Pineapple Sun Dress

Has this heat wave we've had upon us gotten you thinking it's just too hot for crocheting? Never! Hot summers simply mean switching to lighter yarns and lacier patterns. Besides, what else are you going to do when you're stuck inside on a code-orange air quality day during your vacation?

In addition to this month's crochet book club selection, The Animator's Wife has been reading Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes. And it's gotten her thinking a lot about the geometry of crochet (full disclosure: The Animator's Wife is a bit of a math nerd). Did you know that both Jennifer Hansen of Stitch Diva Studios and Robyn Chachula--two of the most sought-after crochet designers--have a background in architecture? That's no surprise when you consider that geometry is such a large part of both fields. Geometry and math are the design basis for knowing how to assemble crochet motifs into a particular shape, or how much to increase or decrease to give a certain fit.

So earlier this summer The Animator's Wife got a hankering to crochet something with pineapples--in particular, a dress. Pineapples are one of her favorite motifs, but they are a bit unusual in shape in that they are curved. How might one assemble pineapples together into a dress shape? This is where the geometry comes in.

Consider your basic pineapple shape:

Pineapples are the original join-as-you-go motif. Worked from top to bottom, you can start the next one just as you are finishing the last one. This results in a wavy strip. But you can also work the strips side-by-side simultaneously in one piece. When the strips are worked just so, you can make a dress shape. It helps to draw it out on paper first.

In the diagram, we have 8 strips of pineapples. The middle strip is the front center of the dress and is made of 3 pineapples stacked on top of each other. It is interlocked on either side with a strip of 2 pineapples, and so on. The resulting effect is 5 horizontal rows of pineapples (numbered in the diagram). The dress is then seamed in the back along the lines indicated in the diagram.

And this is what it looks like in real life:

Pineapple Sun Dress 1

The Animator's Wife made this dress with 600 yd of sock yarn and an H hook, using Rikka Mitsam's pineapple stitch diagram (never mind that the pattern is for a g-string--a pineapple is a pineapple). If you would like to attempt it for yourself, I'd recommend doing a single test pineapple to get your gauge. You want the width of the test pineapple to be 1/4 of your hip measurement in order to for the finished dress to fit. Then simply crochet them as shown in the diagram and sew the back seam as indicated.

See how nicely the pineapples fit together in the back? You can barely even see the seam.

Pineapple Sun Dress 2

The bottom edging can be an edging of your choice. The Animator's Wife did a feather and fan edging (see Yarn Tail's lovely stitch diagram) for hers. For the top edging, she just did single crochets, although she did have to do some decreases to keep the bodice fitted and prevent it from drooping.

We really wanted to publish the pattern for this, but we took so much from other designers that we do not feel it would be fair to take all the credit for it. Besides, this is a good opportunity for you to challenge yourself and start learning how to think like a crochet designer. We've given you all the information you need to know to make it. Will you accept the challenge?

Okay, tell you what. Since we love you so much we'll give you a head start and write out the pattern for the top edging.

Top Edging

Row 1. Sc evenly around, working 2 sc in top corners.

Row 2. *Sc in first sc, sc2tog over next 2 sc; rep from * around, except top edge: sc in ea sc across top edge with 2 sc in ea corner.

Row 3. Sc in ea sc around, with 2 sc in top corners.

Row 4. *Sc in first 4 sc, sc2tog over next 2 sc; rep from * around, except neck edge (the small part between the ties): sc in ea sc across neck edge with 2 sc in ea corner.

Row 5. Sc evenly around with 2 sc in ea corner.

Row 6. Sc evenly around. At ea corner: ch 61, sc in 2nd ch from hook and ea ch across. Continue border as usual.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful and how I wish I had the figure to wear it. Thank you