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Archive for March, 2010

THE LACY LEMON TANK TOP

This was so fast and easy to make, I’m making more!  Its very very easy, and took only about 3 hours or so.  Even if you don’t know how to crochet, I’m sure if you google how to crochet you’ll find the three stitches you need to learn to do this.  Mine is all kind of crazy colors, that’s because this is yarn I spun, but I didn’t spin enough of any one color to do much with, so I decided to combine a lot of different yellows.   The only thing I really regret is putting that line in the middle where the two colors would have blended together more seamlessly without it.  It was supposed to be an under-bust line, that’s why its pulled tighter below it, but it wound up further down.  (See, if you try stuff on more frequently instead of working on the bus, that wouldn’t happen.  C’est la vie.)

CrochetLemonTankFront

I started with the straps by making a chain the right length for over the shoulder, then did 1 double crochet / skip 1, chain 1 (alternating as I went back the other way.  Strap done, make another!  Then I did chain for chest, back, and under the arms, like so:

CrochetYellowSummerTank

For this one, all 4 of the chains were the same number of chain stitches (25 is what you see here).  Then you just pick up from the chain and work in a tube.  What I did was the first row all double crochet (leaving some holes with chains for decoration), then Row 2 on: (see chart reference).  So easy, and fast!  I did some fancier stuff at the bottom for decoration, but I just winged it, I don’t even remember what I did.  Try it, you’ll see, just do some double crochets and leave some holes in it with chains, it’ll look nice no matter what you do, as long as you repeat the same thing over and over, that’s what makes it a pattern.

Here is the sweater before I even finished working in the ends.  I plan to wear this over a lower backed white tank, not this one - looks kind of funny!

Here is the sweater before I even finished working in the ends. I plan to wear this over a lower backed white tank, not this one - looks kind of funny!

The daffodil color and the white and yellow were singles, and the reddish-brown and yellow bits were plied, so much thicker.

Chart for the middle from: The Crochet Stitch Bible.  Betty Barnden. 2004. Krause Publications, Quarto Inc.  This chart was “Arch Mesh” pg. 87.

THE HORIZONTAL GRID TANK TOP

I’m including these together because they’re so similar, but with very different construction methods.

This tank top was constructed in a more difficult way that was necessary, but there was a reason for the madness.  I’d suggest you just do it in a round tube from the underarms to the waist if you don’t have any good reason not to, it’d be easier.  I found myself with 2 very small balls of cotton yarn, and although they were meant to be the same color, they weren’t, the purple on one was a much deeper color than on the other.  I guess I must have bought different lots and didn’t notice, it was a long time ago so I don’t even remember.  I also didn’t want to have to buy a third ball, so I made this shirt in 2 pieces.  The front was done with 1 ball to see how much of it I could get done before I ran out.  Turns out I got almost the whole shirt front done.  Everything except that band of white at the bottom and the lace on the armholes (I just did that with some other cotton white I had). The back was done with the other ball in the same way as the front so they’d end up exactly the same (just with the 2 different shades of purple).  Doing a front and back piece back and forth also made the stripes of color wider, which was something I wanted too.

So, to start, I chained across the top front from shoulder to shoulder (make the neck hole the size you want, holding it up to yourself. I didn’t want the neck too big because I didn’t want it falling off the shoulders.)  Then I started the grid pattern (see reference below), going back and forth this same width.  Once I got under the arms, I added half a grid square on one row (same row, both ends, under each arm), then a whole extra grid square on each end of the next row so I was making a wider piece from the arm holes down. Then just go back and forth again until its as long as you want it.  Going back and forth like that on one piece sometimes requires a little backtracking when you’re finagling increasing things under the arms.  You can just backtrack by pulling chain loops up one after the other until you get back to where you want to be.  I only had to do that once under each arm, then I was set and going back and forth as usual again on the regular grid pattern.  Once I made the front, I made the back exactly the same way, starting at the shoulders to attach it right from the starting chain.  I counted grid rows to make sure I did everything the same number.  Then here is how I attached them together:

Seams under the arms:  (You can see in this photo the 2 different colors of purple.)  Again, if you just go in a tube under the arms, its much easier.  So, I started the back piece already attached at the shoulders like I said above, worked down to below the arms, then increased a half a square on the right numbered row (matching front), then on the row where there was a whole extra grid square under each arm, I attached the front to the back while I worked as shown in the photo.  It doesn’t really matter what you do and how you do it, just make sure its attached well (at the top and bottom of each row), and that you do the same thing on every row so it all matches and looks like you meant to do that!  This put my seams under the arms.  Seams for if you work in a tube: If you work in a tube, just put the one seam under one arm, or go in a spiral so that there is no seam at all, then when you end it at the bottom, shorten your last square to make it meet the row below it, and locate this under an arm so its not as noticeable.

Chart reference for the Horizontal Grid Tank:  The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs, 500 classic & original patterns. Linda P. Schapper. Lark Books, New York. 2007.  Horizontal Grid was Chart #7, pg. 39.

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I liked my blue waves hat so much I decided to make another, this time -less baggy on top of the head, and with yarn I spun myself.  I got the wool from Alpaca Direct, I used Crimson Colonial Top and Cranberry Merino Top, and alternated between these two when spinning (which is what made the striped pattern).  I only spun singles, no plying.  This hat was worked the same way as the blue waves hat, a rectangle was knitted back and forth that was long enough to wrap around my head, then the ends of the rectangle were connected to make the hat band, and double pointed needles were inserted on one side to knit around the top smaller and smaller until pulling closed.  I did my decreases always one on top of another to make the folded stripes on the top.  The chevron chart for the hat band is in the Leslie Stanfield book I’m always citing, and stockinette rows were done on the ends (sides of the rectangle) to accent it.

The Cranberry Hat - I started with a yarn ball as big as the one on the left, and ended with it being the size of the one on the right.  Hats use almost NO yarn!

The Cranberry Hat - I started with a yarn ball as big as the one on the left, and ended with it being the size of the one on the right. Hats use almost NO yarn! Since I spun too much, maybe I can make matching gloves or something.

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