Over the past six years or so since I took up crochet I have come to the realisation that I don’t like to crochet garments in pieces, then seam them together. I know that I do this all the time when I’m sewing, but if a crochet pattern calls for me to crochet the back, front left, front right, left sleeve, right sleeve (or similar) then seam them together, the project doesn’t get finished. In fact, I’ve even pitched a couple of these partly started projects into the bin recently when I’ve come across them clogging up a bag all unloved. I only pitch small pieces though – I unravel the rest. So finally I have learned from my mistakes. I look for crochet garments that are pretty much crocheted all in one piece, or that have a couple of pieces made, then joined, then crocheted onto again. Garments that are all done, other than edging or weaving in ends, once you get to the end of the crocheting.
So when I came across the Sunday Swing Coat by Cristina Mershon in the March/April 2013 issue of Crochet Today!, it ticked all the boxes. Worked in one piece, worsted weight yarn, and ripples! I love ripples! But it did take me a couple of goes to get this one right.
Firstly, I substituted the yarn. The pattern called for a yarn that was 100% acrylic, worsted weight. I had three gorgeous hanks of hand-dyed 100% wool (cormo) yarn that I bought as part of the ton’o'wool project last year that I wanted to use instead. I knew that it would work up quite differently to the recommended yarn. The pattern also called for a 3.5mm hook. I double-checked the hook size with the designer, as it seemed quite small for that weight of yarn. She said that 3.5mm was correct, because it was a coat and was designed to be dense. But because I prefer crocheted garments to be drapey – and because I was working with wool, not acrylic – I bumped up the hook size to 4.5mm.
After it was half done and the sleeves had been joined and a couple more rows worked, I tried it on Stella. Then promptly pulled the whole thing out and started again with a 5.5mm hook. I knew that there was every chance that I’d be doing that when I started, so surprisingly it didn’t bother me too much! And the yarn was lovely to work with. Because I’d bumped the hook size up so much, I followed the instructions for the smallest size in the pattern. The finished length was dictated by the amount of yarn I had available. I’d have liked it longer, but this is okay. There was just enough yarn left over to work a flower brooch to use as a closure. Rather than crab stitch around the opening, I crocheted the front and neck edge as a row of sc from the right side, then a row of sc in the front loop only from the wrong side.
I think that this will be a very useful layer for autumn/winter. Gaugeing up really altered it to suit my drape preferences, and it flows and moves well as Stella twirls. A little less yarn in the stash – and another garment in the wardrobe! More details and photos are over here on Ravelry. And of course, Clare wants one in her size. And I wouldn’t mind one for me…