Up until now I have been crocheting, looming, or knitting either blankets or small accessories (scarves, hats, mittens). I have wanted to try my hand at a garment but couldn’t decide on a pattern. I also wasn’t sure whether I wanted to make a sweater, a vest, or a cardigan.
About two months ago while searching for a really simple sweater or cardigan pattern I stumbled upon an awesome program called Knitware. Knitware is a software that helps you create your own knitting or crochet patterns. The company’s website has three different versions of their software: The Basics which allows you to make pet clothing (i.e. dog sweaters), and basic garments sized from dolls to adult people; Sweaters has a large selection of sweaters including tunics, dresses, cropped, and ankle-length in sizes for children, men, and women; and Skirts and Shawls helps you create patterns for skirts, shawls (rectangular, circular, semi-circular), ponchos, afghans, and blankets. All three are available for download as a free demo.
When I found the program I didn’t feel like I was was ready to tackle a sweater. I kept talking myself out of it. Would I wear a handmade sweater? What if it didn’t turn out well? I would have wasted all that time and yarn on an ugly sweater. Then the other day I realized that to get over this hurdle I just needed to go for it. I would NEVER make a sweater or any other type of garment if I continually talked myself out of making one.
I found some soft, inexpensive acrylic yarn (I didn’t want to invest too much money in an experiment) and dove into my first sweater. I used the Knitware Sweaters program to make my pattern. It’s a crocheted hip length, seamless sweater created from the top down. It has a round yoke and three-quarter length bishop style sleeves. The yarn I’m using is Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn in Burnt Pumpkin. It took 4 skeins using single crochet.
I tried it on and I look like a giant pumpkin. It’s a little too baggy in the back where my back curves into my behind and since I decided to not add a hem to any of the edges it has a tendency to curl. I’m hoping once this is washed it will stop curling but if that doesn’t help then I can add a simple hem with yarn I had leftover.
The single crochet became very tedious to work with about half way through the project but I specifically chose it because it’s so simple and this project was more about learning the construction of the sweater than the end results. I didn’t want a complicated stitch to get in the way. Also I wasn’t too happy with the color of my yarn. If I make this pattern again I’ll try something different. Maybe stripes? Maybe just a more subdued color? Tweed?
Overall I’m happy with the sweater. It’s warm and cozy and other than at my waist in the back it fits very well. I’m glad I decided to take the plunge into sweaters. I know I’ll be making more in the future.