sweater and yarn photo

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Agyness

I’m a craft designer and author of hundreds of articles and reviews about crocheting and other crafts. I search out and present novel approaches to classic patterns and techniques to encourage you to try something new. I’m delighted that so many of you read my posts and that I can contribute to promoting our crochet community. I’m interested in crafts, interior design and love traveling and sitting next to a campfire. I live with my husband and three kids in the Rockies.

We have looked at free crochet blanket patterns in the past, but now it’s time for sweaters.

There’s just something so rewarding and enjoyable in crocheting a sweater. As you create a unique and personalized garment, you also showcase your creativity and craftsmanship.

We will take you through the process of crocheting a sweater, A to Z. We’ll start with selecting the right yarn and follow through to completing the final finishing touches.

Crochet supplies

Before crocheting you will need the following:

  1. Yarn: You will need a suitable yarn. A medium-weight (worsted) yarn is usually a good choice. The actual amount of yarn you need will depend on the intended sweater size and style.
  2. Crochet Hooks: Select the appropriate hook size recommended for that yarn. Of course, you can vary this a bit to achieve a different effect (looser or tighter stitches), but you’ll need to test this out.
  3. Scissors: For cutting loose yarn ends.
  4. Measuring Tape: You will need it to take your body measurements and later on it will be needed to gauge your progress.
  5. Stitch Markers: Useful for marking stitches or rows in your project.
  6. Yarn Needle: Required for weaving in yarn tails and seaming.

Now, I’ll explain each point more detail.

Step 1  Accurate body Measurements:

All great projects start with accurate measurements. Take measurements for your bust, waist, hips, arm length, and desired sweater length.

Compare these with a size chart or use a pattern designed for your size. A tape measure will be your best friend here, but you can use a length of string and a yardstick in a pinch. To measure accurately, pull the tape tight, but not so tight as to indent your flesh. Same goes for the string.

Step 2 Choose the Right Pattern:

While there are countless sweater patterns available, you need to choose one that matches your taste and skill level. Do your research! If you’re just starting, be ambitious, certainly, but don’t go overboard. Projects that are too advanced only serve to discourage progress.

Step 3 Gauge Swatch:

Of course,  you, me and their auntie Mae all want to dive right into the project. However, before you do, make a few test pieces (swatches) to work out the techniques, stitch tension as well as the yarn and hook size before risking bigger problems. This is a great time to find out whether the techniques in the project aren’t too much for you just yet.

Step 4: Start with the Foundation:

As with buildings, the foundation is, dare I say it, foundational. As you lay down the foundation chain, make sure you pay attention to the stitch counts and any other needed quirks in the pattern. Stitch tension will be significant here as well.

Step 5: Work the Body:

Continue working the body of the sweater according to the instructions, typically crocheting in rows or rounds. Definitely take measurements against your body as you go. Fitting clothing is an essential step of bespoke taloring or crocheting.

Step 6: Shape the Sleeves:

When the sweater body is done, it’s time to make the sleeves. The pattern will guide you through the specific increases or decreases needed to shape them. This may be slightly tricky, so it pays off to be attentive here.

Step 7: Complete the Collar and Edging:

Once the body and sleeves are complete, it’s time to finish the collar and edging. This may involve ribbing, decorative borders or other finishing details. This is also a great spot for customization.

Step 8: Finishing Touches:

The sweater is now finished. However, to make it truly complete you should weave in loose yarn with a yarn needle. Finishing details such as buttons, zippers or other embellishments come next.

 

Additionally, below I’ve gathered the most common questions on this topic.

Can a beginner crochet a sweater?

If you are a newbie you probably wonder whether a sweater is a good project for you. Yes, it is! You can make a crocheted sweater even if you are a beginner. Many crochet  sweater patterns are no more complicated than easy projects you have already made.
A key difference is that they are bigger and more time consuming. If you are a newbie you will need patience as you will spend more time on a project than the crochet pro. However, in no time your pace and gauge will improve.

How many hours does it take to crochet a sweater?

It is faster than you expect! It takes approximately from 15 to 25 hours to finish a sweater, on average.
According to  Rachel from  Desert Blossom Crafts , for 44% of people it would be 30 hours or more, for 30% of crocheters it would take 20-25 hours. 19% said 15-20 hours, and only 5%  estimated it will take them UNDER 15 hours. So, if it is your first sweater, consider at least 30 hours of your time to complete it.  Considering that this is time spend on your hobby it is a 30 hours of pleasure!

Which crochet sweater is the easiest to make? Which crochet pattern should I choose if I am a beginner?

There are two factors to take into account with a project for beginners: the difficulty of the stitch and the complexity of the form. The easiest patterns are based on basic, repeatable stitches.  The simplest forms which create the shape of the sweater are geometric forms, like hexagons. 

A great example is this free pattern, the The Campfire Cardigan  by Make & Do Crew.  Is based on 2 granny hexagons, joined together.

A simple cardigan sweater made form hexagons.
photo: Make & Do Crew
If you don’t feel comfortable with sewing, a top down sweater crocheted in a circle is an option.  You will work in the round instead of working back and forth as you would in a geometric shaped pattern.
An example of such a pattern is the Brooklyn Sweater by Grace from For The Frills blog. You will work in the round and join rounds with a slip stitch. The stitch marker will be very useful in this type of a project.
Brooklyn sweater made in rounds
photo: Grace Forthefrills
The Brooklyn Sweater is based on the beginner friendly double crochet and slip stitches. Front and back post double crochets are used for the neckline, hemline and cuff ribbing. Easy stitches combined with a super bulky yarn will help you to make your first crochet project in less than 15 hours.

Conclusion:

Crocheting a sweater requires patience and attention to detail, though that’s obvious, right? It’s true that it is more difficult to crochet sweaters than the baby blanket free crochet patterns we have looked at. That said, the end result is a one-of-a-kind creation that you can proudly wear. And, better still, it’s just for you.
Also, by following the pattern, taking accurate measurements, and working methodically, you’ll be able to crochet a sweater to your specifications. 

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