Summer Vacation Knit Top Pattern

Hi friends! A couple of years ago I designed this super easy knit top and wanted to share it again with you today.  So many of you have written to me about how you’ve enjoyed the Honeycombs Knit Scarf Pattern and this uses that same mesh stitch.  It’s a really simple top as you’ll see from reading the pattern below and the yarn is amazing. You can use any light weight yarn that you prefer, but what a treat to use the cotton bamboo yarn.  Softest, most luxurious summer yarn evvvvaa! It’s a little pricey since it’s a luxury yarn, but if you want to treat yourself or someone else, THIS is a yarn that I just LOVE.

Quite a while back I conquered my first knit top pattern (here) and more recently made a fun Drop Stitch Cotton Kimono (here) .  The pattern I’m sharing with you here is definitely a fave as it’s comfortable, fun, EASY,  and simple to customize.

I wore it to the grocery store the other day just before taking pictures for the blog, and ran into a friend of mine. She just loved it and asked if I made it.  In her words “It’s so eye catching!”  How fun is that?

Easy Knit Summer Tops Pattern Mesh

This top works up really fast (as far as knit shirts go) because it’s knit holding two strands of cotton/bamboo yarn together.  The Lion Brand Cotton Bamboo yarn  (here) does NOT disappoint! It is one of my new favorites and is perfect for summer clothing and accessories. It creates a beautiful drape and is so soft and light. Oh, I also used larger US size 11 knitting needles which allowed me to quickly finish this shirt. The whole “holding two together” really gave the top a cool texture as well.  And you guys, when I made this top, I was actually making twisted knit stitches (which is a thing haha!) However, I wrote the pattern without the twisted stitches because it’s not important for the look of the sweater. If you know how to do twisted knit stitches, feel free to go for it. If not, just knit as normal and you’re good to go!

Easy Knit Top Cotton Lion Brand Yarn

This shirt is breezy, but still gives you great coverage.  With the whole crop top trend going on right now, you could definitely make this shorter by doing less stockinette rows.  Let’s not kid ourselves – I’m not pulling off the crop top look, but it would be super cute for you hipster gals out there!  My husband even questions whether my torn jeans are appropriate “mother’s” wear.  Oh well!

Easy Knit Summer Top Pattern Frees

Here’s the lowdown on knitting this shirt. Can you knit? Can you purl? Can you do a yarn over? Do you think you can knit two together?  If you said yes, you can make this in a flash! If no, just look it up on YouTube because these are basic stitches that you can learn in no time. Wee!

You will need:

3 skeins (for the size small pictured) of LB Collection Cotton Bamboo or comparable “3” Light Yarn (You will have to split the third skein in order to hold two together OR just purchase a 4th skein which is what I did)

US Size 11 , 8.0 mm Knitting Needles


Tapestry needle to weave in ends and seam sides

Easy Knit Top Free Pattern Progress
I always prefer to work on circular needles, even for flat projects. This top is made in two parts – a front and a back, then seamed up the sides.
Once you finish a front and back side, you will lay them together, right sides out, and seam up both sides.


Gauge: Approximately 2 3/4 stitches and 3 rows / 1″ in stockinette – this is quite forgiving as there is no shaping to the top and it fits loosely.

k2tog – knit two together

yo- yarn over

k- knit


It is made holding two together.

Worked flat, from the bottom up in two pieces. You’re basically knitting two squares. Then seaming them together. Easy!

The pattern is for a S – M ( you can see my best guess for size large below).  The top measures approximately 16″ from top center, to bottom center and approximately 16.5″ across when seamed. You can adjust the length by doing more or less rows of stockinette or mesh stitches. I’m wearing the top in the photos and am about 5’6″ and about 105 lbs – wearing what I’m referring to as the S – M.

For a size large you simply need to cast on more stitches. From looking at the sizing chart from the Craft Yarn Council I believe adding 8 more stitches will do the trick.  In addition, you will want to make an additional 4″ of the stockinette section.  This is my best guess at sizing!  Update: Please note that I wrote this pattern a couple of years ago and am much more specific with the patterns that I write now. Haha!

**I always slip the first stitch of each row. This creates an even side without bumps. If it’s a knit stitch, slip as if to knit. If it’s a purl stitch, slip purl wise.

The bottom is worked in a broken rib stitch, the middle portion in stockinette and the top in a simple mesh pattern. All very easy!

Easy Knit Summer Top Pattern Free 2

Summer Knit Top Pattern

Holding two strands of yarn together, cast on 51 stitches (For size S/M), 59 for L

Bottom Ribbing:

Row 1 P1, k1 across row. End with a purl stitch.

Row 2 Knit across row

Row 3 – until you have approximately 2.5″  Repeat row 1 and 2 end on the wrong side (RS is row 2 knit across, WS is P1,K1 row)

Center Stockinette Portion

You will now work in stockinette, starting on the RS

Next row: Knit across row

Next row: Purl across row

Repeat this sequence, alternating knit and purl rows, working in stockinette stitch for 10.5″  (For a large 14.5″)  Remember you can make this longer or shorter by adding more rows, or making less rows!

Upper Mesh Section

Row 1: (RS) Knit across row

Row 2: (WS) K1, *yo, k2tog,* repeat from * to * across row,

Row 3 Knit across row

Row 4 K2, *yo, k2tog*, repeat from * to * across row to last stitch, k1.

Repeat rows 1-4 for approximately 3″

Next: Knit across row

Knit cast off

Tie off, weave in ends

Repeat this pattern in order to make two sides of your shirt.

You should double check your gauge to match the size that best suits you.  Sizing can be found through the link I’ve shared from the Craft Yarn Council.


With your front and back pieces place wrong sides together. Use the mattress stitch to seam up each side.  Start from the bottom and work your way up, leaving approximately 7″ for the arm holes.  Weave in ends. You will not be able to see the seam when you use the mattress stitch.

For the top shoulder, seam with your preferred method ( I just used a whip stitch ) starting from the outside.  Seam approximately 2″ in. Tie off and weave in ends.

Tie off, weave in all ends!

There you have it, your new summer vacation knit top. I hope that you like this knit top as much as I do.

Easy Knit Summer Tops Pattern 2



Easy Knit Summer Top Pattern Mom & Daughter
My girl was sad that she wasn’t part of the photos, so she begged to have her picture with me when we were in our backyard. She started doing this little heart symbol with her hands for the picture and I melted!

Happy summer to you and yours!

Hope you enjoyed this oldie but goodie! 😉



If you liked this, you might also like:

Drop Stitch Cotton Kimono Pattern

Classic Knit Top Pattern


Feel free to share your projects with me and follow along on my Facebook page. 🙂


Thank you to Lion Brand Yarn for providing yarn for this project! All opinions are always my own.

Summer Vacation Knit Top Pattern

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  1. So pretty, Jessica! I love the color you chose, and I can see it in soft pastels, too–especially yellow. While I love to knit, I can’t handle the “assembly” part, so I’ll just have to admire this one from afar. I just wanted to say I’m so impressed with how fast you’ve gotten at creating these beautiful patterns since you started knitting and crocheting and started your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely patterns!

    1. How sweet Judy! You made my morning. I agree, it would be lovely in pastels. The blog has definitely kept me motivated to continue coming up with ideas, and I’m totally hooked on knit and crochet so it just happens! I’ve had so much fun.

    2. Hi Judy. The ”assembly” part is not very difficult. For the mattress stitch and the whip stitch you can go to YouTube and watch how they do it. You can watch and practice it as many times as you need to until you are comfortable with it 🙂

  2. I love the pattern, Jessica. Since I am a PS in size , do you think this would be too big for me?

    1. Is PS Petite Small? I think it would work if that’s the case! So glad you like it!

  3. This so cute. I might do it for my granddaughters. Are the edges of the armholes nice looking? Or should I add a stitch at each end to slip purl wise at the beginning of eac row ? I’m not sure how that would affect the look.

  4. Dear Jessica,
    You must be psychic lol, I spent the better part of my day daydreaming about knitting a top in a silk bamboo cream that has been in my stash for a while. I love the pattern. When I make it will a bit longer to hide my hips a bit.
    Muchas gracias,

  5. I plan to learn to knit once my hand is completely healed from reconstructive surgery. I’m a crocheter who can’t even crochet right now. I will save this pattern in my “treasured favorites” for the day I am up to this level. Thanks for sharing your lovely work and that adorable photo of you and your daughter…precious!

    1. Oh, I’m so sorry your hand isn’t better- that must be a long tough road. Such a bummer. Thanks for the kind words about the pattern and about the picture with my daughter. Heal up quick!

  6. Love,love, love it! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing. And btw, your jeans are fine! And you could sport a crop top, too! Do it while you’re still young! Lol!

    1. Lol! Thanks Sharon for making me feel okay about my jeans. I will have to let the hubby know that you said they are okay, so I can keep wearing them. 😉 Oh no! I can’t sport a crop top!! But I am flattered – lol. Have a great day and thanks for the laugh!

  7. This top will be perfect for my daughter. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. 🙂

  8. Great looking top . Just started knitting and have completed a few projects. This one looks nice and easy . I have “2” fine cotton and acrylic yarn. Do you think that would work and should i cast on more sts. I’m a medium.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful patterns

    1. Hi June! The fine #2 would be too thin. You would definitely need to cast on more stitches but I don’t know how many more… You could play around with it and see if you can get it to work holding 2 or three strands together and casting on more stitches. Thanks for your kind words, and you’re welcome! It’s fun to post the patterns!

  9. Looks like I’ll be adding another of your projects to my To Do list!!! This top is super cute!!!! Thanks for sharing your creative pattern with us!!!….love the hand-heart picture of you and your daughter!!!

  10. , Hi, iv just finished the vacation top 🙂 unfortunately I made it a little bit too big but it looks great as a off the shoulder top , I’m going to make it again a bit smaller 🙂 and in a different colour, if I can work out how to take pics with my tablet I will post photos , thanks for the pattern it’s so easy to follow especially as a new knitter .

    1. Hi Shaz – Sorry it turned out large, but happy to hear that you like it anyhow! Would love to see pictures if you do get a chance. You’re welcome for the pattern – I’m happy to share!

  11. What a great top, love it!! I too wear my distressed jeans. I call it my ma’hemian chic look instead of bohemian. Thanks for sharing, will share pics, have a lot on my needles these days but who doesn’t. Thanks again, so thoughtful of you to share.

    1. Oh that’s great – Mahemian chic! Perfect name for those jeans. Yes, I’d love to see pics if you make it!

  12. This looks like a great summer too. I would like to try making it but I feel it will be too short. With the four balls that you purchased did you have enough left over to make it longer or should I purchase more yarn? Thanks!!!

  13. I love that this top is short!! you can always make it longer. I’m short and its hard to find pretty patterns that aren’t too long for me. Thank you!!

    1. So glad that this will work for you Nancy! You’re welcome – I’m happy to share!

    1. Hi Vicki! The mattress stitch is a type of stitch that you can use to seem up stockinette stitch. If you put in a google search “how to do the mattress stitch” you will find a lot of tutorials! It’s a great stitch to know!

  14. Love this pattern – thanks for posting. I am a beginning knitter – which side is considered the RS and which is the WS?

    1. Hey Rachel,

      I just added a little note to the pattern above. When you are knitting across the row, this is the right side.

  15. I made myself something similar over 25 years ago, I even have photos of me wearing it on our honeymoon in 1992! I loved that top, but mine wasn’t quite such nice shape as yours. You have just given it a lovely modern feel with the yarn and finish.
    I’m now wondering if I’m too old to wear this look again…I’m thinking probably not. I’m really tempted, I’m going to pin whilst I think about it!

      1. I made the knit top in the small but added a few extra inches to make it a little longer. I am a senior, and it looks good on me.My husband was impressed with the way it looks.
        Thanks, Jessica, for a great pattern!

        1. You’re welcome Sandy! Great job making it your own by adding more stitches. So happy to hear that even your hubby likes it. That’s always a plus!

  16. Jessica, I’m going to try the Summer Vacation Knit top. I’m guessing the pattern isn’t referring to Bloody Mary’s when it says it’s made holding two together. My guess is it means hold 2 strands of yarn together.

    1. Ha ha! Yum, you’re making me crave a bloody mary. 😉 Yes, it means holding two strands of yarn together. 😉

  17. I completed the first side of the top and need to bind off. I ended on row 4. Is there anything special I should do since this row includes yarnovers or can I do a basic bind off?

    Thanks for the beautiful pattern.

    1. I just did a basic bind off Diane. Good question though – hope you’ve enjoyed it!

    1. Currently I just have it for free here on my blog. I’ve considered making a printable PDF version for purchase at some point. The easiest way to print it is to copy and paste into a Word document or use printfriendly.com. Hope this helps!

  18. I LOVE this pattern! thanks so much, Would ove to try it for my toddlers, 2 and 3 yo. Do you think you can help me to adapt the pattern, i am a beginner 😛
    Thanks a lot!

    1. Try to cast on far less stitches, but keep it an odd number. From there, knit each side, then seam them together in the same way as the pattern states. You might want to hold up your work once you’ve knit a few rows to your toddler to see if it looks like the right size!

  19. The whole pattern is knitted with 2 strands of yarn? I wasn’t quite sure…it is a beautiful pattern, I can’t wait to try it for my daughter. Thank you!

        1. If you use this weight of yarn, yes. You don’t HAVE to, but if you only hold one, it will turn out airier and lighter.

  20. I love this pattern! I’ve already have most of one side finished. I’m making it in regular old cotton though, for my teen daughter. She picked it out several years ago to make a sweater for her but we both fell in love with your patteren so that’s what I’m making. Please keep the patterns coming.

    1. I’m so glad you found this pattern and thought it was suitable for your yarn! I’m addicted to making patterns, so more will definitely be coming. 🙂 Thanks for your kind words. So glad you are liking the top so far! I hope your daughter will love it!

  21. Hi, thanks for sharing! Was looking for a summer top and this is what I was looking for. Do you think this will work if I knit/ crochet using one skein of yarn instead of double yarn?

  22. I’ve been looking for a pattern for a summer shirt and this one looks gorgeous! Do you think I could use a wool superwash(4) with a size 10.5(6.5mm) needle? Since it’s a thicker yarn, but smaller needle than you use?

  23. I made this (almost). It is knitted, but the 2 pieces aren’t together yet. This was the first time I have used coton bamboo and I loved it.

  24. Hi Jessica,

    I found your lovely pattern for your summer vacation knit top and I would love to make it . I cannot find LB cotton bamboo yarn in my area, South Jersey. Do you recommend any other yarn I could use?
    Also , I am a petite medium, what size would you recommend

  25. lovely, it would be helpful in future if you could note the yardage for yarn sub so we don’t have to go scouting around for it, in this case the brand is 224 yards. I have lots of cotton I can use and this will be great and so pretty. Thanx so much.

    1. Hi! This is an older pattern of mine where I left out a lot of information that I now include in my patterns! The blog really started off as a place for me to keep track of my own projects and share with others, and only in the last year or so did I realize the need to provide more details for you….haha! Thanks Barbara!

  26. A friend just gave me some of that t shirt tape yarn. I’m wondering if it might make up well in this pattern? She wanted to cheer me, sweet lady that she is!

    1. Hi Kris! I’m not sure how heavy the t shirt yarn is that you have but some of them are pretty heafty. There are some light tape yarns though. I’m not sure without knowing which one your friend gave you though. It may be possible! How nice of your friend.

  27. Hi- this is gorgeous!
    I just wanted to check- we dont have to decrease or cast off stitches for arm holes and neck?


  28. Hi love the top!!!! Can you convert it into crochet? I’ve tried several times knit with no luck! Thanks

  29. I made the summer vacation top last year. It was a joy to make and I love wearing it. Thank you for your inspiring patterns and ideas.

  30. I just read your blog about the summer knit top. I’m going to make it for my sister! I just had to laugh when I read what you husband said about your jeans!!! Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful pattern!ar

  31. Question instead of using dk yarn(light weight) with two strands could I use a cotton yarn that is worsted weight yarn? for knitting needles what would you recommend with the length using circular needles; 16, 24, 29, 36 and 40 inches’? Thank you for sharing this awesome pattern it will be my first garment knitting project excited to start it this week

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