Crochet Book Review: Super Simple Summer Tops

Crochet Book Review: Super Simple Summer Tops

Leisure Art recently sent me the book Super Simple Summer Tops by Melissa Leapman to review. 

I was excited to make a fun summer sweater top from someone else's pattern!!

The sweater I choose to make turned out lovely, but it was a bit of work!

To begin, I took a look through the book and this is what I noticed first:

1. All the patterns use the same stitch pattern - the woven stitch that looks similar to a knit stitch.

2. The patterns call for a variety of yarn weights - sport weight (#2), DK weight (#3) and worsted weight (#4).

3. Pattern vary in neckline and sleeve length.

I decided to start with the Chick Tank - pictured below because I liked the neckline and ribbons along the bottom edge. This pattern calls for sport weight yarn, and I had just received a shipment of silver Appalachian Baby Design organic cotton sport weight yarn that I wanted to use.

Book - Crochet Book Review: Super Simple Summer Tops

Confession - I don't often take the time to work up a gauge swatch. Unfortunately, this time I really should have! I got started on this super cute tank and quickly realized that it was way bigger than I needed it to be. While my piece should have been a little over 19" wide, it was pushing 26" wide! Back to the drawing board! I worked up a gauge swatch and realized I was over an inch too big on the gauge - using the correct yarn and hook size. I looked up the yarn and hook size chart that is included at the back of this crochet book. I believe the stitch count was a little too high for either the chosen yarn or hook size. It was looking so pretty, I started back over decreasing the number of beginning stitches to match my gauge but quickly determined I was going to have to adjust the stitch count throughout the pattern and decided it just was going to take too much time!

Book and crochet hook - Crochet Book Review: Super Simple Summer Tops

I decided to choose a different yarn weight - #3 - and a different pattern from the book to try again - the Lace-Trim V-Neck, minus the lace trim! I found some beautiful DK weight yarn - CoBoo by Lion Brand and got started. The gauge on this pattern was much more accurate. I'm not a low neck girl, so I decided to alter the pattern, putting the neckline from the Chick Tank pattern on this  sweater.

Neckline of sweater - Crochet Book Review: Super Simple Summer Tops

The patterns are labeled as easy. I agree with this up to a point.  Outside of the gauge issue, working up the crochet pattern went well until I reached the decrease rows. In effort to save space, the instructions are generalized, instead of telling you what to do on each row. Even with years of crocheting experience, I found this very confusing and time consuming to figure out how the pattern was meant to be worked. Because of this uncertainty, the stitch counts got off quickly and needed to be adjusted on my part. Far from easy!

Woman in crochet sweater - Crochet Book Review: Super Simple Summer Tops

Once I figured out how to make the crochet pattern come out correctly, I wrote it down in my book so I could repeat it for the other armhole and neckline. This would be very hard for someone just able to crochet at the easy level to do!

Back of sweater - Crochet Book Review: Super Simple Summer Tops


I love the sweater I crocheted from the Super Simple Summer Tops crochet book now that it's finished! Super cute and very wearable! The crochet book is a good purchase with so many patterns for one price. Definitely check your gauge before you get started and adjust your yarn and hook size as needed. Make sure you have plenty of time to figure out on your own how to make the decreases happen and still stay in the established stitch pattern. If I made another sweater from this book, I would make my armholes a bit shorter too. 

Once you get on a role, the stitch pattern is easy and quickly creates a great summer top!

Crochet sweater - Crochet Book Review: Super Simple Summer Tops

Here's where you can get your own copy of the Super Simple Summer Tops Crochet Book by Melissa Leapman, published by Leisure Arts.

Leisure Arts

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  1. Thank you for an honest and informative review!

  2. They do have some cute tops. Thank you for an honest review it is really appreciated.