Friday, 1 April 2016

CRISS-CROSS LADIES TOP


CRISS-CROSS LADIES TOP

I was recently gifted this really lovely cotton yarn in one of my favourite colours.. rich purple.. and I was sure that I needed something really niiice for it! Thanks to the lovely +Clara Isabel and her wonderful shares, I found something unique that I think will do this yarn justice. 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 Sullivans International knitting cotton yarn, with a 3 mm crochet hook. 
I’ve made a Size 34” top and used about 120 gms of yarn. 

For Indians : Sullivans International Knitting cotton yarn is like our Indian Red Rose or Anchor knitting cotton in thickness, or the superb Indian H.P Peecock knitting cotton

Skill level :  Intermediate.
This pattern involves going back and forth on the same line to make a “Cross” stitch which is a little complicated.  That said, once you get going, it’s a dream pattern.. so come along and let’s work on this together

Abbreviations used : (Using U.S terminology)
fsc : Foundation single crochet                                 dc : Double crochet
ch : chain                                                                    ch-sp(s) : chain space(s)
sp(s) : space(s)                                                    rep : Repeat
yo : Yarn Over                                                         sk : Skip
dc 3-tog : Double Crochet 3-together
fpdc : Front post double crochet
bpdc : Back post double crochet

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 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.

Front post double crochet 2-tog : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLD95Ku8Z-s

fpdc : Front Post Double Crochet : Post stitches are stitches worked around the post of a stitch of the row below.
yo, hk into sp between posts of st from row below – going from back of stitch, around st and into the front of the st ; yo, pull yarn through the sps (3 lps on hk), (yo & pull through 2 lps) twice.  One fpdc complete

yo, hk into sp between posts of st from row below – going from front of stitch, around st and into the back of the st ; yo, pull yarn through the sps (3 lps on hk), (yo & pull through 2 lps) twice.  One bpdc complete


Quick analysis of what we’re going to do here today.   The pattern for the front and the back are the same - so we make two pieces and then attach the sides, working the sleeves in separately. 

Our pattern starts pretty easily and regularly from the base of the top and we then work our way to the shoulders of the top.  We could do a small decrease halfway up the top to give it a neat shape, and then we work straight to the armhole.  The sleeve is a simple lacy open one that has a straight edge, and seems pretty easy up front.  But let’s get started, and see how this one turns out. J



Our pattern repeat is 3 + 2. 

Our pattern also uses what I’m going to call a “Cross Stitch” or “X”-st.  So in this stitch, we will make a crossed dc st. 
Visualise this.  You will first work the one leg of the cross (our 1st dc) which will sk two stitches and be worked in the next stitch, and then we will work on the second leg of the cross (our 2nd dc), for which we will go back to the 1st skipped st, with one stitch in between both the 1st & 2nd dc’s that make our crossed stitch. 
Does this make sense?


BACK or FRONT : (Make two)





Start with fdc needed for half the round waist measure.

Our “X”-st here is (sk 2 sts , dc in the next st ; ch 1, and working back over the skipped stitches, leave one st and work in the next dc) worked over 3 sts.
To clarify, lets number our stitches from the end.
So we start all our patterned “X”-st rows with a dc. And now our numbers are being counted right to left.. where St # 1 is the right edge we’re starting with.
So dc in St # 1, Skip sts #2 & #3, dc in St # 4 ; now working back for the “X”-st, sk St # 3, and dc in St # 2.  First “X”-st done.

For next “X”-st ; sk Sts # 5 & # 6, dc in st# 7 ; the working back for the “X”-st , sk St # 6 and dc in St # 5.

I’m sure this makes sense now J
You will continue working this “X”-st all the way to the end, and end with a dc in that last st.

The pattern instructions will only read ‘work “X”-st’ henceforth.. and this will mean that you will sk the st and work the crossed stitch according to the instructions above.

Right then.  Just so I can get a bit of a flat border, I’ve decided to do a set of post stitches for a  few rows.  You need not do this, and can work the “X”-st pattern straight off. 

Row 1 : dc in the 1st fdc ; fpdc in each fdc till the 2nd last fdc ; dc in the last fdc.  Turn.

Row 2 : dc in the 1st dc ; bpdc in each st till the 2nd last st ; dc in the last dc.  Turn.

Row 3 : dc in the 1st dc ; fpdc in each st till the 2nd last st ; dc in the last dc.  Turn.

Row 4 : Rep Row 2.
If you are happy with the little base we’ve created, go ahead with the pattern, else rep Rows 3 and 2 once more and then work the pattern.

Row 5 : dc in the 1st dc, (sk the next 2 dc and dc in the next dc ; ch 1, and working back towards the previous st, sk the next dc and dc in the previous dc) ; rep (to) all the way till the last dc ; dc in the last dc.  Turn.

Row 6 : sc in the 1st dc ; (sc in the next dc ; sc in the next ch-1 sp ; sc in the next dc) ; rep (to) all the way till the last dc ; sc in the last dc.  Turn.

Row 7 : dc in the 1st sc, (sk the next 2 sc and dc in the next sc ; ch 1, and working back towards the previous st, sk the next sc and dc in the previous sc) ; rep (to) all the way till the last sc ; dc in the last sc.  Turn.

.. and just like that we’ve completed one repeat of our lovely “X” –st pattern. 
Rep Rows 6 & 7 till your top reaches the shoulder level, as this is a straight armhole, without shaping.

Important note : The “X”-st pattern itself as you see is simple.. so here’s a twist to make it different.  If you work the 2nd leg of that “X”-st under the 1st leg of the stitch, you get one type of “X”-st and if you work it over the 1st leg, you get a totally different variation of the same stitch. 
So have fun trying both out and lets see what you like .. when you share and remember to tag both me as well as my blog. Thanks  J

Work till shoulder level and fasten off leaving a tail for attachment.
Once you’ve finished one side, repeat all instructions for the other side as well.

Attach the sides and shoulders for your top and we’ll then work on the cute little sleeves, which are also a new and innovative type of sleeve, methinks.



Sleeve : (Make two)



This really unusual sleeve is worked in rows up and down to ‘create’ the length of the sleeve.  We will then join up the little rows that we’re working to ‘make’ a round sleeve.  Yes, this sounds weird, but this seems to be the way that this sleeve has been created.

Start : For this round, I’ve just run a round of sc all around the edge of the sleeve, ensuring that you have an even number of stitches all around.  Join with a sl-st.

Round 1 : dc in the 1st sc and in each sc all around.  Join with a sl-st to the 1st dc. 

Now our next row/round is different from sleeves you’ve probably made in the past.  We will work in a continuous round, BUT we will work it one ROW at a time.  So we will start at the 1st dc and work a chain from the dc, and then we will work back down this chain in hdc till we reach the dc of the 1st round.  So this is Part 1.

For the Part 2, we will work along the dc of Round 1, to the next dc, and then once again work a chain and work down the chain.

That said, both the round and rows are worked in one continuous movement, so there’s no two “parts” to it per-se.

Got it, I hope.

I’ve worked 20 ch which works for me, but you work as many ch as you need for the sleeve length you need.

Round 2 : ch 20 from the 1st dc ; Turn ;
 hdc in the 2nd ch from hk ; hdc in the next 18 ch, sl-st in the next dc (of Round 1) ;
sl-st in the next dc ;
 *sc in the next dc ; ch 20 from the next dc ; Turn ;
 hdc in the 2nd ch from hk ; hdc in the next 19 ch, sl-st in the next dc (of Round 1)* ; rep *to* till end ;
 Join with a sl-st to the 1st st. 

So basically we repeat instructions of round 2, and work a row of hdc as we work around the armhole.

Now here we can do this two ways :
a)   At the end of the strips we made after Round 2, you can fasten off and re-attach your yarn at the end of your first ch-20 hdc strip ; or
b)   You work sl-st all the way along the side of the 1st ch-20 hdc strip to the top and work your next round from here.
So work whatever option you decide, and we’ll meet up at the top of the 1st ch-20 hdc strip.

Now for our following round, we’re going to work in the horizontal bar of the hdc’s all around.

One tip : Each hdc ‘strip’ is done over 2 sc, so if , for eg, you have 70 sc in that first Round, then you will have 35 hdc strips after Round 2, and that means that in Round 3, when we make this into a round, this should fit your upper round arm.

So if this does not fit, no panic. 
Figure out how much larger you need the armhole, and how many ‘hdc strips’ you’d need for that (by measuring width of the hdc strip etc.. but you got that, I’m sure)

Then just rip / frog upto Round 1, and add a few more sc, ensuring you add 2 sc per hdc strip, and then re-work your sleeve.

Yes *just frog* is an irritation – but at least its only three small rounds – not a whole project J

Round 3 : sc in the top of the 1st hdc strip ; sc in the next hdc and in each hdc till end.  Join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

For the last round, there are two options.  You can work either a dc, or a fpdc to match the first row of stitches at the base of your dress.

Round 4 : dc or fpdc in the 1st sc ; dc or fpdc in the each sc all around. Join with a sl-st to the 1st st.
Fasten off and weave in ends.

One final suggestion : Just before Round 4, do ensure that the armhole / round arm fit.
You could also opt to do two rounds of dc or fpdc – but I’ve ended with just one finishing round.
Give yourself a big pat on the back as this one has really been a great project – but totally worth it, I’m sure you’ll agree.

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

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Have a great day and see you soon. J

I have a few tops already made, and just in case you want a dekho at those free patterns … here you go  J