A crocheted sweater is a way to feature lacy stitch work or create a warm, dense fabric that still drapes well. The firm structure of crochet stitches makes it easy to see fine detailing and chunky ribbing. Crocheting your own simple pullover or cardigan results in a sweater that fits you exactly. But simple need not mean plain- a variegated yarn or decorative stitch work can make a hand crocheted sweater a wearable work of art.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Crochet hook
- Spray bottle
- Straight pins
- Measuring tape
- Stitch markers
Make a slip knot in the yarn, 3 inches from the end. The loop above the knot should be large enough to fit the crochet hook loosely. The short end of the yarn will not be used to crochet. Insert the tip of the crochet hook into the loop of yarn. Hook the working yarn with the crochet hook. Pull the working yarn through the loop on the hook. One chain stitch is complete.
Make the number of chain stitches called for by your pattern. Insert your crochet hook into the centre of the second chain stitch from your hook. Pull the working yarn through the chain stitch. There will be 2 loops of yarn on your hook. Wrap the working yarn around your hook. Pull the working yarn through the 2 loops on your hook. One single crochet stitch is complete.
Make the number of chain stitches called for by your pattern. Wrap the working yarn around your hook. Insert the hook into the third chain stitch from the hook. Wrap the working yarn around your hook a second time. Pull the working yarn through the chain stitch. Wrap the working yarn around your hook. Pull the working yarn through the loops on your hook. One half double crochet stitch is complete.
Crochet into each subsequent chain stitch, until you reach the end of the row. For single crochet, chain one stitch before working the next row. For half double crochet, chain 2 stitches before working the next row. Continue by working the stitches made in the previous row in the opposite direction.
Decrease a stitch by working the stitch as normal up until the last step, then instead of pulling the yarn through all the loops on the hook, start working the next stitch as normal. Finish the second stitch plus decrease by pulling the yarn through all the loops on your hook. Increase a stitch by working a stitch as normal twice.
Measure the fullest part of your chest. Measure your desired sleeve length from the part where you want the armhole to join the body of the sweater to where you'd like the cuff to fall. Measure your front and back from the neckline to where you want the hemline to be. Add your desired inches for ease, at this point.
Crochet a 4- by 4-inch square gauge swatch in single or half double crochet. Spray with water until damp. Lay the swatch flat on a towel and pin down. Remove the swatch when dry.
Measure the number of stitches per inch, and number of rows per inch you have in your swatch. Divide the chest measurement by 2, and multiply by your stitch gauge by this number. This is the number of chains needed to start the back and front pieces for your sweater.
Multiply your chest measurement by .45. This is how large your neck opening should be.
Multiply your chest measurement by .4. Multiply this number by your stitch gauge. This is the number of chains needed for your sleeve circumference. Multiply your sleeve length by your row gauge. This is the number of rows needed to complete a sleeve.
Chain the number of stitches required for the back of your sweater. Crochet for the number of rows or inches required for the back. Cut the yarn.
Chain the number of stitches required for the front of your sweater. If you prefer a cardigan, divide this number by two and crochet the halves separately. Crochet each row until the front is 4 rows shorter than the back.
Find the centre of the front piece. Crochet until you are half your neck measurement away from the centre. Turn around and work the remaining 4 rows, decreasing one stitch in each row at the neckline. Cut the yarn. Repeat on the other side of the front. This creates the hole for the neck. For cardigans, decrease one stitch in each row at the neckline for the last four rows.
Chain the number of stitches needed for your sleeve circumference. Crochet, increasing one stitch every other row until you have 10 per cent more stitches than you began the sleeve with. Work evenly until you reach your desired sleeve length. Repeat with the second sleeve.
Sew the front and back together at the shoulder seams. Sew the sleeves to the front and back of the sweater body. Sew the sleeve seams and sides of the sweater body. Block your sweater by spraying with water until damp. Pin the sweater to a towel. Remove when dry.
Tips and warnings
- Add decorative stitches to the hem or cuffs by beginning a piece of the sweater in the decorative stitch.
- Measure a sweater that fits you well if you prefer not to measure your chest and calculate the other measurements.
- Crochet stitches are less elastic than knit stitches, so if you are unsure about the proper fit, get a yarn with wool and/or elastic for stretch.
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