Skill level : Intermediate to Advanced.
The stitches used are all basic, but the calculations and ideas given will require intermediate to advanced crochet skills
Gauge : Gauge is not important. You can make this top for any size.
Please read through all instructions before you start, as I have given lots and lots of ideas and choices. Cheers ;)
STRAP 1 :
Let's make the first of the two straps.
We start with a fsc chain and work the same pattern on both sides of this fsc chain.
So to start, I attached the yarn to one point on the top, worked it all the way to the point at the back of the top, so by the time I had the length of fsc chain done, I also had it attached to the top. Ensure you attach it firmly, and then work the sl-st all the way back to the starting stitch. Fasten off and weave in ends. If you decide you want a slightly thicker strip here, then you could work a fdc chain, and work either dc or sc in each stitch back. Of course, the lovely shelled pattern given in Strap 1 instructions is your other option.
Now the pattern starts off with a fsc but if you would like the frill to flop over the shoulders a little longer, then I'd suggest that you work the first start row, and then work a few rows of sc or hdc in each st all around for a few rows.
So how many rows is a 'few rows'?
Let's calculate : The actual frill is about 9 rounds. So calculate how many inches you get in 9 rows of your work (This is called calculating gauge). With this number in hand, you know how much your frilly neckline is - and if you want it longer, you just add that many rows of sc or hdc right at the top. Adding too many plain rows of sc or hdc may not look that good, so you could probably work in a few 'holes' (read : lacy pattern ;) ) by working in a ch-sp every other stitch - which means that you could work a sc /hdc in 1st st ; ch 1, sk next st, sc/hdc in the next st all the way around.
In the following round, you will work a sc/hdc in each st and ch-sp all around. This will make this 'extension' look like a pattern too. Got it?
OK then.. onto the actual frill pattern.
Working a hdc instead of an sc in the following row adds to the length of your frill.
You can use either a dc or a trc in the following row. It will not change the pattern at all. The trc just adds to the length of the stitch. Choices & decisions for you ... ;)
In the following round we'll use a trc or Triple / treble crochet stitch. You can opt to use the dc as well - it does not affect the pattern - just makes for a shorter stitch ;)
*(ch 3, sk next 2 trc, dc in the next trc) ; rep (to) 2 times ;
[ch 3, sk next 3 trc, dc in the next trc] ;
ch 3, sk next 3 sc, dc in the next trc* ;
rep *to* all around ; ch 4 and join with a sl-st to the first st.
In the following round we’ll work a dc 2-tog, but we will be working it over two dc, skipping 3 chain stitches in the middle.
Note : Just for kicks (and a creative difference), I've decided to work a dc 5-tog in each ch-3 sp 5 times instead of the Special dc 2-tog, and then work the [to] as instructed.
As you can see, the difference is minor, but I love it. So go ahead and see what you'd like to do.. throw in a picot as well if you'd like.. all in the name of creativity and difference :) !