Picking a size and yarn for Azalea
On this page I’ll be talking about sizing tips for the Azalea top, as well as your yarn options.
In order to know how much yarn you will need to make your own Azalea, you first need to pick what size you’re going to make! There are 12 sizes to pick from, ranging in measurements from 37.75″ to 69.75″.
Azalea has a boxy fit, and when I say “boxy,” that means that its’ silhouette is not shaped. It’s not meant to hug your curves – and because of this, it is meant to drape off of your frame loosely, flowing downward from the shoulders in a natural box shape. The thing with boxy tops like this is that although I provide recommendations for the amount of ease to pick, you can choose to wear it with less or more ease depending on your preferred fit. For example, I recommend approx. 8-11″ of positive ease (meaning, picking a size that is 8-11″ larger than your actual bust measurement), but if you want a less oversized/drapey look and slightly more fitted, then you can pick a size more in the 4-7″ range. It will all just depend on the amount of “flow-iness” you want in your own top! Boxy tops are really flexible like that. The model in the photos is wearing it with approx. 7-8″ of positive ease (just for reference). Or, if you want to wear it even more oversized (almost more like a poncho), you can pick a size with even more ease, say in the 14-18″ positive ease range. If you’re new to garment knitting and “positive ease,” check out my blog post here for more information.
When in doubt, measure your favorite tops in your closet
If you’re unsure what fit might be best for you, I recommend measuring tops in your own closet that you love the fit of. Even store-bought tops can give you an idea of the types of widths that you prefer and feel good wearing. Also if you are in-between sizes, keep in mind your general style – would you prefer a top to come out a little bigger or a little smaller?
Keep all of your circumferences in mind
Most patterns recommend ease based on your actual bust measurement. But that is not always your widest circumference. Your waist or your hips may be larger than your bust. It’s good to keep in mind all of your circumferences and make sure that you are getting positive ease at all of them – otherwise, the “flowing downward from your shoulders” goal of a boxy top may not quite be achieved. It doesn’t have to be the same amount of positive ease as you have at the bust, but there should be some. Let me give you an example. I’m knitting the 43.75.” My bust is around 33″ so this means I’ll have 10.75″ of positive ease at my bust (which is on the high end of my recommended range). My hips are wider than my bust though – they measure around 39.” So by knitting this size, I will still get the “flow” because I’ll have 4.75″ of positive ease at my hips. If I knit the 37.75″ size, I would get 4.75″ of positive ease at the bust (which would be fine), but I’d have no positive ease at the hips – and although this top will hit higher than my hips, I still prefer having more drape and swing to it at the hem so I want to make sure I have at least a little positive ease at my hips as well.
You can consider making it an A-line shape
Want some “flow” at the bottom of the body but prefer a closer fit up-top? You could consider making Azalea A-line. There is a 16-stitch difference between each size, so that works out to 4 decrease rounds. So you could cast-on for the larger size, and then work 4 decrease rounds (after the eyelet hem) so that you’ll have the stitch count of the smaller of the 2 sizes by the time you get to the underarms. If you would like to consider doing this, here are some general tips:
- Cast-on for the larger size and work the eyelet hem as written.
- After the hem, work in St st for .5-1″, and then place another side marker so that half your stitches are in-between your markers, for Front and Back (your BOR is one side and the new marker is the other).
- Work your first decrease round as follows: k1, ssk, k to 3 sts before next side marker, k1, k2tog, sm, k1, ssk, k to 3 sts before BOR, k2tog, k1, – a total of 4 stitches decreased (2 sts each front/.back).
- Continue working in St st, repeating above decrease rnd every 2″ or so (at pattern gauge, this would be every 17th round) 3 more times. You’ll now have the stitch count of the smaller size.
- By repeating the decrease round every 2″, your piece will measure approx. 9.5″ from the cast-on edge after the last decrease round is worked.
- You’ll work in St st until your piece measures 12″ or desired length.
If you have any follow-up questions about any of this, feel free to reach out to me!
The recommended yarn is Manos del Uruguay’s Feliz, a new sport-weight merino/modal blend that has beautiful sheen and drape and is perfect for spring and summer (and really, all year long!). To view all of the colors in this line, click here to Fairmount Fibers website. All of the colorways can work well with this design, although the more variegated ones may not show off the eyelet stitch pattern in the hem as much. You can always consider though doing a solid for the hem and a variegated for the body! Need help with yarn substitution? Feel free to reach out!
I designed the top to be approx. 12″ from the underarm to hem, and the overall length from back of neck to hem is approx. 19¾ (20¼, 20¼, 20¾) (21¼, 21½, 22, 22½) (22½, 22¾, 23¼, 23¾)”. If you think you want to add additional length, purchasing an extra skein would probably be a good idea (measure overall length of tops you love, from back of neck to hem, to compare against these measurements).
When we get to the sleeves, I’ll be providing tips on how to turn them from short-sleeves to 3/4 length sleeves. If this interests you at all, then I recommend purchasing an extra skein for this.
This yarn is available at local yarn shops around the country. Reach out to your LYS to see if they carry it – if not, I have a list of LYS’s below that sell it online (and I’m sure many will special order too).
Shops that are carrying Manos del Uruguay Feliz yarn:
Below is just a sampling of shops around the US that carry Feliz right now and sell in their online shops (at last page update). I have a full list of other shops that carry it but perhaps don’t sell it online (you would need to just call them). So if you want to find a shop closer to you, send me an email and we’ll find one near you! Keep in mind that if you don’t see the color you want, many shops are happy to special order for you. And if you are a yarn shop that’s not mentioned below that you would like me to add, please reach out!
If you are thinking of using a different yarn, just make sure it’s a sport/dk-weight – cotton, linen, or modal blends would do especially well. If you’re unsure if the yarn you have will work, feel free to reach out to me. I’m always happy to help! If you would like yardage requirements, they are approximately: 980 (1090, 1170, 1280) (1380, 1470, 1590, 1710) (1800, 1920, 2030, 2185) yds (add an extra 300 yds if you’re thinking about adding longer sleeves, and add extra yardage if you think you will lengthen it)