Nothing warms the heart like a vintage pattern

Recently I got hold of  a vintage topi pattern from my old papers and I am so excited to share it with you!

The basic formula to crochet a circle is my favourite and much easy to follow. But everything new eventually grows old.

Anyhow, here I am sharing my vintage pattern that I have learnt in my early years. It makes me nostalgic…

The Pattern:

1: Chain 3. Join with slip stitch in 1st chain to form a ring.

2: Inc in each chain. Stitch count is 6 sc.

3: Inc in each chain. Stitch count is 12 sc.

4: Inc, sc in ch. Stitch count is 18 sc.

5: Inc in each chain. Stitch count is 36 sc.

6: Sc in chain, ravo. Stitch count is 36 sc.

7: Inc in ch, ravo. Stitch count is 54 sc.

8: 2 sc, ravo. Stitch count is 54 sc.

9: 2 sc, Inc, ravo. Stitch count is 72 sc.

10: 4 sc, ravo. Stitch count 72 sc.

11: 3 sc, Inc, ravo. Stitch count is 90 sc.

12: 5 sc, ravo. Stitch count is 90 sc.

13: 4 sc, Inc, ravo. Stitch count is 108 sc.

14: 6 sc, ravo. Stitch count is 108 sc.

15: 5 sc, Inc, ravo. Stitch count is 126 sc.

16: 7 sc, ravo. Stitch count is 126 sc.

17: 6 sc, Inc, ravo.Stitch count is 144 sc.

Kali (Petal):

18: Sc on ravo, 5 sc, ravo,sc on ravo, 1 sc.

19: 3 sc, ravo, Inc, 2 sc.

20: 6 sc, ravo, 1sc, ravo.

21: 2 sc, Inc, 5 sc, ravo.

22: 4 sc, ravo, 4 sc, ravo on top of kali ( petal ).

Mesoof ( Diamond ):

23: 3 sc, ravo, 1 sc, ravo, 3 sc, Inc.

24: 2 sc , ravo, 3 sc, ravo, 6 sc.

25: Ravo, 1 sc, ravo, 3 sc, Inc, 4 sc.

26: Ravo, 11 sc.

Mesoof complete.

27-31: Crochet another mesoof between two mesoof. Put 18 Incs in this round.

This Chanda ( Circle ) is for 21 inches.

Deewar (Edge ) :

32-36: No increase. Crochet mesoof in between two mesoofs.

37-41: Inc 9 times in round alternately. Work mesoofs in between two mesoofs.

Note: Increase can be added or lessened to give a good shape to the deewal.

42-46: Crochet mesoof in between two mesoofs.

47: Start the koran/ golden border.

I am so thrilled to share this pattern with you all. Most of you might already be following it. There are a few variations to this pattern. Maybe I shall elaborate in a later post.

Keep crocheting…stay happy & healthy!

A Healthy Outside Starts From The Inside

I make string pretty

Yarn heals. Whether you crochet, knit, quilt or craft with string, it benefits you. Crochet is fast gaining popularity in the present times as it easy to learn from a young age and can be easily pursued in advanced years too. A cost effective hobby , you can crochet while in conversation, watching TV, at the end of a long day to unwind or carry around with you.

Lets take a look at its long list of therapeutic/emotional/cognitive benefits:

  • Crocheting and knitting relieve depression: The repetitive motions and mindless hand movements take the mind away from nagging thoughts and release serotonin- a natural anti depressant.
  • Crafting reduces anxiety: The hands are busy and the brain is focused on counting and following the pattern, thus relieving anxiety.
  • Projects build self esteem: Crafts build new skills allowing the crafter to feel productive, providing a useful way to give to others and creating beauty through self expression and visualization.
  • Crafting may reduce or postpone Dementia/Alzheimer:  Age related memory loss can be kept at bay as the skill is neuro-protective.
  • Knit and crochet through Insomnia: People with chronic insomnia overcome sleeplessness through crocheting/knitting before their bedtime. The rhythmic and repetitive hand movements relaxes them and lulls them to sleep.
  • Relaxation reduces irritability and restlessness: Crafting helps to overcome grumpiness, restlessness, frustration, boredom, preserves relationships and keeps mood balanced.
  • Crafting as prayer: Crochet and knitting can be used as part of your prayer process.
  • Yarn crafting builds community: The crafting experience builds a community  through meetups/fairs/stores/online and gives a sense of being tied to the generations before and after us.
  • Crafting helps with grief processing: Loss is a horrible thing. Crochet and knitting can be one of the most comforting things during this time. It’s something you can do in small bits, when you have the energy.
  • Stress-busting benefits of yarn crafting: Stress effects range from migraines and fatigue to heart failure and easy memory loss. Reducing stress reduces diseases. Use crafting as meditation to reduce stress.
  • Helps manage pain: Physical pain during accidents, fractures etc can be forgotten with crocheting and knitting as the mind focuses on project at hand and the brain shifts from the pain.
  • Keeps the brain healthy for years: Studies show that older people, those who knit or crochet have a decreased chance of age-related cognitive impairment or memory loss. Among people aged 70 to 89, the studies show that the knitters and crocheters have the healthiest brains and memories.
  • Reduces mindless eating: When your hands are busy, you can’t reach for junk food!
  • Keeps fingers nimble: Knitting and crocheting require a number of small precise movements, often executed rapidly. This keeps the finger joints flexible and the muscles in the hands toned and steady.
  • Improves Math skills: It is all about counting, multiplying, measuring and patterning, which are all math skills.
  • Improves Memory: It is all about remembering, making your brain actively rely on memory. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes.
  • You get a neat, one-of-a-kind craft at the end: Along with a sense of accomplishment and ability, you also get a cool craft when you’re done with a project! And the best part is that there’s no other one like it in the world!
  • Teaches patience: It also teaches patience, which makes it an ideal hobby for a child. Children like to learn new things, and imagine their satisfaction when they are able to make blankets and clothes for their dolls or stuffed toys.

The list is exhaustive. Knitting, crocheting, lace-making, and lots of other string-based crafts have been beneficial for eons and are beneficial till the present day.

Do you crochet or knit? Would you like to start?


Retrospect & Crochet on…

I can understand the sense of accomplishment you have after crocheting one topi, all by yourself!

Here on you can crochet any size topi following the basic formula to crochet a circle. Do refer to the instructions again when starting your next topi. Measure the diameter of the dabba of the desired size.

The photograph shows size 21 & 1/2 topi dabba. The diameter measures 6 inches across. Crochet a chanda of 6 and a half inches and then turn down the deewal. Adding half an inch to the diameter gives a good shape to the topi.

The step by step tutorial for crocheting a topi given in my earliar post can be followed through and a few rounds added untill the desired diameter is worked. You can find the link here.

Use your creativity and work new pattern of ravas into the chanda. Do keep track of your stitch count and take care not to stack increases.

Happy crocheting and best regards.


One Accurate Measurement is Worth a Thousand Expert Opinions


How to measure the head for Topi:

  • Place the string or tape around the head about 1/8″ above the ear, across the mid-forehead, completely circling the head.
  • Hold the tape firmly, but not too tightly. Basically you need to measure the head exactly where the topi will sit.
  • If your measurement falls between sizes, choose the next largest size.


Beautiful Things Come Together One Stitch At A Time

We have completed the Circle, the Chanda for the Topi Size 18. It should measure 5 and a half inches across as diameter. The Round 27 is worked in single crochets only with no increase/wadhaman.

Round 27: Work (Single crochet in every stitch) around

Finger press this row into an edge.

Round 28: Work( 21 sc, 1 rava, 2 sc) around

Round 29 : Work( 20 sc, 1 rava, 1 sc,1 rava, 1 sc) around

Round 30 : Work ( 21 sc, 1 rava, 2 sc) around

Round 31 : Work ( 8 sc, 1 rava, 15 sc) around


  • Stitch count from Round 27 until Round 31 is 192 stitches.

Round 32 : Work ( 7 sc, 1 rava, 1 sc, 1 rava, 14 sc) around

Note :

  • Put 4 increase in the whole round in North South East West.
  • Tip : work increase on top of ALTERNATE rava from Round 30
  • Stitch count of this row is 196 stitches

Round 33 : Work (8 sc, 1 rava, 15 sc) around


  • 4 stitches extra in this round. So alternately work 8sc and 9sc to begin

Round 34 : Work ( 21 sc, 1 rava, 2 sc) around

  • Note: Alternately work 21 sc and 22 sc

Round 35 : Work ( 20 sc, 1 rava, 1 sc, 1 rava, 1 sc) around


  • Alternately work 20 sc and 21 sc

Round 36 : Work ( 21 sc, 1 rava, 2 sc) around


  • Alternately work 21 sc and 22 sc
  • Stitch count from Round 31 uptil Round 35 is 196 sts

Round 37 : Work ( 8 sc, 1 rava, 12 sc, INCrease, 2 sc) around


  • Increase is placed on top of rava in Round 35
  • Total increases in the Round 36 is 8 sts
  • Stitch count for Round 36 is 204

Round 38 : Work ( 7 sc, 1 rava, 1 sc, 1 rava, 15 sc) around

Round 39 : Work ( 8 sc, 1 rava, 16 sc) around

Round 40 : Work ( 21 sc, 1 rava, 3 sc) around

Round 41 : Work ( 20 sc, 1 rava, 1 sc, 1 rava, 2 sc) around

Round 42 : Work ( 21 sc, 1 rava, 3 sc) around

Round 43 : Work ( 8 sc, 1 rava, 16 sc) around


  • The Deewal is now 2 inches wide
  • Flip the yarn back and forth as done earlier in the circle/chanda
  • Only 12 Increases have been worked in the deewal
  • It is slightly tapering
  • Work over kasab in the last few stitches about 10 sts to start the golden border

The Design :


Round 43 stitch count is 204 stitches. The design is 8 stitches across and so we calculate as follows:

204 divide by 8 is 25.5 i.e. 200 plus 4 stitches extra.

There are 4 extra stitches to be adjusted in the design.There are 3 scs in between two hearts, so work 4 scs between two hearts in North South West East only in four places.

How to change colours:

Till now, we were crocheting with white thread. From here we shall also include kasab. In the above design the dots are worked in ravas and the empty boxes are worked in single crochets in kasab.

Kasab has two threads and a bit difficult to handle for the beginners. 

When working the last sc in the row , work as usual and draw the kasab instead of white thread in the last two loops on hook to complete the single crochet.

When switching over from rava to kasab, draw kasab through the last two loops on hook to complete the rava.

The Golden Border :


  • Round 44 : Single crochet in every stitch around in kasab
  • Round 45  to Round 48 : Work the given designrava in white thread and single crochet in kasab

Sumbul :

  • Round 49 : Single crochet in kasab in every stitch around.
  • Round 50 : Single crochet in white thread in every stitch around.
  • Round 51 : Work(1 sc in kasab 1 sc black and two sc in kasab) around

Fasten off

From the last loop, draw the thread/kasab and tie a knot.

Cut off the kasab and black thread about two inches long.

Tie two knots with thread and kasab.

An inch above the sumbul on the back of the topi, draw the thread and kasab and tie three knots. And cut off the extra threads.

Remove the yarn used as a marker at the start and end of rounds.

It’s the Little Things in Life…

Laundry Care for Topis

Topis are handcrafted treasures and display the crafter’s skill and time. Whether you have crocheted it yourself, received as a gift or bought from a store; it requires proper care to make it last for a long time. 
Laundry care for your topis:

  • Hand Wash
  • Do not bleach
  • Dry in shade
  • Do not iron
  • Starch
  1. Hand Wash: Avoid scrubbing or twisting actions that can stretch or damage the topi. Use a soft bristled laundering brush to clean. Swish in sudsy water a few times. Rinse well under running water.
  2. Do not bleach:  The white thread may gather grime and stains and loose it’s whiteness after a few wears. This may tempt you to use bleach to fade out the stain and revive the whiteness. But bleaching discolours the kasab permanently. Use a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and lemon juice instead.
  3. Lay flat to dry: Shape topis with hands while wet and lay it on a tray/plate to dry. You can also spread it on the same size topi dabba to dry. 
  4. Dry in shade: The kasab stays bright.
  5. Do not iron: Not required.
  6. Starch: Topis are starched for stiffness and it also shields it from discolouration. 

Repurpose a Topi

After several washes and wears the golden kasab border of a topi loses its shine and can fray. Revive and repurpose it in the following ways:

  1. Unravel the sumbul and work it again.
  2. Remove the golden border completly and work a new or same design again.
  3. Soak the white chanda and deewal in sodium bi carbonate solution for a few hours and restore its whiteness. 

The topi is as good as new! 

How do you repurpose topis? Share with other readers by commenting below!

Line a Topi

It is beneficial  to line your topis for the following reasons:

  • Protects against discolouration from perspiration/grime
  • Prolongs it’s life
  • Helps retain shape
  • Looks neat

How to sew a lining on a topi:

To sew a muslin white cloth lining inside a topi is time well invested. It can be done in two ways. Some only line the deewal from inside with a white strip. But most prefer to line the whole topi-top chanda and deewal from inside.

Line a topi partially:

A strip of required length is cut from a white muslin (malmal) cloth about 4 inches broad and edges are folded to avoid fraying. The strip is then sewn along the sumbul with small hand stitches and fastened off. The other side is also sewn by hand. 

Line a topi completely:


Materials required:

  1. 1/4 yard white muslin cloth
  2. A pair of scissors
  3. Measuring tape
  4. Topi (the one to be lined-washed and without starch)
  5. Same size topi dabba
  6. White sewing thread and a needle
  7. Thimble(optional)

Instructions :


  • Iron out wrinkles from the white muslin cloth.


  • Cut a strip of topi length example 21.5 inches. Add 3/4 inch seam.4 1/2 inches wide.


  • Draw the bottom circle of topi dabba on the cloth. Cut.


  • Fold the circle in half. Fold again in quarter. Mark the four points with a light pencil. (Pen’s ink may run unto the topi after a wash)


  • Sew the strip.


  • Fold strip into half and then quarter. Mark points lightly with a pencil.


  • Align four points of the circle and strip and secure with tucking pins. 


  • Join the circle to the strip with even stitches.Sew around the whole circle.


  • Now turn the seam outside and place this inside the topi. Align the seam of a topi with the fastening off side for neatness. 
  • Shape/smooth  the lining inside the topi. Fold the seam at the sumbul edge and sew with small hand stitches. Use a thimble if necessary.
  • Adjust bulk with pleats and sew along the sumbul.


  • Hand stitch on the top edge of deewal too.

The topi is lined and ready for wear.

Starching of Topis:



  • 1 Tbsp Corn Starch/Flour
  • 1/4 Cup cold water
  • 1/4 Cup boiling water.

Dissolve 1 Tbsp of cornstarch in 1/4 Cup cold water. Meanwhile, boil 1/4 Cup of water. Slowly, add the cornstarch solution to boiling water and whisk and boil until the solution bubbles. Take the solution off the heat and cool to room temperature before using.

The consistency is thick, like Tapioca pudding. It is translucent and dries clear. Since it’s cornstarch, there is no concern whether it’s toxic or not. I don’t have to use separate pots or bowls to make this solution. After I am done, I wash them with warm soapy water and they are safe to cook with afterwards.

Apply this solution inside and outside of a semi dry topi for best results. Shape on a same size dabba. If storing for later use, dry on a plate. Store. When required, wet the topi completely under a running tap and shape on the dabba. Leave to dry in shade with good air circulation.

Starched topis look neat and crisp with a natural feel. The coating of starch protects the topi from grime, stains and discolouration.

The solution of cornstarch can be thinned with water and thickened by reducing the water. 

This recipe starches two topis. Leftover solution can be stored in a glass jar for a month in the refridgerator.

Let’s Begin to Crochet a Topi

Basic Formula to Crochet a Circle:

There are two ways to work circles in crochet. One way is to end off after each round and start another round; or to work rounds continuously.

In topi we crochet the chanda in continuous rounds taking care to mark the ends of rows with a length of contrasting yarn. 

Tip: It’s good to begin with a magic loop and work 7 sc( single crochet) into it, plus or minus one stitch. With 6 stitches my circle starts to cup a little, and with 8 stitches I get some extra fullness after several rounds, but everyone’s gauge is different. 


Tip: For a beginner I would suggest 8 scs.

When I am crocheting topis for size 19 and above(to have a flat circle that stays flat as it gets bigger) I start with 7 sts. No matter how many stitches you may start with, the instructions for round 2 and beyond are the same.

  1. To work the first round, either make a magic loop (I recommend a magic loop-7 sts) or chain 4(chain 3 if you want to start with 6 sts ), join with a slip stitch in the first chain to form a ring. Chain 1, 8 scs  around. Do not join rounds. To mark ends of rounds use a length of contrasting colour yarn. At the end of round 1,lay the yarn across your thread so that it falls after the last stitch in round 1. Work over it into the first single crochet (be careful not to single crochet into the chain that comes before the first single crochet).
  2. To work round 2, work 2 sc in each stitch around. Flip the marking yarn up so that it lays after the last stitch on round 2. Working two stitches on each round increases the round by the number of stitches you started with.
  3. To work round 3, work(2 sc in next stitch, sc in next stitch) around. Flip the marking yarn forward so that it lays after the last stitch of round 3. Again you have increased the round by the number of stitches you started with. Stitch count for round 3 is 3x the number of stitches in round 1.
  4. To work round 4, work(sc in next two stitches,2 sc in next st)around. Why not just start with 2 scs in the first stitch? The answer is the secret to round circles rather than octagonish. You don’t want to place increases on top of increases on the previous rounds.For round 4 you have 4 stitch repeat and 4x the number of stitches in round one.
  5. To work round 5, work(2 sc in next stitch,sc in next 3 sts) around. For round 5, you have 5 stitch repeat and 5x the number of stitches in round 1.
  6. To work round 6, work(sc in next 3 sts,2 sc in next st,sc in next st) around. This round can be worked with increase anywhere in the 6 st repeat-just don’t stack the increase on top of the increase of the previous round. So for round 6,you have 6 stitch repeat and 6x the number of stitches in round 1.

For subsequent rounds, you just keep increasing in the same manner, placing the increases between the increases of the previous round.

Continue flipping the contrasting yarn forward and back to mark the ends of the rounds.

I would suggest that you crochet the chanda in a day or two, concentrating on placing of increases and marking the ends of the rows with  the contrasting coloured yarn.This helps you to have a steady hand and you won’t make mistakes.

It is best to unravel the rounds and correct any mistake traced eg an increase is forgotten, a stitch is missed out etc rather than continue further.

Tip: Cross check your work at the end of every round. 


A Few Abbreviations & Crochet Symbols to follow the Tutorial:

Few abbreviations to follow:

  • Chain Stitch – ch
  • Single Crochet Stitch – sc
  • Increase – Inc(2 sc in st)
  • Stitch – st

Few crochet symbols to follow:




Colour key


The First 7 Rounds


Round 1 : Begin with 4 ch, join with slip stitch.

Round 2 : Work 1 chain( Inc in 4 st) around

Round 3 : Work( Inc in 8 st) around

Round 4 : Work( Inc, sc in 1 st) around

Round 5 : Work( sc in 2 st, Inc) around

Round 6 : Work( Inc, sc in 3 sts) around

Round 7 : Work( sc in 3 sts, Inc, sc in 1 st) around

Instructions Chart



A Special Note:

  • Remember to flip the contrasting yarn front and back at the ends of rounds.
  • Do not sc in one chain after the slip stitch.
  • Count stitches at the end of each round to avoid errors.
  • Work single crochet only in the back loop unlike crochet (sc is worked in front and back loop).
  • In most cities/towns where white topi dora is not available, you can crochet the chanda/circle in wool/yarn until you can get some. The work in wool/yarn can be kept as a sampler for your future reference.

Instructions for Subsequent Rounds:

The purple squares indicate ravas. 


  • Round 8 : Work( 1 sc, Inc, 4 sc) around
  • Round 9 : Work( 3 sc, Inc, 1 sc, 1 ravo, 1 sc) around.
  • Round 10 : Work( 1 sc, Inc, 3 sc, 1 ravo, 1 sc, 1 ravo) around.

Rava Technique:

A rava is worked as follows:

  • Insert hook in front and back loop of stitch.
  • Draw a loop (two loops on hook).
  • Insert hook into back loop and draw into first loop on hook.
  • Draw thread through the two loops on hook.

Rava is done.



Round 11 : Work(5 sc, Inc, 1 sc, 1 rava, 1 sc) around

Round 12 : Work( 3 sc, 1 rava, 4 sc, Inc, 1 sc) around



Round 13 : Work( Inc, 1 sc, 1 rava, 1 sc, 1 rava,  6sc) around

Round 14 : Work ( 4 sc, 1 rava,  4 sc, Inc, 2 sc) around


Round 15 : Work ( 4 sc,  Inc, 6 sc, 1 rava, 1 sc) around

Round 16 : Work ( Inc, 10 sc, 1 rava, 1 sc, 1 ravo) around




Round 17 : Work( 8 sc, Inc, 4 sc, 1 rava, 1 sc) around

Round 18 : Work( Inc, 5 sc, 1 rava, 9 sc)around

Round 19 : Work( 6 sc, 1 rava, 1 sc, 1 rava,1 sc, Inc, 6 sc) around

Round 20 : Work( 7 sc, 1 rava,  7 sc, Inc, 2 sc) around 

Round 21 : Work( 7 sc, Inc, 8 sc, 1 rava,  2 sc) around 

Round 22 : Work ( 16 sc, 1 rava, 1 sc, 1 rava, Inc) around 

Round 23 : Work( 10 sc, Inc, 6 sc, 1 rava, 3 sc) around

Round 24 : Work( 7 sc, 1 rava, 10 sc, Inc,3 sc) around

Round 25 : Work( 5 sc, Inc, 1 rava, 1 sc, 1 rava, 14 sc) around

Round 26 : Work( 8 sc, 1 rava, 5 sc, Inc, 9 sc) around

Round 27 : Work (sc in st) around

After working this row finger press the deewal and turn down.

The chanda so far has a straight edge and no ruffles. Keep a count of stitches at the end of each round. Any errors can be rectified when reviewing.

Note : The photos are captioned in error. Eg. Round 10 & 11 is Round 11 & 12 and so on. Regret inconvenience. 

Circle in Review


The circle or the chanda is complete and Round 27 is worked and turned down( finger press) into deewal. Before proceeding further, lets review the work done till now:

  1. The edge is straight-ruffled nor tight
  2. Stitch count for every round is 8x
  3. Diameter across is 5 1/2 inches for topi size 18
  4. Increases evenly placed-no stacking
  5. The edge is circular and not octagonish






If I had a boat…

Water colours are my favourites

Before I get onto anything boat related, I first feel beholden to begin where I left off last week, with my trials and travails of painting a scene outside Notre-Dame. To aid comparison I’ve put below the my two efforts, the more recent and looser version first, followed by my first attempt.

Despite my best attempts to tackle this in a more free and spontaneous fashion – I became thwarted by my own limitations! I like some of the individual elements of this looser painting, but I think it fails overall. What makes the first one work – for me at least – was the distinct quality of the light, of the dark sky against a sunlit building, none of which I was able to recreate a second time around.

So much of what I was trying to achieve with this painting depended on judging exactly the dampness of the…

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Topi-The Story Unfolds

Being an enthusiast crafter, a self learner and a DIY person; I often feel twenty-four hours too less in a day! Crocheting a Topi is my most empowering hobby. I also enjoy DIY sewing crafts, repurposing clothes and topis, paper crafts and origami (just to mention a few).The list is almost endless.


Crocheting a Topi is perceived as a difficult skill to learn. Many never try. A few adventurous try but leave it off unfinished.

Once Upon A Stitch is my attempt to share the joy of crocheting a topi with you. Hope it inspires you to pursue it in the comfort of your home. I am pursuing this skill since the early age of seven and am still going strong at it! I wish my passion rubs a bit on you too!

I would be starting from the very basics of this skill- understanding the requirements, step by step crocheting instructions and lots of tips and tricks to help you along. Follow my posts on repurposing, laundering, starching and everything involved in the making and preserving the value of a topi.


Topi making requires logical, mathematical and critical thinking skills along with utmost concentration and dedication. It is a wholesome life skill – fulfilling, enriching and therapeutic to body and soul.

Crocheting requires least materials and can be easily carried around with me on my travels and doctor appointments. It keeps me busy whilst waiting at airports and  aboard a long flight. And all those pockets of boredom are transformed into something so worthwhile and soothing to myself.


My inspiration came from my maternal grandmother. I would watch her enthralled as she would crochet a topi at great speed and talk incessantly at the same time! Her fingers flew all around deftly and the white thread ran from its spool to keep up with her chanter.

She would just hand me a crochet hook and the white topi thread and say “Show me what you can do with them, dear”. Terrified, and yet mesmerized, I would try to imitate her, winding the thread on one finger and moving the hook along it aimlessly.Sense emerged from chaos and I managed to learn the basic stitches and concepts- chain stitch, joining into a circle, placing increases etc. The whole beauty of the skill took my breath away! After my marriage,she would nudge me on-“Are you still pursuing it?”

I have lived in the Middle East for several years where it was difficult for me to find the right thread and kasab, but my passion never fizzled out. My mother always ensured a steady supply of these spools.

Along the years, I gathered momentum from my aunts, neighbours and friends who willingly shared their tips and tricks with me and I am bursting to share them all with you.

I crochet innumerable topis for my darling hubby, teach my eager friends and love to gift them as baby-shower gifts to new-born baby boys with cute nursery print topi designs in gold!

Classification of a Topi

Topi has two basic shapes-a circle and an edge. The circle is called the chanda which drops down into an edge called deewal.

The deewal is made of a white edge followed with an intricate gold kasab border and finished  off with sumbul ( last three rows).

Stitches/Skills Required:

A topi is made with basic crochet stitches and a few skills to keep it going till the last stitch. Below is a checklist for you:

  • Patience is utmost, cause the gauge is too small in a topi.( Gauge is the number of stitches and rows per inch (or centimeter) in a pattern).
  • A steady hand to work even neat stitches.
  • The Basic Knowledge of the following:
  1. Starting a chain
  2. Chain stitch or working a magic loop to begin a circle
  3. Slip stitch (if you prefer to start with chain stitches. Personally I recommend magic loop/ring)
  4. Single crochet stitch
  5. Increases(wadhawan) 
  6. Decreases(ghataman)-not recommended
  7. Rava/dana stitch
  8. Changing threads-white to kasab and vice versa
  9. Choosing/adjusting the design in the kasab border so that the beginning and end match well  


Before you start, as with all crochet projects make a square with white topi dora to determine the hook size and gauge. 

Choosing the Right Crochet Hook:


There are various types and sizes of crochet hooks available in the market suitable for all types of yarns and crochet work. A good hook works neat even stitches and gives less strain to your fingers. We use a steel hook for crocheting a topi. An individual’s preference and comfort is the most deciding factor. Work a gauge of two inches square before starting a topi to choose effectively. Size 12 Tulip works well for me.


A Personal Note:

I look forward to your comments and queries along our learning journey. Please feel free to share your experiences and critique on my blog.

Once Upon A Stitch, stitch by stitch, row after row, swirl by swirl … let me inspire you to take up a thread and a hook and let the magic begin…

It is really worth your try…