Have I mentioned before how much I admire Doris Chan? I love how her patterns are written just like computer code. For example, in the beginning of a sweater pattern, she gives definitions not just for special stitches, but for regular rounds and increase rounds.These definitions act as methods or functions would in a computer program.
Then, in the body of the pattern, she specifies which rounds to work and the number of times to repeat them, similar to calling functions in the body of a computer program. This clever method of pattern-writing is very logical and concise. It is especially useful for garment patterns written in multiple sizes, since each size has different overall instructions but uses the same “functions”, so to speak.
Let’s get back to my story. I had never made a motif-based project before, and I was somewhat hesitant to make one because of all the yarn ends I would have to sew in. Doris Chan’s designs were so beautiful, however, that I just had to try one. I started a Titan Top using Cotton-ish, one of my favorite yarns.
I quickly found one useful thing about motif-based patterns: motifs make excellent gauge swatches which can be used in the final project if they come out the right size. I also found that finishing a motif felt much more satisfactory than, say, finishing a round in a top-down sweater, probably because it gave me a greater feeling of progress.
Making motifs swiftly became an addiction: once I started a round of motifs, I couldn’t wait to finish it. Attaching the motifs was like putting together the pieces of a puzzle, and it gave me a sense of accomplishment. Soon enough, I had finished the pattern.
The top, however, was too short for my taste. To rectify this, I made some modifications. So far, the pattern had used only pentagonal and hexagonal motifs. I wanted square ones to add length to the top, so I studied the stitch patterns of the 5 and 6-pointed motifs and modified the stitch counts and increases to create the shape I wanted.
After making and attaching six of my squares, I added the finishing touches: the armbands, the neck band, and the bottom band, which added structure to the unattached sides of the motifs.
I was very pleased with my finished Titan Top, especially since I achieved the look I wanted through my own modifications. Now that I design my own patterns, modifications are not a big deal to me, but in my first year of crochet, it was something to be proud of.
Of course, the best thing about my Titan Top is that it goes very well with dark jeans and a black t-shirt. 🙂