Sirdar sublime 6121

I have started making this top using stylecraft linen drape.

I have a couple of questions

  1. In the pattern for front and back there are right and left decreases. I didn’t like the effect of the left leaning decrease given (s1, k1, psso) but used it anyway for the first few before I saw the effect, then I tried ssk which didn’t look any different and now I’d like to know which you think is the best left leaning decrease for a smooth finish. Is it the SYTK that gives a neater result?
    I’ve tugged all the decreases to tighten them up on the back piece and don’t think I’ll pull it out but I’d like to improve for the front.

  2. The pattern gives instruction for m1 increase but uses the same increase (i found out its left leaning) for both sides. I switched to one right leaning and one left leaning as I thought this would look better although not sure I put them in the right side. The result is like this
    \ / I changed the increases to this
    / \ decreases as per pattern
    Sort of pointing in towards the waist. I was imagining darts in a dress. It looks okay but I’m interested to know what more experienced people would have done please.
    Would this be right? Conventional?

  3. There are optional capped sleeves. If I made the one without sleeves what cast on and bind off do you suggest in order to have the shoulder edges matching as closely as possible? The top panel works from arm hole to arm hole and sewn on. I’d like the cast on and bind off to look similar or the same on each arm hole.
    There is no specified cast on method for any part but I used thumb method on the main body, I recently learned this cast on and used the back of it, bumpy side, for the RS of top as it looks nice with the garter edging.


Very nice looking top.
In general the improved ssk is neater and flatter than the slip, knit, pass slipped stitch over (skp) but the slip, yank, twist, knit (styk) may help you tighten up the decrease. The twist step does the work here.

You can work the increases as you have or you can reverse them. It’s a personal preference and also depends on whether you’re knitting top up or bottom down.

A provisional cast on lets you match cast on and bind off exactly but there are close alternatives.
Here’s a few from Patty Lyons, one simple, a couple decorative.

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Thank you so much.
That’s fabulous.
I’ll have a good look at those cast in and bind offs. Its amazing, until recently I didn’t know there was more than than one way to cast on.

Thank you for the sytk I’ve tried it on the panel swatch and it feels better although my swatch is very loose and has a leaf motif so I’m not really getting a proper idea of how it compares to the other method set on stocking stitch. I am going to use it though.

I’m working bottom up.
I think the increases look okay in the direction I did them but it’s still on the needles. I suppose I won’t really know until I finish. Will it look strange or ‘normal’ this way?

You can always try multiple decreases over several rows on a swatch and see how you like the line up. It’s personal preference after all.


Thank you again for the great help and information.

I’ve decided on the provisional cast on and then the Icelandic bind off, I think it looks lovely and goes well with the garter edge on the top. I see on the link you gave me there is a matching cast on for the Icelandic bind off but I think I’m safest with the provisional.

When you work on the stitches of a provisional, is it possible to work a pattern such as the leaf pattern in this top, and make it continue in the original direction as though it was never extended? Or only possible to work a ‘new’ pattern going in the new direction?
I’ve had to work a swatch for the leaf panel in a smaller needle, the result is much better but now I’m a little concerned my panel might not be long enough when complete. On the picture/pattern as given it has a kind of symmetry with a central leaf and equal number of repeats either side. What I’m wondering is, if it’s possible to add a few rows to the beginning at the provisional cast on edge, if it turns out short. I know I could add a few on the bind off edge to make it longer.
If it’s not possible I could maybe extend a few rows with reverse stocking stitch or garter maybe.
It’s only if it turns out a bit short.
I’m not sure what sort of tutorial to look for.

You can continue the leaf pattern although it might then become too long for the space at the neck on this top. You can of course add more rows in the background stitch at the bind off end as you suggested.
On the provisional cast on end, there’ll be one stitch missing because you don’t actually pick up sts from the provisional cast on, you pick up the loops between sts. This is very nicely shown in this article from the very fabulous Techknitter.

The solution is rather neat. Start with one extra stitch which is decreased in subsequent rows. Then you would be able to extend the panel from the provisional end.

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Thank you, this is all very helpful.
I saw a tutorial today with a couple of different methods for casting on the provisional. One of them apparently results in the same number of stitches so no need to add an extra or take an extra out. I think I need another swatch trial!

I was thinking just a few rows on both ends if my panel comes up a little short for the width of the body. Its because when I measure the row height on my new swatch for the panel in a smaller needle its coming up shorter than the gauge for the pattern.

Is it possible then to begin the panel with row 1 as per pattern and work it as set, then if it comes up short and I add a few rows to the end, can I go to the provisional end and work an equal number of additional rows there by following the pattern backwards??
Is that possible? Backwards?
Its a 32 row repeat which I am to end at row 16 to make it end it ‘symetrical’. I notice there is a ‘foundation’ row before row 1 and just looking at it now the foundation is the same as row 32.

Something like this where the left of these numbers is the left of the panel (cast on end) and the / marks the provisional cast on and \ marks where the panel is to end based on the pattern instruction.

28, 29, 30, 31 / foundation row, 1, 2, 3 (…) 16 \ 17, 18, 19, 20

Yes, you can go to the provisional end, take out the provisional cast on and add rows (backwards or knitting down from the cast on rather than up). That’s where the Techknitter column that I linked to above comes in and where you will be a stitch short if that matters.

Aren’t you starting the provisional cast on at the beginning of the panel? What at the rows to the left of the panel?

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Yes I am going to put the provisional at the left edge of the panel.

I don’t think I’m being clear in what I’m asking. Probably because I don’t really know how to talk bout knitting.

I understand that I can pick up these stitches and continue to work in the opposite direction. I did this once before on the slippers when I cut off my cast on row because it didn’t match the bind off and needed to for the cuff to work. I understand the idea of the reduced number of stitches and I know I can do a stitch such as garter or st st and it will match and look seamless. I’m going to guess that something like seed stitch or rib could look seamless too.
What I don’t know is if something like this leaf pattern can be continued.

The panel goes across the top, left to right, cast on to cast off.
I’ll do provisional cast on then
Foundation row (identical to row 32)
Row 1 - 32 forms the leaf pattern
The entire panel is (rows 1 - 32) 3 times then 1-16
Bind off

This should be the full width of the top and fit the front and back.

If my panel comes up a bit short due to switching needles I will need to add a few rows at the left, provisional, and at the right bind off edge.
I could do a few rows reverse st st then the Icelandic bind off and get the panel to the right length (width) and I understand how to do this.

I would prefer to extend a few rows of leaf pattern but not a whole leaf, I don’t think I’ll need that much.
As I start work from the provisional I’ll have the panel fabric now all hanging down with row 1 near the top upside down, row 32/foundation upside down…and then the live stitches
If I follow row 31 but read it back to front it will match?? I can also read the fabric to get the knits and purl in place for a couple of rows. Will these actually look the same?
Sorry I just can’t believe it. Its amazing if this works.

These are the rows, I’d work them back to front I think.

Row 32 (done as foundation row so no need to do again on cast on edge) k9, p3, (k3, p1) twice k7
27 stitches
Row 31 p7, T2R, p2, k1, p3, SYTK, k2, p7, k2
27 stitches
Row 30 k9, p4, k3, p1, k2, p1, k8
28 stitches
Row 29 p8, T2R, p1, k1, p3, SYTK, k3, p7, k2
28 stitches
Row 28 k9, p5, k3, p1, k1, p1, k9
29 stitches

T2R is slip stitch to front on cable needle, p1, k1 from cable
Would this need reversing? No idea

SYTK I have put in place of the s1 k1 psso
Logically this would need to be changed to an increase rather than decrease?

This is where I feel it isn’t possible as I don’t know how to reverse the pattern

It’s not going to be easy to reverse the pattern because of the dec/inc switch but you can try this out on the swatch you’ve already started. It should be do-able.
For me, the problem is the stem of the leaf more than anything else. It’s a single knit column on a background of purl. If you take out the provisional you’re now working on the loops between sts. Although there are fudges for ribbing, it seems to me to be more difficult for a single column of knits. But maybe that’s the benefit of swatches.
You can use your swatch which is a good length to measure row gauge and get a better idea of the length vs number of rows that you’ll need. The pattern doesn’t seem all that symmetrical to me or that it would be distracting if it were slightly shifted by adding or substracting row at the end.

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Thank you.
I think I might have to start another swatch as I don’t have a provisional cast on on my current one. I could try threading in a line and cut the cast on row off, I might manage it. Not sure.

I saw a tutorial today about a provisional that results in then same number of stitches. Its thumb method cast on, or long tail, I only recently learned this cast on method, but done with the scrap yarn on the thumb and the real yarn as the working yarn. I can see on the video the same number of stitches and the tutor says its the same number.
This method of provisional is a bit more work to remove the scrap yarn and pick up the live stitches but I’m only working with 27 stitches so its not huge.
Its here at 10 min in if you’re interested

I don’t know if there would still be a jog or misalignment of the single knit colum of the stem
What you say makes sense about this being the difficult part to make line up. I understand.
This is why I was asking if this is possible, to me the entire thing seems impossible… but I have learned of so many things that I thought I’d just ask and see.

I only have 16 rows on the right size needle of my panel swatch, the rest is all in a larger needle. I can roughly guess the final measurement and compare to the back of the top which is finished but I don’t think I will get an accurate measurement from my 16 rows.
Looks like roughly 4-5 cm short, which is about 16 rows. I’ve measured in the bind off too which is quite a deep one.

The symmetry is just that there are 3 leaves on the top row equally spaced and 4 on the bottom.
Maybe I could do 4 full repeats instead of 3.5 as the pattern says. If it doesn’t fit I’ll just have to rethink and try again.


I spent a day on it, tried lot of different ways to extend the pattern from the cast on edge but couldn’t make it work.
It’s far beyond my ability.

I’ll continue with my front piece, the two panels and just see how long they end up. Then I’ll either figure out a way of making the panels the right length… or I’ll have to rip it out and start again.

I don’t understand in this pattern how the front and back can be made in different sizes ranging from 32/34 inch bust to 52/54 inch bust but there is only one size for the top panel. I don’t see how that panel can stay the same size and still reach across all sizes. The difference in width is 56 stitches. ??? How could the panel fit???

There’s just one direction for the top panel? That is odd. You’d certainly expect increasing length with the increasing bust size. It’s probably best to knit the front and then work the top panel. Extending the panel as you work live sts at the eventual cast off will be fine as the design isn’t so strictly centered. A little asymmetry here won’t hurt.

I didn’t really think about it to begin with. I’m making the smallest size and, well, I just followed the pattern unquestioningly. Only when I was thinking about how to make the panel longer did it occur to me that a larger top would need a longer panel, but, yes just a single instruction. I keep glaring at it like another size might materialise! Ha!

Oh hang on
I’m stupid.
There IS a difference.
I’m so stupid.

Panel is same number of stitches cast on and right at the end, on the next page there’s this:
Work in pattern until panel measures approx 42 [47: 51: 57: 61: 67] cm, (inches also given), finishing after a 16th [32nd: 16th: 32nd: 16th: 32nd] row.


Wow, can’t believe i missed it and my ‘solution’ to get my extra cms was to perhaps end after the 32nd row instead of the 16th.

Hanging my head in shame.

The positive aspect is I’ve learned some new things and have a couple of possible ways to finish this top.
OK so I’ve got the back off the needles. Front on the needles, 2 panels to make and I’ll measure them up against the front and back when they are still on the needles and if I’m 16 rows or so short I will extend on the right side to row 32 instead of finishing at 16. If its just a little short I’ll put in a couple of rows of garter at each end. I’m still going to start with the provisional I like the idea of casting off both sides in the Icelandic bind off and it gives me the option of an extra couple of rows garter or reverse st st.

Thank you for helping me and holding my hand whilst I knocked my head against this pattern.

I’m back to say thanks again for your help with this.
I ended up needing the extra 16 rows and finished the panel at the end of the 32 row repeat. The length is just about perfect as you’ll see on the photo with my next questions which are here

You helped a great deal and I was quite confident when I started the panels that I had enough plans to make something work.
Thank you :blush: