Thursday, 6 February 2014

Crocheting clothing - a first try!

I've been happily accumulating wool now for a while - as well as crocheting magazines - on the understanding that I would actually start challenging myself more than the scarves and hats that I've been making so far!  As with sewing, what I really want to do was make myself clothes. While I was in America, I bought Custom Crocheted Sweaters.  It really appealed to me - particularly as the sweaters mainly weren't really 'holey', like a lot of crochet garments.  Lots of holes in a sweater doesn't appeal to me, because it just means you have to wear an extra top underneath - defeats the point of wearing a sweater, to my mind!

At the weekend, I finally took the plunge and thought I would get started.  I had already chosen the pattern that I wanted to start with - the shawled collar tunic, which was one of the recommended starter patterns. The pattern recommended merino wool, but I had bought a Rowan Cotton Alpaca blend at the Knitting and Stitching Show which I really wanted to use, so I just went for it with that, and so far, it's crocheted up really nicely.

Here's what I had done by Monday night - half of the back.  Sorry for the dodgy photography in this post by the way - poor lighting due to the fact they were taken at night!

The stitches are a combination of double and treble crochets (single and double, for American readers, and according to the book!).  It gives a really nice, almost shell like finish, as you can hopefully see below.  Every few rows there is an increase row followed by a decrease row, giving a raised finish at the bottom of the tunic. Unfortunately on my first try of the increase row I didn't read the pattern properly and so had completed 5 rows and then had to pull them out - particularly difficult with this rather fuzzy wool which then kept breaking.  Note to self - if it doesn't make sense - think long and hard before proceeding!

I'm now about half way through the crocheting of the other side of the back - happily, it seems to be proceeding fairly smoothly. I did do a quick measure to see how my alternate wool was holding up in terms of the gauge. Interestingly, although it's the right width at the shoulders and bust, it's a bit shorter than expected - only 22" long rather than 24". Based on my general shortness, and the scienctific method of 'holding it up against me' I don't think that's going to be an issue, but I'll do my best to remember to measure a bit earlier in future - to avoid massive unpicking, which I've already learn isn't a fun activity for an evening!

I'm really enjoying trying something new and seeing this creation grow - hopefully I'll have a finished (or almost finished!) article to show off soon!

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