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How to Crochet a Sweater Without a Pattern Parts 1 to 3

By Clotilde Menendez

Part 1---How to Crochet a Sweater Without a Pattern for a Child or Anyone Else

Have you ever wanted to make a special garment for a little one who is very dear to you and didn't have a
pattern at hand with which to make it? Don't give up! It takes a little figuring out but you can make it!
If you have granny squares lying around which you made for a project a while back but got sidetracked and
never got to use after all, you can make some cute sweaters with them.
This is what you will use:
Granny squares already made
a roll of brown paper
scraps of worsted weight yarn in colors to match granny squares or contrasting colors of your choice
a crochet hook appropriate for the thickness of the yarn
a pen
measurements appropriate for size and age of person who will wear the garment
or a commercial pattern for a top for the person's size and gender
Assuming that you are making the garment for a child and you have the child around (a grandson, a niece,
your little girl, etc.) you can take measurements and make a schematic in paper and write the measurements
on it, then enlarge it using brown paper and follow it, to make your sweater. Ig you do not have the child
but can obtain from the mother a top belong to her or him, you will trace the outline of it on the brown
paper, and after taking the measurements and writing them on the paper, you will follow that. If the
garment is a surprise, like for Christmas or for a birthday, you can otain measurements online for a child of
that particular age, there are free charts available, and use those measurements to guide you as you prepare
your brown paper pattern.
If you feel more comfortable having something already made out for you, go ahead and buy a commercial
sewing pattern for a top, cut it out and trace the pieces in brown paper, or simply pin them on the brown
paper and carefully cut them out. Once you have it all drawn and cut out, the best part begins.
Pin your granny squares to the brown paper shape, and simply fill out the rest of the space with sc, hdc or
dc until you have a garment. It is as easy as that! Do that for the body of the sweater and for the sleeves.
Once finished,join the sleeves to the sweater. With a contrasting yarn color, sc all around once, and when
you come to the side that will have the buttons, 6 sc ch 1, skip 1, 6sc, repeat, until you have all the buttons
you want across the front. Fasten off and clean all threads.
There is no limit to what you can do, but I would suggest you start with a small garment so you can see
your results almost immediately.
This is really not a pattern but a method to make up your own garments, following the contour of a paper
pattern. It is very liberating, because it will allow you to use the stitches you like, to insert anything you
like, like bobbles, shells, etc. in between the rows. You can place the grannies across the bottom, across the
front, vertically down the front and back, and in any way your imagination dictates.

How to Block and Strip Crocheting (How to Make a Sweater Without a Pattern, Part2)
The Tunic
This is the second installment of my article on how to crochet a sweater without a traditional pattern. This
time is an adult garment, with a smoking type of neckline and generous sleeves. It can be made shorter, to
turn it into a classic sweater, or longer to turn it into a coat.
This is what you’ll need:
Worsted weight yarn, colors of your choice, the sample used 6 solid colors and 1 matching variegated
Size H crochet hook
1 pair of scissors
1 tapestry needle to join pieces
1 Measuring tape
Brown paper
Easy sewing pattern or personal garment
More than an actual pattern, what I will give you is a very useful formula that will enable you to make all
kinds of sweaters and garments for yourself and for others. Following this formula but changing sleeve
style, the length of the the garment itself and whether you put patches for pockets or make them on the
sides, etc. You can make dozens of sweaters for yourself and for others.
The steps are easy, take a sweater you really love and which fits you well, or, if you are making it for
someone else, take a garment from that person or purchase an easy sewing pattern for the standard fit of
that person's size.
Cut out the pattern and transfer it to brown paper (trace it and cut it out), if you use a garment, trace the
outlines of your garment and make a good skematic of it, with measurements and all, if possible. Next you
will decide the size of your blocks, they could be small or large as in my example (this is a tunic I made as
a birthday gift and the recipient loves it.) Choose your yarn or thread and start making your squares, they
could be grannies or textured stitch blocks like the ones I made.
Fill the space of your paper outline with the blocks, pinning them with pins in place, the outward side
facing the paper. Then, join them together, the wrong side facing you, while they are still pinned to the
paper. Once you have your garment in one piece, crochet the strips all along to fill the sides, the neckline
and the back, the wrong side facing you.
Do the same with the sleeves, making a paper outline that could fit you and your garment, fill that with
blocks and crochet strips in between and if you want to, at the bottom as a loose "cuff."
If you want pockets, you make two squares, sew them together and just join them to the side strip at each
side facing inward as you go about crocheting and joining them. Or, if your sewing pattern brought
pockets, you just copy them to the brown paper and crochet following the outline and sew them to the
garment as you would to the sewn garment.
You can use many colors in this coat, but try to tie them all together with the colors of the variegated yarn
so that the finished garment will not look odd.
If you are making a coat for spring, don't use too heavy a yarn and try to use nice textured, almost pebbly
stitches, to make it thicker without being too heavy.
Do not use stitches that will narrow as you go along because they will deform your garment.
How to Make a Sweater Without a Pattern---Part 3
The Summer Strip Shell

More than a pattern, this is a formula that will liberate you and teach you to make your own garments as
you want to.
It works as follows: You follow simple tips every time, changing the stitches you use, the yarn or thread
appropriate for the season of the year you are making the garment for, adapting the hook size to the yarn
thickness and you have an endless amount of tops you can make for yourself and for others!
Materials you'll need:
brown paper
measuring tape or long rulet
top or favorite sweater with good fit
marker or pen
crochet hook (for the garment on the illustrations, I used crochet hook size 1)
crochet yarn or thread, I happened to use No. 10 crochet thread
Stitches of your choice, you can really have fun here picking stitches you always wanted to use.
Tip: the best ones are the ones that are already "tailored" for a block or granny square, you work them
just as the pattern says, but you do not end the blick but keep on going upwards, forming a strip.
One of the ones I used for this top I came up with on my own. But you can use whatever stitches you like.
Lay your favorite top on a clean table and measure it across. Write down the measurement. Then measure
its length and write it down. You will need to keep an eye on those measurements to make sure your
garment is not wider nor narrower than that. And to insure that it is the length your like. Then you are going
to lay a sheet of the brown paper under that top and carefully pin the top to the paper so that it will not
move, then you will trace it all around. Remove the pins and the garment and return it to your closet or
drawer. Cut out the pattern you just outlined on the brown paper and write down the measurements you
took previously, so that you can keep an eye on length and width as you work, and you are set to start.
To begin, choose a block that could easily be converted into a strip. Pick up the thread and hook that are
appropriate and begin, is that simple. For my specific strips I simply chose a stitch that started
with chain 26 loosely and I started the pattern in the 2nd ch from hook, and in each st across, making it 25
sts across. Although it would have originally been meant for granny a square-style block, I continued
crocheting upward until it formed a strip.
My first and 2nd strips reached from the bottom of the top shell to the shoulder (you make 2 identical
strips, one for each side of the front--2 more for the back if you are not going to crochet across the width of
your pattern like I did.) Then, you make 1 for the center, which will go from the bottom of the top you have
outlined to the beginning of the neckline which you drew on the brown paper schematic. As you finish each
strip, pin them in their appropriate places on the brown paper and make sure you've got a fit.
Leave them there until you have all the components for your garment. Pin them with the wrong side facing
you and when you are done with all of them, you can easily crochet along the edges or join them raw, if
you wish.
If you are going to make the front and the back identical (which is the easiest path to follow--make 2
identical strips, one for the center front and one for the center of the back. I just made another use of my
guide top and just crocheted across and upwards until I reached the back of the neckline and worked on
both sides of that space to form the shoulders on either side.) Once you have made your strips, if you want
to, you can makde 4 rows of sc on each side of the edge, like I did, using a contrasting color, and sew them
together using that color. When you join the strips that form the sides of the top (back and front, sew
loosely so that the garment won’t "pull", and of course, sew only until you reach the space you have
marked out for the armholes, skip that area and then join the shoulders.)
Make a nice shell edge around the neckline, armholes and the bottom of the top. You can even make a nice
ripple edging at the bottom for a decorative effect. Finish off, trim all the threads and you've got a new top!
I like granny square tops. But to tell you the truth, sometimes, one doesn't have the time to do all of that
joining of blocks! This is a nice alternative. If you make all your strips in the same color or use a
variegated, and join also in the same color, it doesn't even look that much like strips! Fiddle with it, you can
get a ton of different variations to this simple pattern or formula.
Hope this is the beginning of a lot of beautiful things for you!
If you want to crochet across like I did, make a chain 2 sts longer than the width of your schematic, hdc in
the 3rd ch from hook and on each ch across, and keep on going upwards, following exactly the tracing of
your schematic.

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