DISCLAIMER: The only reason I’m posting this is because I said I would. I’m actually kind of embarrassed for how my sweater turned out, but it’s the first sweater I’ve ever crocheted, and I can still wear it around the house or to bed in winter. Also, I’ve found that trying to be perfect gets old, really, really fast. That’s why I stopped trying. 😉
This doesn’t really count as an actual crochet pattern, but I’ll try to be as specific as possible in this post! Feel free to make changes as you wish–like using double crochet stitches instead of single crochet, adding flowers or other decorations at the end, etc.
This is a very easy project to take on, I’d say! (After all, I’m doing it! 😉 ) I mostly decided to make a sweater because I have a lot of old yarn I’m trying to use up, so not only am I using up yarn, I can try out a pattern without using up any special yarn.
Also, I apologize in advance for the quality of my photos, but hopefully they at least get the point across. If you have any questions or are confused about anything, please leave a comment under this post!
-Yarn (I used the Lion Brand Pound of Love yarn in white, and used about 1 skein for this project, but my stitches were really tight, so that’s why I used up that much yarn.)
-A crochet hook (I used my J10/6mm hook, which is a bigger hook than necessary for the yarn I chose, because a–I’d lost my other hooks, and b–again, my stitches tend to be a lot tighter than necessary, so a slightly bigger hook means slightly bigger stitches.)
-A measuring tape or ruler
-A yarn needle, if you choose to use it to sew your seams/want to make cuffs on the sleeves
-Another long-sleeved shirt or sweater that you like the fit of (This is just for measuring purposes)
-Paper and writing utensil for writing down measurements
-Another contrasting color of yarn to use as stitch markers, etc., or actual stitch markers
-Buttons or extra yarn of different colors if you wish to fasten the cuffs with buttons or decorate your sweater with crocheted flowers, hearts, or something else.
First, gather all your materials together.
Then pick a shirt or sweater that you like the fit of, and lay it out on a flat surface. (I used my bed, which I wouldn’t recommend, because mattresses aren’t quite flat.) Measure for yourself how big you want your sweater to be. It only has 4 basic pieces: 2 sleeves, a front, and a back. Make sure you have paper nearby so you can write down measurements as you go!
First, measure the length of one sleeve, it doesn’t matter which. Write down that number–you can make it longer or shorter, if you want longer or shorter sleeves than on the model shirt–and you can also adjust them later!
As you can see, my sleeves were about 23 inches long, but I crocheted an extra couple inches as cuffs–we’ll get to that later.
Then measure how wide the sleeves are. I made mine purposefully huge (and am now regretting it); you can be a little less extreme! Make sure that you’ll be able to put your whole arm and hand through the sleeve you plan to make, though–yarn isn’t always that stretchy! Once you know how wide a sleeve is, double that number, and write it down. (Each sleeve starts as a rectangle that you will fold in half and sew to make a seam.)
So my sleeves were about 9 inches wide–I doubled that, wrote down 18 inches, changed that measurement, and still ended up with huge sleeves.
Now you can measure the front and back, which will be identical. This sweater has a very boring collar, so just measure a square or rectangle, and write down the measurements. (My front and back pieces were each about 20 inches by 20 inches, which, I found out, made for a pretty weird sweater.)
Now you are ready to crochet! Let’s start with a sleeve first. Use tight chain stitches to start, and then go on to single crochet the width of your sleeve (in my case, 15 inches.) Then, once you single crochet one row, measure again. If you have to unravel that row and go back and add or unravel a few chain stitches, that’s okay. Continue crocheting until you reach the length you want your sleeve to be (in my case, about 23 inches without cuffs.)
I had to go back and add a few more chain stitches.
Yes! The right length!
At this point, I had a rectangle about 15 inches wide and 5 tall. **Tip: put pieces of contrasting yarn/stitch markers about every 5 inches, to help you keep track of your progress.**
As I went, I measured every now and then to see how I was getting along. I also cut pieces of red yarn to tie the edges of my rectangle together to make a sleeve, which I would then try on to see how it fit/about how much longer I had yet to crochet. Once you do this, you may need to adjust the length of your sleeves–decide if you want to make them longer or shorter than originally planned.
If you want cuffs on the end of your sleeves, decide that now and crochet an extra couple inches, or as long as you want your cuffs to be. (Ex: Two inch cuffs means crocheting an extra two inches.) I tied pieces of green yarn at about the 25 inch mark, then crocheted 2 more inches.
Once your rectangle is complete, chain one stitch, cut off your yarn, and pull out the hook, then pull the knot tight.
Now you can start the second rectangle! Count the number of stitches in a row of the completed rectangle and chain that many stitches, plus one, so that the sleeves will be the same size. Then repeat the same basic steps to make the second rectangle.
Once both are done, you can move onto the front and back of the sweater.
You can measure the width of your sleeves to have a good idea of how many chain stitches you need to make to have the correct width you want to the main part of your sweater. Once you have crocheted a row, measure again. If you need to backtrack and unravel stitches to add or take away some from the original chain, to get the width you want, that’s okay. 😉
Just as you did with the sleeves, continuing crocheting, measuring at intervals, until the shape is the desired size. Then make an identical piece, the back of the sweater. (The front and back can be interchangeable.)
You now have all four pieces–two sleeves and the front and back.
When you go to sew the sweater together, it will be inside out as you sew the seams. So this means that the “bad side” of your work should be facing out when you put the pieces together. This means that if you have a knot on one side of your work, make sure that side is facing out when you go to make your seams–so when you wear the sweater, it won’t be visible.
If you want, thread a yarn needle with yarn to sew the edges of your sleeves, or you can “sew” using a crochet hook. Either way, take one sleeve and fold it in half hotdog style.
IF YOU DON’T WANT CUFFS: Then start at the top, where the edges meet, and either sew or crochet the edges together. When you are done, cut off the yarn. You now have a finished sleeve, with the seam facing out!
IF YOU WANT CUFFS: Start at the top and sew or crochet the edges together, but stop at the length you want your cuffs to be. (It helps if you put stitch markers/yarn at that point.) So if you want two-inch cuffs, stop two inches from the end of your sleeves–leave two inches unsewn. You now have a finished sleeve, with the seam facing out!
I stopped at the stitch marker I replaced the green yarn with, 2 inches from the end of my sleeve.
This is what the sleeve seam looks like when the sleeve is right side out.
Then repeat those steps for the other sleeve, and put them aside for a bit, still inside out. It’s time to focus on the front and back of your sweater now!
Here are the front and back pieces.
Lie them one on top of the other, with the “bad sides” facing out–one should be facing up, the other should be against your lap or whatever surface you are working on. Decide which end will be the top of your sweater and measure out how wide your sleeves are–mine would be 15 inches. Then put a stitch marker or tie a piece of yarn (it all serves the same purpose) 15 inches from the top of the front, on both sides. You will only sew or crochet the sides together beneath those markers–leave the area above them open for your sleeves to go.
I know not to crochet above this point.
Sew or crochet the sides of your sweater, only the parts below the stitch markers!
Then take one sleeve, still inside out, and line it up at one arm hole. Sew or crochet the edges together–it may be easier to put one arm inside the actual sweater sleeve as you do this, so you don’t accidentally sew the top of the sleeve shut.
Repeat those basic steps with the other sleeve.
Make sure there are no gaps in the seams of your sweater.
If you don’t want cuffs, then you are done! Turn it right side out, try it on, and give yourself a pat on the back!
If you want cuffs, you still have a little bit more work to do. Still turn your sweater right side out, then fold up the edges of your sleeves to make cuffs and sew that in place. (I chose to just leave it folded back.)
Congratulations on making it this far through my badly-explained tutorial!
If you want, you can add buttons, or other decorations such as crocheted flowers.
Here is my finished Ugly Sweater: