The V-neck top from a Japanese crochet pattern is finished! I’m wearing it today and I like it more and more with every hour that goes by. For it’s debut, I’m wearing it over a black vest, but I know it will look great over a longsleeved t-shirt as well.
You probably notice the draping around the V of the neckline. Those folds are changing the whole time. It’s 14:30 now so I’ve been wearing the top for a couple of hours and it already looks softer. I used 100% cotton, so just like a denim jean, the longer I wear it and move around in it, the softer it becomes. This top is only going to get better!
I don’t always walk around like this, but I had to do it to show you the design more fully:
I really, really, really, like my Japanese V-neck. The only thing I don’t like, and feel I have to share with you in the spirit of full disclosure, is that the sleeves drop off my shoulders the moment I move my arms, and not in a sexy shoulder revealing way. Oh no. I completely lose a sleeve. Totally impractical, irritating and not pretty. My solution? Safety pins on each shoulder to pin the top to my vest. As easy as that. (No way am I going to let hours of hard crocheting go to waste because of a minor wardrobe malfunction!)
Nitty gritty of the V-neck:
- Pattern: In Ravelry, the pattern is called #5 V-neck pullover. It’s designed by Eiko Matsumoto and published in Knit/Crochet With Ease – Seasonal Knits, also known as Easy Popular Knit and Crochet Wear. I bought the book on Etsy from Pomadour24. You can find the listing here.
- Yarn: Patons 100% Cotton 4 Ply in Garnet, shade 1738. I used 4 and a quarter balls.
- Crochet hook: 2.25mm
- Modification: I made one modification: in stead of slipstitching the bottom 9 picots together to make the sides, I added another pattern repeat (but without the picots) to the bottom 12 picots on each side, thereby forming a very large armhole and widening the bottom of the top. In the photo below you can see this modification. The side inserts don’t have picots on the bottom edge, and it also means that I don’t have a cute 3-picot grouping in the corners of my top because I used one of the three picots to kick off the rows of the side insert. No-one is going to notice the lack of picots in my sides, and it was more important to me to make the top fit around my hips, than sticking to the pattern. A lot of ladies on Ravelry also had trouble with getting the top to fit around the hips. I could have added a third pattern repeat all around like they did, but that would have 1) made the top longer and 2) made the sleeves longer which would have added weight and pulled them down my shoulders even quicker than it does now. My solution was to do these side inserts - it fixed my problem, but without creating more problems.
Wet blocking is highly recommended for this pattern. As with anything lacy it opens up the crochet stitches and gives the top shape. I can’t believe I’m saying this, or that I did it, but I pinned each picot seperately. There were hundreds! Looking at the top now, I’m very glad I did. Those picots on the arms and the bottom add the detail you need to round it all off.
The Easy Popular Knit and Crochet Wear book is full of the most beautiful Japanese crochet patterns. This is my second top from the book. Out of the two, I like this one the most. I already have my eye on a waterfall cardigan. I’ll even use the same Patons 4 ply cotton yarn.
I think as a rule Japanese patterns are quite boxy and straight up-and-down. This means they are easy to make because they consist of repeating motifs or they’re basically just one big rectangle (like this one), so us ladies with a more womanly shape, need to make modifications. That, or just embrace the floaty, square shapes. Floaty tops can work well when paired with a tight-fitting top underneath and balanced out with a straight / slim leg trouser. (Oooh, check me out – giving fashion advice! Hahahaha.)
One last thought: I love this V-neck top, I loved being challenged by the crochet diagram, I loved using Patons cotton 4-ply and most of all, I love that wearing this V-neck top makes me feel unique and a tiny bit special.