Crochet Fever – Baby Sweaters

I’ve been attempting to learn crochet once more. My grandmother, before her health declined, was a crochet wizard and could quickly make beautiful things and she even made her own designs!

She did try to teach me on several occasions, but I never made it beyond the basic starter chain…sort of. I did manage to make a really wavy scarf in high school. Definitely NOT wavy by choice, but by lack of stitch control. Then my sister was pregnant with her second child a few years ago and I wanted to make her something. So I took up crochet needles and yarn once more. I bought pattern books and how to books and started on a washcloth. And that was really hard at the time. Thus, I gave it up again without finishing anything once more.

Fast forward several years later and I spy my work basket and unfinished work. I don’t know why, but I start again. I finished the washcloth using the wrong kind of yarn and too tight stitches. After completing that, I jump into making baby outfits. That jump doesn’t make sense at my skill level, but I was determined. I have now finished two outfits. Both are full of mistakes, but I am learning and am happy with the results even if they aren’t perfect. I have a hard time controlling stitches, especially when working in double crochet. My starting chain starts out really tight and then my rows get progressively looser and I have to make a conscious effort to reign them in. Thus, baby sweater number 1…I can wear the sleeves on my arm since it got so out of control. Thus, the arms are really awkward on the body and I think that is partly because of the out of control stitches. My first failed sleeve was turned into a hat for my cousin’s baby.

This sweater was from Caron’s all for BABY! that I picked up in like 2011 or 2012 from Michaels. I have no idea why I chose doing a hoodie of all things as my first project. They body was straightforward, but ended up completely out of shape with one half being tighter than the other half. I also decided to forgo the striping effect since I was using ancient mulch-colored yarn from my grandmother or great grandmother. It was worsted, soft and fuzzy. I was thinking of making a sweater out of it, but realized the three skeins I had would be nowhere near enough for an adult, thus I used it for this baby hoodie. This sweater was supposed to take one skein of yearn per color, so I figured three of one color should be plenty. Not so much. I equate this to just how badly done the first sweater was. Desperate, I ran out and got a second yarn, a white with metallic thread woven in to do the hood and finishing since I didn’t have enough of the other yarn. Plus, I had to go out and buy some buttons because I totally forgot we had a button tin already at home with buttons collected and snipped off from the years. Oddly enough, while joining the sleeves to the body and finishing that became a nightmare, the hood and the trim went well and I was really proud of that part of the project. I then chose the booties from the same book to make a matching pair to go with the sweater. Booties…I did rather well with them. I tend to lose my place entirely too easily in rounds, but I do rounds better than normal stitches and rows. Go figure.

Project number two was slightly easier in certain respects, but I flubbed that one up by loosing stitches. This pattern was from Red Heart’s crochet made easy. This was where I got my washcloth pattern from that I started learning crochet with. The pattern was the shell stitch baby set designed by Michele Maks. This time the sleeves weren’t worked in rounds, but in rectangles that you attached to the body and then continued working to the yoke. I made the sleeves pretty uniform. The body was fairly decent. Yes, some parts still had stitch control issues, but not nearly as bad as the first project. The problem came when I bought a second yarn for striping. I probably should have used the same white yarn from the first project, but that was much too thin compared to the heavier yarn I used for the blue part of the body. Thus I went and bought this fuzzy white yarn which ended up being hella thick and very difficult to work with. Since I’m notoriously bad at counting stitches to ensure I’m not dropping any, I dropped…A LOT. Of course, I didn’t realize this until I attached the sleeves and the count was horribly screwed up. Instead of starting over, I kept going and tried to modify the design as I thought it should be to make it work out. It…didn’t work out like it should have. The sweater is very beautiful in the grand scheme of things, but as you can tell by comparing the way it’s supposed to look with how it really looks, it’s off. I ended up with an unintentionally angled lapel or whatever you want to call it. So I learned a lot with this one. The first sweater I learned how important it was to control your stitches to keep things uniform and the right size. This second project I learned just how important it was to ensure the stitch count was correct and I learned that I LOVE shell stitches. Normal double crochet gets away from me, but I am good and keeping shell stitches in check. I even made my first baby blanket using shell stitches which I will post later. Of course I made the matching hat to this outfit. I didn’t have enough blue left, so I used the evil white which threw the gauge off and made the hat really more awkward, but it’s still very cute. I like the cloche hat and I hope my cousin likes the baby sweaters I made for her son. I am attempting to remake the outfit below using different yarn, so hopefully the stitch counts come out right. I will post those pictures when I’m finished.




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