Announcing the Dare to Make It! Baby Hoodie Crochet-Alongcomments (21) October 15th, 2008
If you're a crocheter who has never made a garment before, it's high time to try it! Personally, I shied away from garments for the longest time. But lately I've been getting deeper into more involved projects and I realized a secret: They are really not that hard! The pattern tells you exactly what to do! Notably, the hardest part is figuring out which size you wear, but that's another story.
So for the next five weeks, I'd like to invite you to join me in a Dare to Make It! Crochet-Along. We'll be making this Sweet Baby Hoodie, which is a free pattern from the lovely folks at Bernat. You have to register to see the pattern, but I've been a registered member for a few years and have yet to recieve any unwanted email, so it's well worth it. The baby sizing means that we can go through the basic elements of garment construction and finishing, without quite the time commitment and sizing issues of a larger garment. It's also inexpensive to make, and you will have a great gift for a new baby just in time for the holidays. I'm going to assume you have basic knowledge of crochet stitches—this pattern mainly uses half double crochet—but stop me if you have a question. Here's a link to some beginner basics.
I'll jump right in this week with a gauge swatch and the back of the hoodie. I hope you will join me, even if you can't start till next week or think you'll finish early, it's fun to share your progress, and I'm here to answer any questions you might have along the way.
Step 1: Pick Your Yarn
First thing's first—you'll need to pick your yarn. You can go with the Bernat yarns suggested in the pattern, but you can also substitute anything that falls into the same weight range (which is, in this case, CYCA 3, or worsted weight). I am using Red Heart "Designer Sport." You can use something inexpensive or luxurious, but when you're picking your yarn, just remember that baby clothing needs to be easy care—so get something washable. And of course, you can pick whichever color you like.
Step 2: Crochet a Gauge Swatch
No groaning—it's a good idea to make a gauge swatch. I used to shrug off the gauge swatch, but, especially if you're substituting yarns, it's an easy way to check if the yarn is going to work. Your other option is ending up dissatisfied after hours of work, so I think it's well worth it. To make the gauge swatch for this pattern, with a size 4.0 mm hook, ch 17, half double crochet (hdc) in 3rd ch from hook and each ch across. Turn, ch 2, hdc in each stitch across (do not count the turning chain as a stitch). Repeat for 8 more rows to get the correct size gauge swatch.
If your swatch is much bigger, go down a hook size or two. If your swatch is much smaller, go up a hook size or two. You'll need to make a new swatch with the new hook size to ensure it's correct. If you work several swatches and just can't get it to measure up, you may need to switch yarns.
Once you're certain you've got the right gauge, go through and mark up the pattern to make the crocheting easy. Choose a size (6 months, 12 months, etc.) and read through the pattern. Circle all of the numbers that correspond to your pattern size. For instance, I am making the 6-month-sized hoodie, so on Back/Foundation Row, I circled 39. Do this for any number reference in the pattern.
Step 3: Begin the Back
Referencing the pattern, chain the appropriate number for your size and repeat rows of half double crochet.
Remember, a half double crochet is: yarn over, insert hook in next stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through all three loops on the hook.
When your piece measures the indicated length from the beginning (6-1/2 inches, in my case), proceed to the "Shape Armholes" instructions.
Step 4: Shape Armholes
To make a slipstitch, insert your hook into the stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop, then draw that loop through the yarn on your hook.
When you reach the fifth stitch of the row, ch 2 and hdc into the stitch. You will notice this creates a little stair-step on the piece. Later, the sleeves will be attached here.
The row you just completed was the shaping row—not so bad, was it? Turn the work, and continue making rows of hdc until the shaped section measures the indicated length from the beginning of the section (4-1/2 inches for my 6-month-sized sweater).
Step 5: Fasten off
Finally, you'll need to fasten off so the piece won't unravel.
Next week, we'll move on to the Front pieces. Please comment if you're playing along, and post pics or links to your progress. Feel free to mention the Crochet-Along on forums or blogs, too—everyone is welcome!
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery
Dare to Make It! Holiday
We dare you to make your own gifts and decorations this holiday season!
Find inspiration and exciting how-to projects to get you through the holiday season in DIY style.