I crocheted the sweater illustrated here using a size J (6.0 mm) hook with Michaels Loops & Threads “Impeccable.” The stitch pattern consists of double crochets and open shells. If you have a favorite stitch pattern, use that.
Use any acrylic or wool yarn (4-ply or sport weight and any hook size.
The most important thing is the foundation row:
Start your sweater with a foundation single crochet (fsc) or double crochet (fdc) row. This provides the stretchiness you need at the hip area, plus your first row is complete at the same time. My sweater is 40″ around. I’d never get my 46″ hips in the sweater using a regular chain stitch.
If you’d like a tutorial on how to do that, go to http://www.mooglyblog.com/foundation-single-crochet-fsc/ or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGPkRHF0rUw for the foundation double crochet.
Measure your hips, deduct 6 inches and make your foundation row half that length. For example, if your hips measure 36″, deduct 6″ = 30″, divide by 2 = 15″ and that’s how long your first row needs to be. If you need to add or subtract a couple stitches to make the pattern come out correctly, that’s fine..
Length: How long do you want your sweater? Mine is 23″ from the shoulder to the bottom. Remember that you need to consider your girth, so make the length longer to compensate. An example of girth in action: Hold up a pair of pants and notice how long they are. Then put them on. They aren’t so long anymore.
Scoop neck: How deep of a scoop neck do you want? Mine is 4″ from shoulder. If you’re petite, 3″ might work better for you.
Shoulder: How much shoulder width do you want? It should be wide enough to cover your bra strap.
Follow pattern 3 to 6″ across (depending on your size). Mine is 6″. Turn and continue the shoulder-to-neck portion until it measures the height required for the scoop. Please note that if the measurement doesn’t permit ending the pattern stitch with 3 dc, you can end with 1 dc. Go with your inner wisdom. End of side 1.
Do the same for the other side.
Back of sweater: Follow the same pattern as the front all the way up, no need for scoop neck portion.
Pattern stitch option:
Row 1: 3 dc, sk 2, dc ch 1, dc ch 1, dc in next st. End row with 3 dc.
Rows 2 to beginning of neckline: 3 dc, shell in center dc of previous row, follow same to end of row.
||| = 3 dc
|/ = shell — dc ch 1, dc ch 1, dc in same st.
o = stitches skipped
Stitch flexibility: Suppose you want a wider stripe. You could do 5 dc instead of 3. You could also do a 5-dc shell instead of ch 1 between the dcs. You could also do a 3-dc shell with no chains but you’d only skip 1 stitch between instead of 2. It would be drawn as follows:
|||||oo|/oo||||| = 15 st. or |||||o|/o||||| = 13 st.
Sleeves: With right sides together, seam front and back together at shoulders (see .my favorite way of making a seam, below).
Starting at shoulder seam, measure 1/2 arm width and mark it on front and back.
Row 1: Sc across width of sleeve.
Rows 2-end: Crochet your sleeve to whatever length you like. You can use the pattern stitch or a simple trellis/mesh stitch as I did with mine.
Again, with right sides together, seam sides and sleeve bottoms.
My favorite way of making a seam is this: Cut off a long piece of yarn at least twice as long as you think you’ll need. Start my seam in the middle of the length. First I divide the yarn in half and tie a knot through both layers of fabric, then at half-inch intervals, insert hook under both posts, yarn over and draw through loop as if you’re going to do a single crochet. Pull the yarn all the way through the loop and pull it tight. Moving right along, I do it again about ½ inch up until I reach the end. Then I turn my garment around and do the other side of the seam. Rub your finger down the seam and stretch the fabric a little. Any bulkiness will decrease. You can steam it smooth if you like.
Sc evenly around neck opening (I do sc, ch 1 all around to prevent stretching)
Next row: Sc, sk 1, 3 dc shell in next st., sk 1, sc, like this: xo|/ox|/o and do whatever you need to do so it comes out evenly. Join to first sc and cut yarn. Weave tail into a few stitches, then finish off (see below).
Clean up the loose ends as follows:
Most instructions tell you to weave in the ends. I’ve found that my woven ends tend to pop out, so here’s what I do to stop that. I usually weave through a few stitches, then split the 4-ply yarn into 2 strands. Using a smaller size hook, I pull a strand through a nearby stitch, then tie the strands together firmly (but not tightly enough to gather the fabric), then tie a knot and pull it as tight as you can. Cut the ends as close to the knot as possible (about “_” much). The knot is almost undetectable.
Now that you know it isn’t complicated, I hope you send me a picture of you wearing your lovely crochet sweater.