ribbed lace bolero

I’ve finished my ribbed lace bolero, with pattern as promised 😉 I decided not to give the sleeves ribbing, like most of you suggested. I liked how it was sort of dainty, even with worsted weight yarn, and I thought ribbing on the sleeves would be too heavy for it.

The shape of this is based on the Circular Shrug on Craftster. It’s a simple but ingenious design. There is no complicated shaping (it’s really just a big rectangle) and it’s easily customized.

If you have questions, please contact me by email or through ravelry. See the info page for my contacts.

Here you are,my ribbed lace bolero.


Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease 2 balls

Needles: US8, US10.5 (circular or straight)

Gauge: 4st/inch with in rib stretched US8

I’m including directions for a size small and easy calculations for a custom fit.

(Numbers in green you will customize for your own fit)

The first step is to measure your shoulder-span. Mine is about 17 inches. Then you add 4 inches for each sleeve (8 inches) and add that to your shoulder measurement. I got 25 inches from that, so 25 inches will be the width of my bolero. My ribbing gauge is 4 stitches per inch, so I multiply 25 by 4 to get 100. I take that number, 100, and round it down to the next number that is a multiple of 4 +2. The next number down is 98, and that will be my cast-on number. To determine the length of my bolero, I measure the width of my upper arm, right under the armpit. Mine measures 12, and I will add 6.5 inches to that (3.25 inches on either side which I will seam together) to get my length of 18.5 inches.

ribbed lace bolero
*Slip the first stitch of each row for easier seaming and a neat edge

Begin with US8 needles

Cast on ___ (multiple of 4 + 2)

row 1: p2 k2 to last 2 stitches, p2

row 2: k2 p2 to last 2 stitches, k2

repeat these 2 rows for 3 inches

Start lace pattern:

Switch to size 10.5 needles AFTER FIRST row of lace

row 1: k1 (k2together, yo, yo, ssk) repeat lace pattern until 1 stitch left, k1

row 2: p1 (p1, p1 into first yo, p1 into the back of the second yo, p1) repeat lace pattern until 1 stitch left, p1

Repeat these two rows until entire piece measures 3 inches from target length.

Switch to size 8 needles now

The next row will use cabling to transition from lace to ribbing, so it will mirror the other side

p1 (c1f [p into the stitch that was moved behind, k into the stitch that was moved in front], c1b [k into the stitch that was moved in front, p into the stitch that was moved behind] ) repeat cabling until 1 stitch left, p1

The next row will count as row 2 (wrong side)

row 2: k2 p2 to last 2 stitches, k2

row 1:p2 k2 to last 2 stitches, p2

Continue for 3 inches, ending with row 2. Count your rows and match the number to the rows you knit in the first set of ribbing.

Bind of using Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewn bind-0ff.

Break off the yarn and leave a tail 4 times the width of your piece. Sew forward (right to left) through two stitches as if to purl, leave the stitches on the needle. Sew backward (left to right) through one stitch as if to knit, slip stitch off the needle. Continue in this pattern to the end.

This bind-off leaves a very stretchy edge that looks similar to the long tail cast-on.

Seam edges A to B for 3.25 inches and edges C to D for 3.25 inches, using mattress stitch (as shown in diagram)
bolero diagram
Diagram is not to scale.

The hole created from seaming the edges is your arm hole.

Chose which edge you want to be the top of your bolero, and sew the collar down to keep it in place.

Weave in all ends, wash and block.


Pattern & images © 2007 by Kelly Maher

Personal use ONLY. Commercial use, including selling items made from this pattern, is prohibited.