I was going back and forth on whether to share these patterns. Why? Because they’re tanks and sleeveless tops, and let’s be honest—most people hate their arms. Then as I was mulling over whether or not to write an entire post on arm-baring tops, Kay wrote a rant about her arms and I knew it was a sign.
I may not love my arms, but you know what I really don’t love? Being hot and wearing sleeves when I could’ve gone sleeveless.
Once I was so self-conscious about my arms that I actually considered putting a shrug over a beautiful sleeveless dress when I was going to be sitting through an outdoor wedding in Orlando, in June. I thought, why am I torturing myself because my arms jiggle a little? If someone has a problem with my arms, that’s their problem because I’m not about to sweat to death because of my arms. Our arms support us and do so much, so why not wear things that make us happy and keep us comfortable?
Here are a few of my favorite sleeveless tops and tanks that I think are perfect for summer knitting.
If you want to play with color and make a piece that would also be a wonderful year-round layer, Stephen West’s playful Parachutey tank might be the one. His designs are free flowing and easy going, and when I saw this tank in person I fell in love with it. My only problem is I don’t really have a lot of fingering weight yarn in my stash to make this one, but if you’re a sock knitter and have tons of scraps, this might be your project.
Togue Pond is a pattern that I’ve knit repeatedly and modified over the years. I’ve made four: three for myself and one for my friend Jessica. The first three I made using Berroco Modern Cotton yarn, and my last version I made using Paton’s Metallic yarn for a slightly dressier version. You can make it with a high/low hem or modify the hemline and length. It’s a go-to for me, and I always want to make one every summer.
Peplum Top is going on my needles next. It’s a tank top with one of my favorite things, a peplum! It’s feminine and I can see making it with two colors, one for the top and one for the peplum. Added bonus: you don’t have to suck in your stomach whenever you’re wearing a peplum. Bring on the crab feast!
Texture, texture, texture. I love the garter stitch detailing on this summer tank. Keane Wonder takes a simple shape and elevates it with just garter stitch. It’s knit with a DK weight linen yarn, but there are tons of cotton options out there in that weight that will let you knit the rainbow of colors of this one. It’s a perfect summer tank.
If you want something with a bit more interest and fun, add this high/low sleeveless lace top to your wardrobe. Wear Andaman Top with capri pants or over a tank dress. Don’t want the back to be as long? Knit it shorter! But it’s definitely going to add a fun layer to your summer wardrobe.
Ditch your inhibitions and let your arms be free this summer in the cutest knits you can cast on.