This post is a continuation of Continuous Crochet Part 1, which you can find here.
In the last post, I explained my first attempt at a crochet tank top using the continuous crochet method, (meaning the method where you use motifs, but they are all connected to each other as you go instead of having to attach them all together at the end – eliminating seams and lots of loose ends). I explained the troubles I ran into, and what I did to fix them. This time, I used what I learned the time before, and chose a chart that would make it easier. (By that I mean one that has motifs all in one flat row, no staggering.) Here’s what I got:
You don’t need a chart, you can just do granny squares or anything else you make up, but I used one from the book in the reference below. It is really a lot easier to start doing this method using charts, then try to make up your own motifs after you understand how they are worked together and you have had some practice. It can be confusing in the beginning.
So, this is really quite difficult to explain, especially without violating a copyright and just showing a chart from the book, which would help it all make so much more sense. So, if you can, get your hands on a chart. Before starting to make a shirt just like mine, be sure to read the note below on the neck hole, this part of this design should be checked before starting.
The motif: Essentially, you start with a long chain (on charts, the beginning chain is usually shown in blue), work your way up it as you make each row of your motif, then use the outer edge of the motif to connect it to surrounding motifs. Row: You leave the top edge off of every motif so you can work that at the end, getting your yarn back to the beginning of the next row, and you leave the left edge off to work after you’ve completed all of the rows, getting your yarn back to where you started. Maybe this very undetailed drawing will help:
Making the body: Each black circle is a motif. Blue shows the long starting chain of each motif, it connects from the motif before it. You make a long row of motifs, but you leave the outer edge off of them on the top, and on the left edge. Red shows where you complete the outer edge, bringing your yarn back over the top to the beginning to start with blue again and do the next row. You work the tops, but you still leave the left edge off so you can work that downward to finish it. See the drawing below, and you see a purple arrow pointing downward. That shows where you work the last left edge and get back to where you started.
This is how I started this tank top – the above drawing shows how I made the body of it from the armpits to the waist. It is one flat piece, all motifs worked to the right, then return to the left doing the tops, then work the next row to the right. 10 motifs long, and 4 motifs high. I knew to make it that size by holding it up to myself as I went. The number you choose doesn’t matter, whatever fits you, but It is important to use an even number of motifs across, and plan where you want the arms and shoulder pieces to go. (You will need the same number of motifs under each arm, that is why even is important.)
I wanted one motif under each arm, so I knew I would be working a front and back piece separately that was 4 motifs each.
Once I had the 4 rows of 10, I joined them together using the outer edge (follow the purple arrow). You just join them in the same way the motifs joined together on the flat part, this makes the tube for the body. (I tried working in the round at the beginning, but I wasn’t ending up in the right place and there was too much backtracking.) If your tube is too small, now is when you can make another row (or 2, to keep it an even number), on one end, going back and forth. After joining them into a tube, you will need to make the back and front pieces above the armpit level. I chose to keep going without cutting the thread. This means what was the bottom before is now the top, the work is flipped upside down, and you keep working upward as if you always worked that way. (So it may help to print this drawing out if you’re using it to follow because at this point you flip the drawing upside down too – everything on the shirt is still worked the same way as before.)
Work the front and back motifs back and forth in rows like before. (I chose to keep the front and back connected as one piece instead of making a front and back separately and joining at the shoulders. This kept me from cutting the yarn.) The middle of the front/back piece, (indicated by green Xs), is where the neck hole goes, so don’t connect the motifs to each other here so that you leave a hole. I realized late that this design gave me a very small neck hole, which worked out, but was a close call! It is important to know if your head will fit through this hole, this should be checked …ideally before starting… but if not, be open minded to changing your design later. If you don’t leave a big enough hole, you won’t be able to wear this thing at all. When you’re working on the body, you’ve got some finished motifs there, see if you hold 2 of them together if your head fits through. If your head doesn’t fit, design yourself another type of neck opening, or don’t connect between the sides of the 2 top middle motifs on the front piece to leave an opening to which you can later attach a button or other closure if you choose.
After making the last row of the back piece, when returning on the outer top edge, connect it as you go to the motifs on the body of the tank where it should meet to seal it up into a shirt shape. If you didn’t ever run out of yarn, you didn’t need to cut it once during this project. No messy ends!
Book reference: Continuous Crochet Motif 60. Nihon Vogue-Sha. 2009. ISBN-10: 9866817466. Design No. 3, page 10.
Yarn: Phildar YSATIS, 427 (500 427 006)
Hook: G or 6 or 4 1/4 mm.