Tuesday, 29 March 2016



I was gifted this really lovely cotton yarn and thought I’d go through yet another lovely top from my “to-do” list. I really need to start thinking of some whacky names for my tops now, don’t you think? So if you have something that’s appropriate for this one, do tell.J

As I work on this pattern, I’ve written down my notes that I share with you.

Materials used : Today I’ve used a really lovely(unbranded) seemingly worsted weight cotton yarn,  with a 4.5 mm crochet hook.
For Indians : This cotton is a lot like our Laura knitting cotton in thickness.
For non – Indians : This cotton feels a lot like Sugar n’ cream or Cotton ease knitting cotton in thickness.
I started with about 800 gms for a size 36” chest, and my yarn is insufficient.  I think I’d need about 1000 gms for this size.  I think 800 gms could have worked for a size 32 – 34” chest. 

Abbreviations used :
fdc : Foundation double crochet                                dc : Double crochet
ch : chain                                                                         ch-sp : chain space
sp(s) : space(s)                                                              rep : Repeat
 yo  Yarn over                                                                hk : Hook
st(s) : Stitch(es)                                                             sl-st : Slip stitch
lp(s) : Loop(s)                                                                tog : together
sk : Skip

Stitches used :
fdc : Foundation Double Crochet : This is a unique way of starting a project directly with a row of double crochet stitches.  This makes your whole project neat and even.. in a way that you need to do once, to agree!  If you are familiar with fsc, you’ll wonder why you never used this start before !

Chainless dc start : Instead of the usual start with ch 2 or ch 3, I’d like to introduce this lovely new way of starting a dc row.  Do take a look at this self explanatory super video http://www.mooglyblog.com/chainless-starting-double-crochet/
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 the chainless dc start.

dc 3-tog : Double crochet 3-tog : [yo, insert hk in st or ch-sp, yo and pull up a lp ; yo and draw through 2 lps] 3 times (4 lps on hk) ; yo, draw through all lps on hk.  One dc 3-tog made.

Quick analysis of what we’re going to do here today.  We will start from the base of the top and then work up to the shoulders.  The bottom of this top has a lovely shelled pattern that becomes a simple set of dc’s as we reach the armholes and onwards to the shoulders.  The sleeves are made along with the yoke in a straight line, which looks simple enough…so let’s see how this works out.

Our pattern repeat is 14 + 3

BACK / FRONT( Make two )
I started with 73 (70 + 3) for a 36” waist.

Start : with fdc in multiples of 14 + 3 that equals half your round waist measure. Turn.

Row 1 : dc in the 1st 3 fdc ; 
*ch 5, sk next 4 fdc, sc in the next fdc ; ch 3, sk next fdc, sc in the next fdc ; ch 5, sk next 4 fdc, dc in the next 3 fdc* ; 
rep *to* till end.  Turn.

Row 2 : dc in the 1st 3 dc ; 
*ch 2, sc in the next ch-5 sp ; ch 1, dc in the next ch-3 sp ; 
(ch 1, dc in the same ch-3 sp) ; rep (to) once ; 
ch 1, sc in the next ch-5 sp ; ch 2, dc in the next 3 dc* ; 
rep *to* till end.  Turn.

In the following row, we’ll use a dc 3-tog. Please check under “Stiches used” for a “how-to”.

Row 3 : dc in the 1st 3 dc ; 
*[sk next sc, dc 3-tog in the next ch-1 sp] ; 
(ch 3, sk next dc, dc 3-tog in the next ch-1 sp) ; rep (to) once ; 
ch 3, rep [to] once ; dc in the next 3 dc* ; 
rep *to* till end.  Turn.

Row 4 : dc in the 1st 3 dc ; 
*ch 2, sk next dc 3-tog, sc in the next ch-3 sp ; 
(ch 3, sk next dc 3-tog, sc in the next ch-3 sp) ; rep (to) once ; 
ch 2, sk next dc 3-tog, dc in the next 3 dc* ; 
rep *to* till end.  Turn.

Row 5 : dc in the 1st 3 dc ; 
*ch 5, sk next sc, sc in the next ch-3 sp ; 
ch 3, sk next sc, sc in the next ch-3 sp ; ch 5, dc in the next 3 dc* ; 
rep *to* till end.  Turn.

And can you believe just how simple our pattern repeat is.. because we’ve just finished one repeat.

Our pattern stops just at the armhole level, and we’ll have a new pattern for the yoke and sleeves together.  So let’s work this bit and we’ll meet up for the yoke in a bit.

Rep Rows 2 – 5 till your project reaches the armhole level, ending with Row 3 ; ch 12 and fasten off.

Before you fasten off and weave in ends, but please read the all the Notes on calculations and points below first.

Notes on Calculations :
The pattern on our yoke has the same width as the pattern on the body (i.e from the start of one 3-dc set, past a shelled or dc 3-tog portion to the start of next 3-dc set). However, for the sleeves, the stitch count is 12 stitches (as against 14 for the shelled pattern on the body).

So here’s what I’ve done.  Measure the width of the pattern (between two 3-dc sets of the shelled pattern) and decide how long you want your sleeve.  So let’s say (for e.g), each pattern width is 4” , then each pattern repeat gives you 4” of sleeve.  So say you want a 12” sleeve length, you need three pattern repeats, i.e you will add 36 stitches (12 sts x 3 = 36 sts). Got it?

Now that’s the first part.  As we’re adding sleeves on both sides at the same time, we will be adding chains (according to the sleeve length we want) on both sides of the body of our top. 

So here’s what we’re going to do :
1.       Before ending for the body part just now, add chains in multiples of 12 depending on how long you want your sleeve (as explained above).
2.      Fasten off yarn.
3.      Re-attach your yarn at the  other end (on that 1st dc) , for the second sleeve and work a chain length with the same number of stitches as you’ve have added for the 1st sleeve.
4.      In the first row for the yoke, we’re going to work first on the chains added, then on the pattern stitches for the body of the top, and once again on the added chain for the second sleeve. 
5.      We’re also going to use our chainless dc start (a “how-to” under “stitches used”).  As we’re starting on a chain row (as against an fsc or fdc), we will use a ch 1, as a turning chain and then work a chainless dc start on the 2nd chain from hook.
6.      In case you are unhappy with this start, may I suggest you work an extra 3 chain at the end of your multiples of 12 (i.e if you’re doing just one extra pattern length, then work 11 + 3 = 14 ch for this sleeve side , and the 1st 3 ch will be your 1st dc, and you will get a total of 12 sts this end as well).
7.      This is only for this side where we’re starting.  You do not need to add the extra stitches for the other end, as we’ll work all the way till that last ch to get multiples of an even 12.

Finally, as we’re starting the first row of our yoke, let’s start re-numbering again. 
Please remember that all instructions that follow henceforth, are for the yoke
Do not confuse them with the earlier pattern instructions for the body of our top.


Row 1 : dc in the 1st 3 ch ; [ch 1, sk next ch, dc in the next 3 ch] ; 
rep [to] till you reach the 1st 3-dc set on the body of the top ;
*ch 1, sk next ch-2 sp, 3 dc in the next ch-3 sp ; ch 1, 3 dc in the next ch-3 sp ; 
ch 1, dc in the next 3 dc* ; 
rep *to* till you reach the second set of chain for the second sleeve ; 
rep [to] till end.  Turn.

Great job.  That was not that confusing, was it?

Row 2 : dc in the 1st 3 dc ; *ch 1, dc in the next 3 dc* ; 
rep *to* till end.  Turn.

Rep Row 2 till your project reaches the shoulders.  Now this project has a straight shoulder / neckline and a straight armhole line. How easy can this get?

Continue working till you reach the shoulders.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

Repeat all instructions for the back OR go through my ‘Tweak’ if you want to change pattern for the back.

Tweak :  I started with 800 gms of this yarn, and on completion of the 1st half, found that I thought I had less than I’d need for the second half, so rather than suffer from an incomplete project, I thought I’d change the pattern for the back.

The top / yoke pattern was a nice one, and I thought I’d work just the yoke pattern for the whole back.

There’s a small difference in stitch count for both patterns as I’ve said before.  So the front has a stitch count of 14, but the simpler yoke pattern has a stitch count of 12.
So if you decide to work the back in the simpler yoke pattern, then start with a fdc chain in multiples of 12.

I will then work the yoke pattern all the way from the bottom all the way past the yoke to the shoulders for the back, and will  then attach the sides and shoulders to complete this pattern.

Sadly, I found that my yarn was insufficient, so even with the change in pattern, I have to do something different for the upper back of my top.

Anyway, you work the finishing as per the instructions below, no matter which pattern you have worked.

Finishing :
Attach the shoulders and the sides of the top together. If you think you need to, then work a round of sc all around the neckline,  round arm and the bottom of the top. 

The photographs (of the inspiration picture - check top of this blog) indicate another way to join up the shoulders.  

It *looks* like the designer has attached the shoulders, and then rather than attach all the way down the top part of the sleeve, has left it unattached and has then woven in a ribbon to bring those two edges together.  As the yoke has a neat ‘holed’ pattern, weaving a yarn or ribbon in is easy, and a neat bow at the lower end will look cute and different too.

So go wild… and let me see your creativity here.

As we’ve started with a fdc chain, that start row (or bottom of top) is neatly finished, but that’s up to you.

In my case with the partly done back and having run out of yarn, I am going to speak with my friend and ask her if she’d like me to attach a section of fabric for the upper part of the back – or maybe I’ll just rip it all out and start with a fresh pattern in this yarn.

I don’t really regret it as the yarn was really lovely to work with and hopefully (if I rip it out) will unravel easily enough, and I also got to figure out this unusual construction and share it with you.  While not a total ‘win-win’, I’m not too upset about this end either.

Fasten off and weave in ends.  Give yourself a big pat on the back as this one has really been yet another great project .. and so different from the others we’ve worked on together.. and once again, totally worth it, I’m sure you’ll agree.

 And that’s done.. yet another project brilliantly executed ! J

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