I’m so excited to bring you my first ever Crochet Along (CAL). Today I am going to talk to you about how it came about, the origin of the name and let you know what materials you’ll need to take part.
When I came up with the design for this top, inspired by something called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which I’ll talk about in a moment, I was discussing it with another crochet designer friend who immediately asked if I was going to do it as a CAL. I hadn’t even considered trying that, because CALs are a bit scary (I mean what if no one joins in?). But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that the design lends itself really well to the CAL format so I decided to give it a try anyway! Thank you Joanne (@notsogranny) from the Crochet Project for encouraging me to try something new!
Explain yourself Dora!
Firstly, lets talk about the name. It may seem a bit out there a bit ‘out there’ but it’s actually all really simple, so bear with me on this one!
“So”, I hear you ask, “what is this Maslow thing you’re on about?”
Waaaay back in 1943, Abraham Maslow wrote a paper describing human motivation as a pyramid, with the most important needs forming the base of and working up. Like this:
It starts off with our most basic needs Physiology (food, water, shelter), then works through Security (personal safety & good health), Love & Belonging (Spouse, Family, Friends), Esteem (fulfilment and positive self worth), Self Actualisation (being the best you you can be!).
This has since become an iconic representation of what is important to us humans (though one of my favourite internet memes is a picture of this with “Wi-Fi & Battery Life” added on the bottom!)
A while back, I was thinking about this clever triangle and realised how it could be represented by crochet – starting with the most basic stitches and working to more complex patterns. I also loved the fact that the pyramid is usually represented in rainbow colours which (without wanting to get too woo woo) also mirror the human chakra system. And, lets face it, who doesn’t love a rainbow?
So I set about designing something based on this principle. Initially it was going to be a triangle shawl (and there may still be a version two in the future) but as summer is coming, I decided to turn it into a colourful, simple summer top instead. Any excuse for a bit of colour!
Format – how do you join in?
I have taken part in a fair number of CALs in the past and found some more successful than others. I’ve learned from them that our crochet time is often limited so I have broken this down into 5, weekly sections, each taking between you 30 minutes and an hour – depending on your experience and crochet speed.
The top is a super simple construction made from two panels, each of which contains 5 sections (based on the hierarchy). Each week you will make one section on each of the two panels, then at the end we will seam it up the side and shoulders to finish the top.
Each section will be released on the blog early on Saturday morning, ready for you to tackle it over the weekend or coming week. I’ll also talk a bit about what the stitches represent in terms of Maslow’s hierarchy.
For each section there will be written instructions and a video tutorial (right and left handed).
If you are super keen and want to jump ahead, you can purchase the complete PDF pattern from Week 1, Saturday 26th May on Ravelry or Love Crochet and crack on!
What size can you make?
The pattern will be available in sizes S – X3. With guidance on how to customise it for your size. I’ve only written it in adult sizes but this would also make a super cute child’s top!
I’ll talk about multiples, using your gauge to get your size right and other options for customisation in Week 1.
Materials – what do you need?
The great thing about this project it works with any yarn and hook size up to chunky. As we go through the CAL I’ll help you out with how to work with your yarn whatever you choose. Yes, you heard that right – You can use whatever works!
I made the sample to you see here in an aran yarn but I am going to remake it with you as the CAL progresses using a DK weight.
You can use any fibre but I would definitely recommend a cotton or cotton blend yarn, or something fairly light if you want to wear this as a summer top.
So lets talk weight & yardage.
The amount of yarn you need is going to very depending on what type you choose and how many colours you want to work with.
Below is a recommended range from adult small to 3X. If you’re making this to fit a child you will need much less!
Aran / Worsted using 5/6mm hook: Total yardage from 410-820m / 450-900yds (250 – 500g)
Double Knit using 4 mm hook: Total yardage from 650-1200m / 700-1300yds (400 – 750g)
4ply – you’re a braver hooker than I am!!!: If you’re using <3.5mm hook then I would probably start at 900 yards…
For the top pictured, I used 5 50g balls (375m / 420yds) of Scheepjies Stone washed XL and a 6m hook – This was just enough to complete the top in x-small.
For the DK version I am making, I am going to use 500g (1000 yards which should be more than enough!) of Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK in blue tones… unless I change my mind again before next weekend… I also have my eye on the King Cole Cotton soft. Too much yarn, not enough time right??
What about colours?
I chose to mirror the rainbow colour scheme, but you can choose any colours you like, from brights to neutrals, monochrome or just a single colour way.
Something to think about is that some sections are bigger yarn eaters than others. The first 3 sections use a similar amount of yarn, the fourth – the green section here – is a bit of a yarn eater then the final shoulder section uses much less than the rest of the piece. So for example, if you’re using 50g balls, you may want to get two per section but only one for the last section.
The down side to being so open with yarn choices is that it’s hard to pin down exactly how much you need.
A Note about Gauge
The first thing I’m going to get you to do next week is to create a gauge swatch in moss stitch so we can make sure we get the sizing right.
I know that this isn’t everyones favourite cup of tea but I promise it’s worth it! That extra 15 minutes could save you hours of frogging later… I have learned the hard way!
Where you can share and get help
This CAL is inclusive of all crochet levels and if you’re a new crocheter wanting to try some different stitch patterns or make your first garment this is perfect for you! I will be offering help through my social platforms so be assured you won’t be alone!
Each week the pattern will be released on the blog, dates below. Click on the week to head to the instructions.
Introduction & Materials: May 20th this intro is coming out a day early because I out and about with royal wedding and other crochety shenanigans over the weekend and I wanted to give you an extra day to get yarn shopping, or digging through your yarn stash!
Week 1: Physiology – May 26th – The PDF pattern will also be released
I’ll be posting weekly links on my facebook page which we can use as threads to discuss how we’re all getting on and ask any questions you might have. I’ll definitely be sharing my progress with you there and may do the odd additional video if needed.
I would absolutely love to see your progress shared on Instagram too using #MaslowsRainbow hashtag. Make sure you follow the hashtag so you can see how everyone else is getting on! If you’re not joining the CAL in real time, this is a great way to see how others enjoyed the project!
So that’s all from me this week. Please contact me or comment below if you have any questions about this CAL.
I CAN’T WAIT to get started!
I’ll see you on Saturday!