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Sleeveless shell pattern for plus size

goldensassy64 | Posted in Knitting and Crochet on

I am looking for instructions for knitting a basic sleeveless shell sweater in a plus size.  (52 bust ) I want just plain stockinette stitch, round neck. I want to use either sport weight or worsted weight yarn with a size 6 or 8 needle.  I’m not very good at enlarging the instructions from most magazines and I don’t want anything fancy. No thin spaghetti straps for instance.

Also does anyone remember and have the instructions for a one skein very loosely knit tank top using size 17 and 19 knitting needles, worst weight yarn ? It first came out in a magazine like Womens Day or Family Circle in the 1970s.


  1. NovaSkills | | #1

    If you have a fabric shell you like, trace off a pattern from it. Make guage swatches using yarn you like, changing needles until you like the hand of the work. Measure & see how many stitches per inch, in both directions.

    Measure your paper pattern to see how many inches you need, do the multiplying and you've got your cast ons. Knit away, checking the shape of your work with the paper pattern. No row counting--just measure.

    Many of the new acrylic or nylon-based specialty yarns on sale today knit nicely on size 15s if doubled with a thin basic acrylic of compatible color.

    1. goldensassy64 | | #2

      Thanks for the great suggestion, BUT, I don't want to be that creative yet, or again, I should say.

      I tried knitting a sweater like that and I ended up with the biggest darn sweater I have ever seen ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !  It's big enough for King Kong and his sister ! ! ! 

      I don't know what I did wrong. . . I used a row counter and a notebook and a knitted gauge swatch but I still ended up with a monster. So from now on I want to follow definite tested instructions.  I haave found many patterns  for sleeveless shells, some even in plus sizes but everyone wants to knit with fancy designs.  The closest I've found is in an old BarBara Aytes book "knitting Made Easy".

      1. NovaSkills | | #4

        Cut the monster sweater down to size by treating the pieces as if they were of knitted fabric...make a seam with a narrow zig-zag and some narrow twill tape, if needed; cut & edge finish to prevent unraveling of the cut yarns. Who says you have to get it right all the time!

        1. goldensassy64 | | #5

          THanks for the advice. I felt such disappointment when I tried the sweater on that I just tucked it away. 

          The funny thing about the whole project was that I was using this sweater pattern to teach my 15 year old granddaughter, Alex, to knit. We started at the same time. She made her perfect fitting cardigan sweater, then a matching scarf, then starting playing around with my circular needles and finished another project I had started and remade it into a beautiful poncho.    I swear all these things while I fumbled along on my king kong sweater !  She loves knitting and has become a fanatic. She is now finishing up a knitted baby blanket for a woman at her mother's job.

          I'm so happy I now know who will inherit my vast yarn and fabric stashes !

          P.S. She, Alexsandria, loves to design her own projects and only asks my help to show her how to execute decreases or binding off, etc, as needed .

  2. Susieq22902 | | #3

    This might be what you're looking for.....


    I haven't gotten around to trying it myself, but I've heard good things about it.

    Yahoo has an Ample Knitters group that may be able help, too.


    Happy Knitting!


    1. goldensassy64 | | #6

      Many thanks to you Susieq. . . The pattern you suggested is the closest I've seen to what  I want. And, it comes in nice large sizes ! I have never short row knitted, but this seems to be a good learning pattern. I printed out the free instructions and they are going into a page protector in my knitting notebook. As I find designs I like and want to try I keep them in my patterns album/notebook.  Thanks again !

  3. dotty | | #8

    Also try googling Picovoli. Its not exactly a tank, but interesting. I'm about to try a tank from Sally Melville's Knitting Experience that has buttons up the front and back.

    Edited 6/20/2007 5:29 pm by dotty

    1. goldensassy64 | | #9

      Thank you Dotty. I went to the website and saw the picovoli sweater pattern and printed it .  I also went to the photo gallery and saw all the versions of this sweater that other women have knitted. I am looking forward to trying my own version, also.

      All of you wonderful knitters have been so generous in sending me information that I am almost speechless. Knitters are really friendly, loving, giving people and sometimes greatly unrecognized by the general public or unappreciated, maybe. I live alone but since joining this group of talented people I no longer feel alone in the middle of the night when I usually sit up knitting (That granddaughter I talk about so much lives in Austin and I am in Houston ).

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