Just one week back at school and work, and it's like we never had half term. The days are rushing by in their usual chaotic fashion but the evenings are lighter all the time which makes the world of difference.
Luckily it's still cold enough to wear the finished crochet project I have to share with you today: the Sensum Sweater by Eleven Handmade, who's Goldenrod Sweater I crocheted last year. I love her patterns. I think she has a clever designer's eye for crochet garments, and uses colours and shapes that appeal to me and are the kind of clothes I like to wear.
This was a challenging pattern, with a repeat of treble and puff stitches that increases and decreases across the jumper, creating a sort of zigzag pattern.
Counting is involved and at times it was hard to visualise quite where it was all going but - and I found this with the Goldenrod jumper - the pattern is good and you just have to read carefully and do what it says.
I especially love the way the pattern works on the sleeves, and how they gather and puff out at the cuff.
The cuffs and hem are all worked by crocheting into the back loop only of a htc stitch, giving a gentle ribbed effect.
I couldn't easily find the suggested yarn (Lion Brand Scarfie) so used Rico Essentials Mega Chunky Wool in colourway 001, using 10 balls which I bought with a birthday gift voucher. I did a swatch test and decided to use the hook both yarn and pattern specified, 6 mm, which in hindsight I think was a mistake.
In terms of sizing, the pattern gives you four options which I took to be small, medium, large and extra large. I'm 5'11" and wear a UK size 14 so chose large. The jumper is absolutely enormous, as you can see. I worried for a while that it was just too big to actually be wearable, so what I did was gather up the side seams and secure them with running stitch, making the sides a couple of inches shorter than the front and back.
This makes a big difference to how it looks and feels when I'm wearing it. The sweater still hangs down a little at the front and back but I find it easier to wear, and it works with skinny jeans and leggings. On the plus side, the pattern is just gorgeous, it's incredibly warm, the yarn washes really well with no issues (important for such an impractical colour!) and I have received many compliments when wearing it. Most people seem to think the oversized shape is deliberate, and it is, but maybe not quite so oversized. When I make another - and I will definitely make another - I will go down a hook size and possibly make myself a medium rather than a large.
It's tricky isn't it, making sure the clothes you crochet and knit fit you properly? I'm still learning so much about this but it's a learning curve that I'm happy to climb. I suspect that my crochet tension is quite loose so I think going down a hook size or more is always going to be a good idea for me. But I'm not put off, if anything I want to crochet even more clothes, especially while I'm not buying any new. Some summer tops would be nice, perhaps in cotton.
Right now I am making myself a pair of wrist warmers. I've just finished one and am happy to report that it's a perfect fit. :-)