Although I have only group taught crochet a few times, I belong to a local crochet and knit group run by my friend Bonnie where I regularly teach crochet one-on-one to anyone interested.
My tutees single crochet (sc) a hot pad, a headband or a scarf then they start learning additional stitches (sts). But every once in a while I come across a Roxana. You know, the kid in the front row who always raises her hand, always has the right answer, and always makes her school project an elaborate production.
Roxana recently joined our group and asked if I would show her how to crochet. The next week Roxana was back with her giant scarf in tow wanting to know how to make a sweater.
A sweater! Can a sweater be made if you only know how to chain (ch) and sc? Before you decide this “Learn It! Do It!” is a quiz, I’ll just give you the answer. Of course it can! In fact, there is actually very little difference in making a scarf and making a boxy drop shoulder sweater.
Let’s take the One Cable Wonder sweater found on page 16 and give it a try. Even though that pattern isn’t designed for someone who learned to crochet last week, the pattern can be used to make a lovely beginner sweater.
Before You Start
The first thing you want to do is decide which size you are going to make. Look at the One Cable Wonder pattern. Under Finished Sizes it says: Directions for size small changes for sizes medium, large, X-large and 2X-large are in [ ]. This means when you see a series of numbers such as 20 [22, 24, 26, 28], if you are making size small you will look at the first number, if you are making size medium you will look at the 2nd number, etc. To help you choose which size to make, look at Finished Measurements. This type sweater is oversized and should have a finished circumference around 6 to 8 inches larger than your actual bust size. Once you have picked the size you want to make, circle or highlight the numbers that pertain to that size.
Second, look at Materials to see what yarn was used to make the sweater. In our sample pattern the materials list says to use Plymouth Encore Tweed 7 [8, 9, 9, 10] skeins #4108 denim. It is important to remember that the amount of yarn needed in a pattern is only accurate if you are following the pattern directions exactly. Since we only know how to sc and ch we know we will not be doing that as this pattern has post sts, double crochet (dc) sts as well as reverse single crochet (rsc) sts. Keeping this in mind, it is always best to buy a couple of extra skeins. Don’t worry, if you have yarn left after the sweater is completed you can use it to start your very own yarn stash.
The third thing you want to look at is the gauge. In our sample pattern the gauge says: With larger hook, 12 sts = 4 inches, 11 rows = 4 inches. For our purpose, since we will be changing the sts used, the number of rows per inch is not important. The key information is 12 sts = 4 inches. For us math-challenged people, just remember there are 3 sts in every inch.
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