I just can't get enough of these crocheted tank tops. This week, after finishing up the project I've been working on at the shop, I started shopping around in my Ravelry queue, and immediately jumped on this one that I've had my eye on:
Crochet Top Manon by Fashion Martina
I'm going to add a few inches to the bottom so it's more of a flowy, waist-length top, but I am totally loving coming up with these rayon-cotton blends, and how vintage-y they look crocheted up in these flowery motifs.
I'll be honest with you, this pattern is not an easy one to read, and the first motif I did was a process of trial and error -- having to guess at what the designer meant by certain directions, try it out, see that it left me with the wrong number of stitches, or repeats, in a round, and then try something else until eventually it worked out.
This process actually demonstrated one of my favorite things about crochet: you can totally wing it as you go, and no one will be the wiser. And even better, although I still prefer written instructions as my default for crochet, it's forced me to learn how to read crochet charts for the first time, as a way of double-checking my work.
I'm finding that the construction of these "motifs" (the flowery part below the bra) is totally the same idea as making a granny square: you start by chaining a ring, creating a series of loops and stitches, and as crochet around and around, growing the square outwards with each round, the number of stitches you make in each space -- or chains you make while skipping stitches from the previous round -- dictate the "picture" of each motif.
Although this is done on a smaller hook than I've worked with for awhile (usually J or H is my go-to fave), these motifs go surprisingly fast (it's because of all that empty lacey space!), and since there are only four of them, I'm close to being able to join them together and start on the bra part.