Tuesday, 17 February 2015


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I was chatting with a friend and as usual, she threw (well, lovingly shared actually) two lovely top patterns at me saying ‘just up your alley’.  I loved them both as did my lawful sister (well, that is how they become your sister, when they marry your brother, right.. lawfully?). However, we thought that the first one (blue one) was too plain (well, I thought) and the other crossed-back one was.. umm.. well, more beach-wear-like? Yes, I could be wrong.. but that’s what I thought.. so I decided to mix-n-match them up.. Howzatt ! And here’s my creation now ! J

Inspired by  two tops that were yet again those wonderful free floating freebies over the net.  I am, as usual, writing down my notes, and am sharing them with you. Though there are two patterns that are mixed in and I’m going to show you both of them, and I’m writing out what I’ve done with this.  I take a lot of trouble to ensure that I make this as easy as I can - so it does end up pretty "wordsy" - but please do read through all notes before you start so you get a (visual)  idea of what we are creating today.  Cheers.

 Materials used : Today I’ve used about 3 (100 gm) balls of a lovely soft Crochet Cotton yarn from Australia (www.yatsal.com.au), which (I think) is very similar to the Indian Anchor / Red rose or Red heart knitting cotton yarns, , with a 3.25 mm crochet hook

Size made : 34” ; Length : 16”
Gauge : I small shell (across)  = 1 “ ; 1 dc row (high) = ½”

Stitches used :
fsc : Foundation Single Crochet : To refresh your skill on the fsc, please view this superb video by Tamara Kelly at the link  http://www.mooglyblog.com/foundation-single-crochet-fsc/

Chainless dc start : Instead of the usual start with ch 2 or ch 3,I’d like to introduce a lovely way of starting a double crochet row.  Do take a look at this self explanatory super video
In case you are unhappy with this start, or do not like it, do continue with the usual ch-2 or ch-3 start.  However, all instructions will be given assuming that you are using this chainless dc start.

dc 2-tog : Double crochet 2-tog : [yo, insert hk in st or ch-sp, yo and pull up a lp ; yo and draw through 2 lps] 2 times (3 lps on hk) ; yo, draw through all lps on hk.  One dc 2-tog made.

Abbreviations used :
lp(s) : Loop(s)                                                               sc : Single crochet
dc : Double crochet                               sp : Space                                           
sl-st : Slip stitch                                                           ch : Chain
st(s) : Stitch(es)                                                           hk : Hook
yo : Yarn Over                                                            fsc : Foundation Single Crochet           
Instructions : (Using U.S terminology)

Quick analysis of what we’re going to do here today.  
We start at the base of our top at the back and work upwards to the shoulders.  
When we reach armhole level, we will decrease for neckline in a raglan fashion, and continue on to till we make the neck of the top.  
The front and back of the top are similar – so make two.

Now what I’ve done is use the body pattern from one project, and the neckline of the other.  
The neckline is from the knitted blue / yellow pattern, and the body shell pattern is from the lavender / light purple top.

If you decide to do the blue / yellow top simple pattern (in full), all you have to do is work in sc/ hdc or dc in each st using the stitch count below, and then following instructions for the neckline.  
Note though that the blue top is a knitted one – and has been started from neck down.  
The only difference starting neck down is that you get a better rounded finish for the neck – as against starting bottom up.
Stitch Count
So the top does not seem to have any tucks or decrease adjustments, and is like an “A”-line from armhole down.  I would suggest you start with a stitch count that equals largest circumference needed (i.e the bust size , or abdomen size and choose the higher one as your basic stitch count guide).  You will then work it straight up to the armhole - working a rectangle and then we will work the neckline etc.
So let’s get started…

BACK  : 
Our pattern repeat count is 3 + 2.  So 
start with the number of stitches you need for the width of the back of your top.

Row 1 : Start with fsc in multiples of 3 + 2. Turn.

Now I worked a bit of a border , and I’m just interchanging two colours.
So I’m am going to do one sc row in the one (contrast) colour and one dc row in the other (main) colour, and this is for about 2”.  
Go ahead and be creative with the border - it does not affect the body pattern. 
So let’s get this border bit going before we start our pattern.

Now if you’ve done this border bit for a few rows, obviously the next row cannot be Row 2 – but that’s how I am going to number it for our convenience.  

From the next row on, we’re going to use a "V"-Stitch which is (dc , picot , dc) all in the same 
dc ; and the picot here will be [ch 3, sl-st in the 1st ch of this ch-3].

Row 2 : dc in the 1st 3 dc ; 
*ch 1, sk next 2 dc,  "V"-Stitch in the next dc* ; 
rep *to* till last 3 dc,  dc in the last 3 dc. Turn. 

Row 3 :  dc in the 1st 3 dc ; 
*"V"-Stitch in the next ch-1 sp ; ch 1, sk next "V"-stitch* ; 
rep *to* till last 3 dc  dc , dc in the last 3 dc. Turn. 

Row 4 : dc in the 1st 3 dc ; 
ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp and "V"-st,  "V"-Stitch in the next ch-1 sp ;
*ch 1, sk next "V"-st,  "V"-Stitch in the next ch-1 sp* ; 
rep *to* till last 3 dc ; dc in the last 3 dc. Turn. 

Rep Rows 3 & 4 till you reach the armhole point where we will start a decrease to get the raglan shape for the armhole and neckline.

Decrease Row 1 :  dc in the 1st 3 dc ; sk the 1st "V"-st, "V"-Stitch in the next ch-1 sp ;  
*ch 1, "V"-Stitch in the next ch-1 sp ; ch 1, sk next "V"-stitch* ; 
rep *to* till last 3 dc and "V"-st ; 
sk last "V"-st, dc in the last 3 dc. Turn. 

Decrease Row 2 :  dc in the 1st 3 dc ; 
sk the 1st ch-sp and 1st "V"-st, ch 1,  "V"-Stitch in the next ch-1 sp ; 
*ch 1, "V"-Stitch in the next ch-1 sp ; ch 1, sk next "V"-stitch* ; 
rep *to* till last 3 dc and "V"-st ; 
ch 1, sk last "V"-st, dc in the last 3 dc. Turn. 

Rep Decrease Row 2 till your project reaches the neck length (or depth from shoulder) and or the armhole round you need.

So to determine the armhole length from neck, I do one of 2 things – 
The simple one is to just put my project against a well fitting top and figure out if we have the sizing we need (easy, huh?) ; 
The other way is to actually get an armhole round measure , divide that in half and this is the length from shoulder for armhole.

Right, so now there are a few more calculations.  
We’ve got our armhole length covered… and you need to decide when you are stopping for the neckline.  
We are going to have a small neckline there, so depending on how wide you want this neckline band, stop your decrease rows to coincide. 
Once there, fasten off.

Great job.. one side done.. and now you can repeat all of this for the other side as well.  Once again, stop decreases at the same row as you have for the first side you’ve made.. and then we’ll make the lovely neckline.

So we’re at one end of the row, and what I’ve done is hold the sides of the top together (pin them up) and then work the neckline in one move.  

For this, you need to have the Round Neck measurements for the person this top is intended for.  We’re going to work upwards towards neck, so remember this while calculating this measurement.
I’ve also kept a small back opening on this neck band.. but if your yarn stretches and goes neatly over the head, then you can avoid this opening.

Note : Once again we see the small difference in the two neckline patterns I’ve been inspired by.
So here, if you prefer to finish with the purple simpler neckline, then you do as below but you just do maybe 2 – 3 rounds / rows of stitches (because as you’ve noticed, the purple neckline is a lot thinner) ; depending on how narrow or wide you wish this neckband to be.

Round 1 : Place your back and front down, and then make chains (for the side of neck) till you reach the back of your work ; you will then sl-st through the top (back) of your work till you reach the other end, and then make chains again (to equal those you’ve made on the other side) till you join back again at the front opposite end (i.e from the other end of the front from where you have started, thus completing a circular neck).   Turn. 

Right then.. from here on, it’s a little difficult to write out a pattern, as we’re all going to have different st counts – so here’s what we’re going to  do.  

This first round determines the bottom border – so we’ve got to reduce till we reach the top.  
The reduction stitches will be the dc 2-tog (or sc 2-tog if you decide to work all scs on this neck band), and the reduction stitches should be only in the centre section (ie that part which is attached to the front or back of work) and not the sections that go around the shoulder parts.  
So with a little trial and error, (and of course mirroring it on both sides), you should get a neat rounded neck band.

Sorry, this isn’t as perfect a pattern write up for this section as I’d like.. but you do understand the problem I’m facing here J

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Have a great day and see you soon. J

Here are some of my other top creations.  Have fun with these free patterns too

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