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Boucle V-neck top knitting pattern

Update: I also did this in a non-boucle yarn at a smaller gauge. The textured patterning showed up much better and the smaller gauge made the tee smaller, if you're interested in downsizing this pattern. Info on the second tee is at the bottom.

I had some boucle yarn I had bought for another project, and I wanted to get rid of it. I came across the Summer-weight Woolly vintage pattern by Jane Koster & Margaret Murray that called for boucle yarn, so I decided to try it.

My yarn ended up being much thicker than what was used in the pattern and I had to almost completely rewrite the pattern for the yarn and for my larger measurements, so I decided to post the pattern here. Man, what a lot of work! Someone else might as well benefit from it. :)

The color patterning of the yarn kind of hides the subtle texturing of the pattern. This probably would have looked better with a solid color boucle, but I'm stash busting to get rid of this yarn, so I used it anyway. I think it looks okay, even with the patterning colors of the yarn.

The shoulders might be half an inch too wide for me, so maybe I should have aimed for a 35" bust rather than 36". My bust is actually 38” and it fits me fine, with a little negative ease. It's very stretchy and, as written, could probably fit even a 40" bust.

I made this top to be worn with a little negative ease.
Measurements (unstretched):
Bust: 36”
Length: 20.5”
Waist: 34”
Hip/bottom edge: 38”
Armhole length: 7.5”
Shoulder (each): 4.25” wide
Neckhole: 7.75” wide

Yarn:
Jo-Ann Sensations Rainbow Bouclé
1219 Pink Grey colorway
Bulky / 12 ply
88% Acrylic, 12% Nylon
(per skein: 853 yards / 312 grams)
I used 150 grams = 410 yards

Needles:
US 2 - 2.75 mm
US 5 - 3.75 mm
US 7 - 4.5 mm

My gauge:
US 5 needles in band pattern:
3.5 sts/in
6 rows per inch
(about 66 stitches per yard)

8-row Pattern band:
8 rows stockinette, 8 rows reverse stockinette

10-row Pattern band:
10 rows stockinette, 10 rows reverse stockinette

Each band is a little less than 1.25".

For decreases (dec) below, use any method you like to decrease 1 stitch. I did either k2tog, ssk, or p2tog depending on the pattern. The boucle also hides a lot so you can pretty much use any stitch to decrease.

Knitting flat versus knitting in the round:
I thought about knitting the body in the round up to the armholes because the patterning in the yarn may cause a sharp color contrast at the side seams (pink/black), but the colored stripes will be closer together and I don't want that type of effect, I like the larger blocks of color when knitted flat. If I were knitting this with a solid color boucle, I'd knit this in the round up to the armholes, no doubt about it. There might be a slight jog at one side where you switch from purl to knit and vice versa, but the nature of the boucle yarn hides that a bit.

Back:
Cast on 60 stitches (16.75"). I did a Tubular Cast On with US 7 needles.
Garter stitch for 1 inch. I have wide hips, so I kept with US 7 needles for the garter stitch band. If you want a narrower hip/lower edge, then switch to US 5 needles.

After garter stitch band, switch to US 5 needles.

Do 2 8-row pattern bands (16 rows). The piece should measure a little less than 3.5".

Waist:
Switch to US 2 needles. Do 10-row pattern bands for 20 rows, about 2.5 inches. Piece should measure 6" total.

Increases:
Switch back to US 5 needles and 8-row pattern bands. Increase 1 stitch each end of the needle. Increase again 36 rows (about 6") after this. 64 stitches.

Continue until piece measures 13.7" (should be about 10" from start of waist section). End after row 8 of reverse stockinette stitch pattern band. There should be 10 pattern bands total.

Armhole shaping:
Keeping in pattern, cast off 2 sts beg of next 2 rows.
Dec 1 st each end of the next 2 rows, work 1 row even, then dec 1 st each end of the next row (54 stitches).
Continue without shaping until armhole is 7.3" long, which should be about 44 rows from start of armhole shaping, ending on row 4 of reverse stockinette pattern band. Laid flat, piece should measure 21".

Note: Rather than keeping the proportions the same between the vintage pattern (and smaller size) and my measurements, I kept the shoulder widths of the front sections the same as the vintage pattern (a little more than 4") and widened the neck hole.

Shoulder shaping:
Rest of pattern is reverse stockinette.
Row 1: pattern to last 5 sts, wrap and turn.
Row 2: pattern to last 5 sts, wrap and turn.
Row 3: pattern to last 10 sts, wrap and turn.
Row 4: pattern to last 10 sts, wrap and turn.
Row 5: pattern to last 15 sts, wrap and turn.
Row 6: pattern to last 15 sts, wrap and turn.
Row 7: Cast off center 24 stitches for back of neck. Leave sts on needles (15 sts each side) to graft to shoulders of front piece.

Note: The pattern calls for a reverse stockinette yoke of several inches, which I forgot to do, so only the last 12 rows are the reverse stockinette section.

Front:
Same as for back up to armhole shaping. End after row 8 of reverse stockinette stitch pattern band. There should be 10 pattern bands total.

Armhole shaping (it's the same as for the back):
Keeping in pattern, cast off 2 sts beg of next 2 rows.
Dec 1 st each end of the next 2 rows, work 1 row even, then dec 1 st each end of the next row (54 stitches).

Neck decreases:
Divide stitches in half, 27 stitches for right and 27 stitches for left. Put right front stitches on spare needle or waste yarn.
On left front stitches (RS), work to 4 stitches from end (neck edge), dec 1 st, work 2 stitches garter stitch neck edging.
Next row: Work 2 sts garter stitch neck edge, work to end.
Decrease 1 st neck edge every 4th row until 17 sts left on needle (total of 10 decreases). You should end on row 3 of reverse stockinette pattern, 43 rows after start of armhole shaping. Complete next row, row 4 of reverse stockinette pattern. Work should measure 21".

Shoulder shaping:
(In reverse stockinette stitch) Work 1 row even, keeping the 2 garter stitches at neck edge. Work to 5 sts from armhole edge, wrap and turn. Work 1 row even, keeping the 2 garter stitches at neck edge. Work to 10 sts from armhole edge, wrap and turn. Work 1 row even. Leave stitches on spare needle to graft to back shoulder.

Right front:
Attach yarn to neck edge. Work 2 stitches garter stitch neck edging, dec 1 st, work to end.
Next row: work even, including garter stitches at neck edge.
Decrease 1 st neck edge every 4th row until 17 sts left on needle (total of 10 decreases).You should end on row 3 of reverse stockinette pattern, 43 rows after start of armhole shaping. Complete next row, row 4 of reverse stockinette pattern.

Shoulder shaping:
Work to 5 sts from armhole edge, wrap and turn. Work 1 row even, keeping the 2 garter stitches at neck edge. Work to 10 sts from armhole edge, wrap and turn. Work 1 row even, keeping the 2 garter stitches at neck edge. Leave stitches on spare needle to graft to back shoulder.

Shoulder seaming:
With RS facing, put 2 garter stitch neck edge stitches on safety pin, then do 3-needle bind off of 15 remaining front shoulder and 15 back shoulder stitches. Repeat for other side.

Neck edging:
Take two garter stitches from safety pin, put on needles.
There are two ways to do this.
1) Sewn neck edging:
Pick up a stitch between garter stitches and body (3 stitches on needle), then continue in a garter stitch strip until you reach the back of the neck. Repeat on the other side garter stitches. Kitchener the live stitches together, and sew the edging to the back neck.

2) lace graft:
(Starting from right front, RS): k1, slip 1, pick up a stitch from the body, pass slipped stitch over picked up stitch, turn.
(WS): k2, turn.
Repeat until neck edge reaches other 2 live stitches on safety pin, and kitchener stitch together.

Cap sleeves (make 2):
Cast on 46 stitches, about 13". I did tubular cast on (provisional CO 23 stitches using US 7 needle, k 2 rows, pick up 46 stitches in knit stitch, switch to US 5 needles). Garter stitch for 1 inch.
Dec 1 st each end for 4 rows.
(Dec 1 st at beg of next 2 rows, then work 2 rows even) Repeat a total of 4 times (16 rows). (30 sts)
Dec 1 st each end for 4 rows.
Bind off 4 sts at beg of next 4 rows (6 sts left)
Bind off.

Seaming:
Seam sides and fit sleeves into armholes. I used a worsted weight black yarn to seam up the sides and the sleeves, rather than seaming with the boucle yarn.

Update:
I made this with a bulky weight yarn that gave me a smaller gauge of 4.5 stitches and 7 rows per inch.










Finished measurements (unstretched):
Bust: 29.5"”
Length: 20.5”
Waist: 26.5”
Hip/bottom edge: 31”
Armhole length: 7”
Shoulder (each): 3.5” wide
Neckhole: 7.75” wide

It's pretty stretchy, even though this yarn wasn't as stretchy as the boucle. I put it on and it's tight on me, with a 38" bust. (If I lost 10 pounds ...)

If you make this, please be sure to message me on Ravelry and let me know how it turned out!

If you like romance novels, please check out my list of free short stories, novellas, and novels available on my blog! I write Christian contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Camy Tang, and Christian Regency romance as Camille Elliot. Click here to knit the antique scarf pattern from my Regency romance novel, The Spinster's Christmas.

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