Two of Wands

Ballerina Wrap Top

Collaborations, Free PatternsAlexandra TavelComment

For my latest collab with Lion Brand Yarn I wanted to challenge myself a bit and create something more fitted than I would normally design. I usually love a relaxed, comfortable silhouette but as fall approaches I was interested in a more curve-hugging romantic vibe. With the popularity of high-waisted jeans and sailor pants, I wanted a top that could pair well with that look and feel casual yet polished. I'm so excited to introduce the Ballerina Wrap Top! I'm so happy with how this piece turned out and I'm thrilled to be able to offer this pattern for free in eight sizes thanks to Lion Brand commissioning the design. Scroll down for the inspo, background info on the design process, and the full instructions, or purchase the printable, ad-free PDF here. As always you can also purchase the yarn kit from Lion Brand here.

Ever since I designed the Autumn League Pullover, I've been obsessed with top-down raglan sweaters. The construction is just SO fun to watch develop and come to life, and it's also helpful to be able to try on the piece as you're knitting it to check for any fit issues and make adjustments. After releasing the Sunset Ringer Tee and Mountain Ringer Tee, I fell in love with short sleeve raglans as well and wanted to use that concept for this new project. I had yet to try a cardigan style, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that too. I decided on a cropped wrap top reminiscent of a ballet sweater, and I love that this style can move effortlessly from day to night - wear it with pants during the day and over a dress or with a pencil skirt for evening.

I like to continue challenging myself and learning new techniques with each item I design, and this piece was no exception. I enjoy growing as a designer, and while it makes the process of creating each item much more time consuming and laborious, it also makes the end result so much more gratifying. I'm so proud of the way this piece came out - from the fit to the details. This is the first time I've designed something with negative ease and it was so scary but exciting. I studied fashion design in college, and while I spent years learning flat pattern drafting for woven fabrics, we actually weren't allowed to use knits in my program (it was geared to tailoring and couture techniques). Pretty funny that I ended up a knitwear designer, huh? :) Knitwear design not only involves drafting a pattern, but it also has to take into consideration the stretch of the fabric if it's going to be something with negative ease that hugs the body. The math and swatching involved is no joke!

Some knit fabrics and needle combos stretch at different rates width-wise and length-wise, and they perform differently depending on the size of the swatch or garment due to drag and the weight of the piece pulling in different directions. Aside from shaping the body and sleeves as I've done with other raglan designs, this pattern had the added obstacle of shaping the criss-cross front in a way that suits and fits the body when slightly tugged as it's meant to stretch and wrap around. I used several rates of increase to get it just right, and it was SO worth the multiple attempts and frogging that were required to make it fit exactly as I had imagined.

Because I put so much effort into the fit of the Ballerina Wrap Top, I also paid extra attention to the finishing details as I wanted it to look polished and tailored. The pattern utilizes four different kinds of i-cord techniques to keep it uniform and cohesive! The sleeves are finished with an i-cord bind off, the fronts have an applied i-cord picked up and knit onto them, and the bottom edge and tie are seamlessly worked from a length of regular i-cord that is then applied to the live stitches of the bottom of the body. It all comes together in a beautifully intentional way.

This is an intermediate level knitting pattern and the techniques involved are the knit and purl stitches, m1l and m1r increases, k2tog tbl decrease, working flat and in the round, i-cord bind off, and regular and applied i-cord.

Ballerina Wrap Top pattern by Two of Wands

GAUGE:

20 sts + 27 rows = 4”/10cm in stockinette

ABBREVIATIONS:

*All Two of Wands patterns are written in standard US terms

CO – cast on
Inc – increase
K – knit
K2tog tbl – knit 2 together through the back loop
L – left
M1l – make 1 left
M1r – make 1 right
P – purl
Pm – place marker
Rep – repeat
R – right
RS – right side
Sl – slip
Sm – slip marker
St(s) – stitch(es)
WS – wrong side

Notes: Top is worked from the top down with raglan shaping. The yoke and body are worked flat and sleeves are worked in the round after body is complete. The sleeves are finished with an i-cord bind off, the front panels and back neck are finished with an applied i-cord worked from the wrong side to prevent curling, and the bottom i-cord tie is first worked half way, then applied to the live bottom edge of the body, then continued on for the other half of the tie. Pattern is written in eight sizes: XS (S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL).

Yoke:

Using circular needles, CO 52 (54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66) sts.

Set up row: P 1, pm, P 10, pm, P 30 (32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44), pm, P 10, pm, P 1.

Row 1 (RS – body and sleeve inc row): K 1, m1r, sm, K 1, m1l, *K to 1 st before next marker, m1r, K 1, sm, K 1, m1l, rep from * one more time, K to 1 st before final marker, m1r, K 1, sm, m1l, K 1. [60 (62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72, 74) sts]

Row 2 and all following even rows until otherwise stated: P, slipping all markers.

Row 3: K 1, m1r, K 1, sm, K 1, m1l, *K to 1 st before next marker, m1r, K 1, sm, K 1, m1l, rep from * to last st, K 1. [68 (70, 72, 74, 76, 78, 80, 82) sts]

Row 5: (K 1, m1r) twice, K 1, sm, K 1, m1l, *K to 1 st before next marker, m1r, K 1, sm, K 1, m1l, rep from * to last 2 sts, K 1, m1l, K 1. [78 (80, 82, 84, 86, 88, 90, 92) sts]

The yoke will continue to increase at different rates for sleeves, body, and neck. Use the inc row guide below and the following instructions for your size to complete it.

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Body inc row: *K to 1 st before next marker, m1r, K 1, sm, K to next marker, sm, K 1, m1l, rep from * one more time, K to end of row. (4 sts inc)

Sleeve inc row: *K to next marker, sm, K 1, m1l, K to 1 st before next marker, m1r, K 1, sm, rep from from * one more time, K to end of row. (4 sts inc)

Body and sleeve inc row: *K to 1 st before next marker, m1r, K 1, sm, K 1, m1l, rep from * twice more, K to 1 st before final marker, m1r, K 1, sm, K 1, m1l, K to end of row. (8 sts inc)

Body and neck inc row: K 1, m1r, *K to 1 st before next marker, m1r, K 1, sm, K to next marker, sm, K 1, m1l, rep from * one more time, K to last st, m1l, K 1. (6 sts inc)

Body, sleeve, and neck inc row: K 1, m1r, *K to 1 st before next marker, m1r, K 1, sm, K 1, m1l, rep from * twice more, K to 1 st before final marker, m1r, K 1, sm, K 1, m1l, K to last st, m1l, K 1. (10 sts inc)

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Row 7: Body and sleeve inc row. [86 (88, 90, 92, 94, 96, 98, 100) sts]

Row 9: Body and sleeve inc row. [94 (96, 98, 100, 102, 104, 106, 108) sts]

Row 11: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. [104 (106, 108, 110, 112, 114, 116, 118) sts]

Size XS only:

Rows 13-24: Rep rows 7-12, two more times. (156 sts)

Row 25: Sleeve inc row. (160 sts)

Row 27: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (170 sts)

Rows 29-32: Rep rows 25-28, one more time. (184 sts)

Row 33: K, slipping all markers.

Row 35: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (194 sts)

Rows 37-40: Rep rows 33-36, one more time. (204 sts)

Size S only:

Rows 13-36: Rep rows 7-12, four more times. (210 sts)

Row 37: K, slipping all markers.

Row 39: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (220 sts)

Rows 41-44: Rep rows 37-40, one more time. (230 sts)

Size M only:

Rows 13-36: Rep rows 7-12, four more times. (212 sts)

Row 37: Body and sleeve inc row. (220 sts)

Row 39: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (230 sts)

Row 41: Body inc row. (234 sts)

Row 43: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (244 sts)

Rows 45-48: Rep rows 41-44, one more time. (258 sts)

Size L only:

Rows 13-36: Rep rows 7-12, four more times. (214 sts)

Row 37 and 39: Body and sleeve inc row. (230 sts)

Row 41: Body and neck inc row. (236 sts)

Row 43: Body and sleeve inc row. (244 sts)

Row 45: Body inc row. (248 sts)

Row 47: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (258 sts)

Rows 49-52: Rep rows 45-48, one more time. (272 sts)

Size XL only:

Rows 13-36: Rep rows 7-12, four more times. (216 sts)

Row 37: Body inc row. (220 sts)

Row 39: Body and sleeve inc row. (228 sts)

Row 41: Body and neck inc row. (234 sts)

Row 43: Body and sleeve in row. (242 sts)

Row 45: Body inc row. (246 sts)

Row 47: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (256 sts)

Rows 49-56: Rep rows 45-48, two more times. (284 sts)

Size 2XL only:

Rows 13-36: Rep rows 7-12, four more times. (218 sts)

Row 37: Body inc row. (222 sts)

Row 39: Body and sleeve inc row. (230 sts)

Row 41: Body and neck inc row. (236 sts)

Row 43: Body and sleeve inc row. (244 sts)

Row 45: Body inc row. (248 sts)

Row 47: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (258 sts)

Row 49: Body inc row. (262 sts)

Row 51: Body and sleeve inc row. (270 sts)

Row 53: Body and neck inc row. (276 sts)

Row 55: Body and sleeve inc row. (284 sts)

Row 57: Body inc row. (288 sts)

Row 59: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (298 sts)

Size 3XL only:

Rows 13-30: Rep rows 7-12, three more times. (194 sts)

Row 31: Body and sleeve inc row. (202 sts)

Row 33: Body inc row. (206 sts)

Row 35: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (216 sts)

Row 37: Body inc row. (220 sts)

Row 39: Body and sleeve inc row. (228 sts)

Row 41: Body and neck inc row. (234 sts)

Row 43: Body and sleeve inc row. (242 sts)

Row 45: Body inc row. (246 sts)

Row 47: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (256 sts)

Row 49: Body inc row. (260 sts)

Row 51: Body and sleeve inc row. (268 sts)

Row 53: Body and neck inc row. (274 sts)

Row 55: Body and sleeve inc row. (282 sts)

Row 57: Body inc row. (286 sts)

Row 59: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (296 sts)

Rows 61-64: Rep rows 57-60, one more time. (310 sts)

Size 4XL only:

Rows 13-30: Rep rows 7-12, three more times. (196 sts)

Row 31: Body and sleeve inc row. (204 sts)

Row 33: Body inc row. (208 sts)

Row 35: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (218 sts)

Row 37: Body inc row. (222 sts)

Row 39: Body and sleeve inc row. (230 sts)

Row 41: Body and neck inc row. (236 sts)

Row 43: Body and sleeve inc row. (244 sts)

Row 45: Body inc row. (248 sts)

Row 47: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (258 sts)

Row 49: Body inc row. (262 sts)

Row 51: Body and sleeve inc row. (270 sts)

Row 53: Body and neck inc row. (276 sts)

Row 55: Body and sleeve inc row. (284 sts)

Row 57: Body inc row. (288 sts)

Row 59: Body, sleeve, and neck inc row. (298 sts)

Rows 61-68: Rep rows 57-60, two more times. (326 sts)

All sizes:

After yoke shaping is complete, there should be 62 (72, 82, 88, 94, 100, 106, 112) back sts, 46 (50, 54, 56, 56, 58, 58, 60) sts per sleeve, and 25 (29, 34, 36, 39, 41, 44, 47) sts per front.

Divide for Body and Sleeves:

Note: Row numbers will now restart for simplicity.

Row 1 (RS): K to marker, remove marker, place next 46 (50, 54, 56, 56, 58, 58, 60) sts on a holder or scrap yarn for left sleeve, remove next marker, CO 8 (8, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28) sts for left underarm, K to next marker, remove marker, place next 46 (50, 54, 56, 56, 58, 58, 60) sts on a holder or scrap yarn for right sleeve, remove next marker, CO 8 (8, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28) sts for right underarm, K to end of row. [128 (146, 166, 184, 204, 222, 242, 262) sts on needles]

Row 2 and all following even rows until otherwise stated: P.

Row 3 (neck inc row): K 1, m1r, K to last st, m1l, K 1. [130 (148, 168, 186, 206, 224, 244, 264) sts]

Row 5: K.

Size XS only:

Rows 7-38: Rep rows 3-6, eight more times. (146 sts)

Rows 39-50: Rep rows 3 and 4, six more times. (158 sts)

Row 51: CO 2, K to end of row. (160 sts)

Row 52: CO 2, P to end of row. (162 sts)

Rows 53-58: Rep rows 51 and 52, three more times. (174 sts)

Size S only:

Rows 7-22: Rep rows 3-6, four more times. (156 sts)

Rows 23-46: Rep rows 3 and 4, twelve more times. (180 sts)

Row 47: CO 2, K to end of row. (182 sts)

Row 48: CO 2, P to end of row. (184 sts)

Rows 49-58: Rep rows 47 and 48, five more times. (204 sts)

Size M only:

Rows 7-18: Rep rows 3-6, three more times. (174 sts)

Rows 19-48: Rep rows 3 and 4, fifteen more times. (204 sts)

Row 49: CO 2, K to end of row. (206 sts)

Row 50: CO 2, P to end of row. (208 sts)

Rows 51-56: Rep rows 49 and 50, three more times. (220 sts)

Row 57: CO 3, K to end of row. (223 sts)

Row 58: CO 3, P to end of row. (226 sts)

Size L only:

Rows 7-14: Rep rows 3-6, two more times. (190 sts)

Rows 15-48: Rep rows 3 and 4, seventeen more times. (224 sts)

Row 49: CO 2, K to end of row. (226 sts)

Row 50: CO 2, P to end of row. (228 sts)

Rows 51 and 52: Rep rows 49 and 50. (232 sts)

Row 53: CO 3, K to end of row. (235 sts)

Row 54: CO 3, P to end of row. (238 sts)

Rows 55-60: Rep rows 53 and 54, three more times. (256 sts)

Size XL only:

Rows 7-10: Rep rows 3-6, one more time. (208 sts)

Rows 11-48: Rep rows 3 and 4, nineteen more times. (246 sts)

Row 49: CO 2, K to end of row. (248 sts)

Row 50: CO 2, P to end of row. (250 sts)

Row 51: CO 3, K to end of row. (253 sts)

Row 52: CO 3, P to end of row. (256 sts)

Rows 53-62: Rep rows 51 and 52, five more times. (286 sts)

Size 2XL only:

Rows 7-46: Rep rows 3 and 4, twenty more times. (264 sts)

Row 47: CO 2, K to end of row. (266 sts)

Row 48: CO 2, P to end of row. (268 sts)

Row 49: CO 3, K to end of row. (271 sts)

Row 50: CO 3, P to end of row. (274 sts)

Rows 51-64: Rep rows 49 and 50, seven more times. (316 sts)

Size 3XL only:

Rows 7-50: Rep rows 3 and 4, twenty-two more times. (288 sts)

Row 51: CO 2, K to end of row. (290 sts)

Row 52: CO 2, P to end of row. (292 sts)

Row 53: CO 3, K to end of row. (295 sts)

Row 54: CO 3, P to end of row. (298 sts)

Rows 55-70: Rep rows 53 and 54, eight more times. (346 sts)

Size 4XL only:

Rows 7-52: Rep rows 3 and 4, twenty-three more times. (310 sts)

Row 53: CO 2, K to end of row. (312 sts)

Row 54: CO 2, P to end of row. (314 sts)

Row 55: CO 3, K to end of row. (317 sts)

Row 56: CO 3, P to end of row. (320 sts)

Rows 57-74: Rep rows 53 and 54, nine more times. (374 sts)

Separate for Side Slit:

Next row (RS - L): CO 2 (2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3), K 124 (144, 161, 181, 201, 221, 241, 260) (including new sts), turn leaving remaining 52 (62, 68, 78, 88, 98, 108, 117) sts unworked. [124 (144, 161, 181, 201, 221, 241, 260) sts]

Next row (L): P.

Next row (L): CO 2 (2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3), K to end of shortened row. [126 (146, 164, 184, 204, 224, 244, 263) sts]

Rep last 2 rows one more time. [128 (148, 167, 187, 207, 227, 247, 266) sts]

Break yarn and rejoin at other side of side slit.

Next row (RS – R): K. [52 (62, 68, 78, 88, 98, 108, 117) sts]

Next row (R): CO 2 (2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3), P to end of shortened row. [54 (64, 71, 81, 91, 101, 111, 120) sts]

Next row (R): K.

Rep last 2 rows one more time. [56 (66, 74, 84, 94, 104, 114, 123) sts]

Rejoin to Close Side Slit:

Next row: CO 2 (2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3), P across entire row, joining the two pieces again. [186 (216, 244, 274, 304, 334, 364, 392) sts]

Next row: CO 3, K to end of row. [189 (219, 247, 277, 307, 337, 367, 395) sts]

Next row: CO 3, P to end of row. [192 (222, 250, 280, 310, 340, 370, 398) sts]

Rep last 2 rows three more times. [210 (240, 268, 298, 328, 358, 388, 416) sts]

Do not bind off. Break yarn and set work aside, with stitches still on circular needles.

I-cord Tie and Bottom Edging:

Using double pointed needles, CO 4 sts.

Slide sts to other end of needle, and without turning, K across the row. The working yarn will be pulled up the back of the work since it is now at the bottom of the sts.

Slide sts to the other end of the needle, and again without turning, K across the row. By doing this you are forming a tube called an i-cord. Continue on in this manner until the i-cord measures 36”/91cm (40”/102cm, 44”/112cm, 48”/122cm, 52”/132cm, 56”/142cm, 60”/152cm, 64”/163cm).

Begin working attached i-cord along bottom edge of body as follows:

Slide sts to other end of needle. Bring the yarn around the back and K 3 sts. Sl the last st purlwise with yarn in back.

With the RS of the body facing up, insert the needle containing the i-cord sts into the first st on the circular needles, and K it. Pass the slipped st over the picked up st.

Slide the 4 sts to the other end of the needle. K 3 sts and Sl the last st purlwise with yarn in back. Pick up the next st on the circular needles by inserting the double pointed needle into the st and knitting it, then pass the slipped st over it.

Continue this process until all of the sts on the first st holder/scrap yarn have been picked up.

Now you will continue with the unattached i-cord to create the second tie. After you have passed the slipped st over the last picked up st from the circular needles, slide the 4 sts to the other end of the needle. K all of the sts, slide to the other end of the needle, K the sts, slide to the other end, and continue this process until the unattached i-cord measures 36”/91cm (40”/102cm, 44”/112cm, 48”/122cm, 52”/132cm, 56”/142cm, 60”/152cm, 64”/163cm).

Sleeves:

Place sts from one sleeve holder onto double pointed needles and rejoin yarn.

CO 8 (8, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28) sts at underarm and pm for beginning of round.

K 6 rounds.

Work an i-cord bind off as follows:

CO 4 sts at beginning of next round.

*K 3, K2tog tbl, Sl sts from right hand needle back to left hand needle purlwise, rep from * to end of round, bind off last 4 sts normally.

Use tails to sew ends of i-cord bind-offs together.

Rep all steps for other sleeve.

Sew underarm cast-ons together to close holes.

Front Attached I-cord Edging:

Using double pointed needles, CO 4 sts. K 3 sts, then Sl the last st purlwise with yarn in back. With WS of body facing and starting at the point where the bottom left front panel attached i-cord begins, insert needle containing the sts into the first edge st along the front edge and K into it. Pass the slipped st over the picked up st.

Slide the 4 sts to the other end of the needle. K 3 sts and Sl the last st purlwise with yarn in back. Pick up the edge st from the following row by inserting the double pointed needle into the st and knitting it, then pass the slipped st over it.

Continue this process, working into the edge st of every row, up to the first raglan shaping line, then work into each of the CO sts from this front left raglan line, top of left sleeve, back left raglan line, back neck, back right raglan line, top of right sleeve, and front right raglan line, then work into the edge st of every row of right front panel edge all the way down to the point where the bottom right front panel attached i-cord begins.

Bind off and use tails to sew front i-cord edging to point where bottom attached i-cord meets the i-cord ties.

Secure and weave in all ends.

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