Crocheting a sideways vest or top

Here are posts related to stitching rows up and down, with the piece growing from side to side:


Toddler vest to crochet

Toddler Vest to crochet

Two 50-gram balls Cherub DK
Suggested hook:  4mm
Measurements of finished garment:
Chest: 20”
Underarm to lower edge: 8”
Armhole depth:  4”
Shoulder width: 3”
Across back: 10”
Gauge:  23 sts/5 inches;  20 rows/4 inches

Notes:  This pattern is one example of a powerful construction concept that works really well in crochet.  A doll vest was worked this way a few posts ago.  Start with a rough outline of the shape.  Add inches/centimeters for the sizing.  Start stitching and add gauge information after a few inches to flesh out the details so the chart shows the actual numbers of rows and stitches to do.  Working from a chart, starting with a foundation stitch row at the underarm, almost all your information ends up looking like this:

This vest starts at the side edge, with the rows going up and down.  One edge (the lower edge) has no shaping.

Decrease by leaving stitches unworked at the end of the row.

Increase by adding foundation stitches at the end of the row.

Work across the back - by the end of that, you have good gauge information, then one side of the front. Fasten off.  Rejoin yarn at the starting point again and stitch the other front.  Edging is 1 round of (sc1, ch1) followed by 1 round of light crab stitch.

Pattern Stitch:  (even number of stitches at all times):  ch1, turn.  (Sc1, dc1) across, ending row with dc1.  Repeat row for pattern.  Notice that dc is always worked into sc of previous row.  Sc is always worked into dc of previous row.

“Draw up a loop”:  Insert hook in stitch indicated.  Yarnover.  Pull the yarnover through only the stitch indicated.

Foundation single crochet:  Draw up a loop in the base chain of previous stitch.  Yarnover.  Pull through 1 loop to make a new base chain, loosely.  Yarnover and pull through 2 loops to finish single crochet.

Foundation double crochet:  Yarnover.  Draw up a loop in the base chain of previous stitch.  Yarnover.  Pull through 1 loop to make a new base chain, loosely.  (Yarnover and pull through 2 loops) twice to finish double crochet.

Light Crab Stitch:  *Single crochet in the next stitch to the right. Chain 1, skip 1 stitch.  Repeat from * across.


Doll Clothes, part 2

Notes for Doll Dresses to crochet

Once you make sweaters for your doll, you may want to complete an outfit so a sweater has something to go with.  That way, you have control over your colors and shapes and how fancy you want it to be.  The jumper starts with the skirt, with the bodice added.  The dress starts with the bodice, with the skirt added.

Figure 50 grams, or one small skein, of DK or sport weight yarn for a jumper, with a hook to match (4mm is good).  A fuller skirt and more solid bodice take more yarn, so you will need a second skein for the dress.  The light blue dress took part of a 2nd skein of yarn.

Other materials / tools:  measuring tape, markers (safety pins work well), yarn needle for finishing, buttons.  The size chart is useful, too:
waist 11” across back at shoulders 5”
bust 11-1/2” armhole depth 2”
hip 13” waist to knee 6”
around neck 6” neck to waist 4”

For the jumper:  Starting at the waist, make a row of foundation stitch that fits around the waist. This one is worked in plain double crochet.  In the next row, increase by 1/3 – so work 2 stitches, then increase 1 – all the way across.  Join in a circle, and continue in rounds for the desired length.  Decide whether the row-end seam is the center back (as I did) or at the left side of the skirt, which works fine, too.

The amount of increase at the beginning is good for a fairly straight skirt – sensible for something like a school uniform.  For a true A-line skirt, increase 10% (stitch 9, then 2 stitches in the next stitch) every 4th row.  For a swirly skirt (very full), you’d be making something that is basically a mat with a hole in the middle (for the waist) – so increase 12 every row in double crochet or 6 every row in single crochet.

Once the skirt is done, fasten off and re-join to make the front.  Attach a pin at each side edge to show where the first row begins and ends.  I switched to light single crochet for something different (this stitch uses an odd number of stitches in a row):  With the right side facing, join yarn with a slip stitch at one pin.  Ch1.  *Sc in next st, *skip 1, ch1, sc1.**  Repeat from * across the row, ending with a sc at the 2nd pin or the stitch before it.  Ch1 to turn, and repeat from * to ** for the pattern stitch.  Repeat this row for the pattern, with sc in sc and chain over chain in each row, until the front is as long as the armhole depth.  Remove the marker pins, if you haven’t already.

Make the Straps:  *Make a chain that is long enough to reach over the shoulder and down to the back waist – about 6 inches – count your stitches because you want the 2nd strap to be the same _____.  Turn, sc across, ending with a slip stitch at the top edge of the front.  (Ch1, turn, and single crochet along the strap) two more rows to make the strap wide enough, ending at the top of the front.  Stitch over to 4 stitches from the end of the row.  To make the other strap: repeat from * for the second strap, ending up at the top corner of the front.

Take a moment to attach a pin about a third of the way in from each side of the back at the waist – this is where the button loops will go.

Edging:  With the right side facing, ch1.  Sc down the side of the front, making 1sc in each row end.  Continue along the waist edge to the first marker pin.  Ch2, don’t skip any stitches, and sc along the edge to the center back where the row ends of the skirt are.  Sc along the edge of the dip, making a little placket where a snap will go later.  Continue to sc to the next marker.  Ch2, don’t skip any stitches, and sc along the waist edge, up the other side of the front (making 1sc into each row end), and ending at the top corner of the front.  Slip stitch to finish off, and cut the yarn.  Remove all marker pins.

Sew a button at the end of each strap, fitting the jumper on the doll to make sure it is positioned correctly.
Add a snap closure at the little placket at the center back of the skirt.  Tuck in all loose ends.

The dress starts with the bodice.  In this sample, I started at the center back, working the rows up and down the schematic, across the back, then across the front, and finishing in the center of the back on the other side.

Pattern stitch:  over an even number of stitches:  ch1 to turn, sc1, dc1 across, ending with dc1 in the last stitch.  Repeat row for pattern.

Starting at the waist, make a foundation row about 6” long, up to the back neck – note the number of stitches _____.  Stitch in patt for 2-1/2 inches to reach the side of the back, ending at the lower edge.  Note the number of rows _____.

Next row, stitch only to the underarm, ending with a dc in the last stitch.  Note the number of stitches _____.  Continue even for 1” for underarm, ending at the lower edge.  Next row, stitch across, then continue the row with foundation stitches, ending up with the same number of stitches you started with.

Continue following the schematic, skipping stitches or adding foundation stitches at the end of the row when shaping happens.  Notice that the neckline in the front is a bit blocky looking.  That gets smoothed out with the edging row.

When the whole thing is done, finish off and start the skirt:  With the wrong side facing, join the yarn at the bottom of the center back.  Working 1 stitch into each row end, sc across.  Next row:  ch2, turn.  Continue in double crochet for the skirt.  *Dc1 in next stitch, dc2 in next stitch.  Repeat from * across row, ending the round with a slip stitch in the top of the ch2 at the beginning of the row.  This increases for the fullness of the skirt.  For the rest of the skirt:  ch2, do not turn, dc in each dc of previous round, and finish with a slip stitch in the top of the starting ch2 from the beginning of the round.  Work even for about 6 inches, or desired length of skirt.  Stitch 1 row of crab stitch for a finished edge.  Finish off.

The next part is only a little tricky, and the instructions sound harder than they really are.

Join the shoulder seams, edge the armholes, and add button band and button loops to back, all in one swell foop.  Here’s how:  with the wrong side facing, join yarn at top of center back.

1. (Button band)  Ch1.  Sc in each stitch down to the waist.
2. Ch1, turn, sc back up to the neck.
3. Ch1, rotate piece and sc along shoulder edge to the armhole, making 1sc for each row end.
4. Ch1, rotate piece and sc around the armhole, making 1sc in each stitch or row end, ending up at the top armhole edge of the front.
5. Match up the front and back to join one shoulder seam.
6. Sc1, sl st in matching st on other shoulder, to join.  *Skip 1 st, sc in next st, then sl st in matching st on other shoulder.
7. Repeat from * across the shoulder, ending with a sc at one side of the neck edge.
8. Sc around the neck edge, and across the other front shoulder.
9. Ch1, sc around the other armhole, like before.
10. Then join the other shoulder like you did before.
11. Ch1, rotate the piece to continue down the center back.
12. Sc along the center back, adding ch-2 loops evenly spaced for the button-loops, ending at the waist-end of the bodice.
13. Without turning the piece, ch1.  Crab stitch back up to the neck edge, making 2 crab stitches in each button-loop.

Finish off.  Sew on buttons.  Tuck in loose ends.

MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

18" Doll Clothes, part 1

Clothes for 18” doll 
All the patterns here are fairly traditional shapes for real people, too.  Only the numbers are changed to fit the doll.  The shapes are simple and can be made from a variety of pattern stitches.  Most doll clothes work out better with a smaller yarn, so these garments are made mainly with DK or sport weight yarn.  But some worsted weight isn’t necessarily such a bad thing.

Along with your yarn and hook, you will need a tape measure (all measurements here are in inches, but the same ideas apply in metric).  Here are measurements I took of my 18” doll:

Around neck:  6”      bust:  11-1/2”          hip:  13           upper arm:  4-1/2”
wrist:  3-3/4           head:  12”          waist:  11          thigh:  6-1/4
ankle:  4-1/4           across back at shoulders:  5          armhole depth:  2
underarm to wrist:  3-1/2          shoulder to wrist:  5-1/2          neck to waist:  4
neck to floor:  15          waist to knee:  6          crotch depth:  4-1/2          neck to hip:  8
inseam:  7          waist to ankle:  9

Only a few measurements are used for these sweaters, but if you want to make clothing, it is interesting to see how the numbers work together and are related to each other.  These measurements are of the actual body.  For garments, I often add ease – so the armhole depth would end up being 3” for a sweater that goes over a shirt.  Figure 12 inches for the bust, allowing 6” for the front and 6” for the back.

Six Blocks sweater (7, counting the collar)
DK weight yarn, 4mm hook
Sample:  Sateen yarn by Cascade.  This was leftover yarn from 3 skeins used to make a toddler sweater.
Half the Bust, plus desired ease: (A) – 6”
Half that number:  (B) – 3”
Make six rectangles, measuring A by B.  Start by making two for the front and two for the back.

In this sample, the 2 back blocks are made with 3” rows worked for 6” in length.  The 2 front blocks are made with 6” rows worked for 3” in length.

  Stitches used:
Alternating rows dc and sc/ch1 (odd number of stitches)
(sc, dc) with sc in dc of pr r and dc in sc of pr r
Ch2 net stitch (for sleeves)
Shell stitch for collar.

Join center back seam.  Join halfway across tops for shoulders.

For the sleeves:  Stitch the sleeves starting at the shoulder so you don’t have to sew them on later.  Starting halfway down one side, join yarn, stitch up to shoulder and down to matching point for sleeve depth.  Ch-2 net stitch allows the sleeve fabric to stretch longer to be more sleeve-like.  On the last row, sc1 in each ch space to gather for wrist.

Join one seam for underarm seam and side seam on each side.

For the collar:  Join yarn halfway between front neck corner and start of shoulder.  Stitch around neck, ending at corresponding point on other front neck edge.  Continue in patt st (shell stitch, here) for desired collar depth.

If desired, sc along front to add button/buttonhole bands.

Cardigan and cap
Sample:  Bentley by Cascade, with a 4.5mm hook.  One skein was enough for both the sweater and the cap, with yarn left over – that is the nice thing about doll clothes.

Cardigan:  The body is made in one piece from the bottom edge to the underarm, then the back and fronts are continued up to the shoulders.  It may seem convenient to work this way because you don’t have to sew any side seams.  Unfortunately, it makes sewing in the sleeves tricky.

Pattern stitch:  1 row dc (on the right side), then 1 row (sc, ch1, skip 1).  Maintain the pattern stitch so the single crochets line up over each other when there is shaping. A plain pattern stitch does not compete with the texture of the yarn.

Row-by-row instructions can go on for pages, but all you really need is a schematic with the basic measurements, along with the pattern stitch you choose.

Mark your numbers (from the top of this file) on the chart – that would be in inches.  For this sweater, start at the lower edge with a row of stitching as long as the bust measurement.  Continue in patt st up to the underarm, then stitch the fronts and back sections separately.  Sew the shoulder seams.

For each sleeve (make 2): Starting at the wrist, increase 1 stitch at the beginning and end of every 4th row until the piece is as wide as 2x the armhole depth.  If it isn’t as long as the desired sleeve length, continue stitching without any more increases until it is long enough.

With right sides together, sew the top of the sleeve in at the armhole.  Join the underarm seam, matching a little bit at the underarm to the underarm portion of the body.

Finishing:  Stitch 1 round of sc around the outer edge of the piece, making a ch2 loop (but don’t skip any stitches) for buttonholes.  In a second row, sc (or crab stitch) around,   Here’s how to deal with the buttonholes:  In the st before a buttonloop, draw up a loop.  Draw up another loop in the ch-2 space.  Yarnover, and pull through all loops to finish the stitch.  Draw up a loop in the ch-2 space (again), Draw up another loop in the next sc.  Yarnover, and pull through all loops to finish the stitch.

Cap (an experiment):
Looking at a golf cap recently, it looked like a circle where all the decreases were focused on one side, making a visor, with the back of the cap worked even with no increases or decreases, ending with a slight decrease all around (maybe 10%) for fit.  I made one to try out the idea, and here is what I did:  

Measurement:  snug measurement of head - 12” for doll.
In a firm gauge, make a sc circle about 18” around, or 6” across:  ch3, slip st to form a ring.  (ch1, sc in ring) 6 times (12 sts in all).  Place a marker in the last st of the round, and move the marker each round to keep track of where you are.  Continuing in a coil:
Round 2:  (ch1, sc2) around 1 time – 18 sts.
Round 3:  (ch1, sc3) around 1 time – 24 sts.
Round 4:  (ch1, sc4) around 1 time – 30 sts.
Continue increasing this way until the piece is 6” across.  With the marker at beginning of round, place another marker after 6” in the round – that is halfway around the finished measurement for the hat.  *SC even (no more increases) from the beginning of the round to the second marker.  Continuing in sc, dec 6 sts evenly to the next marker to finish the round.  Repeat from * until only 1/3 of those sts remain.  Measure for fit.  Dec 10% in the next round, all the way around.  Finish off.

Apr├Ęs-Ski pullover
This is a variation on the Two Blocks top.
Sample:  It used about 50-grams of fluffy yarn – it was a bit of leftover yarn.
Bust:  12”
Armhole depth: 3”
Wrist: 3”

Make two squares, based on the bust measurement, in ch-1 net stitch on the diagonal.  With right sides together, join ¼ on each side of the top edges for the shoulders, leaving ½ for the neck opening.  Mark the underarm points on each side.  With RS facing, join yarn at one side edge, sc up to the shoulder and down to the other underarm.  Continue in sweater stitch, decreasing as needed to the wrist measurement.  A schematic helps with the numbers.

Join side and sleeve seams.

Collar:  join yarn at center back.  (sc in next row-end, ch1, sc in next row end) all the way around the neck edge.  This is an increase row.  Continuing in a coil, in ch-1 net stitch, keep stitching until the yarn runs out.  Slip stitch the last couple of stitches to smooth out the finishing point.

Three Blocks vest (4, counting the collar)
Sample: Pima Fine by Cascade, with a 4mm hook
Across Back:  5”
Bust:  12”
Armhole depth:  3”

The finished piece may look tricky, but here is the schematic:

It really is a block for the back and two more blocks for the front.  You can use any stitch you want, but here is the pattern stitch for sample:
R1: ch2 (counts as 1dc), turn, dc2, sk1, (dc, ch, dc) in next st, sk 1), (dc5, sk1, (dc, ch, dc) in next st, sk 1) across, ending with dc3.
R2: ch1, turn, sc across.

Starting at the lower edge, make a block as wide as the across back measurement and as long as half the bust measurement (or desired length).

For each front, make a block 2/3 the width of the back, and just as long as the back.  Join half the top edge of the front to 1/3 the top edge of the back for the shoulder seams.

Collar:  Starting halfway on remaining front neck edge, sc around the neck to the matching point on the other front neck edge.  Stitch a few more rows (sc) until the collar is as wide as the remaining neck edge on the front.

On the buttonhole side of the front, mark the midpoint and halfway between that point and the bottom edge for buttonhole placement.

Finishing:  with right side facing and starting at the center bottom back edge, sc around the whole piece, making (ch2) at each buttonhole location.  Next row:  in crab stitch, stitch around 1 time, reinforcing the buttonholes when you get to them.

FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Three Blox Vest (four, if you add the collar)

 Three Blox Vest

The concept:  This works well with a loose gauge, a soft drape.  Start by making a rectangle as wide as the shoulder width and as long as you want the vest to be. The rows can be oriented horizontally, vertically, or on the diagonal.  That is the back.  Figure out your gauge.  Make two more rectangles, both the same size but narrower than the back, for the fronts, so that the back and the two fronts together are big enough to go around the waist.  A fourth rectangle is the collar.  Join seams.  Add edgings and buttonholes.  Add buttons.  That’s about it.

Measurements that matter:
Across back measurement
Waist (mainly to make sure the fronts and back together are big enough).  In my case, the back was 15 inches wide, and each front was 10 inches wide – notice that the front is wider than the back.  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.

1. Join half the top front edge to the matching back edge for the shoulder seams.  Stitch a collar rectangle:  join the yarn midpoint of the remaining front top edge, stitch around the neck to the matching point on the opposite front neck edge, increasing about 10-20% so it will lie flat.  Work even for a few inches, then fasten off.

2. If you don’t want to sew shoulder seams, start at the bottom of the back and stop at the top.  Mark the top of the back in thirds.  Work across one third and add the same number of stitches again – so, for example, if the back had 60 stitches, work across 20, then increase another 20 to make 40 stitches for the front width.  Then continue stitching along that shorter width for one front side.  To make the other front side, make a base chain of the added stitches, join to the top of the other side of the back along the other shoulder.

3.  Alternate collar:  On the red version, I made a shawl collar by stitching along the remaining stitches of each front top edge, making rectangular strips that joined at the center back .

4. Mark the armhole depth, taking into consideration how deep it should be to fit over a shirt.  Join the side seams.

5. Add a couple of rounds around the open edges:  For the armholes, single crochet around one row, decreasing 10 percent to avoid the ‘50’s sci-fi shoulder look – the loose gauge helps with that, too.  Then crab stitch a finishing row.  On the front edges, mark where buttons and buttonloops will be.  Single crochet one row, adding button loops where you want them.  Depending on how wide you want the edging to be, sc another row, reinforcing the buttonholes, then crab stitch 1 row to finish.

The samples were made with worsted-  to bulky-weight yarns.  DK weight works well, too, but takes longer to make.

The blue vest was made in Fantasy Naturale, a bulky weight cotton by Plymouth.  Pattern stitch:  Base row: (sc1, dc1) across.  Pattern row:  (sc1, dc1) into dc of pr r.  Skip the sc.

The red vest was made in Cotton Classic, a light worsted weight cotton by Tahki Stacy Charles.  Pattern stitch:  (sc1, dc1) across, with sc into dc of previous row and dc into sc of previous row.  This one is different because the rows are worked up and down:  Make a base row as long as you want the garment to be, then work the pattern stitch until the piece is as wide as the across back measurement.  Make two more blocks the same way until each is about 2/3 as wide as the back.  Join the shoulder and side seams.  This one does not have a notched collar.  Instead, for the collar, join the yarn at the front neck corner of one side.  stitch across the short row, back and forth, joining the end of every 2nd row to a row end on the back neck edge, until you reach the middle of the back.  Finish off, and repeat for the other side of the front.  When you reach the center back on the 2nd collar piece, finish off, leaving a tail long enough to sew the last row of each collar piece together.  For the edging:  Attach pins on the front edges where the button loops should go.  Join the yarn at the middle of the lower edge on the back, with the right side facing.  Single crochet around the whole piece, making a (sc, ch, sc) increase as needed at outside corners, and making a ch-2 loop at each pin marking a button loop.  Next round:  crab stitch around, making 2 stitches into each button loop.  Finish off and tuck in loose ends, and sewing a button opposite each button loop.

The variegated vest was made in Encore, a worsted weight acrylic/wool blend by Plymouth.  Pattern stitch (worked over an odd number of stitches):  Row 1: sc1 (ch1, skip 1, sc1) across.  Row 2: *Dc5, skip 1, (dc1, ch1, dc1) in next st, skip 1. Repeat from * across.  Repeat these two rows for the pattern.  A pattern that alternates tall (dc) rows with short (sc) rows can be really good with variegated yarns because the color changes in the tall direction are highlighted, and the color changes in the short direction are minimized.


Managing Variegated Yarn

Variegated yarns can be great because they make a design in the fabric just by doing a basic stitch.

Then the pattern gets interrupted, sometimes by shaping in the construction, but also sometimes by breaks in the yarn, when there are knots.  Then the piece can come out looking goofy.

One solution is to control the color changes, breaking the yarn as needed to place the colors where I want them.  I am not going to do that for two reasons:  first, it involves too much micromanaging of the yarn, and second, it ends up wasting a bunch of yarn.  So what else could I do?

I turned the project on its side, starting at the side seam, working back and forth with all the shaping on one edge, and the other edge (the bottom edge of the vest) with no shaping at all.

Suddenly, the colorwork turned into something like ikat, with lots of vertical lines.  The disruptions caused by the shaping became irrelevant.  And the vest turned out just fine.


Standard Body Measurements

Following a pattern for a crocheted garment can be tricky because gauge is tricky in crochet. You might match the stitch gauge but not the row gauge. You might want the fabric to be looser or more firm than what you are getting by following the pattern. You might very well be using a different yarn than the pattern indicates. There are lots of factors.

So, knowing what kinds of measurements are involved can be really useful. And it turns out that there are size charts out there that include a lot more information than just the bust/chest measurement that we usually depend on when buying ready-made garments. The Craft Yarn Council has pages on their website with this information. Here are some links:

The kinds of information shown on this page and listed in the body charts


and there are charts for women and men, too)

give you a clue of what kinds of measurements to look for, for example, with making doll clothes, too.

These charts are handy tools in my information kit.

No comments: