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The purpose of my crochet-alongs is for teaching. If the projects were easy, you could do them yourself and you wouldn’t need me or group participation. You can always expect a challenge of some kind when you do a crochet-along with me, some are easier than others. Naturally, when I’m teaching something new, I will end up with lots of questions and these are some of those questions and the answers.
The pattern for this crochet-along is available HERE.
1. 5/2 cotton? Light fingering weight? What number and I looking for on the package?
If you want to know the specific cotton thread I used, look in the materials section of the pattern and click the link. The thread I used is available in cones at a great price, in a lot of different colors. It is size 5 cotton which is in between size 10 (bedspread cotton) and size 3. Ravelry only has a “thread” designation for cotton thread without regard to its size. For an approximate size in other yarns, you’re looking at about a light fingering.
Some people have been successful in getting gauge using two strands of size 10 held together. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t know why. It may be because of the way the person tensions their yarn. I just don’t know. Give it a try, if you have access to size 10.
If you want to use a heavier weight yarn, you’re going to have to make adjustments unless you’re looking for a stiff garment. You can’t just use a small hook with worsted weight to get the same gauge and expect it to work for you unless you want battle armor. You may be able to make something from a smaller instruction in order to get the size you need. This isn’t an exact science. You’re going to have to experiment. What’s the worst that can happen? It’s got to be safer than pressure canning. 😉
2. Could you explain what “-2 ease” means?
It means that the actual measurement of the garment was two inches less than the circumference of my daughter who modeled it.
3. The pattern indicates there is a -2″ ease on the small version pictured. Is the ease -2″ in all the sizes?
Let’s say you have a sweater. That sweater measures 38″. That number doesn’t change. It’s always 38″. If I put it on my daughter, it will be modeled at 2″ positive ease. If I put on me, it will be modeled at 8″ negative ease (very tight). Ease is ONLY the difference in measurement between the body and the garment. I stated it ONLY because I want people to have an idea of how the garment will look. Most publishers don’t give you that information and you end up never knowing about it. For instance, you could have a medium model wearing a size small. It looks fabulous on the size medium model so you go ahead and make your size, never knowing that you should be making the smaller size in order to have the same look. I’m giving you full disclosure; something to which you are entirely unaccustomed in crochet patterns. I realize that, by giving too much information, it usually causes over-thinking.
4. In the pattern instructions for the Back it says to continue row 2 for (15, 15, 13, 13, 11) rows Do I really crochet 15 rows for a small and only 11 rows for the 3X?
Read the rest of the instructions. You will find that the size 3X probably has more rows than the other sizes IN TOTAL. You just have to understand that you need more shaping rows for larger sizes so, as the sizes go up, the number of shaping rows increase whereas the straight rows decrease.
5. Does the back look like the front without the separation and button closure?
If you need to see a photo of the back, there is a photo on Ravelry. The armhole shaping is about the same, but the back doesn’t have a big “scoop” for the neck. It covers the entire upper back.
6. About gauge.
The bodice is the most important part of this garment. It is also the smallest and takes the least amount of time. Get it right before you continue!
Take all the time you need to get the bodice exactly the way you want it before you continue. The bodice area is the most crucial (and smallest) part of this garment. Once you have the bodice, you’re home free.
It’s important to remember that science is involved. The top is designed in cotton which can be slightly heavier than some other fibers. When you pull down on it to mimic gravity, the width will reduce. You are trying to meet the size in the schematic, but you have to stretch it a bit from top to bottom when making that measurement because that is what happens when you put on the extra weight of the rest of the top. I like to place it on a flat surface and smooth it out in the direction of gravity before taking a measurement.
Swatch if you want. You want to at least get a ball park idea of what hook you’re going to use for the bodice and I do love swatches for testing out water on my garment so I know what is going to happen to it when I wash it later. If you like to live on the wild side, don’t do that extra step UNLESS you’re using alpaca. If you decide to use alpaca without wetting it down, you do so at your own risk. I’ve warned you! Ha!
You need to understand that a good swatch should be about an 8″ square so that you can block it and take a measurement of the 4″ on the inside. I don’t even bother. When I think I’ve got a good guess on the hook, I just jump right in and start making the bodice and use the finished schematic to see if I’m on track. When I’ve got a piece of the garment that’s not all that much different in size than a swatch should be, I just go right for the garment. If I have to take it out, I do. It’s small enough that it’s not a big deal.