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Waterlily Layer: 3 Vests in 1

Crochet
November 2010
17 stitches and 8 rows = 4 inches in offset double crochet filet (ch 1, dc in ch-sp) each row.
4.5 mm
5.0 mm (H)
500 - 520 yards (457 - 475 m)
Medium only (sorry!)
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Wear the large rectangle in front and it’s a sleeveless top; wear it in back and it’s a vest. Wear it upside down for a trendy ‘cocoon’-looking vest. Waterlily is a twist on 3 seamed rectangles; the sportweight yarn makes the Waterlily stitch pattern bold-looking without being overly dramatic or chunky.

Skill level: Familiar crochet stitches are used to create an unfamiliar, Intermediate-level stitch pattern of “Waterlilies” that alternates with Easy offset double crochet filet. The construction is also unusual (2 simple rectangles and a larger boxy T-shape are seamed at right angles to each other). To be on the safe side, I’m going to officially rate this one Experienced. Pattern is written with a limited amount of abbreviations and has been professionally edited multiple times for maximum clarity, and so unofficially, some crocheters may find it to be Intermediate (possibly even the Easy side of Intermediate!?).

International English equivalents to American measurements, yarn weights, and stitch terms are provided in brackets.

After using this pattern you will know (if you didn’t already):

  • Trendy ‘origami’ ways of wearing garments made from simple rectangles
  • Easy way to make a comfortable, breezy vest: side panels create armholes and add wearing ease to simple shapes
  • The design appeal of seaming pieces at right angles to each other

Finished Dimensions for Size Medium (Measured flat after simple blocking)
Width at Bust: 36 in/91.5 cm (garment is designed to be worn partly open; closed either at neck or at low waist.)
Width at Upper Hip: 41 in/104 cm
Length: 16.5 in/42 cm
Garment pictured is a size Medium.

About the Fit

  • Abundant drape with breezy, fluid movement is essential to the look of this loose-fitting garment. When I wear it, it “pours” over my body and sways a bit as I walk, so I really do think of it as a “layer” more than as a vest.
  • The flex of the fabric also means it will fit easily over the bust; however it is not designed to have enough extra room in the bust to be completely buttoned up.

Styling Suggestions Personally, this design fascinates me. I’ve worn mine often, so I have some styling suggestions:

  • Wearing Waterlily over smooth, close-fitting black clothing emphasizes its flowing look.
  • It can convey a retro ‘60’s-‘70’s evening or ‘hostess’ style if the yarn is fancy (especially if worn over a silky pantsuit).
  • For daytime or dressy casual styling, bring out its trendy modern Asian-influenced look in a simple smooth plant-based yarn. The multiple ways that the angles can be draped on the body asymmetrically will look great over easy basics, even jeans and a t-shirt!
  • Worked in a gem-tone yarn with a bit of sparkle, Waterlily would be striking for a holiday cocktail party.
  • In a summery yarn, Waterlily could be worn as a breezy cover up for the beach or a pool party.

Yarn Advice
The best fibers for this project add drape, sheen, and movement because of their bamboo, silk, or rayon content. Mercerized cotton or other inelastic plant fibers like linen also work well for this stitch pattern whereas too much of the bouncy type of wool or acrylic can make it buckle. Choose a yarn that recommends a crochet hook size range somewhere between F-5/3.75mm - G-7/4.50mm on the label.

Yarn used for lavender Waterlily Top shown: Sirdar’s Snuggly Baby Bamboo (80% bamboo, 20% wool; 104yds/95m per 1.75oz/50g ball), color #137, 5 balls.
Yarn used for blue swatch (recommended): Araucania Ruca (100% sugar cane; 263yd/240m per 3.53oz/100g), 2 skeins.

Other suggested yarns: There are many more good yarns for this pattern. If you try a yarn that doesn’t look as good as the yarn in my photos, give it a chance by blocking it a bit--just spray with water and pat out evenly.)
Patons Grace (100% mercerized cotton; 136yds/125m per 1.75oz/50g), 4 skeins. Note: this yarn is just a bit more stiff than the others swatched. It would be beautiful in a more structured, less liquid way and could result in a slightly smaller size of Medium because it would “grow” less when worn.
Naturallycaron.com’s Spa (silvery beige swatch shown in pattern) (75% microdenier acrylic, 25% rayon from bamboo; 251yds/230m per 3oz/85g ball), 2 skeins, possibly 3.
Patons Silk Bamboo (70% bamboo, 30% silk; 102yds/93m per 2.29oz/65g), 5 balls.
Aslan Trends Class (55% cotton, 45% rayon; 240yd/219m per 3.53oz/100g), 2.5 skeins.
Tahki Cotton Classic Light (100% cotton; 146yds/134m per 1.76oz/50g), 4 skeins. See note about Patons Grace.
Cascade Ultra Pima (100% cotton; 220yds/201m per 3.53oz/100g), 2.5 skeins. See note about Patons Grace.