Do you wonder if you can swim in a knit bikini? Find out from me first-hand. My experience with crocheted beachwear has been most positive ever since I made the first set. With everything home-crafted, almost each item turns out a bit experimental, but I don't mind. I’ve spent several seasons in yarn bikinis and will even reveal to you their huge advantage over biflex swimwear (read on).
Here are 7 of my two-pieces I have picked out to share. After wearing and testing them in every way, I can definitely say: yes, you can bathe in crochet bikinis. But it depends on the design. Some yarn monokinis that pop up in a web search, indeed do not look very practical for other than posing and pool parties.
This is the very first yarn bikini I made from what came in handy. It was a totally spontaneous project: the previous article on crocheted beachwear tells the story. After several seasons of bathing - and ice bathing (I do that sometimes, too) - the white parts stretched a bit. So now I spare my first crochet bikini and rarely put it on. The design is great, though: worthwhile replicating.
One of my most experimental designs – and one of the most beautiful. For fun, I even call it ‘Eve’. It has several shortcomings. The yarn is cheap synthetic but when I spotted it, I just could not walk away: such a sublime rosy tint! Do you see it? Please, don’t peer. It is not there: the tint was washed away the moment I stepped in water. Instead, ‘Eve’ absorbed almost every microscopic dirt particle that swam about. When I came out, the bikini was greenish. Fortunately, the grit is just as easy to wash off. But after that first dip, ‘Eve’ has always been a bit off colour. It looks good off-white, too, but not as heavenly as in its primordial state )) Another issue is the invisible silicone bra straps: they do not tolerate water well and need regular replacement. Yet, I love the strapless look and want to keep it.
I love this one for its delicate fawn shades with dip dye effect. This time I used the elastic bra tape, which is more durable than elastic band. However, after a couple of seasons one of the plastic rings in the trunks snapped, so I have to figure out how to mend it. Of course, I considered metallic rings, but there’s always the risk of rust. Metallic accessories that are guaranteed rust-proof cost a fortune in this market economy. The fabric of the bra cups has stretched a bit, too. It is the most popular crochet bra cup pattern out there, but not the best choice for the small-busted.
The big advantage of yarn bikinis is that they do not give you clear tan lines. The transition between exposed areas and white patches is smoother - I explained it in the previous article on crocheted beachwear - so the visual effect on flesh looks more pleasing. The weak links are mentioned throughout this article. Shortly speaking, elastic strips don’t last very long and need regular replacement. A better choice is satin bra tape. It is also possible to design something that does not require stretch bands in any places. But non-stretch bikinis have to fit perfectly lest they give you sore spots from rubbing, especially if you want to take swims. Also, yarn bikinis take more time to dry.
There are many ethnica-ispired yarn bikini designs on the world wide web. Ethnic patterns are easy to incorporate into crocheted fabric, so this style gives crafters plenty of room to be creative. Crochet bikinis with ethnic motifs look real hot, especially on sun-kissed skin. My ethnica-inspired two-piece is totally 'rubber-free': there is not a single strip of elastic band in it. It fits perfectly, although the tanga trunks are a bit too skimpy, for my taste. So I wear it now and then.
This one I call 'Spicy Sprinkle'. Now it is one of the swimsuits I put on most often - and to think that I even did not plan to keep this particular bikini because I already had one made with the same multi-coloured thread that spices up the design around the edges. I love the sandy colour and the trimming: looks just great on sun-tanned skin. The yarn is mercerised cotton, and the stretch parts are made from satin bra tape, so the model can withstand many outings to the beach. The weak link in such cases can be in the needlework: the thread used to attach the parts may come undone with time, then you will have to mend it. With this one I already had to reattach some of the little decorative rectangles in the trunks.
Spicy Sprinkle turns out to be one of my most original crochet bikini designs, reminiscent of modern retro trends. I really like this two-piece.
It is my second handmade swimsuit, crocheted right after the black and white bikini topping the list. This ‘Sexy’ model looks so steamy that I abstain from wearing it. I love the lingerie-inspired look, though. And the design is a piece of craft to be proud of.
Military clothing trends are in vogue, so I have crocheted a military-styled bikini. The utilitarian design and colour makes it practical save for the elastic straps that will need to be replaced sooner or later. Also I have doubts about the two rhinestones that sit right and left to the bra buckle in the front. They are cheap plastic and will most pobably soon loose their lustre. The good news is that you can quickly remove them and sew on a new pair.