Monday, November 19, 2018

The Rebecca Sweater: Part 1

A Free Crochet Pattern

When I made the Becca sweater I knew right away that I wanted to make an adult version. It has such an easy construction that I knew I also wanted to make it so you could pick your own size measurements, so you could make it just right for you. Because let's face it, we all come in different shapes and sizes. I want to give you the confidence you need to make your own sweater and have it fit just the way you need it.

I'm dividing this pattern into two parts to make it even easier to follow. In part one we will talk about swatches, measurements, and the body of the sweater. Part 2 we will talk about the hood, the edging band and the sleeves.

Where Can I purchase this Pattern?

If you want to work ahead or if you would like a printer friendly ads free version. I have the PDF version available in my Ravelry Store for $3.00. With the PDF you will get Part 1 and Part 2 all in one place.

<--------->buy now <-------->

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Designer: Julia Schwartz
Yarn: Lion Brand A Touch of Alpaca; 4 medium, 90% acrylic 10% alpaca, 207 yrds/ 190m, 3.5 oz/100g
Color Crimson 138 (6 balls for small, 7 balls for m, 8 balls for l, 9 balls for xl)
Hook: G/6 4.00 mm (On ball band recommended hook is I-9/ 5.5 mm)
Notions: yarn needle
Size: make your own size, most examples used in the tutorial are for extra large
Gauge: 15 dc X 8 rows equals 4 X 4 inches
Stitches Used: ch, dc, foundation dc, lateral braid stitch (I made a tutorial for the stitch, just follow the link), sc
Special stitches:
  •  Lateral braid stitch: yarn over, insert your hook right under the v of the stitch you just finished stitching into, and around the post of the next stitch. so it looks like you are straddling both "v's",
    yarn over, pull hook back through the stitches, yarn over, pull through 2 loops, yarn over, pull through 2 loops 

Notes: The pattern is worked from the bottom up.
Julia Schwartz. Do not reproduce, copy, distribute, or sell this pattern without permission of the designer. This pattern must not be translated, reproduced, or circulated in another language without prior consent. If you have questions about this pattern please contact


If you have looked through the Becca sweater you will see that the whole body of the sweater is worked in one piece and it is seamed at the shoulders. This gives you control over how long, and wide the body will be and how big the arm holes will be.

The first 2 most important things to do when making a sweater is take your measurements and make a quick swatch. Whenever you start something new it's always important to have a plan, and notes to help you succeed. A lot of times we are investing a lot of money into making a sweater. I purchased my yarn at 30% off for $45.00. I rarely buy a piece of clothing for that price, so I know I don't want to make mistakes and I want to use this investment for a long time.

When taking measurements and  making a swatch, the ball band on the yarn skein is really your best friend. It's going to give you a lot of the information you need to make something successfully.

On your ball band you will hopefully get the information for how many yards/meters the skein has, and the gauge.

The Gauge and Swatch

For this project I'm using the yarn Touch of Alpaca by Lion Brand. On their ball band it says that if I am using a 5.5 mm hook I should get 14 sts and 18 rows every 4 inches using a sc st. I personally am a really loose crocheter and knitter so for me to get that gauge of 15 stitches and 18 rows I have to go to the hook size of 4.00mm. If I used a 5.5mm hook without checking my gauge my sweater would have been way too wide. and I would have ran out of yarn before finishing my sweater.

Any good sweater pattern is going to have a small swatch pattern to help you find the gauge you need. So here is mine: (hint you can use your swatch for a pocket later on at the end of the sweater.) 

Row 1 (wrong side): Make 21 foundation dc or ch 23, dc in 3rd ch from hook and in each ch for a total of 21 dc.
Row 2 (right side): Ch 3, (counts as first dc here and throughout), turn, 2 dc in the next dc {sk dc, 2 dc in next dc} repeat to last 3 dc, sk 1 dc, dc in each of the last 2 dc. (21 sts)
Row 3: Ch 3, turn, lateral braid st in each dc. (21 sts)
Row 4- Row 11: Repeat rows 2 and 3
finish off with a long tail. 

When you are finished with this swatch, measure it with your measuring tape. You should have 14 stitches fit inside the 4 inch mark and 8 rows fit inside the 4 inch mark. Remember those numbers they are going to come in handy really soon. 


Next you want to take your measurements. For this sweater there are 3 main measurements I want to focus on. The cross back, chest, and arm hole depth. 

The cross back measurement is taken at the middle of your back. Start the tape at the base of your neck and measure down to your belt buckle or to where you want the bottom of your sweater to fall. 

For the chest measurement you are going to wrap the tape measure around your breast and measure at the widest part. 

The arm hole depth measurement will be from the top of your shoulder to your arm pit. 

It's always good to have a partner to help you take these measurements. If you don't have someone to help you or you want to double check your measurements you can always grab your favorite sweater and measure that just like you would yourself.

Finding the Right Size

Now we have all these numbers what are we supposed to do with them. In this section I'm going to use my numbers as examples but when you are making your notes use your own numbers. ;). 

The best thing to do at this point is take out a piece of paper and take notes, actually hopefully you already did this to write down your measurements. 

Starting with your chest measurement, lets figure out how many stitches you will need for the body of your sweater. you are going to divide your chest measurement by 4. (The 4 stands for the 4 inches in the gauge) So for me it was 44 divided by 4 = 11

Then you are going to take that number and multiply it to the number of stitches in your gauge which if you remember for us that as 14. So for me the numbers were 11 x 14 = 154. For the stitch pattern you need an odd number so I am going to round down for 153 stitches. 

This last number is how many stitches you will need to start your sweater.

Now lets figure out how many rows you need. For my cross back measurements I had 25, and the arm hole depth I had 8. I have really big arms so some of you are going to have a smaller number here. So again you are going to take your cross back number and divide by 4 so 25 divided by 4 = 6.25. Take that number and multiply that by the row gauge 8. 6.25 x 8 = 50. 

When we are completely done with my sweater  I'll have 50 rows, but First we need to divide up the arm holes. Remember my arm hole depth was 8. 8 divided by 4 is 2. Then 2 x 8 = 16. I need to subtract 16 from my total number of rows for the sweater to make the arm holes. So 50 - 16 = 34. This last number is going to tell me the amount of rows needed for the body of my sweater. 

The last thing we need to figure out is the amount of stitches for the front panels, arm holes and back panel. 

First for the back panel.  Now it gets a little tricky because we have to figure out our arm holes. I am leaving a 7 stitch gap between my front and back panels (this will make more sense later). Again I have big arms so if you are on the smaller side you might want to just do 5 on each side. I'm going to subtract 14 (or 10) from my total stitches of the sweater body so 153-14= 139 Divide this number by 2. 139 divided by 2= 69.5 round down to 69 and divide again by 2 = 34.5 round up to 35. So now you can check your work. 35+7+69+7+35=153 

So your notes should look something like this:
body of sweater: 153 stitches and 34 rows 
arm holes divided for sweater: 16 rows.
front right panel: 35 stitches,
skip 7 stitches,
Back panel: 69 stitches,
skip 7 sts,
Front left panel: 35 stitches. 

Okay we made it through the hard part and it really wasn't that bad. All that hard work is going to insure us that we are going to have a sweater that fits us the way we want it to. Are you ready to finally stitch?

Body of Your Sweater

Row 1 (wrong side): Make the number of body of sweater stitches (example 153) foundation dc or ch 2 extra your number, dc in 3rd ch from hook and in each ch for a total of your sweater body stitches.
Row 2 (right side): Ch 3, (counts as first dc here and throughout), turn, 2 dc in the next dc {sk dc, 2 dc in next dc} repeat to last 3 dc, sk 1 dc, dc in each of the last 2 dc. 
Row 3: Ch 3, turn, lateral braid st in each dc. 
Repeat rows 2 and 3 for the number of rows needed for the body of your sweater before you separate the sections for the arm holes.

Do not finish off. 

Separation of sleeves for right front 

Row 1: Repeat row 2 for a total number of front right panel of  stitches. 
Rows 2 - number of rows for front panel (example 16 rows): Repeat rows 3 and 2. 

at the end of your last row finish off. 

Separation of back

Row 1: With right side facing you, skip 5 (7) sts on last row of sweater body, ch 3, 2 dc in next st, {sk dc, 2 dc in next dc} repeat to last 3 dc of your number of stitches for the back panel), sk 1 dc, dc in each of the last 2 dc. 

Rows 2-number of rows for front panel (example 16 rows): Repeat rows 3 and 2.  Finishing on a row 3. 
at the end of your last row finish off.

Separation for Left front

Row 1: With right side facing you, skip 5 (7) sts on last row of sweater body, ch 3, 2 dc in the next st, {sk dc, 2 dc in next dc} repeat to last 3 dc, sk 1 dc, dc in each of the last 2 dc. 

Rows 2 - number of rows for front panel (example 16 rows): Repeat rows 3 and 2. 
at the end of your last row finish off.

Congrats! you made it to the end of Part 1. If you want to continue to part 2 Click Here!

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