Thursday, February 25, 2010

What was that?

It's been quite awhile since I started crocheting that amorphous blob, and thankfully, it turned out quite different than it started. When you last saw it, here's what it looked like:
This was part of my first attempt at making a flared, racerback tank top. I experimented using Mary Jane Hall's graduated stitch method, which creates volume through increasing stitch size instead of adding more stitches. I quickly realized that doesn't really work here, because the piece looks choppy. The narrower edge is the neck edge and the wider edge is the flared hem of the top. Continuing on, here's the front I ended up with:

I know you're thinking how awesome (and by awesome I mean terrible) my color choices are, and before you judge me and never read my blog again, let me tell you these are just scrap yarn pieces I was experimenting with. Here's the back:

But what good are a front and back without straps? That was the real challenge in this garment. I wanted to make a racerback, and made several different variations to attach to the back neckline, but I couldn't get the shape I wanted using the vertical stitch method I chose for this project. As is usually the case, I realized I had to think more simply. So I crocheted a long strip and experimented. Though it's not a true racerback, the straps worked well. Once I had all the elements, I bought some nice yarn to make a real sample. I chose Berroco Pure Pima, a lightweight (#3) worsted cotton yarn. Behold, the finished product:

The weight of the yarn and the use of Mary Jane Hall's method of stitching in the back loop only (which also creates the ribbing!) make this top hang nicely. Here's how the back ended up:

I added a bit of contrast with edging in Berroco Seduce yarn, a gold/brown metallic. It cracks me up to think about yarn being seductive, but whatever, Berroco. Here are some detail shots.

I used a surface chain stitch to embellish the straps on the front and back, and handy little stitch to add surface interest. Here's a detail shot of the front.

Great, right? Well, how does it look on an actual person? That's the real test. And I am the guinea pig.

What do you think?

A little droopy in the back, but that wouldn't be the case if this were on a person whose hips were in proportion to the rest of their body. It doesn't have the "flare" effect on me so much as "just making it over."

I'm pretty happy with it. Note to self--there is a definite risk of transparency with crocheted garments. Haha. I'll have to watch out for that next time. Thanks so much to Mr. N for the pictures...I was in a terrible mood after cleaning the junk out of this corner of my work room to take pictures, muttering "grr, no space for anything," "so tired of living in this craphole," etc, but Mr. N got me to smile. He always does.
Thanks for stopping by to see my progress! Crocheted fashion has proven more difficult than I realized, but it's always an adventure. Up next, a dress (yikes!!). Wish me luck!