Author:
Emily Waugh

Emily Waugh is the artist, travel enthusiast, and full-blown fiber addict behind Be Knot Idle. She knits and does macrame, but her first and forever fiber love is crochet. When it comes to yarn and home decor, she’s obsessed with neutrals, but when it comes to hair dye and nail polish, she’ll take the rainbow, please and thank you. Instagram is by far her favorite digital space to hang out - she’d be tickled if you followed her. You can find her patterns, finished items, and occasional blog posts on her website.

The Rachel Top Crochet Pattern

Patterns/DIY
8/1/2018

Hello THN Readers! I’m beyond stoked to be here sharing this design with you today. A year and a half ago, I would have asked you to pinch me if you said I was going to be featured on The Hook Nook. Actually, that’s still true. Somebody pinch me.

I started my journey into this incredible online fiber community in January of 2017, initially as The Patchwork Life. For most of my life I felt like I was made up of a dozen pieces that were all trying to fly in opposite directions. I wonder how many of my fellow creatives can relate? There were/are so many things that I loved - dance, travel, makeup, farming, politics, writing, photography, fiber art - that I spent my teens and twenties unable to imagine choosing between them. I felt stuck for a long time.

Then, a couple of years ago I realized that without me even noticing, crochet had become the most consistent desire and habit. Yes, there were days when I missed dance so much it hurt, but I could go weeks without scheming to get back into a hip hop class. There were also days when I would imagine what it would be like to go back to school and get my degree in journalism and speak truth to power, but I could go months without daydreaming about myself sitting, book in lap, under some giant tree on a beautiful campus. Not a day went by, however, that I didn’t want to crochet. Even when my depression and anxiety sometimes kept me from remembering what was good for me, my husband always knew what I needed: a ball of yarn and a hook.

It’s amazing - for a long time I thought I was unique, in that I didn’t know of anyone else who took up crochet because their brain betrayed them on such a regular basis. Then I started making some real connections on Instagram. And then I started reading the posts shared here on The Hook Nook. And now I know. I know that many of you know just how powerful the repetitive rhythm of a dc, ch1 repeat can be against the full force of depression. Ultimately, it was that characteristic of crochet - the inherent ease of picking it up and setting it down - that allowed it to be there for me through the years when I needed it the most, and thus “win out” over all the other loves in my life. So I started The Patchwork Life. I told myself I would take the pieces of me that I liked and stitch together a beautiful life.

At the outset, I imagined myself attending all the craft fairs, selling stacks and stacks of the hats and gloves I so loved making, but soon found myself drawn to the pattern design aspects of this craft. I’d spend embarrassing numbers of hours scrolling through Pinterest looking for a pattern for what was in my head, and could never find exactly what I was looking for, so I set about figuring out how to create them myself.

This design was inspired by my friend, whose name - you might have guessed - is Rachel. She never lost sight of her dream to be a full-time professional dancer, and has worked day in and day out for years to make it her reality. A professional dancer puts hours and hours of training and sweat and pain in every day in order to make their movements look effortless and easy breezy. I wanted a top that gave the same impression - flowy and easy - without the hours and hours of hard work. The top uses just two stitches, and is made up of one large piece folded in half, so seaming is as minimal as possible. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I enjoyed designing it!

Materials:

  • Lion Brand LB Collection Cotton Bamboo Yarn - 3 skeins (Weight 3 Light, 52% Cotton, 48% Rayon from Bamboo, 3.5 oz/100 g, 245 yds/224 m. Finished object sample made in colorway Magnolia, tutorial photos sample made in colorway Hyacinth)
  • US H8/5mm crochet hook, or size needed to obtain gauge
  • 8-10 Stitch markers
  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle

Stitches Used/Abbreviations:

Written in Standard US terms

ch - chain

st - stitch

sc - single crochet

dc - double crochet

sc2tog - single crochet two stitches together

dc2tog - double crochet two stitches together

Gauge:

15 sts x 15 rows = 4”x4”

Sizing:

This top is intended to be loose and drapey, with an inch or so of positive ease across the front, and several inches of positive ease in the back, though this is difficult to measure precisely, as the back of the garment hangs open and away from the body naturally, and is not a solid piece. The front panel of the garment is intended to fall below the belt line, just at the top of the leg.

The pattern is written in a Women’s Size Small, with counts for Medium and Large following where they differ. S(M,L)

Notes:

*If you’d like to substitute for a different yarn, I suggest using a website like yarnsub.com or Ravelry to find something that is not only comparable in size, but also in composition, as the bamboo especially is key to achieving the drape of this garment.

You will always be placing sc’s into the dc’s of the previous row, and dc’s into the sc’s.

Whether a row ends with a sc or a dc, you will only ever be chaining 1 to turn. The appearance of this fabric is created by the scrunching of the dc’s down to the height of the sc’s.

Throughout the pattern, the turning ch 1 does not count as a stitch, and the first stitch of each row will be placed in the last st from the previous row

Rachel Top Crochet Pattern

Front Panel - All Sizes

Ch 65(71,79)

Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, dc in next ch, *sc in next ch, dc in next ch* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -64 (70, 78) sts

Row 2: sc in first st, dc in next st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -64(70,78) sts

Rows 3-10(11,12): Repeat Row 2.

Row 11(12,13): dc2tog, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * until 2 sts remain, sc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -62(68,76) sts

Row 12(13,14): dc in first st, sc in next st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -62(68,76) sts

Rows 13(14,15)-21(23,25): Repeat Row 12(13,14).

Row 22(24,26): sc2tog, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * until 2 sts remain, dc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -60(66,74) sts

Row 23(25,27): sc in first st, dc in next st, *sc in next st, dc  in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -60(66,74) sts

Row 24(26,28)-32(35,38): Repeat Row 23(25,27).

Row 33(36,39): dc2tog, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * until 2 sts remain, sc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -58(64,72) sts

Row 34(37,40): dc in first st, sc in next st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -58(64,72) sts

Rows 35(38,41)-43(47,51): Repeat 34(37,40)

Row 44(48,52): sc2tog, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * until 2 sts remain, dc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -56(62,70) sts

Row 45(49,53): sc in first st, dc in next st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. 56(62,70) sts

Rows 46(50,54)-54(59,64): Repeat Row 45(49,53).

Row 55(60,65): dc2tog, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * until 2 sts remain, sc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -54(60,68) sts

Row 56(61,66): dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -54(60,68) sts

Row 57(62,67): Repeat Row 56(61,66)

Row 58(63,68): dc2tog, sc2tog, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * until 4 sts remain, dc2tog, sc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -50(56,64) sts

Rows 59-60(64-65,69-70): Repeat Row 58(63,68), fasten off. -42(48,56) sts after final row

Back Panel A

Attach yarn with a slip st to the first ch of the starting ch 65(71,79) of the front panel. You will be working across the loops of that chain at the beginning and end of Row 1, with a large chain space in the middle that becomes the neck hole.

All Sizes

Row 1: [sc in next st, dc in next st] 3 times, ch 45(50,55), dc in the 6th st from the end, sc in next st, [dc in next st, sc in next st] 2 times, ch 1 & turn. -51(62,67 sts) or 6 sc, 6 dc, 45 (50, 55) ch.

From here, the instructions for the Back Panel are written separately for each size, as the rate of taper varies so much between the three. Continue to the instructions written for your size.

Size Small

Row 2: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * 16 more times (after the first 6 sts, you will be placing stitches in the ch loops),  ch 1 & turn. -35 sts

Row 3: sc in first st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -35 sts

Rows 4-5: Repeat Rows 2-3

Row 6: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * 15 more times, sc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -34 sts

Row 7: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -34 sts

Row 8-10: Repeat Row 7.

Row 11: sc2tog, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -33 sts

Row 12: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -33 sts

Row 13: sc in first st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -33 sts

Row 14: Repeat Row 12

Row 15: dc2tog, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -32 sts

Row 16: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -32 sts

Rows 17-18: Repeat Row 16

Row 19: sc2tog, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -31 sts

Row 20: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -31 sts

Row 21: sc in first st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -31 sts

Row 22: Repeat Row 20

Row 23: dc2tog, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -30 sts

Row 24: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -30 sts

Row 25: Repeat Row 24

Row 26: dc in first st, sc in next, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * until 2 sts remain, dc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -29 sts

Row 27: sc in first st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -29 sts

Row 28: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -29 sts

Row 29: dc2tog, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -28 sts

Row 30: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -28 sts

Row 31: Repeat Row 30

Row 32: dc in first st, sc in next st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * until 2 sts remain, dc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -27 sts

Row 33: dc2tog, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -26 sts

Rows 34-55: Repeat Rows 32-33, reducing in this manner by 1 st per row. Row 55 will have 4 sts. Leaving a long tail to sew up seams later, cut yarn and pull through. Proceed to instructions for Back Panel B.

Size Medium

Row 2: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * 18 times (after the first 6 sts, you will be placing stitches in the ch loops), ch 1 & turn. -39 sts

Row 3: sc in first st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -39 sts

Row 4: Repeat Row 2

Row 5: dc2tog, sc in next st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -38 sts

Row 6: dc in first st, sc in next st, *dc in next st, sc in last st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -38 sts

Rows 7-9: Repeat Row 6.

Row 10: dc in first st, sc in next st, *dc in next st, sc in next st*  repeat from * to * until 2 sts remain, dc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -37 sts

Row 11: sc in first st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -37 sts

Row 12: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -37 sts

Rows 13-14: Repeat Rows 11-12.

Row 15: dc2tog, sc in next st, *dc in next st, sc in next st,* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -36 sts

Row 16: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -36 sts

Rows 17-20: Repeat Row 16

Row 21: sc2tog, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -35 sts

Row 22: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -35 sts

Row 23: dc2tog, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -34 sts

Row 24: dc in first st, sc in next st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -34 sts

Row 25: sc2tog, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -33 sts

Row 26: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -33 sts

Row 27: dc2tog, sc in next st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -32 sts

Row 28: dc in first st, sc in next st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -32 sts

Rows 29-36: Repeat Rows 25-28, reducing in this manner by 1 st every other row

Rows 37-38: Repeat Rows 25-26, reducing in this manner by 1 st every other row

Row 39: dc2tog, sc in next st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* across, ch 1 & turn. -26 sts

Row 40: dc in first st, sc in next st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * until 2 sts remain, dc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -25 sts

Rows 41-61: Repeat Rows 39-40, reducing in this manner by 1 st per row. Row 61 will have 4 sts. Leaving a long tail to sew up seams later, cut yarn and pull through. Proceed to instructions for Back Panel B.

Size Large

Row 2: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * 20x (after the first 6 sts, you will be placing stitches in the ch loops), ch 1 & turn. -43 sts

Row 3: sc in first st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -43 sts

Row 4: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -43 sts

Row 5: dc2tog, sc in next st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -42 sts

Row 6: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -42 sts

Row 7-8: Repeat Row 6

Row 9: sc2tog, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -41 sts

Row 10: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -41 sts

Row 11: sc in first st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -41 sts

Row 12: Repeat Row 10

Row 13: dc2tog, sc in next st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -40 sts

Row 14: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -40 sts

Row 15-16: Repeat Row 14

Row 17: sc2tog, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -39 sts

Row 18: dc in next st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -39 sts

Row 19: sc in first st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -39 sts

Row 20: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * until 2 sts remain, sc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -38 sts

Row 21: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -38 sts

Row 22: Repeat Row 21

Row 23: sc2tog, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -37 sts

Row 24: dc in next st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -37 sts

Row 25: sc in first st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -37 sts

Row 26: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * until 2 sts remain, sc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -36 sts

Row 27: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -36 sts

Row 28: Repeat Row 27

Row 29: sc2tog, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -35 sts

Row 30: dc in next st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -35 sts

Row 31: sc in first st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -35 sts

Row 32: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * until 2 sts remain, sc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -34 sts

Row 33: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * across, sc in last st, ch 1 & turn. -34 sts

Row 34: dc in first st, * sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * until 3 sts, sc in next st, dc2tog, ch1 & turn. -33 sts

Row 35: sc in first st, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -33 sts

Rows 36-43: Repeat Rows 32-35, reducing in this manner by 1 st every other row

Row 44: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * until 2 sts remain, sc2tog, ch 1 & turn. -28 sts

Row 45: sc2tog, *dc in next st, sc in next st* repeat from * to * across, ch 1 & turn. -27 sts

Rows 46-65: Repeat Rows 44-45, reducing in this manner by 1 st per row. Row 65 will have 7 sts. Leaving a long tail to sew up seams later, cut yarn and pull through. Proceed to instructions for Back Panel B.

Back Panel B - All Sizes

Attach yarn to the 1st st of Row 1 from Back Panel A.

Row 1 of Back Panel A also serves as Row 1 of Back Panel B.

Row 2: dc in first st, *sc in next st, dc in next st* repeat from * to * 16(18,20) times, (after the first 6 sts, you will be placing sts in the ch sts, when you reach the edge of Back Panel A, you will be working into the ch loops at the base of the sts, thereby overlapping the two panels), ch 1 & turn. -35(39,43) sts

Rows 3-On: Follow instructions for Back Panel A in the appropriate size, then continue to assembly.

Assembly

At this point, your garment is completely reversible/symmetrical - there is no real right or wrong side. (Fig. 13, Page 14) You will need to choose one to ensure your side seams are the same. Fold garment at the shoulder seams, putting right sides together, and lining up the straight edges. Line up the last st of the last row of Back Panel A with the point where the Front Panel really starts to curve in (approx Row 59(64,69)) . Using stitch markers, temporarily join the two sides, being sure to keep rows lined up. (Fig. 14, page 14) Use the tail left at the end of the last row of the Back Panel to sew the two sides together up 36(38,40) rows. Use your favorite invisible seam method. I chose the mattress stitch, but YouTube has a plethora of options and tutorials for invisibly joining your crochet pieces. Repeat for Back Panel B. Weave in all ends. Turn right side out. Finished!!

So there you have it! The Rachel Top!

In these past 18 months, my little creative business has already gone through a bit of a metamorphosis. Today, it’s called Be Knot Idle, and my fiber creations draw inspiration from some of those other loves, like dance and travel, bringing me a little closer to the feeling of wholeness I’d yearned for my whole life. I don’t feel sliced up or segmented anymore. I’m not questioning which way to go. Thanks to this meditative craft of ours, I feel more settled and satisfied than ever. For a long time, crochet was my therapy and my hobby. Today, I’m choosing to call it my job, and there’s no future I can imagine for myself that excites me more than this one.  

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