Roseleaves Tunic by Meg Swansen

Roseleaves Tunic

May 1993
Schoolhouse Press Laceweight Icelandic
Lace ?
15 stitches = 4 inches
in garter stitch using size 8 (5mm) needles - blocked
US 8 - 5.0 mm
1000 yards (914 m)
underarm circumference 46", length 30"
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Errata available:

Pattern Description from A Gathering of Lace: “These elegant garments may be worn summer or winter, and knit up surprisingly quickly; the key being fine wool (such as Spun Icelandic Laceweight or Shetland Jumperweight) and large diameter needles. They are knitted in two sections with minimal - if any - sewing. the garter st yoke is worked back and forth - with Elizabeth’s Phony Seams for detail - sideways from dropped-shoulder to dropped-shoulder, scooping out the neck as you go. (You may choose to put a lace pat in place of the garter st.) The lace sleeve sections are worked down on circular needles. The body sts are then picked up from the selvage of the yoke 0 and here is where you decide how wide you want the body to be, knitting up the appropriate number of sts, and working down, in a tube, to wanted length: sweater? tunic? dress? A word about fine wool on thick needles: if you have ever knitted a shawl in laceweight wool on size 10 or 13 needles, you will remember that the shriveled bit of lace that hung from your needles became transformed into a large, beautiful expanse once it was properly blocked. I have not gone to such an extreme for this garment, but I did use a size 8 needle (and I knit very loosely), anticipating the considerable stretch I would get upon wetting and blocking the tunic. The advantage of loosely knitted lace is that - when wet - it is very malleable. The Icelandic Laceweight knits up beautifully, becoming softer after washing, and each tunic used just 4 balls of wool. I will give you the numbers I worked with - and the approximate gauge. Length may easily be changed by adding or subtracting repeats of section C of the lace pattern. Since the style is free-hanging and oversized, you have quite a bit of leeway.”

Skill Level: Intermediate

Size: One size, easily modified

Finished Measurements:

  • Underarm circumference of garments shown: 46”
  • Length: 30”
  • Changing needle size, number of knitted-up sts, and blocking give considerable room for adjustment.

Yarn: Schoolhouse Press Laceweight Icelandic (1¾oz/50g; 250yds/228m; wool) 4 balls Elextric Blue #9803 or Cranberry #9154


  • Size 8 (5mm) circular needles, 16” and 24” (40 and 60 cm), or size to obtain gauge
  • Double-pointed needles (dpn) for I-Cord


  • Stitch markers
  • Waste yarn
  • Optional: Crochet hook for working
  • Phoney Seams

Blocked Gauge: 15 sts to 4”/10cm in garter st using size 8 (5mm) needles


  1. The yoke of the tunic is worked in garter st (knit back and forth). 2 rows of knit = 1 ridge of garter st. If you wish to break up the garter st with a bit of detail, work Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Phony Seams (shown on samples) down the center st, and again at 18 sts in from each selvage as follows: drop the st in question down to the cast-on. with a crochet hook, hook up 2 ladders at a time. I work this trick every 3-4” as I go. if you decide not to include the Phony Seams, it may be helpful to mark knitting so as to distinguish RS from WS rows.
  2. Only odd rnds are shown on Lace chart. Knit all even rnds.
  3. See Techniques, p. 162, for backward-loop cast-on, cable cast-on, invisible cast-on, sl2tog-k1-p2sso, and St st grafting.