Learn How to Crochet Top-Down Sweaters
They say you are never too old to stop learning. And despite going on 10 years of studying and educating myself about crochet for work and pleasure, I am still amazed at how much I have yet to truly explore. Top-down seamless crochet for example. This was a crochet technique I played with a few years ago, but it didn't quite click.
Doris Chan illustrates how hook size can help you get gauge.
Now I am addicted! Doris Chan's newest DVD, Interweave Crochet Presents: Top-Down Seamless Crochet with Doris Chan, breaks down top-down crochet construction to its basics, making this technique accessible to even beginning crocheters, and it is perfect for sweaters.
This swatch illustrates Doris' progression from granny square to top-down sweater.
I immediately watched the first 10 minutes twice! If, like me, you have ever struggled understanding the fundamentals of top-down sweater construction, the beginning of this workshop will make them crystal clear. Using graduated granny square swatches and their corner increases, Doris clearly illustrates the construction of top-down sweaters. She then uses multiple yarn colors to visually clarify short row shaping and how to use it to create neck shaping as well as additional bust shaping that can be applied to lace or solid stitch patterns. It all makes sense now!
Doris uses Interweave Crochet Project Editor Sarah Read to show you how to determine fit.
Doris also shares a trick that I know I will get a lot of use out of. She substitutes double and half double crochet stitches for chain spaces in her lace pattern. For years I have chained two or three at the beginning of a row to substitute for a half or double crochet. But in many lace patterns, such as the pattern for Doris' Kolika Top which is free with the workshop, you end the round with a chain that is joined to the first stitch with a slip stitch. The first stitch of the next round is worked into the space you just created. But because your slip stitch has placed you at the left side of the chain space, it is incredibly awkward to work.
The Kolika Top with shaping worked in different colors.
Next time, instead of working a chain 3 to end the round, try using a double crochet. Your hook will finish in the middle of the "chain" space, ready to start the next round. I can't wait to try this trick with my own Kolika Top.
Experienced and beginning crocheters alike will find valuable information and instruction in this detailed workshop, including how to modify top-down sweater patterns as you go to fit your custom bust, waist, and hip measurements and how to determine the best pattern size to make. Order Interweave Crochet Presents: Top-Down Seamless Crochet with Doris Chan, or download the workshop to begin your top-down adventure immediately.
P.S. Have you crocheted a top-down sweater? Share your experience in the below.