A Fall Obsession

 A few weeks ago, when I was gearing up for the Chain Link conference, I really wanted to sport new crochet. I perused the Fall 2011 issue of Interweave Crochet and opted for what looked like the fastest crochet garment in the issue: The Oak Wrap by Doris Chan.

And am I glad I did! I've worn this garment more times than I can say since I made it. Here it is:

and a back view:

This is worked in Berroco Lustra, (Go ahead and click to the color card for a moment. Don't you just want one in every color? Me, too.) Perfect strangers stop me and ask about this garment. At my local LYS, two people grabbed up the magazine so they could make it. Truly, it's a lot of fun to wear — it gives just the right amount of warmth, and it has a little swerve.

I liked it so much, that I made another:

and a back view:

This is worked in Rowan Summer Tweed, a good weight for the office and warmer days.

And, yes, it is super-fast! I worked the back, ripped it out, reworked it and finished the whole thing in less than a week.

Ripped it back, you ask? Yes, indeed. Which leads me to my main tip for this sweater: mark the first stitch on each row. This stitch lingers close to the chain-4 at the start of the row, and if you don't mark it, it will look a lot like a chain and you will probably forget to count it. Don't believe me? Look at this picture:

See that loop closest to the hook? Looks like a chain, doesn't it? It's not. It's a half-double crochet, and it wants to be counted.

Here's how the stitch looks with a marker in it: 

All different, right?

Here's how to mark it:

When you work the first stitch of the row, slide a marker onto the back loop, like this:

Then when you get to the end of the next row, you will totally see it. On the next row, that back loop has become the front loop, which is where you want to work your stitch.

If you do this one simple thing, you won't get to the end of the main section and find yourself 34 stitches short. And you won't have pull out  2,727 stitches, plus 160 chains—for a total of 8,341 loops you made that you have to unmake.

Just saying.

Oh, and because of the clever design of this sweater, it can be tricky to figure out which end is up. So, I crocheted a little loop and attached it to the back neck edge, like this:

Makes everything easier.

Making mistakes so you don't have to — just a little service we provide here at Marcy's blog:

Happy crocheting,

Marcy

p.s. Tune in Monday to the CrochetMe blog to find out Toni and Sarah's "gotta crochet" items from the Fall 2011 issue of Interweave Crochet.

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