of darker green with a new ball of yarn.

When knitting the body I realized the ball of yarn I was knitting with was a different shade of green! The numbers on the labels were the same, but the manufacturer had slightly changed the color. I didn’t like how that stripe of green looked.

Fortunately, I had one ball left that looked to be the same shade and continued with that until the end of the body. One disadvantage of buying yarn online is you don’t get to select the yarns yourself and you rely on others to see the differences.

Having ripped out the different colored yarn, I had enough of the same color yarn to complete the body and the bottom ribbing.

I knew the cotton wouldn’t have the same drape and the fabric would be denser, but I still think it turned out well. I’ve modified the length of the body so it looks boxier and the sleeve length is shorter. I’ll only wear this top towards the end of the year when it’s cooler because it’s too thick to wear now for it to be comfortable.

One sleeve completed with twisted rib for the short sleeve cuff.

I tried a new technique for decreasing stitches which promised a less noticeable decrease. This was when I had to reduce the number of stitches evenly on the sleeve to then knit the ribbed section to finish off the sleeve.

The techinque is called SYTK (Slip, yank, twist, knit). The tutorial by TechKnitting gives clear instructions and great visuals. I love learning something new, and I was pleased with how the decreases looked!

I’m almost finished and my next project is sewing all those textured stitch swatches I knitted this year into a blanket. Wish me luck because they’re wildly varying sizes! 🙂

After that, I’m looking forward to knitting something new. Any suggestions for a garment or project suitable for a warm climate?

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder) | Lives In: Regional Australia

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate knitter and blogger with 40+ years of experience currently living in regional Australia. Taught by her mother and wonderful grandmother “Mama”, she fell in love with crafting from a young age. When she’s not knitting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online knitting community. Get to know Jodie and the team on our meet the team page.

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  1. Your journey with the Tara Top is quite the adventure! The twisted ribbing and unique modifications are really paying off. It’s inspiring how you tackled challenges head-on, from yarn mishaps to learning new techniques like SYTK. Can’t wait to see your textured stitch blanket and eagerly await your next warm-climate project. Keep the knitting magic alive!


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