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The Modern Twist on Crochet Sweaters: An Evolving Pattern Design


close up image of a crocheted sweater bodice

When I started playing around with crochet design 13-ish years ago, I began with making clothes for my young nephews. Yes, they were made with love but they were also small items to try out design ideas and the very first thing I tried was a raglan pullover with a v-neck. What I didn't know at the time was that designing raglan shaping for a garment is not a beginner undertaking but hey, ignorance is bliss, right!?


Anyway, this is where it all started...


3 boys wearing crocheted sweaters

I have designed many clothing patterns now, learnt heaps along the way and have used a variety of construction methods. Bottom up, side to side, additive, Join As You Go motifs, in pieces and seamed together with crochet, top-down in pieces and of more recently top-down in the round.


I have also played around with a bunch of different sleeve types - batwing, dolman, raglan, set-in sleeves and the dropped shoulder too. But I keep coming back to the raglan v-neck...



And that's probably because it was following a crochet pattern making a little raglan sleeved jacket for a friend's baby that (re-)ignited my love of crochet and triggered my design frenzy in the first place!


The baby jacket was made in pieces with a squared edge to every row end, then the pieces sewn together and edging was worked around openings. As the stitches flowed off my hook I asked myself, how do these shapes fit together as a 3-D jigsaw to conform to the human body?


...And the most important question that keeps driving me forward:


"how can I make it better?"




Evolution describes how something changes over time, right? A process of constant change from a simple state to a complex state.


From the first raglan pullover experiments I designed for my nephews that you saw above to publishing the Ever-Change Sweater pattern you see here below was an enormous jump in evolution!


2 photos of a woman weraing a crocheted raglan v neck jumper



My latest raglan crochet V-neck design is a huge leap forward again. It's an evolved sweater, and this post is to share some of its best features!


Here's a show-and-tell video to give you the run-down...






My evolving sweater design (until I come up with a name, this description will do) is a top-down crocheted V-neck with a touch of mosaic bling!


A quick recap of the features and benefits I mention in the video:

  • uses the basic stitch set (UK terms): ch, ss, dc, htr, tr & dtr


  • high cover of the back neck (cohesive design - not short rows) with a V-shape at the front neck


  • top-down construction allows for easy adjustment of length of bodice and arms


  • it also allows you to try it on as as you go, so you can check and address any size-fit adjustments (if needed) when you begin the lower bodice


  • sleeves are easily made wider by omitting some decreases from the sleeve shaping and there will be notes in the pattern to guide you


  • split hemline accommodates hippy curves and still allow drape and movement of the bodice fabric, and allows you to have a lower back bodice or equal length split depending on your preference


  • mosiac contrast details are simple so if you haven't come across mosaic crochet before they are not overwhelming to attempt


In a nutshell it's inclusive, achievable, customisable, comfortable, I have designed it to accomodate the human female form and it looks great!



Who is the pattern intended for?

The pattern is suited to an intermediate level crocheter who wants to learn about garment making (or an adventurous beginner who is prepared to make some mistake along the way and learn by doing).


I graded it to 13 women's sizes with a finished garment bust circumference ranging from 80cm through to 150cm, and Rowan Felted Tweed dk yarn was used to make the prototype (thanks so much to Morris & Sons for yarn support!)


As I mentioned in last week's blog post, as part of getting the sweater pattern ready for publication I am testing out some other yarns too.


Here are a couple of pics of the prototype RFT which is a size 5...


a woman modelling a crocheted v neck pullover sweater with contrast mosaic crochet patterning on bodice and cuffs


And here is a snippet showing the beginnings of a size 13 that I am making using Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 5 ply! Bendigo Woollen Mills have also been generous to provide yarn to support my largest size pattern test, and I am super excited to see how it comes together in this iconic Australian durable and budget friendly product!



a woman trying on the beginnings of a crochet sweater (a work in progress)

I am pairing the main colour of "Aztec" blue (shade 609)with "Rose Pink" (shade 746) for the mosaic bits. As you can see, the neckline is wide sitting on me and the fabric ripples a bit, but you will soon see it on "Model X" who it my intended recipient!


"Model X" prefers to remain nameless and faceless, and for those who may not remember or haven't seen these pics shown below before ....here's a flash back to when she totally rocked modelling the Susannah Sweater!


A plus size woman modelling a crocheted garment called the Susannah Sweater


Exciting, right!?


For the rest of this week I have lots to work on with my pattern testers. Next week I will be sharing more about how and when the pattern will be released ...and I think I have almost decided on a name, so stay tuned!

 

Subscribe here if you don’t want to miss a post and feel free to share the link with yarny friends who might be interested in this "evolving sweater situation"!


Bonus bit of other news - I recently reduced the price for some of my graded garment designs on Ravelry Pattern Store, and you can browse them here!

 


Happy stitching,

 

Susannah (Peppergoose)


Peppergoose Design logo




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