Obsessed with Crocheting Granny Sweaters
Yep, I got the yarn and hooks out again to work up a third Granny Square Sweater! I have a funny feeling that it won’t be the last one I crochet either.
Why Crochet Another Sweater?
Each jumper builds on the last. Some people sketch a lot, swatch religiously, and try everything out first before finalising a design. Eh, yes I could do that too and sometimes I do but I still have the impulse to get an idea out of my head, turning it into a physical thing as quickly as possible. In this case I have had to crochet each sweater to see how I can adapt the recipe to make it better and/or different.
I will often make something again and again. I find it an interesting challenge to analyse why a design isn’t quite right. I enjoy tweaking the fabric, tension, shaping etc to what affect that has. It’s how one gets better at the thing they do, isn’t it? It’s the same reason I come back to my fave sitches again and again too.
I love love love my two other granny jumpers but I want to try all the things. It isn’t only about striving for perfection but also seeing how different fibres and colours work together. Isn’t it fascinating how a few changes and adjustments can create a brand new look?
Therefore, this time I wondered what a looser stitch with block colours would look like. Influenced by some leftover stash from a recent scarf project, off I went and Granny Sweater No. 3 was born.
Granny Sweater No. 3
The first two blog posts have extensive information about how to crochet a granny square jumper so I am not going to do that here. The first blog post (and accompanying video tutorial) is all about crochet sweater basics, with a little bit of optional maths thrown in for making it in the size you want. Then the second post is all about how I made adjustments to take my granny sweater to the next level. There are crochet charts too, which help with things like sleeve shaping and shoulder tabs.
Adjusting My Crochet Sweater
The first two sweaters use aran weight yarn and so does this one. I used Stylecraft Grace, which feels quite fine for an aran weight yarn. I also went up to a 6mm hook, therefore my gauge is different. 10cm only gives me 6.5 rows here. I used a larger hook as I wanted a looser, drapier fabric. As Grace is a light, fluffy yarn and I think it deserves a floaty kind of treatment.
Because my tension created bigger clusters my main squares are only 12 rounds. You would not believe how quickly this sweater worked up. So fast! Front and back weigh approx 75 grams each which, in jumper terms is nothing.
The shoulder tabs and sides are worked in a very similar fashion to jumper No.2. Tweak them as you see fit.
More About the Yarn
Stylecraft Grace only comes in 8 colours. When there is a limited range it can be quite nice because most of the agonising over which colours to choose is gone. I used Ocean for the main body as that’s what I had most of. Therefore, I had zero concerns about playing yarn chicken. The sleeves are Long Grass, and I used Petals, Hibiscus and Storm for the ribbing.
I bought the Ocean and Long Grass shades last winter when I had planned to crochet a jumper for one of the kids. It never happened… The other shades are left over from a recent commission that’s coming out in a few months.
I like it. It’s less than a fiver per 100 grams and seeing as I’m a big fan of mohair, I like that it has 10% mohair mixed with (5%) wool and (85%) acrylic. This Granny sweater would be a good project if you’re tempted to try mohair for the first time. It’s one that’s not too arduous to frog if you need to (but still a bit of a bugger, so don’t get too smug).
The Main Body
The Front has stripes of granny clusters added to either side of the square. I added four rows on each side. A square of 12 rounds plus 4+4 rows of stripes in total creates a (blocked) width of 50cm (20 inches).
The back needs additional height as well as the width, so work around three sides of the main square here. I did three rounds and then added just one stripe on either side.
I know I’m glossing over this quite quickly but there’s more detail about these adjustments in the Blue and Black jumper post. Hopefully, I can support the words with this basic diagram too:
The front panel has five rows of shaping to create the tabs and rounded neckline.
For the Back I only added two rows for the tabs. It doesn’t need much at the back, just a bit so the jumper hugs the top of your shoulders rather than riding up the nape of the neck.
Granny Stripe Sleeves
My sleeves measure 51cm long (20 inches approx) with an upper arm depth of 22cm (8.5 inches). The wrist circumference is 22cm as well. Oh, and my sleeves only weigh 53 grams each.
The change here (from my original version) is that the increases are more frequent. There are only 26 rows of granny stripes (plus the foundation row of US single crochet) for this jumper’s sleeves. I wanted to see obvious shaping and the way to do that was to work increases every three rows.
To be honest, I also fancy some batwing style sleeves too, I wonder if I’d achieve this by increasing every row? Hmm…Granny Sweater No.4 anyone??
Anyway, I began with a foundation row of 28 stitches (multiples of 3 +1). I am not a fan of working into chains so this is a crochet foundation start, for which I have a lovely video tutorial!
Due to the loose drape created by using a 6mm hook, I went down to a 5mm for the ribbing. I didn’t want floppy cuffs and neck! I don’t think anybody does.
Unlike my colourful stashbusting version you’ll notice that I added the ribbing at the end here. It doesn’t really matter which order you do it in. However, if you do it at the end and mess it up, at least you can frog it at this stage without unpicking the entire thing.
You’ll also notice in the picture below that I’ve worked a foundation in the same colour as the ribbing. It looks sooooo much neater when you do this.
I have used my fave ribbing again, which is demonstrated in the video tutorial, around 44 minutes in.
Look at the image below. Around the neckline, I actually worked one round of US sc stitches in the main body colour, followed by a round of the ribbing colour. This is about little finishing touches to ensure it looks tidy.
Make a Sweater Lickety Split
And that’s about it. I think this one is a winner. I cannot tell you how satisfying Granny sweater No.3 was to make. There are so many things going for it.
- The yarn is a bargain and you don’t need loads.
- It is a crochet sweater that’s ridiculously quick to make.
- It’s bang on trend. Crochet, especially granny crochet, is totes down with the kidz.
- The boxy nature means you don’t have to get a perfect fit.
- Now you can practice yoga and fall over a bit…
I hope you’ve found these blog posts useful. WIthin them you have the means to make the perfect sweater just for you. As much as I love an official, graded pattern I also love making things up as I go. The idea behind these posts is to encourage you to do the same. Embrace winging it and let me know what you think!