How to Make a Sweater Using Crochet Thread

Written by barbara kellam-scott
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How to Make a Sweater Using Crochet Thread
Crochet cotton can go far beyond traditional doilies and laces. (Steve Mason/Valueline/Getty Images)

Crochet thread is just another size of yarn, or actually several other sizes of yarn. The higher the number on crochet cotton, the finer the thread. Either knitting or crocheting a long-sleeved pullover out of size 20 cotton, for example, would take forever, but size 5 crochet cotton is ideal for a cool summer camisole or shell that will work up in a couple of evenings. You can also work with two strands of number 10 cotton to equal one strand of size 5, or two strands of 5 to equal the weight of sport yarn.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Knitting or crochet pattern for a lightweight sweater in a simple shape
  • Sample ball of size 10 crochet cotton
  • Knitting needles, sizes 1, 3 and 5
  • Crochet hooks, sizes 1.5 to 4mm (size G)
  • Measuring tape or seamstress's gauge

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  1. 1

    Choose a pattern that's designed for crochet cotton or easily adaptable to it, such as a pattern that calls for "lace," "baby," "fingering" or "sport-weight" yarn. Size 10 crochet cotton is equivalent to lace-weight yarn or can be doubled or trebled to approximate the heavier weights. Estimate how many balls of thread to buy by comparing the yardage per ball or skein listed in the pattern to the yardage listed on the product you plan to use.

  2. 2

    Work to gauge. Make a gauge swatch of the number of stitches and rows listed in the pattern you're using or adapting, starting with the knitting needles or crochet hook specified in the pattern. Measure the swatch. If it's bigger than the pattern calls for, make a new swatch with smaller needles or hook; if it's smaller, try bigger needles or hook, or, in extreme cases, double the thread. The bigger the needles or hook you use, the softer will be the fabric you make, but it will also be more see-through, and elaborate stitches will not show as well.

  3. 3

    Work to measure. No matter what yarn a pattern calls for, or even whether it calls for knitting or crocheting, if it shows measured diagrams of the finished pieces of the sweater, you can use those diagrams to tell you how big to make each piece, applying your own stitch or colour patterns. Especially when it's crocheted, crochet cotton works best in relatively block-shaped designs, such as those with kimono or dolman sleeves and boat or square necks. You can work the body of a sweater in rounds, using a circular knitting needle or a simple crochet pattern, up to the armholes, and add straps for a camisole or a yoke, with or without sleeves, worked from side to side.

Tips and warnings

  • Combine threads of different colours to create a tweed fabric. Mixing an ombre with a solid of one of the colours in the ombre makes an especially nice effect.
  • Cotton yarns and threads are generally not as stretchy as other fibres, but will be softest if knitted on needles a size or two larger than the standard.

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