Monday, December 27, 2010

What's In My Crochet Bag - The Sweater that Almost Wasn't Edition

I've been frantically crocheting for weeks now. I finished a good portion of what I wanted to get done. I guess the important piece is that everyone got a gift. The biggest project I worked on was a sweater. I came close a couple of times to just tossing it and moving on, but I finally finished it - 3 whole hours before its recipient walked into my house for our Christmas celebration. A little ridiculous and scary. For me, at least.

This sweater was actually a blast to crochet. The three different stitches meant that I didn't really get bored with it at all. The bottom stitch was my favorite, but the top one was pretty fun, too. The pattern is the Lush Lace Pullover by Lion Brand (you'll have to register to see it, but it's free.)

I like the pattern, but all the same, I had a few complaints: The cuffs are bulky. They are ribbed, to mimic a ribbed cuff on a knitted sweater, but knitted ribs aren't as thick and bulky as crochet ribs. I'm sure it could be done differently (perhaps a smaller hook and added stitches), but if I were to do it again (and I might) I would just start it the same as the hem of the sweater and go directly into the pattern stitch. You don't need the ribbing, it doesn't add anything to the look of the sweater.

The directions to add the sleeve to the bodice were vague and it took me about five tries and 2 hours to figure out how they went on. You basically stitch on the bottom of the sleeve and then crochet the yoke around the top of the sleeve. Which is pretty much not what the instructions say, but once I figured it out, it's a great way to do sleeves where they fall at a really natural angle.

The sizing is also totally wonky. I started it and frogged it three times, starting at a large and ending up with a small. I also left off the funnel neck. I like the funnel neck, but don't think it would be as becoming on my mother-in-law.

The yarn I used was a washable wool blend (she's a nurse - washable is highly important) in the color dark beige. I chose it because it was on sale, and I loved the color. It's a creamy caramel that will go nicely with navy, black, chocolate, khaki and jeans. What more could you ask for?

My mother-in-law seemed to love it and modeled it happily for me.


Jen Stoll said...

Wow! Jess, that is beautiful!!! I have the same trouble with those instructions...from lions brand, joanns, caron, really, anywhere. I wonder if you could use the top part...smaller stitch size, with a a couple rows of dcs...then flair the bottom stitches (are those popcorn?) in rows and rows of increases for the girls? Good work! I <3 crochet!!!

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

It's beautiful! I have discovered I have no crafty jeans. I am a craftastically-challenged individual.

Jessi said...

Jen S - Thanks! I had thought about a bell sleeve. I think that would look a lot better.

Jenn-Jenn - Nonsense! You just haven't found your craft yet. You have such an artistic mind, you just need to find the right outlet for it.

Suze said...

Oh, Jess, it's beautiful! Well done, well done indeed.