Saturday, June 24, 2017

Be Square Top - Part 3

  This part of the tutorial will only cover a basic explanation of the pattern and the taller stitches used in the Be Square Top. Unfortunately, the photos I took for this part of the series didn't come out well. I'll be demonstrating the stitches with a different project so you can see how it's done, and I don't want the mix to get too confusing. Although this holds back the progress of the tutorial, I've managed to include some extra tips so you can use these stitches in multiple applications.

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  I've also been experimenting with better ways to hide the beginning chain in a round, so you'll see a few different methods used as I show you the stitches... But I do think this is all something that would be better shown in a video. I'm working on it, and I'll update here whenever it's finished.


Be Square Pattern design:
The Be Square Top was worked to just below the bust in the granny stitch, then I changed to a V-stitch variation. You can work your top in any stitches you want, but this pattern really saves on yarn!
-In each chain-1 space of the granny stitch, you'll work (1 stitch, 1 chain, 1 stitch).

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*And yes, that's one-less stitch per multiple. As explained in the previous tutorials, I had to dramatically decrease the number of stitches to balance the amount of stretch in the V-stitch pattern. I could have left the stitch count the same for a baggy fit, but I wanted a form-fitting top. If you don't want to decrease, then you could add a chain in between the V-stitches to keep the count the same.

-After the double crochet granny stitch, I began the V-stitch design using triple crochet stitches.

-The height of the stitches increases by one yarn-over every two rounds for the remainder of the pattern.

-Work the stitches in the space between each V-stitch, skipping the chain in the middle of the V-stitch itself.

-If you need to increase, you can work in extra stitches in the chain-1 of the V-stitch.

-In order to make a less-noticeable decrease, spread the V-stitch out over two spaces: 1 stitch in the first space, 1 chain, and 1 stitch in the next space.
...You can also leave out chains as I did, then skip over the decreasing stitches the next round. This is more noticeable, but takes out extra room quickly:

Be Square Top, blouse, Caron Cakes, crochet, easy, granny square, how to, pattern, shirt, square, sweater, taller stitches, tank top, top, tutorial

Be Square Top, blouse, Caron Cakes, crochet, easy, granny square, how to, pattern, shirt, square, sweater, taller stitches, tank top, top, tutorial



The stitches:
I'll show you those tricks for your beginning chain in a moment, but first let's start with the tallest stitch I used in the pattern: Six yarn-overs! If you can tackle that one, then making any of the shorter stitches will just be even easier.

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Yarn over the hook six times:

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Just like any other basic stitch, you'll insert the hook, yarn over, and pull up a loop.

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(Yarn over, pull through two loops on the hook) 7 times to complete the stitch. You'll have one less loop on your hook each time you complete a step:

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Be Square Top, blouse, Caron Cakes, crochet, easy, granny square, how to, pattern, shirt, square, sweater, taller stitches, tank top, top, tutorial
Be Square Top, blouse, Caron Cakes, crochet, easy, granny square, how to, pattern, shirt, square, sweater, taller stitches, tank top, top, tutorial

Now that you've seen the stitch in action, let's go over some options for gaining height at the beginning of rounds as I make some of those shorter stitches...


Beginning rounds:
Here I'm starting a motif that uses the chain-2/half double crochet beginning "chain", but I'll be working flat in the round instead of a cylinder as for the top.

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Let's start with a better-known stitch: 2 yarn-overs; the triple or treble crochet...
-We all know that making a chain to count as the first stitch is easiest, but I feel like it's flimsy when used with taller stitches.

-Typically you make two more chains than the number of yarn-overs in a stitch. (Triple = 2 yarn-overs = 4 chains high; and let's forget how the double crochet doesn't match up with 3 chains.) But either the taller stitches don't fit into this formula, or I'm just pulling up extra slack in my beginning chains. It creates a noticeable space like with a double crochet and chain-3, so I only chain one more than the number of yarn-overs in a stitch. (Triple = 3 chains high.)

-If you want to use this beginning method, then you can decide for yourself... Chain 2 more than the number of yarn-overs if needed. Here you can see that I made 3 chains for the beginning stitch, plus one more for the chain-1 of the V-stitch:

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The height matches, but I don't care for how thin the chain looks next to an actual stitch.

And trying my preferred method when beginning a double crochet: Chain one less, make a stitch, and skip over the beginning chain when joining...
This looks absolutely horrible next to taller stitches!

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(I won't waste my time finishing and joining the round. You can see how bad that is, right?)

So, we can move on to some other methods that require a bit more skill, but they're still really easy...

1. Put a twist on it!
Yarn over the required number of times, insert the hook, and pull up a loop:

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Twist the hook around: Bring the back of the hook towards you and spin all the way around.

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You'll know if you went the wrong way! The correct direction will pull the beginning chain over the stitch, making the loops match the direction of a stitch. Do this backwards, and the stitch will pull over the chains instead. It won't look right!

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No matter the height of the stitch, you'll twist after each time you pull through 2 loops. I tried skipping a few twists on the taller stitches, but the chain pops out from the side of the stitch.

2. Long loop + twist
Chain 1 to anchor the beginning, then pull up a long loop to the height of your stitch:

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This requires a bit more attention to detail, because you'll need to hold this loop secure as you yarn over and begin the stitch.

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Yarn over the required number of times (5 shown here), insert the hook, and pull up a loop. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops once, then twist before each time you pull through 2 more loops:

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Be Square Top, blouse, Caron Cakes, crochet, easy, granny square, how to, pattern, shirt, square, sweater, taller stitches, tank top, top, tutorial

Psst... Can you tell I twisted the wrong direction before the last two loops?

You can better judge the length your loop should be by comparing it to the stitches in the previous row/round:

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And I get it... That doesn't help much for the very first stitch in a pattern, but it gives you a starting point everywhere else.

Okay, here's where we end this part of the tutorial for the Be Square Top... 
If you're not interested in anything else, then class is dismissed! But if you want to earn a little extra credit, you can stick around.

To work in a cylinder for the Top or to work in rows is easier because you can keep your stitch count the same. To work flat in the round using these stitches, you'll have to make increases to keep your work from puckering.

Well, that's easy if you've ever crocheted a circle, right?

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You just double your stitches the second round, then on the third round you work one/ increase in the next... And for each round after the number between increases gets bigger... RIGHT?

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Nope, not necessarily true when working with taller stitches! On this motif, I worked a V-stitch with a chain-1 in between for the first round. I doubled the stitches on the second round by making the V-stitch in each chain-1 space.

The stitches shown in the previous photo increase in height every round: 2 yarn-overs, 4 yarn-overs, and 5 yarn-overs.
-Although doubling the stitch count on the second round was enough to keep the work flat, you can see how the stitches are more spread out because the pattern is beginning to pull.

-For the third round, nothing short of doubling the stitches again would keep the work flat.

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The outer circumference of the circle is increased rapidly by the taller stitches, therefore you'll need more stitches to keep the work flat.

If you're working with the same stitch height each round, then you'll be able to fall into the old circle-making format. But if you want to change stitch heights within the project, you'll find yourself playing with stitch counts along the way.


Happy Crocheting!

Find Part 2 of the series here

Start at the beginning with the GrannySpiration Challenge

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Surprise

  You may have already seen little sneak peeks at this project, and now it's time for the reveal... I've been debating whether to show the whole thing before next month's GrannySpiration Challenge, or go ahead and spoil the surprise. This afghan has been kept semi-top-secret because it was intended to be a gift, so let's unveil it in the most surprising way possible, shall we?

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  The project was neglected while I was sick and Dad was in the hospital. Afterwards, it seemed like every time I sat down to work on it, something else went wrong. (Though isn't that the way my life always goes?) Things broke, people interrupted, and the weather didn't cooperate (my kitchen window is leaking again). Between cats in the way, dim light from storms, and (most of all) a lack of room, I couldn't see how I'd ever get good photos of this project for next month's Challenge.

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  I've been sitting in near darkness most afternoons, stitching away to use up as much of the yarn as possible. Rip van Winkle kept saying "jeez, it's big enough already", but I wanted to use up as much of the One Pound skeins as I could in this project. And of course there's a method to my madness...

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  Finally, I didn't have enough left to make a full round with any of the colors left. Time to call it "DONE". But that still leaves the problem of getting those photos... My house has low ceilings. I was holding the camera against it so I can't see what I'm snapping a picture of, and ended up with a bad batch of photos. But that's okay, I have the solution.  

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  Hey! That's not my horrible ugly house in the background! Who's place came to the rescue as my "satellite office" for the day? And wow, don't the colors of the afghan look great with the color scheme of the room?


  With the homeowner so kindly away with The Kid and my niece at the movies, I almost didn't know what to do with an empty place to work in! The photo session was done in no time, allowing me to make some coffee and quietly work on a small project while I made use of the washer to give the afghan a bath before gifting.

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crochet, WIP, afghan, finished project, granny square, Caron One Pound, Father's Day


  See that? There's more of my work to be found in this house, so you know it must belong to someone special. Who could possibly be so trusted that I actually spend time making things for them?

  I pulled the afghan out of the dryer for one last photo on the couch, and found as it cooled off that it wasn't quite dry yet... Oh no! What to do? Time is running short and I need to get on my way home! Well, I guess there's only one thing I can do...

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  Leave it in the dryer with an apology note. After all, there's no point in me dragging the damp project back home when it's already where it should be... Is there? I know it's in good hands at its new owner's house.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

  Dad reads the blog, so I'm wondering if he'll find the surprise in the dryer or read this post first... Either way, I hope The Kid managed to not spill the secret - She's my accomplice! I chose to make this afghan for him because he's the one that took me to get the yarn. And in the end, I just couldn't create what I had envisioned... A coffee-themed blanket that I could wrap up in with my favorite mug. But I did discover that the horribly greenish Taupe that wouldn't fit the coffee theme matches Dad's decor pretty well, and I couldn't get the thought out of my mind. Sometimes, you just have to take the hint from the forces that be.

Happy Crocheting!

PS - Anderson was NOT amused that I was at his house again...

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Trouble with my Supervisors

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  It's rare that I get to have a peaceful workday all to myself. All day long, my supervisors are coming in and out, making noise while I'm trying to concentrate, always demanding things, and judging whether or not my work is good enough for them. Can you believe it that I even have to clean up their mess when they leave? And every time I turn around, I catch them playing around again. That's it! I've had enough. It's time I let them know what I really think about them... They're just a couple of pussies!

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I'm busy stitching away at a humongous project that's on a time frame. And there they sit, asking for me to get up for the thing that's right behind them...

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Turning up their noses at my skill...

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And constantly pushing boundaries! No wonder it takes so long to finish simple projects.

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Such a stressful work environment. 😉


Happy Crocheting!

Thanks to Jump Steady, the self-elected co-supervisor of Crochet is the Way, and to Lucky, the CEO (Cat Expecting Offers of food) for sponsoring today's post. They were compensated with extra treats and rubs for their appearance, and I'm sure it's not helping to enforce the rules.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Be Square Top - Part 2

  The first part of this tutorial, shared as my project for June's GrannySpiration Challenge, gave you all the information you needed to start your own version of this top. For those interested in the entire pattern, the remaining parts of the tutorials will show you everything. Here in Part 2 of this series, we'll be covering more of the original square-neck, granny-stitch design. You'll get more tips for starting the beginning, learn how to keep that joining seam from traveling around, and I'll show you some places where I made more work for myself than needed. We'll get to the taller stitches in the next part, and to make it less confusing, I've decided to start a separate series showing you how to work the second super-lacy, rectangular version.

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  Just remember that when it comes to garments, I hate writing exact patterns for one reason: It limits you. Everyone is a different size and shape, along with having different tastes in style. Want a higher neckline? Your stitch count will be different. Don't want to use taller stitches? Maybe you won't have to adjust the size due to the stretch, like I did. So, I hope it doesn't get too confusing when I throw in all the extra information... Perhaps it would be helpful to take notes along the way. I'm really excited to see how many different creations you all can make. Let's get started!


The beginning (again)
  Even though we already covered this in Part 1 of the tutorial, I'd like to share a little more information... For beginners, you may want to start with a regular chain like I did for this top. If you're more advanced or just adventurous, I really recommend starting with the beginning I used for Version 2.

Chain 2 to begin, and make a half double crochet in the farthest chain from the hook.
*Chain 2, DO NOT turn, and make a half double crochet in the space between the chain-2 and half double crochet of the previous "row".*
Repeat * to * until you reach the desired length, make sure the rows are not twisted, and slip stitch to the beginning space.

  This makes for a super-stretchy neckline that's more forgiving of mistakes in size. If you get it a little too small, it will stretch. And if you get it a little too big, then it's easy to make some decreases without the stitches bunching up. Also, it's easy to adjust if you want to use a stitch that has different multiples. Replace the chain-2 and half double crochet with a chain-3 and double crochet for a bigger space, or work chain-1 and a single crochet for tighter stitches.

Because the beginning of the top has to fit over the bust, you'll want to increase rapidly for the first round. Try to make enough stitches so that they bunch together, but don't make it so dense that the fabric ruffles.

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For example:
Using a size J/10 - 6 mm hook and worsted weight yarn, I started with a chain of 80. (I'm a size extra-small / 0.) Each side of the first round is made with 9 granny stitches (3 double crochet, chain 1) across, which equals a grand total of 45 stitches. 45 x 4 = 180! That's more than twice the number of stitches in my beginning chain...

You can spread the beginning chain out into a square shape to get an idea of how many stitches you'll need per side.

  For those who work the super-stretchy beginning, you don't have to increase so much. Working too few stitches into a regular chain will cause it to be uncomfortably stiff and dig in around the shoulders. I'll repeat what I said in Part 1: BIGGER is better when you start the neckline, especially if you're using the plain-chain beginning. If it fits too loosely or rides too low when the top is finished, you can always rejoin around the neckline and work some decreases to tighten it up. I'm quite pleased with how I was able to incorporate another color change into the design because of the work I had to do to tighten it up...

So give yourself a little *room* for mistakes, and you may find yourself looking forward to color details or fancy borders instead of fearing an improper fit.


  Now, the rest was covered in Part 1 up to those taller stitches. (I worked this first design all in the granny stitch up to the bottom of the bust.) But after you join the armholes, your joining seam will now start to travel around the top...


Help! What do I do?
  In Part 1, I said I that I like to join with a single crochet stitch so you can avoid having to slip-stitch over for the next round... But sometimes, you'll want to slip stitch over a little. I like to keep my joining seam along the side of the top, too. After you join for the armholes, end one round with that single crochet join, but end the next round with a chain-1 and slip stitch. If you're using a stitch (like the granny) with multiples and chains, then here's how to begin and end that slip-stitch-joined round:

Don't start the round with the entire multiple! Instead, begin with the last stitch of the first multiple in the round:

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When you reach the end of the round, work the rest of the stitch, join, and slip stitch into the next chain space.

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And when you join the following round, do it with the single crochet. Continue alternating, and your seam will be straighter than mine... Forget and change it up every few rounds? As long as the seam stays near the side of the top, I promise nobody will ever know. ;-)


The do's and don'ts:
  I want to end Part 2 of the tutorial with the things I wished I had done differently and parts that turned out better than expected... Although I do love this top, I know I made more work than I needed to do in this first version. And to be honest, the sleeves turned out a bit wider than I had wanted because of the fixes I had to apply for a proper fit. But hey, maybe my mistakes can help make your top even better:

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If you're working the plain-chain beginning, DO work your stitches into the middle of the joined loop, and not into each individual chain. 1) That's always easier. 2) It lets the stitches ride freely so you can better adjust the fit if you need to. If you don't have to make any adjustments, then the stitches will settle into place when you wear the top. This is how I left version 3, and I like how the stitches stretch out over the shoulders but group together around the neckline. To me, it just adds to the design.

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DON'T try to work the square exactly to your desired width for sleeves. Plan to leave them slightly thinner, and join with an increase in stitches as I showed you in Part 1, or just chain over as far as you need for the armhole. The increasing (and later decreasing) I had to do would have been unnecessary if I had made an increase or chained over before joining.

On that note... DO increase along the sides if you need extra room over the bust. And DO use stitch markers to help you work them evenly! I know, you would think you want the increases over the place that needs the room, but they blend in better on the side and provide more stretch for the material. Otherwise, you could end up with a front that bulges.

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And on that note, DON'T drive yourself nuts if the shape looks off when you have to increase. What matters is if it fits when you try it on! Personally, I went half crazy doubting the shaping because it seemed to bulge around the armholes while it was flat on the table. And that's because technically, it does bulge out around the armholes, when I'm not wearing it... This stretches out around the bust when worn, versus an increase over the bust that would be less form-fitting and more made-to-fit. DO have confidence in your work. Try it on: If it fits, then it fits!

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And DO have fun! If you just don't have the confidence to begin the larger project of an adult top, maybe consider making a smaller version for a child or even a doll. You won't be out much yarn or time either way. DO NOT try to practice by making a sweater for your cat... You're not the same shape! (But you can still make a sweater for kitty if you want.)

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  I made this version with a "normal" size hook (J / 6 mm) and worsted weight yarn, and was able to finish with scrap left in a 7.1 oz / 200 g ball of Caron Cakes. Version 3 was created with a large size N / 10 mm hook and a ball-and-a-half of DK weight Hipster yarn... And I made it waaaaay too long! Had I known it would stretch in length once the stitches relaxed from washing, I might have ended it at just one ball. After a second wash and wear, it's hanging to my knees and I'm thinking of ripping a few rows out.

  For lacier Version 2, I used some scrap of worsted-weight Simply Soft from my stash, the same size hook as Version 3, and I did NOT make it to fit smaller-than-average-me. Using even more taller stitches in an open lacy design, I was able to make a waist-length top for The Kid with just 3 oz / 85 g. I was surprised to finish a size medium top with so little material, but this is greatly due to the large hook and lacy stitches. Unlike the part-wool Version 1, the acrylic yarn and spaced out stitches make a nice, breezy summer top. But if you wanted to work up a denser fabric and add sleeves for a fall sweater, it will take much more yarn.

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Until next time...
  We're going to get to those taller stitches in the next part of the tutorial. I wanted to cover them right away here in Part 2, but I didn't realize how many tips I wanted to share! After making three different versions of this top, I think there are so many ways you could alter this format to make your own design. I hope you can use my advice to produce the perfect vision of your creativity. And this really is as much as you need to know in order to take it from here!... But like I said before, the rest of the top will still be continued in upcoming tutorials.

Happy Crocheting!

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PS - Now can you see why I was doubting that shape? Besides this yarn holding up to the washer and dryer, I should have mentioned that it probably went through about 200 fittings! 
😉

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Be Square Top - GrannySpiration Challenge

  It's time for June's Granny-Spiration Challenge! Summer is here, and it inspired me to create some lacy tops. They are heavier weight lacy tops, so it helps keep me a little warmer in the air conditioning while the lace is nice and breathable. The main project I'm sharing today was made in Caron Cakes, which is a 20% wool yarn and I admit it was a bad choice of material for summer in Florida. It's such a nice top - I can't wait to wear it in the fall! With the format of how this is made, you'll be able to create your own in any yarn or thread you like. Just, don't choose wool if you live in Florida. 😏

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  The tutorial(s) for this project will be coming to you in parts... Because I wanted to cover many areas that you can adjust to make the proper fit, the entire project has over forty pictures (so far; I'm not done yet). That's a few too many to put in one post along with the Granny-Spiration Challenge, so for now you'll just get the main idea of the how-to. Be sure to scroll down after the tutorial so you can check out what everyone else in the Challenge has created, and don't forget to enter the linkup and giveaway!


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  You won't believe how easy it is to start (and finish) this top... Excuse me while I get excited and yell: IT'S A SQUARE! (Or maybe a rectangle.) It's a square with a BIG hole in the middle, and then you join it together to begin working in the round. Just. One. Square. And no sewing or joining pieces? Is this a dream? Can it be true? YES! And it's easy to adjust no matter what size or shape you are! Can you tell I'm excited about this project? There will be a separate tutorial for each of these tops, but I'd like to cover parts of the two main designs to get you started. Let's get to it:

Where to start:
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The neckline is where it all begins, which means it's top-down for ease of fitting. Keep in mind that you'll be able to work around the armholes and neckline to tighten them up if your top is too loose, but there's not much you can do to make it bigger if it fits too tightly. Bigger is better if you're not sure. Here are a few variations you can combine to change your design:

For a higher neckline or wider sleeves (don't go too wide!)...
-Start with a square.

For a lower neckline or thin/tank top sleeves...
-Start with a rectangle

Which beginning to choose?...
-The main version (top picture) starts with a large ring of chain stitches, and then turned into a square with even sets of granny stitches around four sides. This only allows for as much stretch as the stitch you choose, but it prevents the project from stretching out of shape and you know where your neckline will be.

-The second version (bottom picture above) uses a series of (chain-2, half double crochet) "rows" that are joined into a beginning chain. (Exactly how to do it will be covered in one of the upcoming tutorials.) This method creates a super-stretchy neckline for easier fitting, and it adds a little character to the lacy design.
*Honestly, after I worked this design using the chain/stitch method, I don't think I would make another top with the solid-chain neckline. It's awesomely stretchy and looks so much better. But, let's move on to how the first one was made...


What's next?
You can take some of the guessing out of your fitting by measuring another top. The circumference (the distance all the way around the armhole) will be the outside width of your square.

The rest is pretty easy until you get to joining the armhole. Keep working rounds until you (almost) reach a length that can be joined under your arms - OR - just work to the desired width for your sleeves (see explanation below). If you started with a square and it's not wide enough to join yet, don't worry! I'll show you what I did on the rectangular version to widen the armholes.

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Now, let's get more technical: By "sleeves", I mean the distance between the neckline and the outside of your shoulder. Real sleeves are better added later if you want them... Extending the square to try to create a sleeve will create a bat-wing shaped baggy sweater. (So, I guess you could do that if you wanted one!)



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When you reach the desired width, you'll need to work across one more side. This adds just a little bit of width depending on the height of the stitch you are using, so you might want to plan on joining when it's almost the width you want across your shoulder.


Creating the armholes:
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Now, fold it in half with the right sides out. There you go! There's the true beginning of your top. Until now, it was just a square (or maybe a rectangle). But do you see it now? So simple. We'll just flip it over and start working stitches across the opposite side. But first, what to do if it doesn't reach around your arm yet?...


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For wider sleeves / armhole reaches around:
On the first version, I ended the first side in the corner space with a regular granny stitch; not a corner. Because the sleeves end at the outside edge of my shoulder, I didn't work an increase before joining. You would think the larger armhole would be more roomy, but it's not... It makes a stiffer armhole.

For narrow sleeves / armhole doesn't reach yet:
I worked corner stitches in the corner spaces before joining the second version. This one started with a large rectangle for a super-low neckline, but I also wanted thin tank-top sleeves. I gained the length/width needed for shape before it was wide enough to join under the arms. Remember we're working in the round now, so a corner stitch makes an increase. Chains can be worked to reach any additional width if necessary.
*Working the corner stitches makes a better shape with more stretch, too. Just like with the neckline, I prefer this method over the way I created the first version.


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However to decide to join the armholes: You'll do the same across the next side... And this side will end with joining the other two corners. I like to avoid having to slip-stitch over, so for the join I use a single crochet instead of (chain-1, slip stitch).
If you needed to chain 2 - use a half double crochet... Chain 3 - double crochet... And so on. (For more chains, you can combine chains and stitches, or you can check out my tutorial for extra-tall stitches.)

It's a good idea to check for fit before you continue... Next up are a few problems I ran into after joining my armholes.


Adjusting for fit:
Depending on what length/width your beginning square is, the stitches you use, and your shape, you may need to adjust size as you work in the round. The bottom of the armhole is in line with the fullest part of the bust when the project is flat... But when you're wearing it, the fullest part of the bust won't be flat! (Duh, right?)
With version 1, the armhole had a rectangular shape that pulled the the front and back out of shape and caused it to ride higher than I thought it would after joining - Just above the fullest part of the bust. The armholes fit, but I needed to make some increases on the next round to stop it from becoming too tight.

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So, I added an extra pattern stitch in the chain-1 space of each armhole. How do I say this gently... I didn't need to make too many increases for it to fit me. For a larger bust, I can see how you may need to rip back and adjust the width of the armhole if the fit is too tight, or you'll need to find some strategic places to throw in extra increases without causing a noticeable bulge.


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For my shape and size, all I would have needed to do from there was keep working rounds. I got pretty lucky and ended up reaching all the color changes in Caron Cakes somewhere near the joining seam!

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I knew that continuing in the granny stitch would make this top way too warm, so I broke the pattern (not the yarn!) just under the bust and changed to a V-stitch variation that gains height every two rounds. The fabric was already stretchy, but the new stitches increased the stretch of the pattern so much that I had to throw a few decreases along the sides... But that was as simple as leaving out a few chains on one round, and skipping over the decrease the next round.

Seriously. It's so stretchy that I was able to extend the dress form out two sizes, and it still fit. That was before I shrank it in the dryer so it would fit me better, but I bet it would still stretch up one size.

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Like, really. The taller stitches are so seriously stretchy that I was able to dummy-up the dress form to show that it would work as a maternity top, too...
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...But I won't be needing one of those any time soon (or ever)! So, it just hangs in a super-drape-y way when I wear it.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

  Whew! I told you there was a lot to cover, right? In the upcoming tutorials I'll explain more about the pattern, briefly cover the taller stitches used, show you how to keep the joining seam along the side, and we'll even have a whole separate tutorial for the more-preferred second version. I hope you've been able to grasp the main concept of how this works, and I'm excited to see what kind of top your imagination can create by using this method.

Happy Crocheting!

Now, shall we move on to the GrannySpiration Challenge linkup and giveaway?


Our top three link ups from last month:
-Granny Square Cushion from Made by Demi: http://madebydemi.com/2017/04/24/granny-square-cushion-cover/

-Sweet Treat Baby Blanket from The Underground Crafter: http://undergroundcrafter.com/blog/2017/04/17/crochet-sweet-treat-baby-blanket/


Don't miss what others in the GrannySpiration Challenge are creating:









Enter to win:



June's Giveaway is sponsored by Marjan of Aterlier Marie-Lucienne and includes two skeins of Wolke 7 (or Cloud 7) yarn from Gemacht mit Liebe. This yarn is 75% virgin wool and 25% polyamide, and hand dyed. Each skein is 100g/420m.

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And don't forget to share your own granny-inspired projects at the linkup!

The June linkup will open tonight at 12am EST June 3rd, and run through midnight Thursday, June 15th.