Sooner, rather than later, I will write a full review of the book “21 Crochet Tunics and Tank Tops” but, tldr: the designs are really cute but the patterns are terribly written. So at first I had a pretty hard time trying to follow the pattern for this top. Eventually, I all but gave up on the pattern and modified the heck out of it.
For starters, I shortened the length of the collar. The pattern called for a 28” collar, which was just to too ridiculously big. I chopped four inches off of that, and I think I could taken off an inch or two more. By dropping a specific number of pattern repeats, I was still able to follow the instructions for the collar so I could increase, while still keeping my bobbles aligned vertically.
Next, I had to figure out the increases in the body on my own because the pattern only increases in the very first row, the row that connects the body to the collar. After that, every row is supposed to have the same number of stitches. Yes, without increases the body will spread a little as you make it longer but, in my case, it didn’t spread enough for me to avoid showing an obscene amount of side-boob. I ended up increasing every other row, from the neck to under the arms. (When I say “ended up,” I mean I messed up my increases the first time and had to rip out the entire front, and make it again.)
Then I changed the pattern stitch. The original pattern calls for alternating rows of single and double crochet. But that creates a very open weave that will either require a lining, or that will require something be worn underneath the top. So I, instead, opted for the linked double crochet stitch, which I had just learned from a Craftsy class. That gave me a nice closed weave, making for an opaque fabric.
Lastly, I added the rows of bobble stitch to the hem. Because I changed the color story from the largely monochromatic one depicted in the book, I felt like duplicating the white bobbles on the bottom of the shirt made the collar make a little more sense. I also shortened the shirt, making it waist-length because I was so over this pattern, I just wanted to be done with it. I’ll mostly wear it with high-waisted bottoms to keep my tummy covered.
The only thing that I took directly from the pattern was the yarn selection. Several of the designs in this book, including this one, are made with Premier Cotton Fair yarn. Cotton Fair is 52% cotton and 48% acrylic, and comes in 317yd skeins for between $4.99 and $5.99 each, depending on where you buy it. It’s a sport weight yarn that wears very comfortably. It’s also machine washable so your garments will be easy to care for. (I am so not down with those high maintenance, hand wash only yarns.) I used the colors white and blue ice.
When all was said and done, I ended up with a top that I am pretty happy with. But there are always things you wish you’d have done differently and I see me making this top again, at some point, with a few changes in mind.