The Luca Top

The Layla Top

A step-by-step guide to knitting the summer stunner, Luca Top

Ever gotten halfway through a project and thought “Hang on, am I even doing this right?” We have 🙋‍♀️

That’s why we’ve created these step-by-step guides to walk you through the knitting process. 

Even if you've never knitted before, we'll take you from zero to knitting hero in no time 🦸‍♀️

When it comes to learning to knit, practice makes perfect.

Before we get started on the pattern we suggest you spend a bit of time learning the basic stitches you’ll need to complete your top. 

So chic no one will believe you made her yourself, The Luca Top is sure to get noticed and you're going to have a lot of fun making her. We make Luca using the knit stitch and the purl stitch. 

You'll want to be confident with the knit stitch and its friend the purl stitch before we start 🧶 You'll also want to get a hang of tying a slip knot and casting on your stitches which is the first step in any knitting project.

You can use the yarn that came in your kit to practice these stitches. Once you've got these mastered you'll find the pattern a cinch! 

💡 Stockinette stitch is a stitch pattern created when you knit every stitch in your first row and then purl every stitch in the next row and repeat this 2-row sequence. 

Total beginner? 👩‍🏫 

For a more comprehensive lesson on the basics of knitting visit our Learn How To Knit page. 

Onto the top 🕺

The Layla Knit Top

⚡️What you'll need

Your kit comes with everything you'll need to make your masterpiece. In your kit you'll find;

  • 6mm needles
  • 5-7 balls of Cardigang Chunky Cotton
  • A darning needle
  • Made by me tag

You also want to have a pair of scissors and a tape measure handy. 

📏 Sizing and measurements

You can make your Luca Top in 5 sizes and your kit will come with the right amount of yarn to make your chosen size. 

38cm wide x 43cm high
43cm wide x 46cm high
48cm wide x 49cm high
53cm wide x 52cm high
22-24 58cm wide x 52cm high

Your pattern is read like this; 6-8, 10-12, 14-16, 18-20, 22-24 Make sure you're following the correct instructions for your size. 

⚡️Test your tension

Before you start your project, make sure your tension (how tightly or loosely your knitting is) is juuuust right 🥣 We do this by making a “tension swatch”. It's a bit like goldilocks, if the tension is too tight, your piece will be too small, and if it's too loose it may not hold its shape and might be too big. 

Gauge: If done correctly, your 10x10cm swatch should be 11 stitches wide x 17 rows high when made in stockinette stitch using your 6mm needles. 

To test this, jump on your needles - use the yarn and needles that came in your kit. Cast on around 13-15 stitches, then knit in stockinette stitch for 19 rows. Then measure a 10x10cm square and count your stitches and rows within that space to make sure you're knitting at the correct tension.

If you've got more stitches or rows than the instructions say you should have, your knitting is a little too tight, and if you've got less your knitting is too loose. Adjust your tension by holding the yarn a little more tightly/loosely as you knit.

Cotton 6mm needle stockinette stitch gauge

💪 Remember learning a new skill can be a little challenging at first, and you’re bound to find yourself making some mistakes along the way. But as with learning anything, your brain and your hands slowly start to get the hang of it, muscle memory is created, and soon the thing you found tricky/daunting/scary is like second nature! 

🧶 Let's whip up a masterpiece!

Time to switch off. Stitch on. And knit your drool-worthy top!

The Luca Top


We'll start with the back piece which we knit flat and from the bottom up. 


Using your 6mm needles cast on the correct number of stitches.

💭 Hot tip: your piece will 'grow' as you knit so don't be alarmed if it looks like you're knitting a baby's top to start with!


We're going to work in garter stitch to begin. Garter stitch is super simple to do, you just knit every stitch in every row. 

💭 One of the things we found the hardest when we were learning to knit was keeping track of our rows. Before we were able to easily identify a row of stitches we used a pen and paper to keep track. That's why we've included handy circles in our patterns - you can tick them off as you go. The dashed circles are for the larger sizes.


 Next, you're going to change to stockinette stitch which is the stitch pattern created when you alternate a knit row and a purl row one after the other.

🧶 Starting a new ball

You'll need to start with a new ball when your first runs out. The best method for beginners is as follows. When you've got about 30cm of yarn left in your current ball, you incorporate the tail from the new ball into your next stitch. You do this by starting the stitch as normal (inserting your right needle into the stitch on your left needle. Then wrap the yarn from the new ball around your right needle and finish the stitch with the new yarn, making sure the loose ends for both balls are on the wrong side/inside of your work. Then all you need to do is tie the two ends together in a knot once you finish the row.


We're going to cast off the first and last stitch of this row. This marks the starting point for the shaping around our arm holes. 


Purl stitches - you'll have 2 stitches less in this row. 

STEP 6 - 7

📉 We're going to start decreasing some stitches now. We will do our decreases on knit rows and we use two different techniques for decreasing stitches. 

🎬 Watch how to knit two stitches together

🎬 Watch how to slip, slip knit two stitches together

💭 Why 2 different techniques? Great question. The different techniques create an opposite lean in the stitches.  Knit two together results in a right-slanting decrease and slip, slip knit gives us a left-leaning decrease. 


Okay, things are getting a little more complicated now. We're going to work up each shoulder separately and cast off some stitches in the middle of our piece to create the space for the head hole. 

We also continue the shaping in this row so you'll see some decreases scattered through this step!

Knit the allocated number of stitches, then do a right-slanting decrease. Next, you'll cast off a bunch of stitches, then slip the one stitch from your right needle back onto your left to complete this row. You'll do a left-leaning decrease on this side of the cast-off stitches. 

Well done! 


Flip or turn your work and we're going to purl just the stitches on this side of the cast-off sections first. The rest of the stitches (these make up the other shoulder) will hang out on your needles until we've finished this first shoulder. 

STEP 10 - 12

Flip your work back again and keep working up just this shoulder as instructed. 

Cast off your stitches for the first shoulder. 

When you've got just one stitch left on your right needle, simply cut your yarn from the ball (leaving about 20cm) and thread it back through your last stitch to secure it.

Time to knit up the second shoulder! 💪

STEP 14 - 18

Rejoin your yarn to your work with a knot at the base of the first stitch on your left needle (the one closest to the needle's tip). Then we work up the other shoulder. 


You're powering through this! Well done 🔥

Your front piece is also made from the bottom up. You'll continue to shape the piece by decreasing stitches along the way. For the front, we will start our neckline (i.e. the row with the cast-off stitches) a few rows earlier than we did for the back. 


Time to put all our pieces together to make our beautiful top. Grab your darning needle and let's get to work. 

We will start by joining the back and front pieces together at the shoulders. 


Lay your front and back pieces on a flat surface, the right sides (the sides with the ‘v’s) facing you. Then line up your shoulder straps. You should have the same number of stitches on both sides of each shoulder so they should line up nicely. 


Sew the shoulder straps together using the invisible seam technique.

🎬 Watch how to seam cast off edges together

Next, we're going to seam the sides of our top together.


 Line up the sides of your top so that they meet at the point where you castoff your first and last stitch. Then sew the pieces together. Repeat for the second side. 

🎬 Watch how to seam vertical seams together

D.O.N.E! You've finished your top, well done! Epic work 🤩 If this was your first-ever knitting project or one of many, we hope you had a blast. Don't forget to share your masterpiece with us on Instagram and TikTok @cardigang_knits 💥❤️

In a bind and need a little more help?

Email us at and we'll be able to help! Whether you're just starting out, or you've got a specific question or problem (dropped a stitch, no stress!), we're here to get you out of a bind.