I am relatively new to crochet, but I am progressing fairly quickly. However, I am unable to figure out what is going on in this delightful object I found in an Lisbon airport. I would really appreciate any guesses as to what kind of pattern this might be, or how to go about making something very similar. I've done some google searches but haven't found anything really comparable.
Perhaps some of you can give me some assistance?
and the other side
It seems to me that some clever person has combined a snood pattern and round soap for a cute soap cozy. I'll be keeping this in mind.
This is a soap cover (aka, soap cozy, soap saver, soap sack). Prior to using the soap (hopefully) the bather will wrap the soap for exfoliating. It is also a nice decorative item for guest soaps or your own personal use. Priscilla's Crochet website has some free patterns (see Bed & Bath section). Please be careful about copyrights: http://priscillascrochet.net/freepatterns.html.
For round soap covers, such as the one pictured in your post, you could also use a hair bun cover, as well as, a door knob cover, using a 2 or 3 ply cotton yarn or size 10 cotton thread (see packaging for suggested needle size). There are free patterns available for these as well. (These are great because they will give you specific information for yarn and needle size. A great help for a new crocheter.) You can find them using your favorite search engine. Search keywords: crochet hair bun cover free pattern or crochet door knob cover free pattern. Again be careful about copyrights and enjoy!