Enjoy a casual cotton tee you’ll want to wear every day with this seamless, top down summer knit tee pattern!
Design Story and Inspiration for This Seamless Tee Pattern
I love seamless designs because when you’re done knitting, all that’s left is blocking and weaving in ends – instead of all the seaming that comes along with knitting a sweater flat. Don’t get me wrong, I still design and knit sweaters in pieces, but there’s something special about a seamless design.
I designed this tee as a casual piece with just enough details that keep the pattern from being boring. A lot of it is in Stockinette stitch, so it’s knitting every round, but there are small details like eyelets at the raglan increases and a stitch pattern on either side “seam” under the arms.
Yarn Options for This Easy Knit Tee
I used one of my favorite cotton yarns, Sugarwheel Cotton from Hobby Lobby for this design. It’s a DK weight yarn (category #3) so it’s light enough to be really comfortable in hot weather, but still sturdy enough to wear under a jacket when it gets cool and not be cold.
You can use any DK weight yarn that gets gauge for this pattern. I wouldn’t suggest wool or another warm fiber if you plan on wearing this in the summer heat (I’ve made that mistake with another design before!), but acrylic or a cotton blend would be wonderful.
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Top Down Knit Tee Pattern Details
This tee is knit top down starting at the collar. It has a slightly wider collar that begins with k2p2 ribbing. The increases are created with small eyelets for the raglan sleeves.
Once all the increases are worked, the top is divided into sleeves and body and the pattern under the arm begins. It’s a simple pattern that uses only knit and purl stitches so there are no complicated stitch patterns in this easy design.
This pattern is suitable for an advanced beginner if you know how to work in the round and pick up stitches (which is done when working the sleeves).
How to Customize This Easy Tee Design
Want to change up the stitch pattern detail on the sides? Choose any stitch pattern with a multiple of 14 and put those directions in place of the side detail stitches. A cable or open lace pattern would look great.
You can also change up the ribbing from a k2p2 to anything you like and increase or decrease on the last round to get the right number of stitches for the body (just make sure it’s large enough to fit over the head). You can always adjust how long the ribbing is by just knitting more rib than called for.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own (for personal use only, please don’t change the side panel and use all the other math for a “new” design as this is copyrighted).
More Free Knit Top Patterns
Top Down Knit Tee
Yarn: Sugarwheel Cotton, 3 (3, 4, 4, 5) skeins Cascade, 100% cotton, 5oz/335yd
Needles: US Sizes 3 (3.25mm) and 4 (3.50mm) circular needles
Notions: Stitch markers, stitch holders, yarn needle, scissors
Gauge: 23 sts and 32 rows = 4” in St st in the round using larger needles
Finished Size: Chest 35.5 (39.5, 43.5, 47.5, 51)”, 90 (100, 110, 120, 130)cm to fit S (M, L, XL, 2XL)
Notes: Tee is worked from the top down with no seaming and features a textured detail on the sides.
Top Down Knit Tee Pattern
With smaller needles, cast on 156 (168, 180, 192, 204) sts using cable cast on method.
Rounds 1-4: Work in K2P2 rib for 4 rounds.
Change to larger needles.
Rounds 5-7: K 3 rounds
Divide for front, back and sleeves
Round 8: Place marker for beg of rnd, k55 (59, 63, 67, 71) for back, pm, k23 (25, 27, 29, 31) for left sleeve, pm, k55 (59, 63, 67, 71) for front, pm, k23 (25, 27, 29, 31) for right sleeve – 156 (168, 180, 192, 204) sts.
Round 9 (Inc): *K1, yo, k to 1 st before next marker, yo, k1, repeat from * to end – 164 (176, 188, 200, 212) sts.
Round 10: Knit.
Rounds 11-28 (30, 40, 46, 48): Repeat rounds 9-10 – 244 (264, 316, 352, 372) sts.
Round 29 (31, 41, 47, 49) (Inc): Repeat round 9 – 252 (272, 324, 360, 380) sts.
Rounds 30-32 (32-34, 42-44, 48-50, 50-52): Knit
Round 33 (35, 45, 51, 53) (Inc): Repeat round 9 – 260 (280, 332, 368, 388) sts.
Rounds 34-61 (36-63, 46-73, 52-79, 54-81): Repeat rounds 30-33 (32-35, 42-45, 48-51, 50-53) – 308 (328, 380, 416, 436) sts
Sizes Medium (2XL) ONLY
Repeat round 9 – 336 (444)
Total number of stitches: 308 (336, 380, 416, 444) sts [93 (101, 113, 123, 131) for each front and back, 61 (67, 77, 85, 91) for each sleeve]
Divide for Lower Body
Note: This textured pattern created by rows 75-80 should be on the 14 sts cast on in round 74 and are directly under the armholes.
Round 74: K93 (101, 113, 123, 131) sts of back, pm, cast on 14 sts using knitted cast on, slip 61 (67, 77, 85, 91) sleeve sts on holder, k93 (101, 113, 123, 131) sts for front, pm, cast on 14 sts using knitted cast on, slip last 61 (67, 77, 85, 91) sleeve sts onto holder, join to back – 214 (230, 254, 274, 290) sts.
Round 75: [Knit to marker, p3, k8, p3] twice.
Round 76: [Knit to marker, (k1, p1) twice, k2, p2, k2, (p1, k1) twice] twice.
Round 77: [Knit to marker, p3, k3, p2, k3, p3] twice.
Round 78: [Knit to marker, k1, p1, k1, p8, k1, p1, k1] twice.
Round 79: [Knit to marker, p3, k1, p2, k2, p2, k1, p3] twice.
Round 80: [Knit to marker, k1, p1, k1, p3, k2, p3, k1, p1, k1] twice.
Repeat rounds 75-80 until piece measures 26.5” from beginning.
Work in k2p2 rib for 4 rounds (using larger needles).
Round 1: With larger needles, cast on 14 sts, k across 61 (67, 77, 85, 91) sts on holder, join – 75 (81, 91, 99, 105) sts.
Round 2 (Dec): K2tog, k35 (38, 45, 47, 50), k2tog, k to last 2 sts, k2tog – 72 (78, 88, 96, 102) sts.
Change to smaller needles.
Rounds 3-6: Work in k2p2 rib.
Bind off in rib.
Repeat for second sleeve.
Sew underarm seams.
Weave in ends.
Block lightly to measurements.
Final Thoughts on This Knit Tee Pattern
I hope you’ve enjoyed this free knitting pattern! I had so much fun designing this and I’m getting a lot of wear out of it because it’s still hot in Tennessee. This is a knit tee pattern I’ll be wearing again and again.