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.

img 024It’s not really so beaded now. Maybe if I come across some beautiful ones, I’ll add them.

Pattern: Beaded Cami by Black Dog Designs

Yarn: Patons Grace

Needes: Size 6 circulars; F crochet hook for straps

My cami has finally finished blocking. About a day and a half, which felt like ages because I was so excited to try it on and take photos. Now that it is finished, I can say that I’m completely and utterly in looooveeee.

I knit most of this while watching the film Leon (which is great by the way), downloaded episodes of Big Brother 8 UK, and while suntanning in my garden. I feel so sexy in it, but I’m not sure if that’s the top, or the tan I developed while knitting it.

I made a few alterations to the pattern to suit me better. First of all, I knit it in the round. It seemed like the easiest choice with all that stockinette, and also the lace pattern is worked on every row, so I though it would be easier to work it intuitavely if I were always working with the right side. The measurements of the original seemed a little too drape-y for me, so I narrowed the fit by casting on less and adjusting the lace pattern to have less stitches. The original pattern started with 8 stitches between the leaves, I started with 7. I decreased more than written in the pattern, so my top is also smaller. I adjusted the lace pattern to have 6 stitches between the leaves. Because I had more decrease rows, my top is also a bit longer than the original. Another significant mod I made was to place the bodice seam under the bust instead of over it. I think it makes the fit more flattering and gives it some structure. I added double straps because I thought they were cute (though that isn’t much of a modification). The last adjustment I made was to add some short rows so that the back would hang lower than the front, so I wouldn’t have to tug it up like a lot of low necked camis.

img 030
I really loved working on this, but it wasn’t without it’s problems. The pattern calls for the bodice part to be knit separately, then seamed upside down. Well I didn’t notice this point, so when I reached the cast off for the front body, I decided to pick up my bodice stitches and keep knitting seamlessly. I was blissfully unaware of my mistake till I reached the lace at the very top, when I realized that there wasn’t another lace pattern to replicate the first one upside down. I wasn’t about to give up, so I frogged down to just above my short rows, placed the front stitches on a holder, and knit the back of the tank flat. Then I cast on for the top, knit the same number of rows i had for the back, and grafted the 78 tiny stitches on the top to the 78 tiny stitches on the bottom. The result is almost seamless, because I untwist the yarn a bit while I knit with it, but I don’t while I graft, so that row has a different sheen in some light. Then I seamed up the two flat sides and I was done.

Well I think I’ve written enough by now..

If you think you may knit this and are curious about my mods, just comment and I’ll be happy to explain anything further. And don’t be intimidated by my mistake, it can definitely be avoided.

Thanks for reading!

Happy knitting, friends,


lelahToday is the hottest we’ve seen this year in Toronto. If I were brave, I’d take the train down to the beach to show off my latest finished knit, but I think i got enough sun(burn) yesterday during a long hike(also, I’m pretty content with my air conditioning).

The pattern for this is Lelah, by super awesome Craftster user HelenaJane. Knitters have posted many lovely finished tops in the comments of the thread. The one that really inspired my to try this pattern was a beauty by blogger Prettyknit.

I used Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, which it a worsted weight, cotton-acyrlic blend. I made a few adjustments to the pattern to suit my tastes and size. The pattern calls for size 10.5 and 8 needles for the lace and bust, respectively. I used size 8s for the lace so it wouldnt be too open, and size 6s for the bust so it would be dense enough to to be see though, eep! I also made up my own size small by comparing the other sizes avaiable. Soo….. it turned out pretty small.. but I think it has stretched out a little to a more comfortable fit, hopefully the elastic in the top band wont snap back again. I sewed the hem using a whip stitch (as described in this post) I kept the elastic in the hem as I went so i wouldnt have to thread it through the whole thing once finished (sounds even more annoying that the hemming itself).

I’m going to call Lelah a success, and I will probably knit one in another colour, but next up is the Beaded Cami by Black Dog designs. So pretty! I hope to go to the yarn shop this week and start it soon.

Until then,