Recently, www.anniesattic.com had a poll regarding favored methods of crocheting sweaters – bottom up, side to side, and top down. My favored method, top down, came in a very scraggly third in the poll. I was amazed. I know that the vast majority of sweater patterns are written to be made from the bottom up. I don’t get it…….
Either of the two other construction methods gives a far better chance of a good fit on the first try. When a sweater is crocheted from the bottom up, the only thing you know that will fit before completing the body of the sweater is the bottom circumference. With top down construction, you can tell almost immediately if the pattern is designed for your body. You can make suitable alterations in the pattern to fit your own neck opening, armholes, shoulder width, etc very early on. Even side to side construction seems better than bottom up to me. With side to side, you’ll know fairly soon if the sweater dimensions will work for you. I have yet to crochet a side to side sweater. My humble opinion comes from my conversation with others on this subject.
But, am I crazy (when it comes to this)?
Now, I’ve never designed a sweater pattern much less written one down. But, I have made a few sweaters. Typically, baby sweaters are constructed from the top down. This is one of the least important fittings of all time! Baby sweaters fit only briefly, no matter what size they are. Not so (we hope) for adult sweaters. After hours of crocheting in, it’s disheartening to discover that the armholes are too small, the sleeves too long, and the neck opening gaping!
So, after a couple of encouraging emails from other crocheters of like mind, I set out to find some top down (neck down) sweater patterns online.
They are conspicuously absent! I only found a few references to my favored method of construction. There are far more patterns available for knitted sweaters in top down – but not crochet.
So, help me out here! If you know of a good top down sweater pattern – online or in a book or magazine – PLEASE share its location with us. Here are the few I could find…
And, here’s another idea that will allow the same kind of fitting. It’s kinda cheating with the whole top down thing – but it would work with other motifs too.
ADDENDUM FROM JENNIE GASKIN:
I know of one top-down sweater leaflet, and the only reason I know
about it is that I had a customer ask very carefully about the
leaflet wanting to make sure it was top-down. So I got one out and
looked, and sure enough…..! It’s volume one of the Alice’s
Wonderland of Crochet Fashion, on this page of my web site
The colors are very dated because she wrote it a long time ago. I’d
have to re-read the intro, but I’m thinking she wrote these patterns
in conjunction with teaching crochet to teenagers. So you know the
instructions have to be clear, to get through to newbie crocheters!
ANOTHER SUGGESTION FROM RUTH IN PA:
Suzabella”s Crochet Creations has a plus size tank/chemise.
I recently made this top and it turned out very nicely. I found an
error for Round 21 in the instructions
It should read: Skip 1 stitch, V-st in next st., *(Skip stitch, DC in
next stitch, Skip stitch, V-st in next stitch)* Repeat 56 more times
Join with a slip st. to 3rd chain of beg. Total of 43 V-st’s, 43
DC’s and 86 skipped spaces.
I also did some modification at the sleeves but the basic pattern is
Ruth in PA
JULY 6, 2007 UPDATE:
Last night, while browsing through some of my magazine stash, I ran across a cute ‘top down’ pattern.Â It’s in the June 2004 issue of Crochet Fantasy #175.Â The pattern is on page 22-23 and has a good picture of the ‘Peasant Blouse’.Â Peasant inspired tops are in the malls right now.Â Not my cup of tea, but they look great on some. This one is shown in a pink Brown Sheep ‘Cotton Fine’ yarn (80%cotton/20%merino wool) which would have a lovely hand.Â The neck and shoulder construction is very like many baby sweaters, so should be easy to make.Â It has long sleeves with a very attractive border on the sleeves and hem.Â jd
By jd wolfe