Saturday, September 12, 2020

Summer Dreams Top: Some Crochet Fun

I've been following more crochet accounts on Instagram and when I saw the Summer Dreams Tops come up on the designer designsbykey's feed, I loved it right away!

I pulled out some raveled yarn that I had and started swatching. The first swatch on the left below was with a 2-ply raw silk. I got gauge but I didn't like the feel of the fabric. Working with two strands that weren't spun together made it difficult too.

So I added a wool/angora blend and worked with both yarns at once. That swatch is on the right.
It also got gauge but the fabric was a lot better in the hand. And I thought the pattern would show up better with a denser fabric. And, believe it or not, adding two loose strands of wool/angora made it easier to work with. I guess the wool helps to keep all the strands together.

This is really the only in-progress photo I have:
It was taken the day after I started the project. The project was a good combination of mindless and interesting, not over too fast but not taking too long.

After the main body was knit, I blocked it before seaming.
Blocking first makes it easier to seam. Since I don't do a lot of crochet, I figured I should make it as easy as I could on myself!

Once seamed, you add a few rows of single crochet for the waistband:
And some more single crochet around the neck to support the edges of the wide opening:
The sleeves didn't need any extra trimming as they ended with two rows of half-double crochet.
And here's an overall view:
It has huge wide sleeves and I love them.
The combination of wool blend with a holey fabric is good for warm weather. (Maybe not hot weather!)
It's a simple shape that makes a fantastic garment.
This piece is made with "regular" crochet stitches that even a beginner crocheter should know. I did learn a new trick with the cast on--the Foundation Half Double Crochet. You form the stitches as you go instead of making a billion chain stitches and trying to stitch into them for the first row.
The pattern should come with a warning though: door knobs, drawer pulls, and handles are hazardous to your health, liable to catch in a hole and stop you short!!
The structure of the garment isn't really obvious during normal postures; it just looks like a loose flowy garment. I do like how it hugs at the waist. I feel like it gives the garment structure and keeps it from wearing like a big cape.

Project Stats
: 3 Aug '20
Finished: 12 Aug '20
Pattern: Summer Dreams Top by Designs by Key [These two are Rav links.]
Materials: Silk raveled from a VJ Petites sweater, 253g/968y, and wool/angora blend from a MC Carroll sweater, 195g/956y, held together throughout.
Ravelry project page: link


  1. Very cool sweater/top, Christina (and an awesome photo shoot!!) I hear you on those sleeves. One of my favorite sweaters has fairly loose sleeves and I catch them on the door to the garage. Every. Single. TIME! Sigh...


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