My First Garment Design - Olori Tee

Olori = Queen in Yoruba language

I am so excited to have launched my first garment pattern into the wild! If you have never knit up a garment, this project is for you! Even better, you can get the knit kit through Lion Brand Yarn here. The kits includes yarn in your colour of choice and a copy of the pattern for FREE. The number of skeins required is calculated for you based on your selected size and off you go!

This goal for me, started about a year ago and honestly, I thought it was almost impossible. Despite my thoughts on whether or not I could do it, I charged on and got started. I knew the key elements that I wanted in the design which were mostly my garment preferences:

  • using worsted weight yarn,
  • having short sleeves,
  • no picking up stitches, and
  • knit seamlessly top-down.

    Picky much?! Yup, I know....:)
    The short sleeves element was super important to me since I don't like being stuck on sleeve island. So, how is that possible you say? Well, read on...

    If you've followed my yarn journey for a little while you'll notice I mainly use Lion Brand Yarns. I just absolutely love the brand and decided to check out their worsted weight section for a good one to use. So, I found Chainette!

    I got the yarn. I worked up a swatch. I drew up a little sketch consisting of my main garment preferences and with the help of some books and resources, I got knitting. Queue all sorts of emotions here: frustration, happiness, excitement, and more frustration as I tried to figure out some grading math on my own. 

    Why is Olori so special, you may ask? Well, she checks my garment preferences to a tee (hehe). You:

    • work the sleeves as you work the yoke = no picking up stitches for the sleeves or the underarm
    • knit top-down with some beautiful raglan detailing
    • get the chance to try it on as you go
    • knit circularly in one piece = no seaming

    It really is that simple. I've gotten a few DMs from fellow knitters who just couldn't believe that they would not need to pick up stitches. My response: you just knit on and see :)


    Through some Insta-friends, I found my grader and tech editor Nicky of Handknits & Hygge. I'll be honest with you in saying that grading is not a strong suit of mine. I contacted Nicky and she has been such a gem to work with. She helped ensure that this tee is as size inclusive as it could get. If you are a budding designer, get in touch with Nicky for all your grading and editing needs! You're welcome!