I've also been experimenting with better ways to hide the beginning chain in a round, so you'll see a few different methods used as I show you the stitches... But I do think this is all something that would be better shown in a video. I'm working on it, and I'll update here whenever it's finished.
Be Square Pattern design:
The Be Square Top was worked to just below the bust in the granny stitch, then I changed to a V-stitch variation. You can work your top in any stitches you want, but this pattern really saves on yarn!
-In each chain-1 space of the granny stitch, you'll work (1 stitch, 1 chain, 1 stitch).
*And yes, that's one-less stitch per multiple. As explained in the previous tutorials, I had to dramatically decrease the number of stitches to balance the amount of stretch in the V-stitch pattern. I could have left the stitch count the same for a baggy fit, but I wanted a form-fitting top. If you don't want to decrease, then you could add a chain in between the V-stitches to keep the count the same.
-After the double crochet granny stitch, I began the V-stitch design using triple crochet stitches.
-The height of the stitches increases by one yarn-over every two rounds for the remainder of the pattern.
-If you need to increase, you can work in extra stitches in the chain-1 of the V-stitch.
-In order to make a less-noticeable decrease, spread the V-stitch out over two spaces: 1 stitch in the first space, 1 chain, and 1 stitch in the next space.
...You can also leave out chains as I did, then skip over the decreasing stitches the next round. This is more noticeable, but takes out extra room quickly:
I'll show you those tricks for your beginning chain in a moment, but first let's start with the tallest stitch I used in the pattern: Six yarn-overs! If you can tackle that one, then making any of the shorter stitches will just be even easier.
Yarn over the hook six times:
Just like any other basic stitch, you'll insert the hook, yarn over, and pull up a loop.
(Yarn over, pull through two loops on the hook) 7 times to complete the stitch. You'll have one less loop on your hook each time you complete a step:
Now that you've seen the stitch in action, let's go over some options for gaining height at the beginning of rounds as I make some of those shorter stitches...
Here I'm starting a motif that uses the chain-2/half double crochet beginning "chain", but I'll be working flat in the round instead of a cylinder as for the top.
Let's start with a better-known stitch: 2 yarn-overs; the triple or treble crochet...
-We all know that making a chain to count as the first stitch is easiest, but I feel like it's flimsy when used with taller stitches.
-Typically you make two more chains than the number of yarn-overs in a stitch. (Triple = 2 yarn-overs = 4 chains high; and let's forget how the double crochet doesn't match up with 3 chains.) But either the taller stitches don't fit into this formula, or I'm just pulling up extra slack in my beginning chains. It creates a noticeable space like with a double crochet and chain-3, so I only chain one more than the number of yarn-overs in a stitch. (Triple = 3 chains high.)
-If you want to use this beginning method, then you can decide for yourself... Chain 2 more than the number of yarn-overs if needed. Here you can see that I made 3 chains for the beginning stitch, plus one more for the chain-1 of the V-stitch:
The height matches, but I don't care for how thin the chain looks next to an actual stitch.
And trying my preferred method when beginning a double crochet: Chain one less, make a stitch, and skip over the beginning chain when joining...
This looks absolutely horrible next to taller stitches!
(I won't waste my time finishing and joining the round. You can see how bad that is, right?)
So, we can move on to some other methods that require a bit more skill, but they're still really easy...
1. Put a twist on it!
Yarn over the required number of times, insert the hook, and pull up a loop:
Twist the hook around: Bring the back of the hook towards you and spin all the way around.
You'll know if you went the wrong way! The correct direction will pull the beginning chain over the stitch, making the loops match the direction of a stitch. Do this backwards, and the stitch will pull over the chains instead. It won't look right!
No matter the height of the stitch, you'll twist after each time you pull through 2 loops. I tried skipping a few twists on the taller stitches, but the chain pops out from the side of the stitch.
2. Long loop + twist
Chain 1 to anchor the beginning, then pull up a long loop to the height of your stitch:
This requires a bit more attention to detail, because you'll need to hold this loop secure as you yarn over and begin the stitch.
Yarn over the required number of times (5 shown here), insert the hook, and pull up a loop. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops once, then twist before each time you pull through 2 more loops:
Psst... Can you tell I twisted the wrong direction before the last two loops?
You can better judge the length your loop should be by comparing it to the stitches in the previous row/round:
And I get it... That doesn't help much for the very first stitch in a pattern, but it gives you a starting point everywhere else.
Okay, here's where we end this part of the tutorial for the Be Square Top...
If you're not interested in anything else, then class is dismissed! But if you want to earn a little extra credit, you can stick around.
To work in a cylinder for the Top or to work in rows is easier because you can keep your stitch count the same. To work flat in the round using these stitches, you'll have to make increases to keep your work from puckering.
Well, that's easy if you've ever crocheted a circle, right?
You just double your stitches the second round, then on the third round you work one/ increase in the next... And for each round after the number between increases gets bigger... RIGHT?
Nope, not necessarily true when working with taller stitches! On this motif, I worked a V-stitch with a chain-1 in between for the first round. I doubled the stitches on the second round by making the V-stitch in each chain-1 space.
The stitches shown in the previous photo increase in height every round: 2 yarn-overs, 4 yarn-overs, and 5 yarn-overs.
-Although doubling the stitch count on the second round was enough to keep the work flat, you can see how the stitches are more spread out because the pattern is beginning to pull.
-For the third round, nothing short of doubling the stitches again would keep the work flat.
The outer circumference of the circle is increased rapidly by the taller stitches, therefore you'll need more stitches to keep the work flat.
If you're working with the same stitch height each round, then you'll be able to fall into the old circle-making format. But if you want to change stitch heights within the project, you'll find yourself playing with stitch counts along the way.
Find Part 2 of the series here
Start at the beginning with the GrannySpiration Challenge