Announcing the Dare to Make It! Baby Hoodie Crochet-Along

comments (21) October 15th, 2008     

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LindaPermann Linda Permann, contributor
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Start by crocheting a gauge swatch. It should measure 4 inches square.
Half double crochet across each row until it measures the indicated length.
Begin shaping the armholes by slip-stitching in the first 4 chains of the indicated row.
Start by crocheting a gauge swatch. It should measure 4 inches square.

Start by crocheting a gauge swatch. It should measure 4 inches square.

Photo: Linda Permann
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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.


Next, measure your swatch. It should measure 4 inches square.

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.


Half double crochet across each row until the piece measures the indicated length.

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


Begin shaping the armholes by slip-stitching in the first 4 chains of the indicated row.

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.


Continue to hdc across the row, leaving the last 4 stitches unworked.

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).


Double-check the measurements against the pattern.

Step 5: Fasten off

Finally, you'll need to fasten off so the piece won't unravel.


To fasten off, cut an 8-inch tail, then yarn over and pull the tail completely through the last loop on your hook.

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!

Note: For easy reference for those of you just joining, here's the pattern we're using: Sweet Baby Hoodie. If you need to catch up, click over to: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4, and Week 5.

*******

See more of my projects on my personal blog, and look for my new book, Crochet Adorned, in stores August 11, 2009.

 

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posted in: pink, baby, hoodie

Comments (21)

MKathleen writes: Hi Linda,
I had never made any garments before- just scarves and blankets. I was so confused by the Bernat directions. I went online and found this site with your tutorial. It is great! Helped me so much. Thanks!

Posted: 2:59 pm on March 11th
MKathleen writes: Your crochet-along is wonderful! I am a beginner who never tried making any garments before. I was confused by the instructions and abbreviations in the Bernat pattern directions, but your step by step with photos saved me. Thanks so much!
Posted: 5:21 am on January 13th
Derasia writes: Hi Linda, I just finished making all pieces for the baby hoodie sweater. I'm in the process of putting all the pieces together. The hood was a little frustrating @ first. But know it is done. Your tutorials really really helped a lot. Thank you so much. God bless you.

Posted: 9:54 am on February 17th
cuca writes: This is wonderful!! I've never made anything that you had to check your stitches and size. I started this yesterday and I'm making it for a friends niece who is 2 years old. I chose the 24 month size and wanted to know if that would be the same size for a 2T. I chose the Caron Symply Soft and and a smaller needle and my gauge seems to be working. There is no way I can measure the child since it a surprise gift but she is petit in size. Can you tell me if the 24 mo. would be a good size for a petit child of 2yrs.??
Posted: 7:16 pm on October 22nd
MichaelaMurphy writes: Yay Grandmacrochet! Good luck and please post a picture of your hoodie once you've made it.
Posted: 10:51 am on March 27th
Grandmacrochet writes: I just found this site and will start over the weekend.
The baby hoodie looks great! Wish me luck.
Posted: 7:42 pm on March 26th
sweetnightmare writes: Oooh okay, thanks so much.
Posted: 2:08 am on November 22nd
LindaPermann writes: sweetnightmare-- You should choose something with the CYCA 3 on the label to be on the safe side (you will probably have an easier time making gauge that way). The term 'worsted' actually falls into both categories 3 and 4 so I should have specified "light worsted". Make sure to work up a gauge swatch and change your hook size if you need to so that the end product will end up the correct size.
Posted: 9:34 pm on November 17th
sweetnightmare writes: Hi, I'm fairly new to crocheting. I'm a little confused about picking my yarn. You said that I could use a worsted weight yarn, I like usinig simply soft but that is a 4 medium and the yarn you are using and the one recommended is a 3 light yarn... so I'm just a little bit confused about how it can translate to a worsted weight yarn. Please explain this to me, I'd love to pick a yarn and begin making this for my newborn daughter!
Posted: 3:24 am on November 17th
LindaPermann writes: Thanks Bernie- Just 2 more days and it will be up (Wednesday)!
Posted: 4:52 pm on November 3rd
Bernie123 writes: Hi Linda,

I will wait patiently as I am so glad I have found your assistance. Thank you so much.

Bernie
Posted: 1:12 pm on November 3rd
LindaPermann writes: Hi Bernie-
I am posting a step by step on the hood next week-- can you wait until then? I think/hope that it will help you along. The hood was a bit confusing (but sewing everything together was definitely the most challenging).

Or if you can tell me where you are stuck (what row, etc) I can try to help now.

Posted: 3:41 pm on October 29th
Bernie123 writes: Linda,love the color you are using, have made everything but the hood, cannot figure it out, can you help me? This is the first time I am crocheting anything other than an afhgan.
Posted: 3:18 pm on October 27th
LindaPermann writes: Glad to have all of you joining in!
Posted: 2:02 pm on October 27th
AZwanKenobi writes: I'm almost done with the back piece. I joined late, so I'm catching up!
Posted: 11:25 am on October 27th
belleepoque writes: ok, i haven't made anything over than a crocheted hat before, so I'm in! just need to get some yarn (love that you're using Red Heart!). i might be a little behind but i'll be following along!
Posted: 12:03 pm on October 17th
LindaPermann writes: Cirone, that is great! Luckily most clothing designs are really just a bunch of different rectangles put together--once you realize that there's nothing you can't make!
Posted: 12:47 pm on October 16th
cirone writes: okay...i started! i think this is the first time i've crocheted since my son was born, and it'll be the first time i try something that's not a rectangle of some sort =)

once i figure out this gallery thing, i'll post up pictures of my progress.
Posted: 2:27 am on October 16th
LindaPermann writes: Cirone- If you get started now, you can make the 12 months size which should be perfect for winter (he can always grow into it!).

DIY Maven- Thanks for posting and joining. It would be great if you could post to the gallery too, as we go!
Posted: 4:22 pm on October 15th
DIYMaven writes: Hi Linda! I mentioned the crochet-along over on my blog on weebaby.com and will be posting my progress over there. Looking forward to getting started! My best, DIY Maven.
Posted: 3:23 pm on October 15th
cirone writes: How exciting! I've always wanted to try and make something more than just baby blankets and scarves. This will be fun to try on my 7 month old son as the winter comes =)
Posted: 11:26 am on October 15th
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