Mala Top


A descriptive knitting pattern for a fitted, sleeveless summer top.

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Mala Top features a stitch pattern modified from Norah Gaughan’s Twisted Stitch Sourcebook. To me, it resembles a mala necklace, which is sometimes worn in yoga practice. This top is worked from the top-down, beginning with the straps worked flat and separately. A simple twisted-stitch cable and lace pattern (worked without a cable needle) runs the length of the front straps and down the body of the garment. Garter edgings are worked in situ with the garment, so that stitches do not need to be picked up afterwards. The straps are joined to form the body, and the remainder of the garment is worked in the round, with the lace stitch pattern continuing to the hem, which is worked in twisted ribbing. This pattern might stretch your brain as you are working four straps upside-down and joining them together to form the body.


This pattern is size inclusive with nine size options. Using your full bust measurement, choose a size that will give you 2.5-4.5 inches (6.5-11.5cm) of negative ease (the difference between body’s larger measurements and the garment’s smaller measurements at these points). See schematic that follows. Sample shown on 5’10” body in Size 3 with 2.25 inches (6.5cm) negative ease. The most fool-proof method is to measure a similar fitting top in your wardrobe and choose a garment size that matches.

Finished garment circumference at bust: 30.75, 33.25, 35.75 || 38.25, 40.5, 44.25 || 48, 51.75, 55.5 inches (77, 83, 89 || 95.5, 101.5, 111 || 120, 129, 138.5 cm).

To fit bust measurement: 34, 36, 38 || 42, 44, 48 || 52, 56, 60 inches (86.5, 90, 96.5 || 107, 117, 122 || 132, 142, 152.5 cm).


Crux Fibres Silk Linen Sport; 65% Mulberry Silk, 35% Linen; 367 y/115g. You will need:

  • 2, 2, 2 || 2, 2, 2 || 3, 3, 3 skeins in “Blush,” or 
  • 492, 534, 573 || 615, 660, 720 || 780, 805, 859 y of substitute yarn.

GAUGE in 4 inches/10cm of blocked fabric

Stockinette with large needle: 26 sts and 36 rows/rnds.

You must meet gauge to achieve finished measurements.



scissors, scrap yarn, tapestry needle, stitch markers (6).



Large: 3.25mm (US 3)

Small: 2.75mm (US 2) 

These are only suggestions; change needles sizes as required to meet gauge. If gauge alters working in the round compared to working flat, adjust accordingly.


CIRCULAR CORD LENGTHS – increase cord length as needed.

Short: 16 in/40cm for working small stitch counts flat.

Long: 30 in/75cm cord for working large circumference in the round, or choose your preferred methods.