Susannah Crochet Tank Top

Susannah Tank Top by Nel Nan and Nora

Please excuse my absence for most of this week! A short – and straightforward – hospital visit and subsequent recovery has slowed me down a little but this project has helped the week pass more happily.

This summer top is made to fit (approximately) a bust measurement of 89cm/35″ but can be adapted to any size.

This first example is worked in Rowan Creative Linen and with a 6mm (J/10) crochet hook, but I’m now working on a smaller version for my 6-year-old, using Wendy Supreme Cotton and a 4.5mm/US7 hook.

If you spot any errors, please let me know here or via my Facebook page

This top is made with two squares as it suits my shape, but depending on your shape you could add more rows at the side, top or bottom to enable a better fit, based on your own measurements.

Here, Verity, my well-travelled Belgian dressmaker’s dummy, is standing in for me.

The top’s name is inspired by my mother (and therefore Grace’s Granny), who was supposed to be Susannah but my poorly grandfather registered her as Susan by mistake. It means ‘graceful lily’ and seems appropriate as the pattern combines a granny square with a Grace mandala and has some roots in the 1970s patterns that she has just passed on to me.

Now to make it…

Terms used (I’ve kept  to UK terms for simplicity but have included equivalents here):

yoh: yarn over hook

ch: chain

sl st: slip stitch: insert hook into stitch, yarn over hook and draw through stitch.

dc: double crochet (sc/ single crochet): insert hook into stitch, yarn over hook, draw through stitch, yarn over hook and draw through both loops on hook.

tr: treble (US dc/double crochet): yarn over hook, insert hook into stitch (or ring or space), yoh and draw through stitch; yoh and draw through two loops on hook, yoh and draw through remaining two loops

dtr (US tr): double treble – yoh twice, insert hook into stitch/space, yoh, draw back through, yoh, draw through two loops (3 remain), yoh, through 2 loops (2 remain), yoh, draw through last two loops on hook.

ch-sp: chain space (i.e. space made by chains between clusters or other stitches)

sh-sp: shell space (i.e. space between shell clusters)

The front panel is made by working the Grace Mandala (also available as a free download from Ravelry), then extending it into a square by creating corners and sides.

Following on from the mandala pattern, in the same colour (or as you wish), starting from any space between shells (sh-sp):

R9: ch 6 (counts as dtr and ch2), ch2, dtr into same sh-sp,  ch2, dtr into same sh-sp (first corner)

ch1, dc into 4th tr of next shell, ch1, (tr, ch2, tr) in next sh-sp, repeat twice more in next two sh-sp, ch1 (creates 1st side of square).

(dtr, ch2, dtr, ch2, dtr)  into next sh-sp (2nd corner space)

ch1, dc into 4th tr of next shell, ch1, (tr, ch2, tr) in next sh-sp, repeat twice more in next two sh-sp, ch1 (creates 2nd side of square).

(dtr, ch2, dtr, ch2, dtr)  into next sh-sp (3rd corner space)

ch1, dc into 4th tr of next shell, ch1, (tr, ch2, tr) in next sh-sp, repeat twice more in next two sh-sp, ch1 (creates 3rd side of square).

(dtr, ch2, dtr, ch2, dtr)  into next sh-sp (4th corner space)

ch1, dc into 4th tr of next shell, ch1, (tr, ch2, tr) in next sh-sp, repeat twice more in next two sh-sp, ch1 (creates 4th side of square). Sl st to 4th chain of ch6 to close the round.

R10:  change to contrast colour (or as you wish).

Starting in the first ch2-sp of any corner: ch6 (counts as dtr, ch2), 2dtr, ch2 (for corner sp), 3dtr in next ch2-sp. This creates the first corner.

In each of the 8 ch1-sp along the 1st side, work 3tr,

Work 3dtr in the next ch2-sp, ch2 (for corner), 3dtr, 3tr in each of next 8 ch1-sp. Repeat from * to * twice more for the 3rd and 4th sides. Sl St to 4th chain of ch6 to close R10. (Each corner is made of 2 3dtr clusters and a ch2-sp, and the sides are made up of 8 3tr clusters)

From R11 onwards, work in 3tr clusters only (as in the Granny Square Basics; along each side of the square, the number of clusters should be equal to the round number. Checking this with each round would have saved me a lot of unravelling!

I worked a total of 14 rounds to make my top; you may need fewer or more depending on your size, yarn, hook and tension. If your shape/preferred length and ease requires a rectangle, you can add rows of granny cluster at the top, bottom and/or sides.

The back panel is a 14-round granny square so that all the clusters and chain spaces match up. I started the penultimate round at the centre of a side, did not join the last cluster to the firts, turned the work and then worked the last round in the opposite direction. One cluster space then became the button hole.

Weave in ends, turn both panels so that their right sides face each other, and then  slip stitch (or mattress stitch if you prefer) the sides together to make a tube, weave ends in and turn right side out.

For the straps, I worked in trebles (6 in each row so ch8, skip 3st, 1 tr in each of next 5 stitches, *turn, ch3, 5tr*, and repeat ** to ** until you reach the desired length). Working in doubles would take longer but be sturdier, or you can edge the straps with double or reverse double crochet to reinforce them.

Stitch the straps into place (a ‘fit buddy’ is helpful at this point to help you get it right, or pins, caution and a mirror…). I added buttons to hide the stitches and used a single strand of the yarn to ensure matching without bulk.
Free pdf download via Ravelry here

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