Knitting Pattern: Handspun Silk Summer Top

An easy-to-knit pattern that uses handspun silk yarn. A Dice Block design gives a simple but effective finished edge to the stockinette stitch, knit of rainbow-dyed shimmering silk, reminiscent of mother of pearl. A square neckline and short, set-in sleeves make this top a delightful addition to your summer wardrobe.

knitted silk top

Knitting Gauge: Gauge (stocking st over 4 in = 10 cm): 17.0 sts by 20.0 rows.

Women’s Sizes: (34, 38, 42)

Knitting Needle Size:

Size Data
42 38 34
Chest 44.7″ 40.5″ 36.3″
Ribbing Width 44.7 40.5 36.3
Back Width 15.4 14.4 13.6
Body Length 23.9 23.6 22.1
Ribbing Length 2.0 2.0 2.0
Armhole 17.8 16.8 15.8
Ribbing Width 11.9 11.1 10.2
Sleeve Top 14.7 13.8 12.6
Sleeve Botton 13.2 12.4 11.3
Sleeve Length 5.6 5.6 5.4
Ribbing Length 1.5 1.5 1.5
Top Neck Opening 7.7 7.2 6.8
Front Neck Width 7.7 7.2 6.8
Front Neck Depth 6.8 6.4 6.1
Collar Length 1.5 1.5 1.5

Dice Blocks Knitting Pattern

This Dice Blocks check design is quite versatile and can be adapted to any size. Sample and see what looks best with your yarn. For this Silk Top, I have used dice blocks in multiples of 3, plus 3.

Row 1: K3 *P3, P3.*

Row 2: P3 *K3, P3.*

Row 3: K3, *P3, P3. *

Row 4: P3, *K3, P3*

Row 5: P3, *K3, P3 *

Row 6: K3, *P3, K3 *

Row 7: P3, *K3, P3 *

Row 8: K3, *P3, K3 *


1. Cast on 81 (93,99) sts on size 3.50 mm needles.

2. Row 1: Knit

3. Row 2: Knit

4. Following the Dice Block Pattern above, work for 2 inches.

5. Change to stockinette stitch and work even until piece measures 10.8 ins 54 rows (11.6 in., 58 rows) (12.0 ins, 60 rows), excluding Dice Block border.

3. Armhole shaping. Cast off 4 (4,5) sts at beginning of next 2 rows. Knit 12 (18, 20) rows, while dec 1 st at each end of next and every following alternate row until 60 (66,70) sts remain.

4. Knit even until armhole measures 8 ins 40 rows (8.4 ins. 42 rows)(9.2 ins (46 rows).

5. Shoulder shaping. Cast off 7 (8,8) sts at beginning of next 2 (4, 2) rows. Cast off 8 (8, 9) sts at beginning of next 2 (4,2) rows.

6. Total 98 (104,106) rows (excluding border) with 30 (33,36) sts remaining for back of neck. Place sts on holder.


1-4 Follow steps 1 to 4 as for back.

3. Armhole. Dec for armhole at both ends, as for back. Continue until armhole measures xx (2.8 ins 14 rows)(3.2 ins 16 rows), with xx (69,72) sts remaining.

4. Shape neck. Work both sides at the same time. Work 15 (18,18) sts. Slip the next 30 (33,36) sts to a holder. With a second ball of yarn, work remaining 15 (18,18) sts. Continue armhole shaping.

5. Work even until armhole measures 8 ins 40 rows (8.4 ins 42 rows) (9.2 ins 46 rows).

6. Shoulder shaping. Cast off as for back.


1. Cast on 57 (63,66) sts on size 3.50 mm needles.

2. Knit 2 rows.

3. Work in Dice Block pattern for 1.5 inches.

2. Change to stockinette stitch and work even until sleeve measures 3 inches.

5. Shape cap. Cast off 4 (4,5) sts at beg of next two rows. Dec 1 st at each end of every row 2 (5,3) times, then dec 1 st at each end of every 2nd row 11 (8,12) times, then dec 1 st at each end of every row 2 (5,3) times. Cast off remaining 18 (19,20) sts loosely.

Left Shoulder Seam:

1. Use backstitch to sew front to back along left shoulder seam.

Square Front Neckline:

— by hand on size 3.50 mm needles.
1. With right side of work facing, pick up and knit 30 (33,36) sts from back neck holder, 25 (27,28) sts from left front neck edge, 30 (33,36) sts from front neck holder, and 25 (27,28) sts from right front neck edge. Total 110 (120, 128) sts.
2. Knit 2 rows.

3. Knit in Dice Block pattern for 1.5 inches. As you do the pattern, work mitred corners every other row (right side) as follows.

Knit in Dice Block to last 2 st before corner st.

If the first st on your left needle is a knit st, work: SSK, K corner st, K2tog.

Otherwise (first st is a purl st), work: P2tog, K corner st, P2tog.

3. Cast off loosely in ribbing.


1. Sew side and sleeve seams using invisible seam. Use backstitch to sew remaining seams.

2. Sew in loose ends.

Rainbow Dyed Silk

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Knitted Skirt Pattern

Knitting Books: Handspun Knits

All New Homespun Handknit: 25 Small Projects to Knit with Handspun Yarn
Hats, mittens, scarves, socks, bags, children’s items, wraps, and home décor options to challenge fiber artists of all skill levels.

Intertwined: The Art of Handspun Yarn, Modern Patterns, and Creative Spinning (Handspun Revolution)
Recipes for handspun yarns, project ideas for knitters and crocheters, tips on how to use one-of-a-kind handspun yarns

A Fine Fleece: Knitting with Handspun Yarns
While educating you on the differences in fibers (like Alpaca, Merino, Cormo, Rambouillet, and Suffolk) and the characteristics you can achieve in a handspun yarn by combining fibers according to certain recipes.

EBay Watch – Handspun Yarns


Ebay Finds

TAHKI Imports Greek Wool Bulky Handspun - Gold - Current price: $5.50

Animal friendly handspun yarns by Sandy Romney wool browns #2 - Current price: $20.00

Animal friendly handspun yarns by Sandy Shetland wool browns - Current price: $20.00

Hand Spun Fiber By Annie Llama/Sheep 108 Yards - Current price: $10.00

Animal friendly handspun yarns by Sandy wool Natural - Current price: $17.00

Animal friendly handspun yarns by Sandy Romney wool browns - Current price: $20.00

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This page last edited on June 10, 2013


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