How to Crochet a Baby Sweater

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Crochet hooks come in many sizes, bearing letters or numbers that identify them.
Crochet hooks come in many sizes, bearing letters or numbers that identify them. (Image: colour ball of the threads image by Ekaterina Shvigert from Fotolia.com)

Crochet is one discipline of needlework and is a close cousin to knitting. If you know stitches and instructional cues, you can follow most patterns. A beginner, on the other hand, might find a garment pattern quite difficult to follow. A simple baby sweater pattern that a beginner should be able to follow would involve the easier stitches such as chains, single and double crochets, and slip stitches.

Things You'll Need

  • Crochet hook in size required by pattern
  • Pattern
  • Yarn
  • Measuring device
  • Scissors

Start Your Crochet Project

Choose your yarn. Lightweight yarn and baby or fingering yarn are used for baby items. There are many different companies that make yarn for baby clothing. The yarns are available in blended, pastel and solid colors, and are very soft. Yarn color inconsistency can ruin an otherwise lovely project, so be sure your dye lot numbers match exactly.

Decide on a pattern. Pick what appeals to you in appearance, stitch requirements and complexity. Easy-to-follow steps and simple transitions from one section to another are of paramount importance. Steer clear of confusing abbreviations or obscure stitches.

Pick the appropriate sized hook. Baby items are usually crocheted with F, G, H or I hooks, or 3 mm to 5.5 mm sizes. Some more complex patterns require several different sized hooks to complete one sweater.

Check your gauge when you begin your project. The gauge appears as an equation at the beginning of the pattern: 9 dc = 4 inches; or 6 rows = 4 inches, for example. Following recommended yarn type and hook size usually results in obtaining the correct gauge.

Simple Baby Sweater Pattern

Use a G size hook and have at least a 4 oz. skein of fingering yarn to make this newborn-size sweater. 10 double crochets (dc) = 2 inches Tie on and chain (ch) 36.

For Row 1, double crochet (dc) in the 4th ch from hook and in the next 3 chs, make 3 dc in next ch (this is your first 3 dc group), 1 dc in the next 5 chs, 3 dc in next ch, 1 dc in the next 10 chs, 3 dc in the next ch, 1 dc in the next 5 chs, 3 dc in next ch, and 1 dc in last 5 chs. Ch 3, and turn.

For Rows 2 to 5, put 1 dc in each dc across except for adding 3 dc in the center dc of each 3dc group you did in the row previous. Ch 3, turn.

Row 6 (the armhole): Dc in each dc until the you come to the center of the first 3dc group. There, ch 4, skip across to second 3dc group,and dc in the center dc of that 3dc group. Continue to dc across to the center st of the third 3dc group, ch 4, and skip to the fourth 3dc group and dc in center of that 3dc group. Then, dc across in each dc to the end of the row. Ch 3, turn.

For Row 7, dc in each dc and in each chain across to the end of the row. Ch 3, turn. Repeat this pattern, putting a dc in each dc across for Rows 8 through 15. Ch 3 and turn after each row except the last (Row 15).

At the end of row 15, ch 1, work 2 sc in each end stitch up the front side of the sweater. Continue until almost reaching the neckline. Work 3 sc in last stitch, then sc around the neckline, putting 3 sc in the last st of neck. Then work 2 sc in each end stitch down the other side of the sweater, putting 3 sc in the last stitch. To finish, sc across the bottom of the sweater, putting 2 sc in the last st and joining to first sc with a slipstitch. Fasten off.

To add sleeves: Join the yarn to a center stitch at the bottom of an armhole, then dc around. Do not turn, but continue working 8 rows total for each sleeve. Then sc around each sleeve ending with a slipstitch to finish. Fasten off.

You can add buttonholes to one front side of the sweater, if you like, then sew buttons to the opposite side after you finish up. For each buttonhole: Sc, ch 3 and sc in the next st as you do the 2 sc in each end stitch of the front side.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some pattern books and web pages have a tutorial illustrating each stitch. It is advisable to practice these stitches before you attempt the pattern.
  • Using a different hook size will change the finished size and overall appearance of the garment.

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