What You Should Know About Crocheting Garments

I’m venturing off in a new direction, my Friends! After months of debating whether or not  to follow suit in crocheting my own garments for the fall, I’ve decided to go with YES! Though I have made baby and toddler outfits in the past, I have never attempted a form-fitting top. Here are a few pointers that will help anyone (including me!) who is looking forward to crocheting their own garments:

1. Check Your Gauge
This is imperative and ever crucial! Yes, it takes time, but it’s nothing compared to having to unravel a week’s worth of crochet work (makes me want to cry!). So, make your swatch. Measure it and make sure it correlates exactly with what the pattern tells you. Otherwise, change your crochet hook size.

2. Measure Yourself
Much like the gauge, you want to make sure your body measurements are precise. This will make or break your project, so double and triple check your body measurements. Use a ‘soft’ measuring tape with a firm band (one that doesn’t stretch) to ensure an precise measurement. Leave enough room for breathing!

3. Pick A Garment You Love
There’s nothing worse than forcing yourself to work on a project you really don’t like. Be sure that the garment you crochet is versitile, meaning that you can wear it either year ’round, or you can mix and match it with more than 30% of your wardrobe. Afterall, why waste your time and effort making a garment that you’ll only wear once a year?!

4. Pick An Easy Project
I don’t literally mean pick an ‘Easy’ level project. If you’re up for a challenge, go for it! What I do mean is for you to go through the crochet pattern a few times before you decide on ‘THE ONE.’ Double check materials, such as the type of yarn needed, crochet hook size(s), notions (are buttons or snaps needed?), special abbreviations, and how the pattern works up in general. I like for my patterns to tell me what part of the garment I’ll be working on. It helps me to visually understand what’s going to happen next.

Best wishes with your garment crochet project!  I hope that it’s a winner, and that you’ll enjoy wearing it for years to come. ūüôā

Debra Lee

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Types of Crochet Yarn: So What?!

Photo Source:  BigStock.com
Photo Source: BigStock.com

If you’re anything like me, I’m sure you have a stash of various types of yarn in your home. Tons of new stock, some scarp yarn, and partially used skeins… Heck, some may even call you a Yarn Hoarder! Just tell ’em, “Don’t be jealous!” Ha-ha! Yesssss, I’m going to cover types of crochet yarn because it’s THE very object that brings your crochet creations to life! Here’s the ‘dish’ on types of crochet yarn:

1.) It’s¬†Numbered

Crochet yarn is numbered from 1-6.

  • 1 = Super Fine (Used for socks, baby clothes/blankets/toys, or anything delicate; really thin yarn)
  • 2= Fine (Usually called ‘sport yarn,’ or ‘baby yarn’)
  • 3= Light (AKA: ¬†DK yarn, or double knitting yarn; used for lighter weight garments/blankets)
  • 4= Medium (Most versatile and is the ‘go-to’ yarn for most crocheters; not too thin, not too thick)
  • 5= Bulky (Can be used for scarves; thick yarn)
  • 6= Super Bulky (Use this for rugs and finger crochet; super thick yarn)

2.) The Name is in the Color

There are a few categories of color with crochet yarn:

  • Ombre = Shades of one color are used along the strand of yarn; shades typically go from dark to light
  • Multi-colored = Self explained; there are several (greater, or equal to two) colors along the strand of yarn
  • Heathered/Tweed = Has random specks/flecks of a different colored fiber along the colored yarn
  • Shimmer = Contains small pieces of tinsel along the yarn to make it shimmer

3.) Stick With What the Pattern Tells Ya

Before starting your crochet project, always read through the pattern at least TWICE. This will help you become familiar with the abbreviations used, how the designer likes to write their patterns, and most importantly, what materials you’ll need to complete the project. It’s critical to stick with the same yarn weight¬†that the project asks for. For instance, let’s say the pattern asks for medium worsted yarn, but all you have is bulky yarn. Should you go ahead and use the bulky weight yarn for the project? NOPE. Your crochet project will turn out much, much bigger (I’m talking monster huge!) than it was initially meant to be. Same goes for the opposite situation. If the pattern asks for super bulky weight yarn and all you have is light weight yarn. Use the light weight yarn, or lose it? Yes, that’s right. LOSE it. The one thing you can do is substitute yarn brands for the same weight in another brand. Just be sure to check your gauge!

Gauge Your Gauge

Always, ALWAYS gauge your gauge! It’s extremely critical as we all know, or should know. I’m guilty for not checking my gauge with my crochet projects. I know; give me a failing grade. “F!” But, I do know that I should always¬†use two crochet hook sizes smaller than the one mentioned in the pattern. Well… I didn’t do that this time around…

Remember the Fall Poncho I posted about a few days ago? Embarrassingly, it came out slightly off in size (with respect to the front of it). The front of the poncho is about three inches longer than the back. *Sigh.* If you ask why, I can give you one major reason:  lack of focus. Should have followed rule number four on my Zen List!

Anyhoo, don’t be a Debra Lee! Check your gauge before starting your crochet project, and even pay attention to how it’s coming to together. If your baby booty looks abnormally huge, unravel, go down a hook size, and try again.

Best wishes on your new crochet project!