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Easy Chunky Crochet Sweater

I’ve always wanted to try crocheting some sort of clothing piece that I could wear as I’ve previously made a lot of accessories such as cowls and hats.  I dabbled in sweater-making with Myla’s “Arbor Baby Sweater" but up till now, I could not find a crocheted sweater pattern for adults that I absolutely loved.  Furthermore, I didn’t feel confident enough to try making my own design since I had no previous experience working on an adult sweater.  

Much to my delight, I saw a picture of a gorgeous sweater that draped beautifully on-line, and it turned out to be a free crochet pattern on the Lion Brand Yarns website called the “Simple Crochet Shrug" (see HERE).  When I quickly read through the pattern, I was blown away by its simplicity as the construction was simply one massive rectangle folded in half and then seamed along the sides while leaving arm holes- no other attachments were necessary!  It was a very popular pattern as over 600 people had made this project on Ravelry, and I couldn’t wait to give this sweater a try!

Picking out the colour and yarn I wanted for my sweater was tricky, but eventually we decided upon Bernat’s Softee Chunky in “Grey Ragg”.  It is a very soft yarn that does not fuzz up too easily and I absolutely loved the light grey and white variegation that I knew would give my sweater a beautiful look.  It’s a super bulky (level 6) yarn that has a net weight of 100 g/3.5 oz and approximately 99 m/108 yds.  In total, I used five skeins of this yarn.  Each skein regularly costs $4.99 (Canadian) and with the Michael’s 40% off coupon, each skein came out to $2.99, so the cost of materials for this sweater was very affordable.  You can also find this yarn on Amazon HERE for only $2.74!

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I read through almost all the Ravelry entries of this project to see how other people’s sweaters turned out depending on how many chains they started with, what yarn they used and any other modifications they made.  It was a challenge determining the size as some people’s sweaters turned out too long or too short, and it was hard to judge how tall these people were in their photos.  I wanted to make my sweater oversized and long enough to cover my rear, and I actually ended up making my sweater WAYY too big on the first try.  Sweaters stretch a lot and I decided to frog my work and start over so that I could try and make it the perfect size on the second try!  

I chained 76 using my 10 mm crochet hook.  It is VERY important to note that this initial series of chain stitches will be the LENGTH of your sweater, so determining this initial length is key as you will not be able to change it later on (unless you add some edging at the end).  The rows worked later on will be the width of your sweater.  Do keep in mind that your sweater can stretch later on as you pull it downwards too.  For reference, I am about 5’ 6” tall.  

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To achieve the beautiful ribbing of this sweater, you work single crochets in the back loops only.  As a reminder, the back loops are the loops further away from you while the front loops are the ones closer to you when you’re crocheting.

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You crochet row by row in the back loops only, turning your work as you go.  How simple can this pattern be?  It’s the perfect project to work on when you’re watching tv or having a conversation since you don’t need to keep the count and it works up so quickly since you’re using chunky yarn and such a large crochet hook.  Doesn’t the ribbing give such beautiful texture?

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You keep adding rows until you are happy with the width of your sweater.  In the end, I ended up with 56 rows measuring 31”/79 cm across.  Lengthwise, my rectangle was 38.5”/98 cm (remember that this is capable of stretching quite a bit too).

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Next, you fold the rectangle in half.  It is very important that you fold your rectangle in half so that the rows are running vertically!  I noticed that quite a few people on Ravelry were folding their rectangles the wrong way as their rows were running horizontally.  This meant that their resulting sweaters were very wide and short!

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To create the arm holes, you seam up the sides.

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I seamed up 11”/28 cm and left 8”/20 cm for the arm hole on each side.

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This is how you wear the piece- now it’s looking more sweater-like :)  You’ll notice that the the rows now run horizontally in the front but vertically in the back.  When I was working on this piece and periodically measuring it to my body to check for size, it seemed as though it might end up being too short.  However, we learned from our first experience, and we knew that it was capable of stretching a lot later on.  Thus, don’t be too worried if you think your sweater seems it might be a tad short…

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I wanted to add my own modification to this sweater pattern by adding a special ribbed collar.  To do so, I located the midline of the sweater and attached a stitch marker (you can’t see it too well in the picture below, but there is a peach stitch marker where the midline arrow is pointing to).  Next, I wore the sweater and determined where I wanted the collar to start. I placed a green stitch marker 12 rows below the arm seam on either side (this will vary depending on your height and where you want your own collar to start).  In case you’re interested, I have been using my “Clover Lock Ring Markers" a lot for all my recent projects, and none of them have broken on me (buy them HERE)!

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Starting from the green stitch marker on the left side (when you’re looking at the sweater) and crocheting upwards towards the peach marker, I worked some slip stitches, single crochets, half double crochets and then double crochets in Row 1.  This helped to slowly build up the collar and make it taper towards the ends.  I did the exact same pattern back downwards to the other green stitch marker once I reached the midline at the top to make it symmetrical.  I used a smaller 8 mm crochet hook for this collar part to get tighter, smaller stitches compared to those of the body.  I also tried to pick up stitches quite close together so that there were no gaps in the collar.

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Row 1 is complete!

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Next I alternated front post double crochets with back post double crochets in Row 2 to begin creating a ribbed effect.  

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I did the same thing for Rows 3 and 4 to really emphasize the ribbing.

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The ribbed collar is complete!

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You can fold the collar up…

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And the ribbing is on the other side too :)  I think this ribbed collar is a really nice addition, don’t you?  I’m really happy with how it turned out!

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Here is the pattern for the collar that I added in case you’re interested in crocheting one for your sweater too!

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To access the free Lion Brand pattern for their “Simple Crochet Shrug”, click HERE.  They have also written up patterns for the same shrug using different weights of yarn (e.g. worsted, bulky, super bulky), so see a list of them HERE towards the bottom under “Also available in other Lion Brand yarns" to get an idea of what numbers you should use for your particular yarn.

In summary for my own sweater, I chained 76 initially and did 56 rows of single crochets.  I used a 10 mm crochet hook for the body of the sweater and 5 skeins of yarn.  Keep in mind that these numbers will vary for yourself depending on how long and wide you want your sweater to be (and depending on your height), what hook size and yarn you use (worsted, bulky, super bulky) and how tightly you crochet (smaller, tighter stitches will result in your sweater stretching less while loose stitches will result in more stretching).

Collar Pattern:

- Tag upper midline with stitch marker.

- Tag sides with stitch markers indicating where you want your collar to begin and end (12 rows below arm seam for mine).

{Sl st = slip stitch, Sc = single crochet, Hdc = half double crochet, Fpdc = front post double crochet, Bpdc = back post double crochet (learn how to do Fpdc’s HERE and Bpdc’s HERE)}

Using 8 mm hook,

R1: Sl st 2, Sc 2, Hdc 2, Dc 57 (or however many it takes for you to reach stitch marker at upper midline- space your stitches close together so that there are no gaps). Dc at stitch marker.  Repeat exact same pattern down the other way to your stitch marker: Dc 57, Hdc 2, Sc 2, Sl st 2.  Slip stitch to next stitch, turn. 

R2: Sl st 2, Sc 2, Hdc 2, alternate fpdc and bpdc around (i.e. start with fpdc, bpdc, fpdc, bpdc, etc) until 6 stitches left.  Hdc 2, sc 2, sl st 2. Slip stitch to next stitch, turn.

R3: Same as R2 but alternate bpdc with fpdc (i.e. start with bpdc, fpdc, bpdc, fpdc, etc) to ensure that ribbing is building up.

R4: Same as R2.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

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I was incredibly excited to try on my new sweater and we took advantage of the last days of summer weather to do a photoshoot before the snow comes!  This sweater is so versatile as it looks cute over a dress, and I can see myself wearing this in the winter with leggings and tall boots too!

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I’ll be able to wear this as my pregnant belly continues to grow as I enter my third trimester soon- oversized cardigans and sweaters are a must as winter and sweater weather rolls around!  I practically lived in my nursing tank tops with blazers and cardigans over top when I was nursing Myla (see my Maternity Fashion HERE and my Nursing Fashion HERE), so I know I’ll be wearing this sweater a lot post partum, especially since we’re having a winter baby.

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I’m really happy with how the sizing of the sweater turned out as the length is not too long or too short.  The ginormous sweater I made on my first try (I chained 100 and did 68 rows) made me look like I was being engulfed in a blanket as it extended down towards my calves!  

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The vertical ribbing looks beautiful from behind.  This sweater is so incredibly luxurious and romantic…

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This sweater does tend to bunch around the bum area a bit due to its construction, but it’s not a big deal…

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Popping up my ribbed collar!  If you don’t want to add this special collar or you think it might be too difficult, you could always simply crochet more rows when working on your big rectangle to increase its width.  The piece will naturally fold to give a collar if it’s wide enough.  

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You could also add some buttons to this sweater if you wanted some closure!  I myself love how it hangs and drapes naturally when I wear it. Another modification you could try is adding sleeves by crocheting around the armholes too!

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[Dress: Urban Outfitters, Boots: Steve Madden; Purse: Coach; Sweater: Me :D; Bracelet: Mikaylove; Necklace: Mahina; Watch: Michael Kors]

I know people tend to whip out their crochet hooks as temperatures drop and fall and winter begin, so this is the perfect project to work on!  Sweater weather will soon be upon us, and it is actually currently snowing where I live as I write this post (ahh, the fleeting days of summer).  This sweater is so incredibly simple to crochet and the results are gorgeous, like something you would see in a high end fashion boutique.  It’s a great beginner’s project, and it’s such an amazing feeling being able to wear something you created with your own two hands from scratch (I love seeing the looks on people’s faces when they discover that I made my crocheted pieces)!  Let me know what you think of this sweater in the comments below, if you’ll be trying out this design, and if you’ve come across any other sweater patterns that you’ve loved.  If you do end up making your own sweater, I think it’d be really helpful to leave a comment below letting us know what yarn you used and how many chains and rows you ended up going with too :)

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Here are some of my previous winter crochet projects in case you’re interested in crocheting some hats and cowls while you’re at it!  From left to right and top to bottom we have the Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie, Knotted Headband, Puff Stitch Cowl, Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl, Long Double Crochet Cowl, and Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanie.  The “Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie" has a similar construction to this sweater and is a great beginner’s project!  Don’t forget to keep up with me on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as I’m putting the final touches on a lot of new designs and projects.  I’ve been on a crocheting frenzy as I try and bring to life all the designs swirling in my mind before Baby #2 comes and life gets extremely busy!  Enjoy making your own beautiful sweaters and let me know how it goes!

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & step-by-step tutorial: Easy Chunky Crochet Sweater

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & step-by-step tutorial: Easy Chunky Crochet Sweater

Last Christmas I whipped up some of these adorable coffee sleeves as gifts and was delighted with how they turned out!  I recently pulled out the pattern again and thought I would blog about it since I love them so much :)
You might be wondering what crochet stitch this coffee sleeve uses since it has such a beautiful braided look: it’s actually the half double crochet!  Instead of crocheting in both the front and back loops, you crochet in the third loop (found below the back loop of half double crochets).  This free pattern is by “Frayed Knot" and is called the "15 Min Coffee Sleeve”- it’s true that it works up extremely quickly, and adding a button is such a cute touch.  So if you’re in a scramble for a quick handmade gift, check out this free pattern HERE!

Last Christmas I whipped up some of these adorable coffee sleeves as gifts and was delighted with how they turned out!  I recently pulled out the pattern again and thought I would blog about it since I love them so much :)

You might be wondering what crochet stitch this coffee sleeve uses since it has such a beautiful braided look: it’s actually the half double crochet!  Instead of crocheting in both the front and back loops, you crochet in the third loop (found below the back loop of half double crochets).  This free pattern is by “Frayed Knot" and is called the "15 Min Coffee Sleeve”- it’s true that it works up extremely quickly, and adding a button is such a cute touch.  So if you’re in a scramble for a quick handmade gift, check out this free pattern HERE!

I attended my cousin’s wedding over the weekend and made this card for the newly married couple!  I always turn to the free simple heart pattern on “Little Birdie Secrets" found HERE when I want to add a touch of crochet to my cards.  I simply use hot glue to attach the crocheted heart to the cardstock (I used hot glue to attach the lace as well).  There are so many fun free crochet appliques out there (cupcakes, moustaches, snowmen), and I think they add such a beautiful surprise to cards!  Check out this list of free crochet appliques HERE and start dreaming up what kind of handmade birthday, wedding or Christmas cards you can make ❤

I attended my cousin’s wedding over the weekend and made this card for the newly married couple!  I always turn to the free simple heart pattern on “Little Birdie Secrets" found HERE when I want to add a touch of crochet to my cards.  I simply use hot glue to attach the crocheted heart to the cardstock (I used hot glue to attach the lace as well).  There are so many fun free crochet appliques out there (cupcakes, moustaches, snowmen), and I think they add such a beautiful surprise to cards!  Check out this list of free crochet appliques HERE and start dreaming up what kind of handmade birthday, wedding or Christmas cards you can make 

Cover of Dragon Feature

Hello my crafty friends!  As you all know, I love amigurumi, and it was my pleasure being featured in a wonderful amigurumi article found in Issue 20 of “Simply Crochet" magazine.  "We Love Amigurumi”, written by Judy Darley of Future Publishing, is about the joys of making amigurumi toys, and I am so honoured and happy that I could be a part of it!

I was interviewed alongside fellow amigurumi artists Maike van den Dries of the Netherlands and Mei Li Lee of Malaysia.  I really enjoyed reading this delightful article, seeing all the beautiful pictures, and hearing what Maike and Mei had to say as well.  In this “We Love Amigurumi" article, we talk about why we think amigurumi stands out from other kinds of toys, advice on getting started, amigurumi challenges, and what we all love about amigurumi!  It makes me so happy to see features such as these that promote amigurumi and introduce this beautiful art to people who may have never heard of it before!  Yay for amigurumi  

I am so honoured that Dragon is the cover photo of this article and that they included pics of my “Knotted Headband”, “Spring Bunnies”, “Cotton the Lamb”, and the “Fluff Bears: Coco & Mochi”!  If you’re interested in reading this article for yourself, you can buy digital copies of Simply Crochet magazine HERE and also find hard copies in Barnes & Nobles and Chapters Indigo stores!  Let me know if you end up picking up this issue and what you think!

[Note: When I first blogged about this feature, I had initially posted the entire article, but I have now taken it down since we don’t have legal permission- sorry about that!]

Homespun Cover Siu Mai Amigurumi Feature

Remember the amigurumi siu mai I crocheted three years ago?  Recently they were featured in the July issue of “Homespun Magazine”, Australia’s leading monthly craft title!  Click on each pic above to get a closer look at each page :)  It’s neat how my little pork dumplings are getting some time to shine in the Land Down Under- have any of my Australian readers checked out “Homespun” before?  If you want to crochet your own expressive siu mai, be sure to visit the step-by-step blog post HERE and the very easy free pattern HERE!

Studio Ami Pig

Last week I blogged about how I was crocheting some amigurumi gifts for the daughters of some of our good friends.  One of the girls loves elephants (see the one I made for her here) while her sister’s favourite animal is a pig!  And so, I scoured Ravelry to look for a free and cute pig pattern.  I really liked the look and simplicity of Studio Ami's “Micropig”, so I decided to give it a try!  

However, I knew that the original pattern would yield quite a small pig, and I wanted to give the girls an elephant and a pig that were similar in size.  I also wanted to use the same yarn that I used to make the elephant (Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids) so that the amigurumi would match!  Instead of modifying the pattern to make it bigger, I wanted to keep it simple and follow the existing pattern but hold two strands of worsted weight yarn while crocheting.  I used a 5 mm crochet hook to accommodate for the thickness, the largest hook I’ve ever used to make an amigurumi!  As you know, the thicker the yarn and the larger the crochet hook you use, the bigger your amigurumi will turn out!

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As you can see, the stitches are massive but no holes are visible and the piece has a sturdy feel to it because of the thickness.  

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This pig works up really quickly!  I love how simple this pattern is as the body/head is already complete :)

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With the eyes in place I thought this little one was starting to look like a Sackboy!

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Next I crocheted the pointy ears…

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And then the four stubby legs!  When attaching the ears and legs to the body, I only used one strand of yarn as it was simply to thick and difficult to use both strands to sew the pieces together.

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After attaching the ears, legs and also the felt snout, here is what our pig looked like!  

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The original pattern does not include a tail, but I thought it would be fun to add a little curly tail!  I crocheted the tail as follows:

Ch 5.  3 sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each chain across (12 sc).  Fasten off and leave long end to attach tail to bottom-back of pig.

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To make our elephant and pig amigurumi match even more, we added a cute floral bow to the pig using the same fabric we used for the lining of the elephant’s ears!  What do you think of her?

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She is a ball of cuteness, so round and sweet!

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The curly little tail adds a nice touch, don’t you think?

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I was really happy with how this pig turned out and how it was similar in size to the elephant I blogged about last week!

Have you ever tried holding two strands of yarn together to make amigurumi before?  What have you done to make your amigurumi larger?  If you’ve been looking for a cute amigurumi pig pattern, I highly recommend checking out the free one provided by Sylvia of “Studio Ami" HERE!  Thanks for sharing your free pattern with us, Sylvia!

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Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Pig by Studio Ami
I made this amigurumi bigger by crocheting with two strands of worsted weight yarn at the same time!  Have you ever done this before?  Full details coming up soon!

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Pig by Studio Ami

I made this amigurumi bigger by crocheting with two strands of worsted weight yarn at the same time!  Have you ever done this before?  Full details coming up soon!

I’ve really enjoyed seeing the elephants you’ve crocheted using the English translation that I posted last month!  The construction of these elephants is really ingenious, and I’m glad to hear that many of you have been challenged and also impressed by its design!

I wanted to crochet something special for the daughters of our good friends- when one of them said that elephants were her favourite animal, I knew which pattern to turn to!  I decided to make her the same pink elephant with blue floral lining that I made for Myla.  I did not have enough “Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice" yarn left, so I turned to "Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids in Soft Rose" as I happened to have a full skein in my stash.  

Vanna’s Choice is labeled as a worsted weight yarn (category 4 medium, 10 ply) and Impeccable Solids is also labeled as a worsted weight yarn (category 4 medium, 10 ply).  However, as people who work a lot with yarn know, even though yarns may be given the same level or weight class, they can actually be quite different.  As you can see in the pictures above, the pink elephant crocheted using “Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids” (on the right side of both photos) turned out larger than the “Vanna’s Choice” elephant even though I used the same size crochet hook!

Even within the category of “worsted weight yarn”, there is a wide range, and Planet June did a very informative blog post and comparison that can be found HERE.  She classified different worsted weight yarns as light worsted, worsted or heavy worsted.  Thus, if you want your amigurumi to be a little bit bigger, you could always try out different yarns!  Have you noticed in your experience that some worsted weight yarn is thicker than others?  What are your favourite worsted weight yarns to work with?  If you want to crochet your own elephants, check out my step-by-step blog post HERE and the free English translation HERE!  

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Cupcake Bib (modification of Twinkie Chan's free “Cupcake Dishcloth" pattern)

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Cupcake Bib (modification of Twinkie Chan's free “Cupcake Dishcloth" pattern)

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