Dare to Make It! Crochet-Along: Week 2comments (12) October 22nd, 2008
Next up on the Dare to Make It! Crochet-Along (using the free Sweet Baby Hoodie pattern) are the left and right front of the sweater. I'm going to start off by showing you the left front, then I'll discuss how to derive the right front from the instructions for the left front.
Step 1: Make the Left Front
Crochet the indicated number of chains and work even in dc until the piece measures the length that the pattern indicates (for me, 6-1/2 inches). You want to stop at the end of a wrong side row so that the right side will be facing for the shaping row. Turn the work and slipstitch through the first 4 stitches to shape the armhole— this inset area will be where you sew the sleeves later, and you can see it as the first stairstep in the photo below. Continue to work even as the pattern indicates until the piece armhole (the new, thinner section) measures as indicated. Note that since you need to end on a right-side row, your piece might be slightly longer or shorter than that measurement. Mine is slightly longer, but I compared it to the back piece just to make sure the future rows to work would still fit in the indicated number of rows. It's a judgement call on your part and, again, not a big deal.
The neck shaping for the left front starts out simply; just don't work the last 3 hdc of the row. I turned the above piece right after I snapped the photo, with the remaining 3 dc unworked.
To make a half double crochet 2 together (hdc2tog), insert your hook in the first stitch, yarn over, and draw up a loop. Insert your hook in the next stitch, yarn over, and draw up a loop. You should have something similar to the photo above. Next, yarn over and draw the loop through all three loops on your hook. (Note: The pattern describes a different way of making a hdc2tog; you can use either and your hoodie will turn out fine!)
Follow the instructions for the next few rows—you'll make a hdc2tog alternatingly at the beginning or end of a row, and you should see a little slope forming as you go.
Fasten off the left front.
Step 2: Make the Right Front
Ultimately, you want to re-create the left front in reverse, so that the right front is a mirror image of the left front. To do this, you will just switch a few key stitches. Begin by working the pattern in hdc until it measures the indicated length. Remember to end at the end of a wrong-side row, then turn. When you are ready to proceed to Shape Armhole, instead of working slipstitches into the first 4 stitches, ch 2 and hdc in each stitch across until the last 4 stitches. Leave the last 4 stitches unworked and turn. This is going to give you an armhole on the left side of the work (when RS is facing you) as pointed to by my crochet hook in the below photo.
Now you are going to start the Neck Shaping. As you can see from the photo above, and hopefully from your piece, you are already in the area where the collar will be, so you will start the shaping at the beginning of the row for the right front (instead of at the end, as on the left front). Note that the Right Front is shown on the left above—this is because the terms "left" and "right" refer to the wearer's left and right (confusing, I know!). Follow this pattern for the next four rows of the Right Front:
1st row: Slipstitch in first 3 stitches, hdc in next hdc and each hdc across, turn.
Row 2: Ch 2, hdc in each st until last 2 stitches. Hdc2tog over last 2 stitches, turn.
Row 3: Ch 2, hdc2tog over first 2 stitches, hdc in each stitch across.
Row 4: Repeat row 2.
From here you can follow the pattern again—working even until the height of the front matches the back (in my case, I did not make any extra rows, but depending on your size, you may need to do so). When you are finished, fasten off the work. (Note: If you need a slipstitch or fastening-off refresher, visit last week's post.)
Next week, we'll be making the sleeves, which are relatively simple, and then I'll show you how to add the sleeve border. Feel free to post any questions in the meantime!
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