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free knit ample woman's tunic pattern

Special thanks to Sandy Mann for modeling the tunic.


Above is a closer detail of the
frog trim made with I-cord.


Index of Free Patterns
in Woman's Sizes:
1X and Larger

See Links to More Free
Panda Cotton Yarn Patterns

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A Sisterís Special Request
Panda Cotton Tunic

Designed and Knit by Nancy Wild
For Crystal Palace Yarns

This sweater is a top down that was designed for my sister at her request. She has looked for a sweater pattern that not only was the style she wanted but also would fit her. Being an ample petite woman it is harder to find patterns that she can follow and not have to change all of the directions. This is styled and shaped to her specifications and has made more than one ample petite knitter fall in love with it. I will include directions for petite and average sizes in the LG to 3X large size ranges. I hope you enjoy knitting this as much as I have and enjoy wearing it as well to show your style.

12 (14, 16, 18) - 50 gr balls of Crystal Palace Panda Cotton Yarn in main color [MC] for average height, Petite sizes will use one less ball.
[here in #0436 'chocolate-almonds]
1 - 50 gr ball Crystal Palace Panda Cotton Yarn in contrasting color [CC] [here is #9798 'red cinnamon']
Crystal Palace Bamboo 29" circular needles, size 4 or size to get gauge.
Crystal Palace DP needles in same sizes as above for working sleeves
ľ inch Ribbon for stitch holders (this makes it easier to work due to flexibility and count)
Tapestry needle for weaving in ends and attaching the frog closures you will be making.
4 small buttons for adornment
7 small snaps for the closure at the side neck
Needle and thread for attaching buttons and snaps.

7 sts /inch and 9.5 rows/inch [28 sts /10 cm and 38 rows/10 cm]

Womanís Lg (XL, 2X, 3X)

Finished Chest measurements:
Lg:40" (XL:45", 2X:50", 3X:55" )

M1-on wrong side of work P1 then pickup the loop from the stitch below and P; PM- place marker; P-Purl; K-Knit; rem-remaining; SSK-slip one knitwise, slip the next one knitwise then K the 2 together; K2tog- knit 2 sts together; St st-stockinette stitch

With MC and circular needle cast on:
40, PM 3, PM 40, PM 3 (45, PM 4, PM 45, PM3 [50, PM 5, PM 50, PM 5] {55, PM 6, PM 55, PM 6})
The first 10 rows are worked in St st with no increases. This is the small standup collar. You may work more rows for a longer collar if you desire, just be sure to end after the purl row.

Next row: Knit across the row and continue to slip the marker. Add another marker after you complete the row and then cast on 7 sts using the backward loop cast on. These 7 sts will be worked in garter Stitch through out the sweater.
Increase row: K 7, slip marker, P 1, MK1,* Purl to next marker, MK1, slip Marker, P1 MK1*, repeat to last St of row then P1, MK1 turn work.
Alternate between the increase row and a K row until you have 125 (143, 155,173) sts between the last marker and the end of the row on an increase row.
You have completed the shoulder shaping for your sweater.
Bind off the first 7 sts;* slip the sts between the first and second marker onto ribbon or a St Holder. Cast on 16(16, 20, 20) sts for underarm. Place a marker after casting on half of the stitches to mark your side seam. *. Knit to next marker and repeat the process for the other underarm, remembering to mark your side seam.

The body of the sweater is joined and worked in the round to the bottom edge. BE CAREFUL NOT TO TWIST WHEN JOINING. Work in St st (K all sts)
To desired length minus 3 inches. The last 3 inches will be the flaps over the hips.

The Bottom Flaps:
The back flap is worked first by knitting 4 sts from each side of the front of the side markers and all of the sts between the back markers. If you leave a stitch holder or safety pin on the 4 sts used from the front it will make it easier to pick them up when you go to work the front flap.
Work 4 inches in St st on all of the sts for the back flap.
Next 5 knit rows are decrease rows. You will K2tog, K across to last 2 sts then SSK.
(it will take 10 rows to complete the decreases) Place the rem sts onto a st holder or ribbon until you are ready for the I-cord cast off.

Front Flap is worked the same as the back except you only work it 2 inches before you start your decrease rows and you will only work on the sts between the makers for the front of the sweater. Place the rem sts onto a holder or ribbon to wait for the cast off.

I-Cord Cast Off:
The cast off is worked on the back flap first. Start by picking up 2 st loops on the inside of the sweater next to the beginning on the flap with a double point needle. Using double strand of the CC yarn *K 2, SSK using one St from the flap, Slide sts to other end of needle and repeat from*.
[I used 2 out of 3 sts on the vertical edge and the Decrease edge and one for one on the live sts on the holder.]
After completing back flap with the cast off, weave in ends. For front flap cast on 3 sts with double strand of the CC color and work I-cord bind off at opposite side from neck opening. Work same as the back until you other edge. Using circular needle pick up sts from center of underarm to edge of front flap. Continue I-cord up side of sweater in same manner using sts from cable needle. At top follow edge of sleeve then up front of neck opening, around top of collar and then down the decrease seam on other side of front opening. Cut yarn, weave in ends.

Starting at center of bottom of sleeve pickup 12 sts, pickup sts on holder, pickup another 12 sts, PM for underarm decreases. Attach MC yarn, work every other round as a K round. Alternating rounds you K2tog before and after the marker. Work total of 16 rounds. Finish off sleeve edge by working double strand I-cord bind off. Cut yarn, weave in ends and repeat for other sleeve.

Frog Closures:
The closures are made by knitting a 9 inch length of I-cord in single strand of CC yarn. Make 3 identical cords for the front. Leave 8 inch tail on each end of the I-cord to use to attach to sweater.
Place the I-cords, using pins to hold in place and shape the cording to your liking and sew to sweater. Make sure they are evenly spaced on front side of neck opening. Attach buttons between the edging and the frog to hide the ends. Dampen the sweater lightly and pin to block.

Special Thanks to Nancy Wild for designing this Panda Cotton Tunic.
Visit Nancy's blog at to see more of
her design work and learn about her yarn shop in Adrian, Michigan.

Pattern Copyright 2007 Crystal Palace Yarns/Straw Into Gold, Inc. - We are happy to share this  pattern with knitters. The pattern may be used for non-commercial personal or knitting guild use. It is not to be used in any publication in print nor should it be reproduced in electronic/digital format without permission. Knitting shops carrying CP Yarns Panda Cotton are welcome to print and share this pattern with customers of our yarns.

Retail shops in the USA should contact CPY Wholesale for information on purchasing
Crystal Palace Yarns and email cpyinfo -at- (replace the -at- with @)

or write to:
Crystal Palace Yarns, 160 23rd St., Richmond, CA 94804
phone: 510-237-9988,  fax: 510-237-9809

Last revision of this page February 07, 2012