Introducing: The Simple Summer Tank Top — Free Knitting Pattern
This easy, beginner friendly tank top knitting pattern is worked in the round from the top, down. Unique sleeve and neck detailing create a stylish and modern square neckline.
Available both as a free knitting pattern, a printable PDF on Ravelry or Etsy, and as a kit with Lion Brand Yarn. Scroll down to access the free knitting pattern or continue reading to learn a bit about the design and some pointers to help you out!
**please note, some links may be affiliate links which will allow me to make a small commission on products purchased through my referral. This does not influence my opinion or the price of the item that you are purchasing in any way.
This simple, square neck tank will be your go-to warm weather top. The unique neckline construction adds interest to an otherwise simple crop top style tank.
This tank top is designed to be slightly cropped but easily customizable to any length. Quick to make, this pattern is perfect for beginners and seasoned knitters alike!
Yarn and Materials
The yarn that I used for this top is Comfy Cotton Blend from Lion Brand Yarn. I have used this yarn in so many other designs such as the Piper Sweater and the Rainbow Stripe Sweater — it truly is one of my favorites!
If you are interested in using this exact yarn, you might want to check out the knit kit which contains all the yarn needed to make this top in your size and a free copy of the pattern!
If you want to substitute for a different yarn, I have some of my favorites listed below. Any worsted weight yarn that meets the gauge will be a great substitute! I will note that online Comfy Cotton Blend is listed as a DK weight but I ~strongly~ feel like it works better as a worsted weight!
Some other yarns that I recommend for this tank top are:
- Lion Brand Pima Cotton: I was super excited when Lion Brand released this pima cotton yarn — I LOVE pima cotton. Its just like regular cotton but softer and a tiny bit silky without too much shine
- LB Collection Mako Cotton: This yarn is amazing, I didn’t even know cotton could be this soft. Its definitely the most luxurious cotton yarn I know of. It has a chain style construction so it won’t split between your needles and it a bit fluffier if you like that look!
- LB Collection Cotton Jeans: This yarn has a jean-type appearance and I think would make the cutest top! Now that I think of it, I actually might have to make another top in this yarn… 🙂
- Comfy Worsted and Comfy Color Mist from KnitPicks: These two yarns are right behind Mako Cotton as the most luxurious cotton I know of. The classic comfy worsted is a line of solid colors and color mist version is the speckled version!
- CotLin from KnitPicks: This yarn has a bit of linen so its extra cooling and airy! Its listed as a DK weight but I definitely consider it a worsted!
Just remember when substituting yarn in a pattern to be sure to gauge swatch to assure a proper fit!
Simple Summer Tank Top Knitting Pattern
© ORIGINALLY LOVELY 2021
This pattern and photographs of this garment are property of Kaitlin Barthold of Originally Lovely. This pattern, photos, and design are subject to copyright and are for personal use only. All commercial use is strictly prohibited. You may not reproduce or distribute this pattern under any circumstances.
The free version of this pattern must be viewed from the webpage.
In this knitting pattern, you will need to know how to cast on, knit in the round, knit flat, work increases and decreases, and bind off.
1, (1, 1, 1, 2), (2, 2, 2, 2) skeins / approx 275, (325, 350, 390, 425), (475, 500, 550, 550) yards Lion Brand Comfy Cotton Blend (shown in Mochaccino)
Size US 7 (4.5 mm) circular knitting needles (for ribbing)
Side US 8 (5.0 mm) circular knitting needles (for body)
Tapestry Needle to weave in ends
- This tank top is constructed from the top, down. First, you will shape the neckline and straps. Then, you will separate to increase more at the front and back body panels. Finally, you will join the body panels to work the body of the top in the round.
- The ribbing in this pattern will be done in half twisted rib. This means, each knit stitch in the rib stitch will be worked through the back loop for a twisted look. If you prefer to use regular rib stitch, just work these knit stitches as normal.
- When directed to work ‘in patt’ this means to continue the half twisted rib stitch pattern as established, working each knit stitch tbl and purling each purl stitch.
XS, (S, M, L, XL), (2X, 3X, 4X, 5X)
Pattern is written for smallest size with changes for larger sizes in parenthesis. When only one number is given, it applies to all sizes. To keep track of your size, you may highlight or circle all numbers for your chosen size before you begin.
Help Choosing Size
This tank top is designed to be worn with 0-4” of negative ease. Model is 6’ tall, has a 33” bust, and is wearing a size Small with 1” of negative ease. For best fit, choose a size that is closest to 0-4” smaller than your corresponding bust measurement. For example, if your bust is 50”, you would wear a size 2X. If you prefer your garments to fit looser or more snug, choose a size with less or more ease accordingly.
18 sts and 24 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch on size 8 needles
This pattern is written using U.S. English Terminology.
BO = bind off
CO = cast on
K = knit
K1tbl = knit 1 through the back loop
M = stitch marker
M1L = make 1 left. Pick up the bar between the stitch you just knit and the one you are about to knit with your left needle from front to back, knit through the back.
M1LP = make one left purl. Pick up the bar between the stitch you just knit and the one you are about to knit with your left needle from front to back, then purl through the back loop of the strand.
M1R = make 1 right Pick up the bar between the stitch you just knit and the one you are about to knit with your left needle from back to front, knit through the front.
M1RP = make one right purl. Pick up the bar between the stitch you just knit and the one you are about to knit with your left needle from back to front, then purl through the front loop of the strand.
P = purl
Patt = pattern
PM = place stitch marker
Rd = round
RS = right side, you will be working a RS row when the outside of your work (right side) is facing
SM = slip stitch marker
st = stitch
Stst = stockinette stitch
WS = wrong side, you will be working a WS row when the inside of your work (wrong side) is facing you
[ ] = work instructions within brackets as many times as directed
- = repeat the instructions following the single asterisk as directed
Simple Summer Tank Top Knitting Pattern
Cast on 184, (196, 216, 196, 204), (184, 204, 184, 220) sts using long tail cast on using size 7 needles. Join to work in round.
Set Up Round: * [k1tbl, p1] 20 (22, 25, 25, 27) (27, 30, 30, 31) times, PM, [k1tbl, p1] 26 (27, 29, 24, 24) (19, 21, 16, 24) times, PM. Rep from * once more, final M placed will denote beg/end of each rd.
Round 1: * [k1tbl, p1] to M, M1R, SM, k1tbl, M1L, p1. Rep from * three more times, working final k1tbl, M1L, p1 with first sts of next rd. [192, (204, 224, 204, 212), (192, 212, 192, 228) sts].
2: work in patt to end of rd.
3: * work in patt to M, M1RP, SM, k1tbl, M1LP. Rep from * to end of rd, working final k1tbl, M1LP, with first sts of next rd. [200, (212, 232, 212, 220), (200, 220, 200, 236) sts].
4: work in patt even to end of rd.
5-8: Rep rounds 1-4 once more. [216, (228, 248, 228, 236), (216, 236, 216, 252) sts].
Separate Sleeves and Body
On the next round, switch to size 8 needles and remove stitch markers as you pass them.
9: * k 49 (53, 59, 59, 63) (63, 69, 69, 71), BO next 59 (61, 65, 55, 55) (45, 49, 39, 55) sts in rib st. Rep from * once more.
You will now work back and forth across the next 49, (53, 59, 59, 63), (63, 69, 69, 71) sts on your needles to shape the first body panel.
10 (RS): k2, M1L, k to last 2, M1R, k2. [51, (55, 61, 61, 65), (65, 71, 71, 73) sts].
11 (WS): purl.
Repeat rows 10-11 3, (5, 7, 10, 13), (17, 18, 22, 25) more times. [57, (65, 75, 81, 91), (99, 107, 115, 123) sts]. Break yarn and set aside.
Repeat for second body panel beginning with RS facing you.
You will now join the two body pieces together to work in the round.
K 57 (65, 75, 81, 91) (99, 107, 115, 123) sts for body panel just worked, CO 7 (7, 7, 9, 9) (9, 11, 11, 11) sts for underarm, k 57 (65, 75, 81, 91) (99, 107, 115, 123) sts for second body panel, CO 7 (7, 7, 9, 9) (9, 11, 11, 11) sts for other underarm, Join to work in round. [128, (144, 164, 200), (216, 236, 252, 268) sts].
PM to denote beg/end of each round. Work 11, (11, 10, 10.5, 9.5), (10, 9, 9.5, 6.5)” even in stst.
On the next rd, switch to size 7 needles. Knit 1 round. Work 1” in [k1tbl, p1] half twisted rib st.
BO in rib st.
Weave in all ends. Block by soaking in warm water and lay flat to dry.
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I hope that you’ve enjoyed this knitting pattern!