Aw, so adorable! The child, that is.
The bad news about this kind of suit is that it’ll never stay on the child. Even worse than your average Little Girl Bikini (which can be counted on to bunch up under the armpits and sag as the crotch fills with sand), the sheer weight of the yarn, combined with the "relaxed fit" will ensure that her bottoms will be down around her ankles before she even makes it into the water.
The good news is that streaking was a big fad in the early 70s, so your daughter will fit right in.
According to McCall’s, this is a "rainbow of colors for the beach" – assuming your rainbows only come in shades of pink and blue. The smog in the seventies must have severely limited the range of visible colors. McCall's also assures us that this suit is "easy to make"! Yay, let’s dive right in!
For the complete pattern (and more snark!):
SIZES: Directions for girls’ size 4. Changes for 6, 8 and 10 in parentheses.
Size ten... Back then, a ten year old girl might fit that size. I’m sure her friends would in no way make her life a living hell over wearing a hand knit "rainbow" bikini.Body Chest Size: 23’’ (24’’-27’’-28 1/2’).
Blocked Chest Size (closed): 23’’ (24’’-27’’-28 1/2’’)
I’m not sure what the purpose is to including both body and blocked chest size, when the measurements are identical.For body measurements, see page 28.
Nope, ain’t gonna happen. There’s entirely too much writing on page 28, and I've got a summer to enjoy.MATERIALS: J. & P. Coats Knit-Cro-Sheen, 1 (2-2-2) balls each of Skipper Blue (SB), Nu-Purple (NP), Watermelon (W), Mid Rose (R), Parakeet (P) and Aqua (A). Steel crochet hook No. 1. (Or English size 3.) 1 1/2 yards round or oval elastic.
J. & P. Coats Knit-Cro-Sheen is boilfast mercerized knitting and crochet cotton. But don’t count on fast boiling to kill all the e-coli from your local beach.GAUGE: 11 hdc = 2’’; 4 rows = 1’’. See page 24.
You’re on your own, Jellybean.Notes: Suit is worked with double strand of each color throughout. Cut and join colors as needed.
And it’s crocheted in cotton thread, using a tiny crochet hook. I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this "easy to make" pattern...STRIPED PATTERN: With 2 strands, work 1 row each of NP, A, P, SB, R, W. Repeat these 6 rows for striped pat.
TOP: BACK: Beg at lower edge, with 2 strands NP, ch 62 (65-73-78).
Row 1: Hdc in 3rd ch from hook and in each ch across – 60 (63-71-76) hdc. End off; join 2 strands A in last hdc. Ch 2, turn. Check gauge; row should measure 11’’ (11 1/2’’-13’’-14’’) wide.
Row 2: With 2 strands A, hdc in each hdc across – 60 (63-71-76). End off; join 2 strands P. Ch 2, turn. Repeat last row, working in striped pat until piece measures 2 1/2’’ (2 3/4’’, 3’’, 3 1/2’’) from start. Note last color used. End off; turn.
Shape Armhole: Row 1: Keeping to striped pat, sk first 3 (3-4-4) hdc, join next color in next hdc, ch 2, hdc in same hdc, hdc in each hrc to within last 3 (3-4-4) hdc. End off; turn.
Row 2: Sk first hdc, join next color in next hdc, ch 2, hdc in same hdc, work to within last st – 1 hdc dec each side. End off; turn. Repeat last row 1 (1-3-4) times – 50 (53-55-58) hdc. Work even until armholes measure 2’’ (2 1/2’’, 2 3/4’’, 3’’) above first row of armhole shaping. End off; join next color. Ch 2, turn.
Shape Neck: Row 1: Hdc in each of 18 (19, 20, 21) hdc. End off; turn.
Row 2: Sk first 3 sts (neck edge), join next color in next st, hdc in same hdc and in each hdc across – 15 (16, 17, 18) hdc. End off; join next color. Ch 2, turn.
Row 3: Hdc in each hdc to within last 2 hdc – 13 (14, 15, 16) hdc. End off; turn.
Row 4: Sk first st, join next color in next st, hdc in same hdc and in each hdc across – 12 (13, 14, 15) hdc. Work even until armhole measures 4 1/2’’ (5 1/4’’, 5 1/2’’, 6’’) above first row of armhole shaping. End off. Sk center 14 (15, 15, 16) hdc on last long row, join double strand of color to be used in next st, ch 2, hdc in same hdc, finish row – 18 (19, 20, 21) hdc. Complete same as for first shoulder, reversing shaping.
LEFT FRONT: Beg at lower edge, with double strand of NP, ch 32 (34-38-40). Working in stripe pat on 30 (32-36-38) hdc same as for back, work even until piece measures same as back to underarm, end same color row. Check gauge; piece should measure 5 1/2’’ (6’’, 6 1/2’’, 6 3/4’’) wide. End off; turn.
If your gauge is off, just go find another child on the beach who’s the right size. It’ll be easier than starting the whole project over again.Shape Armhole: Row 1: Keeping to stripe pat, sk first 3 (3-4-4) hdc, join next color in next hdc, ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in each hdc across. End off; join next color. Ch 2, turn.
Row 2: Work in pat to within last st – 1 hdc dec. End off; turn.
Row 3: Sk first hdc, join next color in next hdc, work across – 25 (27, 30, 32) hdc.
For Size 8 Only: Repeat rows 2 and 3 – 28 hdc.
For Size 10 Only: Repeat rows 2, 3, 2 – 29 hdc.
For All Sizes: Work even until armhole measures 1 1/2’’ (2’’, 2 1/4’’, 2 1/2’’) above first row of armhole shaping, end arm side. End off; join next color. Ch 2, turn.
I’m starting to suspect that “easy to make” doesn’t mean what I think it means.Shape Neck: Work as for neck shaping of back until armhole measures same as back, end same color row – 12 (13-14-15) hdc. End off.
RIGHT FRONT: Work same as for left front, reversing shaping.
FINISHING: Run in thread ends. Block to measurements (see page 27). With backstitch (see page 26), sew side and shoulder seams.
With pins, mark position of 6 (6-7-7) loops evenly spaced on each front edge, having first pin 2 rows above lower edge of each front, last pin at each neck corner.
Edging: From right side, join 2 strands P at lower right front edge, sc in edge of first row, * ch 5 for loop, sc in end of each row to next pin, repeat from * 5 (5-6-6) times, sc around neck edge to top left front, work from * to lower left front edge, end ch 5, sc in last row on lower left front edge. End off.
Maybe “easy to make” meant something different in 1972. After all the movie “Easy Rider” wasn’t exactly about an easy ride from L.A. to New Orleans.Armhole Edging: From right side, with double strand P, sc around each armhole edge. Join with a sl st in first sc. End off.
CORD: Cut two 3 (3-3 1/2-3 1/2) yard lengths of each color. Make twisted cord. See page 103.
Sigh... All right. Just this once.
MAKE A TWISTED CORD
Method requires two people.
It’s a fun party game!Tie one end of yarn around pencil. Loop yarn over center of second pencil, back to and around first, and back to second, making as many strands between pencils as needed for thickness of cord; knot end to pencil. Length of yarn between pencils should be three times length of cord desired.
Wouldn’t it have been helpful to know this before you started all that looping and tying?Each person holds yarn just below pencil with one hand and twists pencil with other hand, keeping yarn taut. When yarn begins to kink...
Heh, they said kink....catch center over doorknob or hook. Bring pencils together for one person to hold, while other grasps center of yarn, sliding hand down at short intervals, letting yarn twist.
We now return to our original programming.Knot each end. Beg at lower front edge, lace cord through loops up front edges. With all colors make two pompons; attach to ends of cord. Tie ends into bow.
Resist urge to fling top at daughter. It’s not her fault there’s still a whole other piece to crochet.PANTS: BACK: Left Leg: Beg at lower edge, with 2 strands SB, ch 47 (51-56-60).
Row 1: Hdc in 3rd ch from hook and in each ch across – 45 (49-54-58) hdc. End off; join R. Ch 2, turn. Work 1 row R, 1 row W. Check gauge; piece should measure 8’’ (9’’-10’’-10 1/2’’) wide.
For Sizes 8 and 10 Only: Work 1 row NP. End off.
For All Sizes: Right Leg: Work same as for left leg. Working in same color sequence as stripe pat, join double strand of next color in last st. Ch 2, turn.
By this point, you should be seriously questioning why you didn’t just buy a goddamn suit for your kid.Join Legs: Row 1: Hdc in each hdc across right leg to within last 6 (7-9-10) hdc; from wrong side, sk first 6 (7-9-10) hdc on left leg, hdc in each remaining hdc – 78 (84-90-96) hdc. Put a marker between last hdc made on right leg and first dc on left leg for center back. End off; join 2 strands of next color. Ch 2, turn.
Let’s face facts, the brat’s going to outgrow this swimsuit in a year or two, anyway.Row 2: Work in hdc to within 2 sts of center marker, dec 1 hdc (to dec 1 hdc, yo hook, pull up a lp in each of next 2 hdc, yo hook and through 4 lps on hook), move up center marker, dec 1 hdc, finish row – 1 hdc dec on each side of marker. Work 1 row even.
And it’s not like a bikini will become an heirloom your trampy daughter will pass onto to her born out of wedlock offspring.Row 4: Repeat row 2. Repeat last 2 rows 1 (2-2-2) times – 72 (76-82-88) hdc. Remove marker. Work in stripe pat until legs measure 7’’ (7’’-7 1/2’’-8’’) from start. End off.
That’s right, I said tramp! When a girl her age wants a bikini, it’s just a short, slippery slope to bra burning and free love.FRONT: Work same as for back.
Warning: Attempting to crochet a bikini out of cotton thread may warp your perspective, and create a deep, abiding resentment towards all girl children.FINISHING: Run in yarn ends. Block pieces. Sew side seams. Sew leg and crotch seams.
Although, if you’ve made it this far, you might as well finish and be done with it.Leg Edging: Cut elastic to leg measurement; fasten ends securely. From right side, with double strand P, working over elastic, sc around each leg edge, end sl st in first sc. End off.
Top Edging: Work as for leg edging with double strand of next color in sequence.
But in future, if you see any "easy to make" project with J. & P. Coats Knit-Cro-Sheen that’s larger than a doll’s dress or egg cozy – run!
Click here for the printable pattern.