Saturday, May 28, 2016

Elfin Leaf Halter Top - Crochet Pattern Review - EarthTricks

I have been wanting to try some festival style tops so I went a searching on Etsy and decided to try this Elfin Leaf Halter Top from EarthTricks.

There are so many other fun designs from this shop, I definitely plan on stopping by for more patterns!

Materials I Used:
     - Almost a full 4 oz/200 yard skein of Lily Sugar n Cream in Yellow
     - 4.5mm Crochet Hook (larger than recommended in pattern)
     - #18 Tapestry Needle
     - Elfin Leaf Halter Top, Paid Crochet Pattern from EarthTricks

Material Notes:
     Yarn Alternatives: Bernat's Handicrafter, Lion Brand's Kitchen Cotton, Peaches n Cream, Hobby Lobby's Crafters Secret Cotton

Time Spent:
     I had my top ready in just under two hours.

Measurements:
     One Size through C Cup. It fit me perfectly at a 35" bust, but if I were making for an A cup, I would drop down a hook size, because it didn't fit my mannequin too well. Hehe.
Finished Cup measured 7" Wide by 6.5" in Length.

My Gauge: 
     8 DC by 3 Rows = 2 1/8" x 1.75" 
*My gauge did not quite meet the gauge from the pattern, but top came out to fit fine.

Pattern Notes:
     Overall, I had a lot of fun working up this top and even learned a new technique. Pattern had a few errors and was a little fuzzy in following, but I had no issues working through it. This top was exactly what I was looking for, and I plan on working up a bunch more.

You could use the basic top and embellish in a variety of ways including adding a fringe along the bottom, working a different openwork pattern, or a color change to name a few. Though I don't think it needs it, you could also add a lining, or elastic.

I DO NOT recommend this top for use in the water - the cotton will absorb the water, the top will become heavy and lose it's shape.

The great thing about using Lily Sugar n Cream yarn for this top is the fact that it machine washes and dries well, it'll keep you cool in the hot weather, and it's very durable to withstand machine washes and wear-after-wear. I have a few projects made from it that I have machine washed and dried. I just threw them in with my regular clothes and they have come out just fine. I would suggest if machine washing this top to throw in a lingerie bag. 

I plan on working up some others colors to add to my etsy shop - link below. These will definitely be great for upcoming music festivals or just hanging out in the hot summer weather.


I found a few things in the pattern that I'd like to point out:

*I found a stitch count error that though brought to the designers attention, I want to bring to yours because I ended up having to take out my work and redo: After the first cup, chain 6, and after the second cup, chain 7 - then you will end up with the correct number of 61 stitches.

*After the last cup, I found myself working along the wrong side of the cup so I took out my stitches, fastened off my yarn and reattached it to the other side so I'd be working across the right side.

*Turning is throughout the whole piece, though not stated. Work it regularly.

*I have never worked the crocodile stitch before, so this was new to me. I felt uncomfortable working the slip stitch into the base of the double crochet because it sounded odd to me - and even almost caused me to put the piece down and work on something else. It's supposed to feel odd though. You are working the row of scales over top of the openwork you created with the upside-down v-stitches. Work your stitches loosely so the work underneath doesn't bunch up.

*Prior to working the finishing row, I started with the neck tie of the right cup as outlined below, once I worked the final slip stitch, I worked the finishing row, and once to the chain 2 space of the other cup, I worked my final neck tie in the same manner as the first. This saved in a little time from now having to fasten off and weave in so many ends.

*I worked my neck/back ties as chain 58 (55 measured 15"). DC into the 4th chain. Work 5 SC into the space created between the chain and the double crochet, and join to the first SC to create a little decorative bobble. Then I slip stitched down working into the back loop of each chain. to create a nice, clean edge and sturdy tie. For a C cup, I might suggest working a larger chain because the chain 58 made me consider adding more to mine.
With so many size, yarn type and color options, I would love to see them! Please share your photos on my EyeLoveKnots Facebook page, or our latest Yarn Fanatic Party Link Up!

Don't miss out on new crochet patterns, reviews, jewelry tutorials and more! Subscribe to EyeLoveKnots by using the box on the right side toolbar, or follow me via Bloglovin!


Don't Crochet but Interested in Purchasing an Elfin Leaf Halter Top?
     You can check out EyeLoveKnots on Etsy to see what I have available! Use the search box to type in what you have in mind, or feel free to send me a message with your custom request. I am happy to make in A-C 32-36 cup sizes in color of your choice. View color options here: Lily Sugar n Cream.

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Ether Top - Crochet Pattern Review - MermaidCatDesigns

After completing the Ceres Top and submitting my feedback, Stacey of MermaidCatDesigns reached out and asked if I'd be interested in testing out the pattern for this Ether Top and boy was I excited! This is such a beautiful top, and the finished piece is even more so and super comfortable. 

The use of lightweight yarn kind of intimidated me - not that it was scary, but I knew it'd take me a little while to complete. It ended up being very easy to work up and follow, and though it took me about 10 hours to finish, it didn't seem that long. I'm even thinking about the next yarn I am going to use in working a new top.

Materials:
     - Pattern suggests Sport Weight Yarn - I used a skein and a half of Baby Bee's Sweet Delight which is a #3 yarn in the Sage colorway.
     - 3.5mm Crochet Hook (as recommended)
     - Tapestry Needle for Weaving in Ends
     - Opt Stitch Marker for Sleeves
     - Ether Top, Paid Crochet Pattern from MermaidCatDesigns

Time Spent:
     I worked this top up in a few seatings for just over ten hours.

Measurements:
     Small, Medium & Large Sizes Available. I worked the Medium size and it fit perfectly - to fit a 35" bust, and measuring 14" in length from sleeve seam to bottom of motif.

My Gauge with 3.5mm Hook:
     19 HDC by 14 Rows = 3 7/8" x 4"

Pattern Notes:
     Overall, this was another fantastic pattern to work up. So easy to follow, so easy to read and understand. With the step-by-step photos and the basic stitches used, I would say this top is one an advanced beginner can work. 

You can use the basic top to wear a variety of ways, or use a different motif across the bottom. I have since found the Synthesis Sun Dress and Dimension Maxi Dress - both with the same basic top and a little different in the rest. I think with more rows of the motif part, it would also make a really cute top. You could also omit the sleeves and wear it like a tank top. So many possibilities!

I do not suggest this top for use in the water, but it would be great for sun bathing or going to a festival.

With all the loose ties, I would suggest if machine washing, to place in a lingerie back. Make sure to wash on the gentle cycle too.

I found a few things in the pattern that I'd like to point out:


*Connecting motifs can be intimidating. Even as someone who has worked a few join-as-you-go projects, I still forgot until I worked it myself that you join into the new motif from behind, and into the current motif as normal. Don't be intimidated - it's really rather easy!

*MermaidCatDesigns patterns are written a little different than traditional. In this piece, keep in mind that there are two different sets of directions for the shaping: When row begins with chain 1, it does not count as a stitch, and the first stitch is worked into the second stitch; When row begins with chain 2, it does count as a stitch, and the first stitch is worked into the first stitch.

*For the shoulder seam, work it with wrong sides facing so when you turn it right side out, the seam will be on the inside. I worked mine using slip stitches so it would create a seam that was less bulky and would lay flatter. Alternatively, you can fasten off with a long tail and sew it closed, but I like the security of stitching closed.

*For sleeve, the pattern states to work into the next chain space. I worked my first stitch into the first chain space.
*After working half of a sleeve as written, I did not like the seam that was created by the half double crochet join - shown in my photo above. I took my stitches out to the end of Round 8, and then began working in a continuous manner. Just make sure if working in this manner that you are working 34 chain spaces around. I used a stitch marker to help me keep track of rounds.

*For the ties in the front, back and neck, I wanted something a little more sturdy so after the final double crochet, I added 5 single crochets into the space created by the double crochet and joined to the first single crochet to create a little ball on the end, and then I slip stitched all the way down in the back loop of each chain. This does take a little more time and patience, but it creates a sturdier and clean looking tie with less stretch.

*After I completed my top and put it on, I found that I couldn't keep my sleeves up. To fix this and give me more security, I attached my yarn to the shoulder seam on both sides, chained 52, and worked into as stated above. With these extra ties, I had no issues keeping my sleeves up, and keep more comfortable.
With so many size, yarn type and color options, I would love to see them! Please share your photos on my EyeLoveKnots Facebook page, or our latest Yarn Fanatic Party Link Up!

Don't miss out on new crochet patterns, reviews, jewelry tutorials and more! Subscribe to EyeLoveKnots by using the box on the right side toolbar, or follow me via Bloglovin!


Don't Crochet but Interested in Purchasing an Ether Top?
     You can check out EyeLoveKnots on Etsy to see what I have available! Use the search box to type in what you have in mind, or feel free to send me a message with your custom request. I am happy to make in any custom size and/or color. View color options here: Sweet Delight.

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