This post could also be titled “How Quickly I Forget.”
I know I recently ranted about how much I hate crocheting or knitting clothing, but I just found a gauge-less sweater pattern! It’s generally called a hexagon baby sweater. The pattern is all over the internet (as usual,) but none of the sites I found had an explanation of the pattern. I hate blindly following a pattern. I feel like I can’t really trust it unless I see how it goes together. And it bothers me when I can’t modify it before starting. There’s a link to a pattern at the bottom if you prefer following a pattern to using a “recipe.”
Here’s what I figured out: basically, you crochet two six-sided granny squares. Not hexagons, six-sided squares (I know, I know… just bear with me.) A 2-dimensional hexagon has six 120-degree angles. The shape you want to make will have six 90-degree angles. It sounds weird, but it’s easy to make. It just looks really ruffled.
Here’s how it looks with the middles of the edges folded up so it’s all nicely organized. My corners aren’t exactly 90-degrees, but they are pretty close.
Choose a pattern for a square (classic granny, solid dc/hdc/sc square, lacey square, whatever) and find the repeating part of the pattern for each round. Instead of doing that repeat four times, do it six times. You’ll get a nice shape with six 90-degree angles. And then you make it as big as you need for the sweater you want.
When the shape is done, you fold it in half and it makes half of a sweater. You make a second, identical shape. Then you sew them together along the back and tops of the sleeves and you’re done. Or you can add some trim and maybe a hood.
Unfortunately, given the proportions of the sweater, I think this method would only work for a baby or young toddler. It has fat sleeves. I suppose you could try starting the sweater with this pattern and then adding rows or rounds to specific areas, like the ends of the sleeves and bottom of the sweater, to get the correct shape. That does kind of defeat the “no gauge” simplicity, though. Not totally, just kind of. I’ll probably try it eventually.
I used Premier Parfait yarn in “cream” with an I hook (5.25mm). It was hanging out in my stash. The yarn is bulky, but it has a very soft drape, so it works up quickly but doesn’t feel stiff. And it’s very, very soft. Perfect.
I decided to work with a mostly solid square with dc along the edges and (2dc, ch1, 2dc) at the corners. If I make another I think I’ll use a (2dc, tc, 2dc) corner pattern to eliminate the holes. A classic granny looks nice, too, if you use small yarn.
I was aiming for a 6-months size. I want to add cuffs, so I aimed for a little smaller than my sizing hoodie. 6 rounds seemed about right. Here is my sizing hoodie with a 6 round shape on the left. On the right is a six round shape to which I added a row along the bottom and up the back. I will be adding edging for buttons on the front so I need an extra row on either half of the back to even things up. (If you fold your shape and it doesn’t look like half a sweater, you folded it at the corners instead of in the centers of the sides.)
I added a row to the bottom and back of the left side piece, sewed them together up the back, added cuffs, and added 3 rows of sc along the front edges. One side has a few ch1 button holes evenly spaced. Unfortunately, I have no appropriate buttons right now and won’t be out at a store for another 5 days or so. You could also just sew together the front and back and have a pull-over sweater. The little bit of yarn off to the side is what I had leftover from my first skein, so you could definitely make up to a 6 month size from one skein of Parfait yarn. I didn’t sew the tops of the sleeve yet because I wanted to add a hood.
For the cuffs I stitched around the ends in a hdc, hdc, skip a st pattern. That decreased the sleeve from 24 to 16 sts. Then I did two rounds of alternating front-post and back-post hdc making sure I did front-posts in the front-posts and back-posts in the back-posts on the second round.
For the hood I made four 3-round squares in the same style as the rest of the sweater. I realized afterwards that I could have just made one large 6-round square. Oops. It’s cute, even if I made more work for myself. It’s also a bit tall. Again, it’s cute. If I make another sweater I think I would do two 3-round squares, sew them together to make a horizontal rectangle, and then add a row (or two) of dc to the top and bottom.
I edged the front with 3 rounds of sc just like the front of the sweater. In retrospect, I should have sewn the pieces together (sides and hood to body) before adding edging. Next time I’ll do it that way so everything is even.
I’m pretty sure I used less than 1 1/2 skeins for this sweater (size 6 months.) It took a few hours to make, but not as long as any other sweater project I have done. There wasn’t a lot of backtracking and fixing.
- make 2 six-sided granny squares.
- Fold them in half and sew them together.
- For an oversize hood make a four-sided granny square in the same style with the same number of rounds. For a more regular size one you’ll need a rectangle.
- Add edging/trim/cuffs.
Things I loved about this sweater method:
- No gauge. I seriously can’t say it enough.
- Easy. Really piece-of-cake easy. If you can crochet a basic square, you can crochet this sweater. (I might even have to have my sister test that for me.) And since you don’t need to carry a pattern around, you can work on it anywhere: at the playground, in the backyard, in the car (while a passenger, not while driving,) while watching TV or a movie, and so on.
- Fast! If I’m going to spend time making something my baby (or any baby) is going to outgrow really quickly, I don’t want to spend a lot of time on it. With the Parfait yarn this worked up in only a couple hours.
- Cute. I think it turned out really, seriously, cute. And it’s so soft.
The hardest part of making the sweater was that Miss C was asleep when I finished and I had to wait several hours to try it on her.
Here is a link to a pattern if you would rather work it that way. I read the post to get a feel for how the sweater was made, then did my own thing.