Welcome to part one of the Maslow’s Rainbow CAL!
If you missed the first post, you can read about this CAL and find out what materials you need here.
In this part we are going to make our gage swatch and create the first section of both panels of the top. But first I’m going to talk a little about the base of Maslow’s Hierarchy – the most basic things that motivate us – and how this relates to the first section of the CAL.
Section 1: Physiological Needs
This is the stuff we need simply to survive, such as food, water, sleep, health, rest, warmth. Everything else takes second place until these guys are sorted! These are also called deficiency needs because we don’t notice them if we’re doing it right. It’s only when things are missing that we notice a problem.
So for the purpose of the CAL, we’re starting with the basics. Once you’ve learned to crochet, it’s easy to forget how important those first stitches you learned actually are, but without them nothing will ever get finished! So here we’re combining the basics to work one of my favourite stitch patterns – moss stitch.
For those of you who haven’t worked this before, it’s a combination of single crochet (US terms) and chain stitches alternating to create a beautiful simple stitch pattern.
Moss stitch works so well for garments because it produces a lovely drape without being too holey and it works up pretty quickly too!
The written instructions for the pattern are further down the post but I’m adding the moss stitch tutorials here because, before we go any further, we are going to make a gauge swatch in moss stitch to check we’re all on track!
Right Handed Moss Stitch Tutorial
You can also see a left handed tutorial here
Gauge and Pattern Size
Using the moss stitch pattern, Make a gauge swatch of about 4/5 inches square. If you want the written pattern you can scroll down to the pattern section below… but just use a foundation row of 15 or so stitches!
I’ll wait here…
The Gauge for the written pattern using Scheepjies Stone Washed XL and a 6mm hook is: 2in x 2 in = 6st x 7 rows
If your gauge matches that then you can follow the written pattern by using the table below to choose the number of stitches needed in your foundation row. Remember this number as you’ll need it to get going!
Note that the measurements given in the table will be a little wider than your actual measurements because we lose a little bit during seaming. If you’re using cotton, there’s very little stretch so you’re better to leave some extra room!
The length of the top is 17-19in. Section 1-4 are worked until they reach 3-3.5in and section 5 is worked until it reaches 5in.
Okay, now you know you’re on gauge and how many stitches you’re using for your foundation row we’re ready to get started! Scroll on down to the Pattern Notes section!
If you’re not on gauge – keep reading!
My gauge doesn’t match! How many stitches do I need in my foundation row?
If you don’t meet gauge, the first thing you could try is changing your hook size. If that doesn’t work or if you are using a different yarn weight, then not to worry! Keep reading and I will walk you through how to work out how many stitches you need in your foundation row for your chosen size, whatever gauge your working with!
To join the CAL, I’m making a top in Drops Muskat cotton dk, so my gauge is definitely not going to match. I’m going to use this example to show you how to calculate the number of stitches you’ll need in your foundation row. (You can also use this technique to resize other projects!)
The foundation row needs to be made in a multiple of 6+2 stitches. This is the multiple we will work with throughout the pattern so it’s important to get this bit right!
Just follow the steps below and you’ll be grand!
My gauge for a 2×2 inch square using a 4mm hook Is 9 stitches x 9 rows.
Note that in my case, the gauge in some places is closer to 8 stitches wide over 2 inches but I have rounded up to 9 because I would rather the top is a little looser than too small! The cotton I’m using has very little stretch!
Make sure you know your own gauge, it’s the stitches part we’re working with here because we are looking at the width adjustment.
Now decide what size you want to make and make a note of the width in inches of each panel from the table above (or you can take your own measurements and work with those).
The original top pictured is in XS but I want to make this one a little larger so I’m going to make a size S for which each panel will be 18in wide.
My gauge measurement is 9 stitches in 2 inches, so dividing that by 2 tells me that each inch uses 4.5 stitches. So to make 18 inches I need to work 18 x 4.5 stitches which is 81 stitches.
However… this is not a multiple of 6+2, which is the multiple we’re working with, so I’m going to take away 1 stitch to make it 80. (6×13 = 78, add 2 to make 80)
Generally I would recommend rounding up, i.e. adding stitches, rather than take away because you don’t want your top to be too small, but as it was only one stitch and I was generous with the initial gauge measurement this should be fine!
So the number of stitches I’ll be using in my foundation row is 80 – now you can go and make your own calculation of how many stitches you’ll need for your foundation row.
If you get stuck, leave a comment below with what your gauge is and what size you’re making and I’ll help you along! If you want to learn more about adjusting measurements, I highly recommend the Bhooked podcast – there are a couple of fantastic episodes on just this topic – explained really well and great if you’re more of a listener than a reader, the most recent on this topic is How to adjust any pattern to fit you. Perfect for what we’re doing here!
Good. That’s the hardest bit over!
NOW we’re ready to get started!!
- This pattern is written in US terms (you can see a UK stitch conversion chart here)
- Turning chains do not count as stitches unless otherwise specified
- Instructions between *asterisks* should be repeated as indicated
- Knowledge of basic stitches is assumed, special stitches will be explained throughout each section of the CAL as needed.
Stitches & Abbreviations (US Terms)
ch = chain
st = stitch(es)
ss = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
sp = space
sk = skip
yo = yarn over
rep = repeat
rs = right side
ws = wrong side
fsc = foundation single crochet
Foundation Single Crochet
Ch 2, insert hook into 2nd chain from hook, yo and pull up a loop (2 loops on hook). *Yo and pull through 1 loop (this creates the base stitch of the next fsc). Yo and pull through 2 loops. To start the next st, insert the hook into the ‘v’ of the base stitch and pulling up a loop*. Repeat from * for required number of st
If you struggle with this technique it can be replaced with making a chain of the number of stitches plus 1, then sc in the 2nd chain from the hook and across to achieve the required number of stitches.
Section 1 – Written Instructions
Make sure you know the number of stitches you need for your foundation row from the table above / your gauge calculations.
Row 1 (RS): Work your foundation row in fsc (e.g. 50 fsc for X-Small)
Row 2: Ch2 (counts as ch1, sc here and throughout section), turn, sc in second stitch, *ch1, sk 1 st, sc in next st* repeat to end
Row 3: Ch 2, turn, sc in next ch 1 sp, *ch1, sc in next ch 1 sp*. Rep * to end
Row 4-11^: rep row 3
^ If working with a different gauge, add row repeats until piece reaches required height (3-3.5in), making sure you finish on an odd numbered row (this is important later in the pattern to ensure you’re working on the right side!)
Fasten off leaving a loop to join the next colour into in section 2.
Leave a long tail (about 8-10in) to use to sew panels together later.
And there we have it – we’re done with section 1!
If you do want to skip ahead and crack on with the whole top, the PDF pattern is now available to purchase on Ravelry
I look forward to seeing how you get on with this first week!
In part 2 we will get straight into the pattern for the safety section.