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the Poisoned Apple top

Picking favourites is hard. Choosing between my designs is like choosing between my children, I just can’t do it! However, I *think* my latest pattern, the Poisoned Apple Top, is a strong contender. It includes almost everything I love in knitwear: strong shoulders, puff sleeves, sheer mohair, pleats, a high neckline, cute button… too many details could have been a disaster but I’d like to think it turned out just nicely. I’m thrilled with the end result, anyway!

Scroll down for details and to purchase the Poisoned Apple Top knitting pattern


Shibui Knits very kindly sent me a selection of yarns from their summer range to try, and after swatching a bunch of combinations, this pairing of DK weight Haven with laceweight Silk Cloud spoke to me the most. I love the combination of smooth merino cashmere with gossamer silk mohair. Test knitters used a variety of yarns; there’s lots of scope to play around with colour, contrast and texture with this one! I’d recommend using a plump, bouncy DK without much drape as this will hold the puff sleeve best. If you’d like to use the recommended yarn, Shibui are selling Poisoned Apple Top kits.

A Snow White inspiration was possibly strange for someone who isn’t particularly into Disney, but when I first sketched this design out the resemblance was just too strong to ignore! It just had to be the Poisoned Apple Top. Snow White and I have similar taste in sleeves, what can I say.

Knitting tutorials

There are tutorials for all the techniques involved in this pattern on my YouTube channel, including the German short rows that I promise aren’t scary! I also filmed a couple of extra tutorials specific to this pattern – pleats and buttonloops – which you can watch below.

Choosing a size

Choosing the correct size is super important with this pattern (and any other fitted knit!) so I thought I’d include some pointers / notes on the fit:

— Choose a size closest to your actual bust measurement, and if between sizes, size down. Sizing up to achieve a more relaxed fit doesn’t work with these fitted, puff sleeve sweaters, since the sleeve ‘seam’ won’t sit correctly on the shoulder and will instead be droopy. The shoulder-to-bust ratio changes across the sizes, as does the amount of armhole shaping, so unfortunately it’s not quite so simple as just sizing up for a looser fit like you could with a drop shoulder sweater. Zero to a *tiny* bit of positive ease works best.

— Consider the cuff circumference as well as the bust measurements when choosing a size. For the puff sleeve to actually ‘poof’, the sleeve head needs to be pushed upwards by an anchor point at the cuff. If the cuff is loose, the sleeve will drape rather than poof and the pleats won’t have the same effect. The cuffs need to be snug, which may require dropping several needle sizes to create a tight rib.

— For those with a larger bust, I’d recommend choosing a size based on your upper bust measurement rather than full bust. This was a suggestion from test knitters – thanks guys! This may mean that you choose a smaller size than you’d expect, however some negative ease around the bust makes for a better fit overall on a busty figure, and optional bust darts are included in the pattern to avoid any unsightly riding up at the front.

If you have any questions about sizing, please don’t hesitate to email me on lilykate@jolihouse.com .

Test knitter roundup

I’m sure you’ll agree that these test knitter versions of the Poisoned Apple top look amazing! My job as a designer is to create patterns that can be made unique by you, and I think this one works particularly well. Changing the yarn and colour gives each top a totally different vibe and I couldn’t love this gallery more! Thank you SO much to all the wonderful test knitters for not only making beautiful garments and helping me perfect the pattern, but being lovely to chat to and get to know over the last few weeks. Seeing progress photos on the Slack chat is so fun! So very grateful.

Poisoned Apple Top details

YARN: Yarn A, DK weight, approx. 476 (537; 608; 665; 739) [813; 888; 968; 1056] metres / 522 (588; 667; 729; 809) [891; 973; 1061; 1157] yards. Sample shown in Shibui Knits Haven, a blend of 80% Merino and 20% Cashmere, in shade Suit. If using this yarn you will need 4 (4; 5; 5; 6) [6; 7; 7; 8] skeins.

Yarn B laceweight, approx. 44 (50; 59; 65; 73) [80; 93; 105; 116] metres / 48 (55; 65; 72; 81) [88; 102; 115; 128] yards. Sample shown in Shibui Knits Silk Cloud, a blend of 60% Kid Mohair and 40% Silk, in shade Suit. If using this yarn you will need 1 skein.

GAUGE: 22 sts and 32 rows to 4” / 10cm in stocking stitch with Yarn A on 4mm needles, blocked.

NEEDLES & NOTIONS: 4mm and 3.75mm circular needles of length 24” / 60cm or 30” / 80 cm, depending on size // 4mm and 3.75mm needles of your preferred length for working sleeves (ie. magic loop, 2 circulars, DPNs) // 1 button of approx 14mm diameter // 2 spare DPNs for working pleats // 2 stitch markers // Tapestry needle // Waste yarn

SIZING: Sizes 1 (2; 3; 4; 5) [6; 7; 8; 9] detailed below, designed to be worn with 0 – 2 inches / 0 – 5 cm positive ease. Sample shown is a size 2 worn on a 34” bust with around 0.5” / 1 cm positive ease.

To fit bust: 28-30 (32-34; 36-38; 40-42; 44-46) (48-50; 52-54; 56-58; 60-62) inches / 71-76 (81-86; 91-97; 102-107; 112-117) (122-127; 132-137; 142-147; 152-157) cm.

Finished bust: 31 (34.5; 39; 42.5; 47) [50.5; 55; 58.5; 63] inches / 79 (88; 99; 108; 119) [128; 139; 149; 160] cm.

Construction: the Poisoned Apple top is worked seamlessly from the top down. The upper back is worked first in Yarn A, followed by the upper front in mostly yarn B. Front and back stitches are then placed on the needle together to work the main body in rounds down to the waist. Optional bust darts can be added at this point. The sleeves are worked by picking up around the armhole edge, working increases at the shoulder to create a ‘poof’, then filling in the set in sleeve ‘cap’ with short rows. A single box pleat gathers the sleeve into a ribbed cuff. Yarn A is used to pick up stitches around the neck for a ribbed neckband. Finally, a button loop is created using Yarn A and a button is attached to the back neck.

I LOVE seeing people knit my patterns and make them their own – if you could tag @lilykatemakes and #PoisonedAppleTop on Instagram that would be great!

The Poisoned Apple Top knitting pattern is also available via Ravelry and Etsy.

Lily Kate x

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