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Sabrina Tunic Crochet-Along: Yarn, Sizing, Gauge and Getting Started

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I am so excited to host this summer’s Lion Brand Crochet Along!  I love the project you all voted for… The Sabrina Tunic.  To kick off the first week I will be talking about the yarn, gauge, sizing and getting started with the first few rows.  I hope you are as excited as I am… Let’s get crocheting!!!

Let’s start with the yarn.  This pattern called for Vanna's Glamour®  in 3 colors.  This yarn is a light weight yarn and is categorized as a size 2 in yarn standards.  The thing I love about this yarn is the hint of sparkle; this will make our project really special!  It’s important to use the same weight yarn that the pattern calls for to keep our tunic looking and fitting just right.  This yarn also has a nice easy stretch to it which will make our garment keep its shape. It’s not too late order your yarn and join us… Lion Brand Yarn will ship it straight to your door.  Click here to view & order the kits at 20% off.

Now it’s time to move on to the most important part of the pattern… Gauge!!!  I know it’s tempting to skip the gauge and just start crocheting.  Since everyone crochets a little differently, uses different style hooks and working with light weight yarn can change our tension, it is extremely important to check your gauge.  It only takes a short amount of time and I promise it will pay off by giving you a better fitting garment.

The pattern directions ask us to make two swatches. One swatch with the smallest hook and one swatch with the largest hook.  I tend to crochet slightly on the loose side, I started with the hooks that were called for in the pattern and my swatch was way to big… With the smaller hook and 22 stitches for my first attempt the swatch was 6” instead of 4”.   If I would have kept that gauge, by the end of my project it would have been much too large. I went down 3 hook sizes to get the correct size swatch and crocheted enough rows to make my swatch 4” wide and about 3” tall. Now I am all set and I can start the project!!

 

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Swatch using a “C” hook 22 stitches.

 

CAL_large-Swatch

Swatch using an “E” hook 19 stitches

 

Let’s take a moment to chat about the sizing… The pattern has directions for 3 sizes -Small, M/L and 1X/2X.  It is important to get an accurate chest measurement before you begin. By using the measurements indicated in the pattern you will use the size that coincides with that measurement. This will really help you get the garment to fit correctly.  The length will be slightly adjustable and you can make it as long or as short as you like!

Okay… Are you ready to start??  As a long time crocheter, I always dread the first couple of rows in any project!! There isn’t much to hold onto and the stitches like to roll around… Joining the starting chain into a circle can be very tricky too!  Here are two tips I have to help;  1) Place stitch markers every 25 stitches in the beginning chain. This will make it much easier to keep track of where you are. 2) Lay your starting chain carefully out on a piece of fabric, keeping the chain facing in the correct position (see the picture below).  This will help you join your chain and avoid twisting it. If you have difficulty with your chain twisting please don’t hesitate to use the alternative joining instructions provided in the pattern.

CAL_joining_chain

Lay out your starting chain on a piece of fabric when you’re ready to join, it will help keep it straight.

Once my chain was joined, the first row was a little tricky as usual… I just took my time and made sure I was crocheting in the correct stitches.  I am using the Onyx colored yarn and it was a bit difficult to see the beginning stitch-work… Just make sure you have good lighting and you will be just fine!  Once I was finished with Row 2, I was really happy with the results. The work started to lie nicely and I had something to hold onto.    It was easy to see the stitching and I am now on my way to a gorgeous Sabrina Tunic!

This week let’s all get our swatches made, and work on the first few rows of the yoke.  I will be hanging out here every so often to answer your questions and also over at our Ravelry Group.  Stay tuned next week for tips about finishing up the yoke.

 

Happy Crocheting!!

Elena

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About Elena Ramshaw Hunt:
I'm an avid crocheter and yarn-a-holic! My Grandmother taught me the art of crochet when I was 10 and as a young woman the bug really caught me. With 40 years of crochet experience, I have taught and shared my love of crochet to many people in my community and in 2013 I began Beatrice Ryan Designs (named after my grandmother) where I design free crochet patterns including my Amazing Grace Free Crochet Pattern Series that is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness.I live in a small Northern California mountain community. I have 3 grown children and 2 beautiful Grandchildren! I work full-time as an Administrative Assistant for a Forest Products Company and I love to spend my time with my family, crocheting and gardening. Elena Ramshaw Hunt
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  • froggylu

    Can we start off with foundation sc.s? Or will it effect the lay/tension of the fabric?

  • Cynthia Macintosh

    I have the swatches done. My size hooks are completely different! For the small gauge 22 sc =4 in., I am using a Boye hook 4/200 mm, and for the large gauge 19 sc = 4 in. , I am using a BoyeD/3 3.25 mm. What size should I use for the middle hook?

  • Linda Diane Cordle

    Elena, I am getting gauge of 18 or 19 stitches for 4 inches with my smallest crochet hook (Boye size C/2. I normally make a 40 inch bust size, and was wondering if I should make the Small size tunic rather than the Medium, since I am down to my smallest hook?? Thanks for your help!

  • Linda Diane Cordle

    Elena, I am not getting gauge even with my smallest crochet hook (Boye size C/2). I am getting 18-19 sts for 4 in. Should I make a Small size tunic rather than Medium? I normally look for a 40 inch size on charts. Thanks for your help!

  • Cyndi

    Just got my yarn today! My question is that my chest size is exactly the finished measurement of the m/l size. Can I use a hook that gives me a slightly larger gauge so that the sweater will fit more comfortably when finished?

  • Barbara Wojciechowski

    Do you frog and reuse yarn when making swatches? I'm worried that I won't have enough yarn if I have to make lots of swatches to get the correct gauge.

  • Yarnhugger

    You can turn as if you are going to work flat and then join at the end of the first round. This way you avoid twisting the chain and you can use the tail to close the space left behind.

  • lauraimprovises

    I have found this discussion about gauge very useful. It is looking like I also need to size down my hook to a "c". Now, to try the gauge piece again...

  • Barbara Wojciechowski

    I'm ready to start, but have a question about sizing. The medium size is 44-1/2 in and the large size is 51-1/2. I need a finished size of 47-1/2, since I have ample breasts. When I sew, I'll cut on different sizes to accommodate my various sizes. I don't want the top to swim on me or be too tight. What size should I use?

  • Migdalia Santiago

    This is my first cal for clothing and my first time making the swatch gauge. The large hook is F5/3.75 and the small is D3/3.25 therefor the medium should be the 3.50 hook yes?

  • Betty

    I'm using a stretchy foundation. I found a regular foundation row didn't have enough stretch to match the CI stitch pattern.

  • Cynthia Macintosh

    Hi Elena, I was looking ahead and I don't see rows 40, 45, or 46. Do you know where the directons for those rows are? Thanks, Cindy