Crochet your Own Sweater!
So good I made it twice, here is my second Granny Square Jumper!! I’m here to write about it again as, not content with leaving things as they are, I made adjustments which I think you will find useful.
If you haven’t seen my first post about how I made a super colourful version (with lots of fabulous yarn stashbusting), you can find that HERE, on a post imaginatively titled Granny Square Sweater. That’s where you will find the original recipe on how to crochet a jumper of your own. I also created a crochet video tutorial to show how to put everything together.
If you’re a beginner crocheter, you can make this sweater with the resources I have provided. However, it’s not just some granny squares stitched together. There is shaping (at the shoulders and sleeves), nice ribbing, and techniques that will up your skill level.
If you like this granny square sweater, perhaps you’ll like my other crochet ideas. Please peruse my free crochet patterns page. And if you really really like what you see, you can buy me a Ko Fi! Although, it’ll most likely be tea because I’m not a coffee drinker…
Ok, so, it would be easy for me to say that this is just the same jumper as my original stashbusting sweater but that’s not technically true. Here are the things that I tweaked:
- I used different yarn – a merino DK held with mohair lace weight.
- I only used two colours.
- The main body granny squares are smaller, allowing me to add width later by using a few rows of granny stripes at each side. This also made room for a slightly deeper neckline because….
- I changed the shoulder tabs – fronts are longer than the orginal, and different to the back tabs.
The plan for this blog post is to talk you through these changes so they’re not scary. I have drawn up some rudimentary charts, which will help visual learners, and hopefully I won’t bamboozle you with information overload!
Using Mohair Yarn
As I’ve mentioned above, I used different yarn to make this black and blue fluffy jumper. The original is made with aran weight yarn with wool content. Rather fortuitously, my gauge is the same.
Whilst this black and blue sweater/jumper was also intended as a stash buster (using yarn I had leftover from other projects), I wasn’t sure there was enough of the black so ordered more. I vastly overestimated and have ended up with the same amount that I started with. A little bit more, in fact. So much for stash busting!
If you’re daunted by the fluffy stuff, fear not, read my blog post with some top tips for using mohair yarn. Ultimately, please don’t be scared. This is actually a really good project for mohair yarn because the stitches and design are simple. And holding the mohair with a non fluffy yarn, eases any anxiety too.
I used Drops Kid Silk, I had loads of Cobalt blue in stash from a neglected then rejected design idea.
Merino DK Yarn
I chose to use West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Peep Luxury Baby DK (double knit). The black (Incy Wincy) is leftover from a knitted jumper that went into a Vivienne Westwood inspired Sex Pistols jumper that was the husband’s Christmas present (I didn’t knit it, I asked MiL to do it!). There was leftover Drops Kid Silk black mohair from the same project as well.
More blue (Space Hopper) was purchased as I think I only had one ball in stash. This shade went beautifully with the Cobalt mohair.
I sometimes find that merino can be quite heavy, this one is lovely and light (probably because it’s a nylon mix). It doesn’t create a cumbersome jumper, which can be a bit much for an item of clothing.
Two Colours of Yarn
As a stashbuster, the choice of yarn was made for me. I didn’t have to worry about colour because black and blue were what I had and that was that.
The best thing about only using two colours is that for the main squares, you can float the yarn. No snipping, no time spent sewing in loads of ends, huzzah! Obviously, float along what you decide is the wrong side of the granny square.
I’ve worked out that for this jumper (an approximate size 3), I used:
- 7x50g blue DK
- 5x50g black DK
- 4x25g blue mohair
- 3x25g black mohair
As a general rule, every 100 grams of the DK merino uses a 25 gram ball of mohair. However, meterage is 112m per 50 gram ball of the DK (therefore 224m per 100g) and the meterage for the mohair is 210m per 25g ball. There’s a little bit of an imbalance so an extra ball of mohair is a good idea, to make up the shortfall.
The amount needed will vary depending on the size you make and how much adjusting you do. You will need more than me if you’re making a larger size. I have not done the maths to find out precisely how much for each size.
Cropped Granny Sweater
Two large granny squares are the basis for the main body panels of both sweaters. For this version, the two main squares are four rounds fewer than the colourful jumper. This is so the final sweater doesn’t have the length of the extra rounds but it has the width because I add granny stripes to each side of the front square.
Front and back granny squares have 19 rounds. The front square then has 5 granny stripes at each side. 19+5 is equivalent to a 24 round square for the width, which is one round more than version 1 (cos, why not?!). I added the shoulder tabs to the top, working into gaps between stripes, and gaps between clusters. See pics and charts below.
The back doesn’t have separate side stripes, instead, I crocheted around three sides of the square five times to get the same amount of extra sides and also add it across the top too. Hopefully this is not gobbeldegook!! It’s difficult to put into words but I think the charts are my saviour.
You can use the maths from the original post to work out gauge and measurements if you’re not keen on eyeballing.
If you make a sweater with the more basic elements, like I did for the original, by the time you’ve added shoulders and a waistband, the sweater is longer than it is wide. For version no.2 I wanted a more cropped style. In order to achieve this there are the additional steps, discussed above. They are arguably more tricky to wrap your head around but I absolutely love the result.
The first jumper has the same number of rows for both front and back shoulder tabs. It’s super easy to do it this way because it means you don’t need to think about maths and stitch placement too much.
However, what would happen if you attached different length tabs (front v back) to main body granny squares? Let’s say 8 rows for the front tabs and 3 rows for the back tabs. Your front body panel would be 5 rows longer than the back panel. This difference needs to be accommodated.
Below I have included the basic charts. I think they are the easiest way to show you all the shaping shenanigans. The charts are truncated so they show you the intention without literally showing every row. The real life jumper has 8 rows of front shoulder tabs (repeat the last two granny stripes rows of the chart to get 8) and 3 rows of back shoulder tabs (samesies as the chart).
Shoulder Tabs Clusters
The important bit is that shoulder tabs should end up the same width across at their last rows. Or thereabouts. I don’t think it matters if there is one stitch difference (mine were!). If there is more of a difference then it might be worth going back to the drawing board.
FYI, My shoulder tabs end measuring approx 16cm.
To begin, the first row of my front tabs has 7 full clusters, plus the end stitches. After four rows of shaping/decreasing and four rows of even granny striping, the tabs end with 6 full clusters and 1 stitch either side = 20 stitches.
The back tabs start with 6 full clusters plus the ends. These tabs are only three rows but because of a little manipulation/decrease at the neckline, I ended with 5 full clusters and 2 stitches at either end, that’s 19 stitches. I’m happy matching 20 stitches to 19. You can’t tell on the finished garment.
However many clusters you choose to add, make sure the width (no. of clusters per tab) isn’t going to create a massive neck hole.
Front Main Body
The first chart (below) is for the front of the jumper. Make the granny square first, then join as many stripes you want to either side. That’s the black and blue section of the chart. Then work the shoulder tabs. I have only shown one tab here but it gives you the picture of what you need to do for both. Don’t forget that more is explained in the colourful granny square sweater post, go check it out.
Back Main Body
The second chart shows the back. Now, here is where it gets more than just a tweak, we’re making different adjustments to ensure everything is the same size and will fit together. You can see that rather than working some side stripes, the chart shows three worked sides of the square (chart has three rows/rounds, in real life I did five). This is to accommodate the different lengths of the front and back shoulder tabs. So, five additional rows along the top of the back, plus 3 shoulder tab rows = 8, which equals the same as the front tab rows.
Crikey, at this point, I feel like I need to say “Thaaaat’s Numberwang!”
Granny Stripe Sleeves
Sleeves remain the same, thank goodness! But because they are stripes, you still have loads of ends to sew in. I started using the ends to sew the sleeves together but it was a major faff so decided to sew them all in first and then sew together using a length of the DK. There’s no need to use the mohair as well when you’re sewing your pieces together.
Ready to Wear Crochet Sweater
And everything else is the same! When writing out the differences it feels like it’s quite complex but in real life, once you have the hook in your hand and the yarn gliding through your fingers, it’s actually a lot simpler. In no time whatsoever you’ll be wearing your new handmade jumper! And it will look great!!
Please share your makes on Instagram by tagging me @zeensandroger and using #ZeensAndRoger
Also, there’s Ravelry too. Adding your project there is super helpful as it helps others see what designs look like when made by others.