Sunday, July 7, 2013

Toddler Pullover to crochet - a basic concept piece

This is the pattern for a toddler sweater at SueDee's, with the class to introduce it scheduled for Saturday, 7/13.  The photo here is of an earlier sample, which is slightly different.  I will get a picture of the current sample and post it shortly.

This is a basic concept, with very little shaping, so you can vary the amount of yarn, the type of yarn, the hook, and the stitch to make a basic pullover sweater.  The buttons at the shoulder are good for small children because the neck opening may be too small to fit.  If you have an idea of the size but don't know the measurements, refer to a body measurement chart like the one on the Craft Yarn Council website.

The concept:  The front and back are simple squares.  Once at least one is done, calculate your real gauge to figure out how to space the decreases for sleeves that taper to the wrist.  Figure out how many stitches to start the sleeve at the shoulder, starting from the body edge and working down to the wrist.  Figure out how many stitches you want to end up with at the wrist, using the body measurement chart and your gauge.  Stitch the sleeves.  Join underarm and side seams.   If you prefer, you can use the same numbers to work the sleeves from the wrist, up, and then sew them to the body.  This is a little more work but has the advantage that the stitches are going in the same direction as the body.  Add plackets at one or both shoulders for closure.

Materials:  yarn enough for a sweater, a hook to match, tape measure, size chart, calculator, yarn needle for tucking in loose ends.

Materials used in the shop sample, size 1 year or 2T:  Pinwheel yarn by Cascade, 1 ball (200 grams) worsted weight yarn, 5mm (size H) crochet hook.  Note gauge given on label.

In the photo here the sleeves are worked from the wrist to the shoulder, and then sewn on.  A mock turtleneck is worked in front and back post double crochets, with the button band only on one shoulder.

Relevant Measurements (this is how big you want the finished piece to be).  For this sample:
Chest/bust: 22 inches
Armhole depth: 4.25 inches
Sleeve to underarm: 8.5 inches
Around wrist: 6 inches

STITCH NOTES:
Pattern stitch:  1 row double crochet (dc), 1 row (single crochet (sc)1, chain (ch)1, skip1).  Over the course of the pattern, the sc should line up over each other, so when there is shaping – for tapering the sleeves – adjust the stitching to keep in pattern.

Foundation double crochet (fdc), to start:  Ch3.  Dc in 3rd ch from hook.  Two stitches made.  Yarnover.  Insert hook in same chain, yarnover, draw up a loop.  Yarnover and pull through 1 loop to create base chain.  Notice the base chain – you will insert into that later.  (Yarnover, pull through 2 loops) twice to finish the stitch.  Three stitches completed.  *Yarnover.  Insert hook under two strands of base chain.  Yarnover, and draw up a loop.  Yarnover and pull through 1 loop to create next base chain.  Notice the base chain – you will insert into that for the next stitch.  (Yarnover, and pull through 2 loops) twice to finish the stitch.  Repeat from * for desired length (needs to be an odd number because of the pattern stitch).  Starting with a foundation stitch row, along with being aware of the suggested gauge of the yarn, gives you something you can measure right away.  After a few rows, be sure to measure again, to make sure your piece is not too big or too small.  It might be.  That is the time to adjust your number of stitches and start over.  If you are making a size much bigger than a toddler size, consider making a gauge swatch of 30 stitches or so and about 5 inches.  This project is not so precise that gauge is critical.  At the same time, if your piece is much bigger than you planned, you may run out of yarn.  If your piece is much smaller, it may not fit.

Incomplete stitch (i):  An incomplete stitch is a stitch worked up to, but not including, the last yarnover and pull through.  Enough interesting things happen at this point that it is handy to be aware of it.  Decreasing in double crochet, for example, means making 2 incomplete double crochets (idc), then yarnover, and pull through all 3 loops to finish the stitch.  Incomplete single crochet stitches are involved in making the buttonholes.

Seams:  you can join your seams any way you want, but the one used here goes like this:  Insert hook through 2 layers to be joined.  Yarnover and draw up a loop.  Chain 1.  Insert hook in next point to be joined.  Yarnover, and pull loop through all layers and loops to finish a slip stitch.  Joining two rows of stitches, slip stitch in every stitch (both layers) across.  It adds a little bulk, but it provides stability and a little ease so the seam is not tighter than the fabric.  Joining two rows of row-ends (as in a side seam), slip stitch each row end (both layers).  Joining two edges that do not match, take a moment to figure a rough ratio so they can be joined evenly.

Getting Started
Front:
R1:  Fdc 45, or as needed for half bust measurement.  Starting ch counts as 1dc.
R2:  ch1, turn (does not count as a stitch).  Sc1, (ch1, sk1, sc1) across, ending with sc1 in turning ch of previous row.
R3:  ch2, turn (counts as 1dc).  Dc in each sc and ch across.
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until piece is square.  Fasten off.  Count the rows: _____

Back:  Make a second piece the same as the Front.

Measure what you have and figure your gauge, for real.  These are the numbers that came out of my stitching (yours may be different):

Chest/bust: 22 inches
Each piece: 11 inches = 33 rows, 45 stitches
Real Gauge:  3 rows per inch, 4 stitches per inch
Using the calculator, here’s the rest of the information:
Armhole depth: 4.25 inches = 13 rows, also 17 stitches
Sleeve to underarm: 8.5 inches = 26 rows
Around wrist: 6 inches = 24 stitches

So in this case, start at shoulder with 35 stitches (17x2, plus one more because I want an odd number of stitches).  I want the wrist to have 25 stitch (odd number), so that means decreasing 10 stitches over 26 rows, which is 13 dc rows.

*Sleeves – do this on both sides:
Mark the underarm 13 rows from the top on each side of the front and back.  With right side facing (of both front and back), start the sleeve at the shoulder.  Attach the yarn at one underarm, dc 17 stitches evenly up to the shoulder corner.  Since you want an odd number of stitches, make 1 more stitch joining the front and back:  idc in last stitch of one side, idc in first stitch of other piece.  Yarnover and pull through all loops to finish st.  Continue down to underarm by dc17 evenly over 13 row ends.

Continue in patt as set for 3 dc rows, then 1 more sc row.  Then start tapering the sleeve:
Decrease row:  ch2, turn. Dec1.  Dc across until 3 sts remain.  Dec1.  Dc in last st.
Continue in patt as set, decreasing every 2nd dc row, a total of 5 times (10 sts decreased).  If a sc row begins/ends with a chain because of a decrease, sc instead of ch – so that row will begin/end with 2sc in order to maintain the pattern st.

Edge:  ch1, turn.  Sc across, decreasing 2 stitches evenly.  Next row:  ch1, turn, sc across.

Seam:  You can join the seams any way you want.  Here is one way:  After finishing a sleeve and ending up at the wrist, fold pc right sides together to join the underarm/side seam.  Ch1.  Inserting hook through both layers, (sl st, ch1) up the sleeve and down the side edge, ending at the lower edge of the body.  Fasten off.

Repeat from * for other sleeve.

Shoulder button band A:
R1: With RS facing, join yarn with sl st at top shoulder corner.  Ch1.  Sc15 (1/3 of the way across).
R2: ch1, turn, sc across.
Repeat r2 for a total of 5 rows for the button band.

Shoulder buttonhole band A:
R1: With RS facing, count 15 sts in from other shoulder corner, join yarn with sl st.  Ch1.  Sc15 to corner.
R2 & 3: ch1, turn, sc across.
R4: Setting up for 3 buttonholes.  Ch1, turn.  S c1, ch2, sk1, sc5, ch2, sk1, sc5, ch2, sk1, sc.
R5:  ch1, turn.  *Isc, isc in ch2 space, yarnover and pull through all loops to finish st.  Sc in same ch space.  Isc, isc in ch2 space, yarnover and pull through all loops to finish st.  ** Sc3.  Repeat from * across, ending at ** just after the 3rd buttonhole.
Finish off, leaving a tail of about 4 inches to tack the edges.
Thread a yarn needle with the tail, and whip stitch the short edges of the bands together and to the open little bit at the top of the shoulder.

If you don’t want buttons on the other side, make another button band (no holes), and finish it by sewing to the opposite shoulder edge of the body.

If you want buttons on both sides, repeat button and buttonhole band on other shoulder, reversing the shaping so the buttons are all on the same side of the garment:

Shoulder buttonhole band B:
R1: With RS facing, join yarn with sl st at top shoulder corner.  Ch1.  Sc15 (1/3 of the way across).
R2 & 3: ch1, turn, sc across.
R4: Setting up for 3 buttonholes.  Ch1, turn.  S c1, ch2, sk1, sc5, ch2, sk1, sc5, ch2, sk1, sc.
R5:  ch1, turn.  *Isc, isc in ch2 space, yarnover and pull through all loops to finish st.  Sc in same ch space.  Isc, isc in ch2 space, yarnover and pull through all loops to finish st.  ** Sc3.  Repeat from * across, ending at ** just after the 3rd buttonhole.

Shoulder button band B:
R1: With RS facing, count 15 sts in from other shoulder corner, join yarn with sl st.  Ch1.  Sc15 to corner.
R2: ch1, turn, sc across.
Repeat r2 for a total of 5 rows for the button band.
Finish off, leaving a tail of about 4 inches to tack the edges.
Thread a yarn needle with the tail, and whip stitch the short edges of the bands together and to the open little bit at the top of the shoulder.

Neck Edge:  With RS facing, join yarn at neck corner of button band, sc along the row ends, across the neck and up opposite row ends.  Fasten off.  Repeat on other side.  Tuck in loose ends.

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