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PROGRESS - my crochet project log

Tea Leaf Top

Aug 2005crochetacrylic< $10mediumyes

A while back I ordered from lustersheen for cheap on-line with a goal of making a lacy top. It was originally going to have a rose border along the bottom edge and more lengthy flutter sleeves, but I'm reasonably happy with the alterations that I ended up making as I went along. I didn't have a pattern on this one, just an idea and some stitches, so it was pretty exciting to have it come out at all, and with relatively little frogging too. I think I will however have to keep my eye out for a tank top or material that will look a little better underneath than the white. Of course it looks *best* with just a bra underneath, but that's a little racy for general consumption... I was pleasantly surprised with how soft the lustersheen became after a trip through the wash. It acquired a nice drape which is particularly useful around the bottom edge, which had a tendancy to stick out a bit more than I'd have liked before the dunk-and-whirl.

The main lacy stitch pattern is from my needlework encyclopedia, where it's called fish scales. I've since seen it around on-line here and there, usually without a name, just described as lacy or open (here for example). It's got a 3 line repeat to it, and then those 3 lines again offset to form the alternating shells. It became second nature rather quickly and there really was no major frogging done of the body.

I started by creating a trapezoid for one top front, and then another identical one and joined them at the corners to form the front V. Then I made a chain between the tops of the trapezoids and flipped the whole thing over and started working the back across the tops of the trapezoids and the connection chain. When the back was as long as the front, I connected the corners of the back to the corners of the front to form the armholes, and then just worked in a round down from the bust-line. I finished my third spool of thread at about the waist, so I decided to have a go at the sleeves first, see how much thread they took up, and then use the rest to add length.

I'd never done sleeves like these before, and don't even own any similar garments to study, so I took to the internet looking for examples to guide me, only to find bupkis. Sigh. So I tried, and I frogged, and I tried again, and eventually I came up with these, which aren't quite as lengthy as I'd wanted, but I think I like them pretty well. It's basically 4 lines of 3DC-CH3-3DC-CH3, decreasing at either end with each line. Then for the 5th row, I put [1 HDC - 6DCs - 1 HDC] in each ch-3 space, and a few more shells down the side of the decreases on either end. What it took me a while to realize was that it looked much better if the back of the sleeve started higher up along the armhole than the front. Which I still don't really get, but, hey, it works.

So with the sleeves in place, I decided I wanted to (A) tie in the sleeve pattern and (B) offer some contrast to all those shells, so to continue adding length to the body, I switched over to the 3DC-CH3-3DC-CH3 lattice pattern, and finished it off with the same shell edging. As I mentioned, I was originally going to go with a rose-border, but the fish scales pattern was so busy, that seemed like it would be overkill, especially if I went with the three dimensional roses I'd been planning. Plus the lattice has got a nice drape to it that I think makes it a much better choice than the stiff roses would have been. I'll hang on to that idea though, I still think it's got potential...