How to Crochet a Sweater for Beginners

    by Johanna Ehrmann

    About the Author

    Johanna Ehrmann has been a freelance writer, editor and copy editor since 1991. She is the author of four nonfiction books for young readers on César Chávez, origami, dance and the Smithsonian, published by Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, and two fantasy stories, published by Houghton Mifflin. Ehrmann holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Brandeis University.


    You only need to know one stitch -- single crochet -- to make this simple, one-piece sweater, but you'll have to do a little measuring and multiplying to get started. Once the crocheting is done, you sew a couple of seams, and your sweater is ready!

    Things You'll Need

    • Size H Crochet Hook
    • 1500 yards Worsted Weight yarn
    • Tape measure
    • Scissors
    • Tapestry or yarn needle

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    Write down the following measurements from yourself, or the intended recipient of the sweater: hip from left to right, hip to shoulder, arm length (from outside of shoulder to wrist), around arm (widest point).

    Check your gauge by making a chain of 12 stitches and working several rows of single crochet (sc). Your sample should be 3 inches across. If it isn't, try a different size hook.

    Multiply your hip to hip measurement x 4. Chain that number of stitches. *Starting in the second loop off the hook (don't count the one on the hook) single crochet in each chain across. Chain 1. Turn.

    Continue from * in Step 3. Repeat until piece reaches from hip to under the arm. Finish with an odd row. (Odd rows end on the side with the loose yarn at the bottom.) Chain 4X the arm measurement to start the first arm.

    Starting in the second loop off the hook (don't count the one on the hook) single crochet in each chain across. When you reach the end, chain 4 times the arm measurement to start the second arm.

    Single crochet in each chain until you are midway through the width of the sleeves. When you get to the shoulder end of the first sleeve, continue to single crochet for 1/4 of the body stitches. Then chain 1/2 as many loops as the width of the body. This creates the neck opening. Count across your work that many stitches, and pick up and crochet the stitches on the far side of the body and along the arm.

    Crochet the arms and body until the arm width after the neck opening matches the width before the neck opening. End with the second arm you added. Continue working single crochet across the body stitches until the length of the back of the sweater matches the front.

    Cut and knot the yarn. Fold the sweater in half inside-out so the neck hole is at the top, the arms are folded in half lengthwise, and the body parts are facing each other. Sew each side and arm seam with yarn needle. Cut the yarn, leaving a few inches to spare, secure the ends and weave them through the backs of the stitches using the crochet hook. Turn the sweater right-side out, and your sweater is done.

    • In addition to your measurements, note 4X your hip measurement and 4X your arm length. You can count as you crochet to make sure the number of stitches is consistent, and to let you know where the neck hole begins and ends (arm length x 4 + hip to hip).



    Photo Credits

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