FREE PATTERN: Inca Cotton Tank

Inca Cotton TankTime: 6 hours

Cost: $12 – $14

Skills: knitting in the round with circular needles

Level: beginnner

You can wear it with the ribbon woven through the whole thing, or (how I’m wearing it now) with the ribbon woven through just the eyelets between front &/or back straps and cinched up a bit.

Calling this a 1-ball pattern seems a little cheaty. Technically, it does use just 1 hank of yarn, but they’re big hanks. But, I don’t control the put-up size, so there. 1 ball it is!

Inca Cotton is a thick/think super-soft, baby-yummy cotton, but a little sheddy to knit, so don’t wear black, or it will look like you rubbed yourself all over with a cotton ball.


  • 1 hank (about 8 oz) Henry’s Attic Inca Cotton (100% organic cotton), Sage (a green/natural twist)
  • 1.5 yds 1/2″ sage green grosgrain ribbon (verision 1) or 1 or 2 1-yd lengths green or teal velvet ribbon (the velvet stuff was from The Ribbon Jar)


Women’s M, with a lot of wiggle room. Will fit a 34 – 40″ bust, measured at widest part. I was going to try it on with progressively more wildly padded bras to see just how far it would go, but I can’t find it. It’s either in a hamper, or was crammed away somewhere stupid in my last mad dash-and-stash cleaning frenzy.


US 10.5 24″ circular


13 st = 4″ in stockinette st


CO 100. Join & PM, being careful not to twist stitches.

Eyelet top edge: *K2tog, YO, repeat to end.

K 21 rnds.

Place dart markers: K40, PM, K10, PM, K40, PM, K8 (not quite finishing row).

Starting 2 st before row marker, ssk, SM, K2tog, the continue in stockinette, repeating ssk/K2tog decreases around each marker. You’ll work all your increases & decreases in the same way, starting before that first marker (since the rnd marker is also your 1st dart marker).

K1 rnd

Repeat decrease rnd

K 10 rnd

Increase around each marker by K tfbl on stitch before and after each marker

K 3 rnds

Increase rnd, as above.

K 4 rnds

Increase rnd

K 5 rnds

Increase rnd

K 6 rnds

Increase rnd

K 7 rnds

Increase rnd

Work 2 rnds in seed & BO.

With RS facing, examine bust darts. Each side will have 2 darts centered in the middle. Follow stitches up from darts to top edge, then count 4 eyelets out from that stitch & mark with a pin or locking stitch marker. Repeat for remaining 3 darts

With WS facing, working from one of the front strap markers, PU 4 st around each marker thusly: 1 into the stitch on the left of the eyelet, one into the eyelet hole itself, 1 into the stitch above the eyelet, and one into the stitch on the right of the eyelet.

Work 48 rows in garter, slipping the first stitch of every row. BO.

Repeat for other side, being sure you’re starting on the front & not the back marker.

Sew each strap into place over the marked position on the back.

Weave in all ends.

Starting at the start of the row, which will be comparatively untidy, weave the ribbon back and forth between the eyelets so that imperfect spot will be obscured by ribbon (i.e., the ribbon should go over that part, not under it). Tie in a bow to suit.

  • Renee says:

    HELP Newbie to knitting what does pm mean :(

  • Nikol says:

    Place marker. You put a stitch marker there to flag you to future decreases & increases.

  • Shima says:

    Hi! I would really enjoy making this but I know that this size is to small. My bust is more of a 40ish. Would it be possible for a larger size?


  • Nikol says:

    Sure, I’ll math out some bigger sizes this weekend.

  • Michelle says:

    I really like the tank, but I have one question. Can you just knit and leave the eyelet row off?

  • Nikol says:

    Of course, although it’s nice, because they allow you to adjust the fit a bit more. But I just realized a way that looks so much cuter than how it’s shown. It still uses the eyelets, but really only needs them between the straps. I’ll take a picture and put it up tomorrow.

  • Judy says:

    Love the tank. Can you post the gauge for how many rows per 4 inches? And also what is the finish size, wide and length? Thanks.

  • Andie says:

    Oh I look forward to the more mathy version for 40″ bust! I CO the 100 sts and took a look and realized even a shoe horn wouldn’t get me into it! Thank you for posting it!

  • smmets says:

    Great tank! What size bust does your pattern fit? I think I’m a little larger than it is. I don’t mind figuring it out, but I need a starting point. So far I haven’t been good at estimating stretch. :^) Thanks!

  • KnitSteph » Blog Archive » Tank Ideas… says:

    […] Inca Cotton Tank  […]

  • dothead says:

    I love this tank. I wear this one with pride. Thank you so much for the pattern.

  • Erika says:

    Thanks so much for this pattern. I wore it and got lots of compliments. Your pattern was very easy to follow and adjust.

  • Jessy says:

    I have never seen a tank top that I wanted to knit, untill now! This is horribly cute!! If I hadn’t just bought yarn for the laced up gloves and garter set in your book ( LOVE THE BOOK!) I would make this immediately. For now, it’ll have to wait. But not for long ;)

  • Jenise says:

    What a cute top!! I can’t wait to email my daughter with this one. Inca is one of my favorite yarns. Also a fav is Rowan Allseasons and Rowan Calmer. This top would look great in those yards also.

    FYI – Inca machine washes and machine dries beautifully. WHAT?!?!?!?!? you may ask? I discovered this when my daughter was pregnant with her now 5-yr. old son. She fell in love with the yarn but I am never too keen on making anything for a baby that isn’t washable, and what new mother has time to block and dry flat? So I knit up a swatch and washed/dried it a few times. Shrinkage was minimal, although if anyone gives this a try, I would suggest figuring it out before you do a project to make sure you make it big enough.

  • kathy says:

    Is there any other kind of yarn we could use.I don’t thinkl I can get this in Canada?.I love it is so pretty.

  • Nikol says:

    Any worsted cotton would work, but the hand and texture would be different depending on what you used. Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton is smooth instead of thick and thin, but as far as the hand (wuzzy ungassed drapiness), it’s the closest. Bernat cottontots also has that same matte, soft-twist feel (versus kitchen cottons, which are smoother, less pillowy and more twine-like, and more plies).

  • Meredith says:

    Is “tfbl” the same thing as “tbl,” through the back loop? Or do you mean through the front, then back?

  • Nikol says:

    knit through front and back of loop (increase)

  • Suzi says:

    SO pretty! It may even inspire me to pick up my needles again.

  • Autumn says:


    I have the tiniest ribcage in Christendom. If my bust size is 31 to 32 but my boobs are a C, do you think this badboy will fit in a medium? I ask because, due to my normal boob size/abnormal ribcage, I cannot at all be sure of what will work…sad. I should just be a comic book character…

  • Jeri Sue says:


    I’m a newbie. Which cast on do you recommend for this project? I typcially use a single cast on, but one of my books says its not good for garments. Thanks!

  • Nikol says:

    Use whatever you like. It doesn’t really have any special requirements, so anything you’re comfy with should be fine, as long as you’re not too tight.

  • Sharla says:

    Do you happen to have the math worked out for a smaller size? I have a pretty small bust size–32 on a good day. I’m afraid this will be too loose.


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  • Karen Heinze says:

    what does ssk, SM mean? Slip, slip, Knit? PM = place marker, but can’t figure out SM.

    would love to make this, so plz help.

  • Nikol says:

    slip marker

  • Alex says:

    I tried making this once before and it came out WAY too small in the bust area. Have you posted a bigger size yet?

  • Gayle Daigle says:

    Am making the inca cotton tank for daughter. do you have stitch count for a women’s small? Thank you

  • Nikol says:

    For a small, 10% smaller should be about right. I’d co 90 st, then swap this out for the place markers row:

    K36, PM, K9, PM, K36, PM, K7

    and proceed as directed and decreasing the row count by 1 in each section that suggests more than 3 rows.

    You’ll may need to adjust strap placement, but that should be straightforward.

  • Jenifer says:

    Thanks for the smaller size adjustment! I’m about a 32 – with a padded bra… :) And for suggesting the Cottontots… that’s what I was planning on since I have some stashed! Great pattern!

  • Ellibean says:

    Did you ever work out a larger size? I have made a few of these tiny ones for friends but I would really like to know how to work some larger ones, PLEASE POST!!!!

  • Stitchknit says:

    Beautiful piece. Lovely work!

  • May Bingham says:

    This is a lovely halter top… tempted to knit one up using the yarn used on the sample pictures (Inca cotton).
    From what I see, it is fitted around the waist, right?
    I am shor twaisted and only five feet two inches….. need tops that skim my figure, or I look boxy and sumpy.

  • Jill says:

    Beautiful! I love the length. Thanks.

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