Cool Summer Tops

A selection of DK and cotton DK tops to create a beautiful summer wardrobe. This selection of summer knitting patterns is a mix of my favourites and the most popular patterns in my shop. Most are knitted in cotton yarn, a cool option for summer that feels good against your skin. Cotton yarn comes in a fantastic range of pastels and bold, bright colours

Number One

Image of cover of knitting pattern showing two designs of summer tops in green and pink cotton yarn

I love this pattern, I knitted the green top in the featured colour and wore it lots last summer. It fitted well, held its shape and was cool and comfortable to wear. I found the shaping for the sleeves and keeping the pattern correct was tricky, I eventually had to count backwards and write it down - but it was a small effort that was worth it. The pattern says 'easy knit' and, for the most part it was. But, if you are a very new knitter then I would recommend starting with the pink, short sleeve option. 

Buy the pattern, yarn in a range of colours or kit to knit the green top in Cottonsoft Lime yarn

Number Two

Image of cover of Sirdar knitting pattern showing two summer vests in white and red

This shoestring strap vest has a beautiful lace chevron panel at the bottom. It is an intermediate knit because this detail can be difficult. My favourite thing about this pattern is the V shaped back - the front and the back look very similar. It is a great, cool summer knit.

Buy the pattern, yarn in a range of colours or as a kit with the pattern and yarn in a choice of colours:

Dreamers (purple) | Sunseekers (yellow)

Number Three

Image of cover of knitting pattern showing two cotton summer tops - a silver vest and pink sweater

The simplicity of these tops is what I like the most, the subtle diagonal stripes are striking and easy to knit. The recommended yarn for this project is King Cole Paradise Beaches, a machine washable acrylic and polyamide blend which is super soft and light. Buy

Number Four

Image of Sirdar knitting pattern showing a cotton summer tank top in red, green and white stripes

A great knit for knitters with some experience, the lace detail adds texture to the stripes. This is one of my favourite vest tops and I love choosing different colour combos. The pattern gives four colour combo selections, the one pictured and a similar option with the white substituted by orange. There are also a couple of darker colourways, but I think the light, bright ones work best. Buy the pattern or yarn in a range of colours

Number Five

Image of cover of knitting pattern showing a red lacy knitted summer cardigan with short sleeves

A simple, traditional summer cardigan knitted in cotton yarn. I like knitting projects like this, the pattern on the front is interesting and takes some effort, but I prefer this to always knitting in garter or stocking stitch. The cardigan wears best buttoned up, but you can wear it unbuttoned as a summer jacket if you prefer. Buy

Number Six

Image of knitting pattern cover showing four designs of cotton summer tank tops. All are sleeveless, two are stripy and two are plain

I haven't tried this pattern yet, but I've got five colours of the Cotton Socks yarn - which is what is causing the problem! I can't decide which design and which colour to do first. Once I've tried a couple, I fancy seeing if I can mix and match - option 2 with neckline 1.

Buy the pattern and the yarn or a kit in a range of colour combos:

Plain (design 3) or Rib (design 4) in Azure | Crimson Mauve | Olive | Silver

3 Colour Stripe (design 1)

Number Seven

Image of knitting pattern cover showing summer cropped sweater in blue and pink stripes, with v neck and cow bell (flared) long sleeves

Bargello design is something I came across relatively recently. Bargello is a type of needlepoint embroidery consisting of upright flat stitches laid in a mathematical pattern to create motifs. It originates from a collection of chairs with a 'flame stitch' pattern found in the Bargello palace in Florence.

Given the two colour design and the cowbell sleeves, this is an intermediate knit. I haven't tried it yet, but I love it and its on my wishlist - I'd probably knit it a little longer. Buy the pattern or yarn in a range of colours

Number Eight

Image of knitting pattern showing summer cotton tops - a white short sleeve and yellow long sleeve - both feature a cable panel

If you like cable patterns and are a beginner knitter then this is the pattern for you. The cable detail runs down one half of the front, for a striking, stylish look. Knitted in King Cole Paradise Beaches, this is a summer acrylic DK yarn. Buy

Number Nine

Knitting pattern cover featuring two cotton summer cardigans with cable design - round and v neck options

Knitted in double knit yarn with lots of lovely stitches and textures, that give it a chunky look. Choose from a round or V neck to create the perfect jacket or outer layer for cool days and summer evenings. Buy

Number Ten

Image of knitting pattern of two summer cotton tops - pink short sleeves and blue/grey three-quarter sleeves. The sleeve cuffs and back of neck have a keyhole detail

This is a very popular pattern and its not hard to see why. The sleeve lengths are an integral part of the design, a wider boat neckline gives it a stylish finish and the keyhole details on the sleeve cuffs and at the back of the neck are the perfect finishing touch. Buy


I have a range of cotton yarns including King Cole Cottonsoft and Cotton Socks (4 Ply), and Sirdar Stories. Wool and the Gang Shiny Happy Cotton is also a great quality cotton yarn, but I find it feels heavier and denser than the other yarns and the colours tend to be darker. 

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