Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Crochet Sweater

Hello again. I hope you're well and not going purple in the face from holding your breath. You know, whilst waiting for me to keep my side of the bargain and 'consistently post'. It didn't last a vast amount of time did it, the consistent posting? In my defence I did say that it probably wouldn't, but I did (secretly) hope that I'd suddenly turn into Little Miss Organised and be here as regular as clockwork. Hmmm...Life so gets in the way of all the things that I want to do. I'm here now though and I'm going to do three posts today because I can't wait to show you what I've been up to. It was PDMC's birthday last week, so for the last few weeks I've been kept very busy planning,shopping,baking and crocheting.
The crocheting was frustrating. I started out with this DK acrylic yarn from my stash and this pattern. It seemed easy enough and I even made a little tension square, which is actually pretty rare for me. Mind you, I don't tend to make a lot of crochet things where the tension is massively important so hey-ho.
I made the tension square using a 6mm hook and it was a bit big, so I was really good and made another one using a 5mm hook. Spot on.
So I got started on the ribbing for the back of the sweater, which was easy peasy and actually measured the 21" (slightly stretched) that it was supposed to. It was going so well.
Anyhow, I decided to adapt the pattern a bit- oh do I never learn? The reason that I've never been a successful knitter is that I find it impossible to stick to the actual pattern that I have and always have to mess around with it. In some circles it's called 'tweaking' and it means that you get a perfect fit, but in my case it's meant that I've ended up with some really random things. Like hats that fit perfectly over a toilet roll and sweaters which are six feet wide. Really, it happened.
But with I've been really good with crochet. I've followed the instructions to the letter and haven't ended up with too many oddities. I occasionally end up with wonky edges because I forget to work into the first chain stitch of a row and inadvertently decrease stitches but I haven't had too many full-blown disasters. Except perhaps for hats, which is a story all of it's own and which is probably best left unmentioned at this point. 
So even though I loved the pattern, it needed to be tweaked. Not just a little tweak either. This was a big tweak. It was almost like re-writing the pattern. And It was all because I'd found this wonderful Mixed Stitch Stripey Blanket Crochet Along on Little Woollie and had fallen in love with it.
I made this little cushion cover front using part of the pattern from the CAL as a test piece a few weeks ago. I was intending to start a lovely big blanket following the CAL after I've finished my Christmas gifts but thought how gorgeous this would be as a sweater.
It's very pretty isn't it?

I really like the colours that I chose for this, too. They seem to go together perfectly.
Anyway, I started the pattern across the top of the rows of my sweater ribbing. It seemed to be working out well and I only had to make the smallest adjustments to make the pattern even and to keep the right amount of stitches.
It wasn't until EC came round and I showed her what I'd been doing that I realised that there was a problem. The width of the sweater back was nowhere near the 22" that it needed to be. It actually measures a measly 18". I was so disappointed because I was going to give this as a gift to PDMC for his birthday and there was no way that it was going to fit him!
I'm not quite sure why this happened as I changed up a hook size before starting the pattern and thought that if I had the right amount of stitches after each row then it'd be OK. How wrong can you be? Hmmm...

So I decided it would be better to put this project on hold while I figured out where I'd gone wrong and start a scarf as it would be slightly quicker project which I could get finished in time for PDMC's birthday. I'm going to do a separate post on this. But in the meantime, if you have any ideas as to why my sweater didn't turn out to be the right size I'd be more than happy to hear them. x

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