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MVP (Madam Vice President) Sweater – Free Crochet Pattern

It’s finally, finally done – my first original crochet pattern! I conceived this pattern waaaaay back in January. Watching the presidential inauguration, when they announced Kamala as “Madam Vice President”, I couldn’t stop crying. I’ll never forget that moment – when there was no longer never a woman vice president. She inspired me to get going on what I’ve always wanted to do – start writing crochet patterns.

It’s been a very tough year for me and therefore took me fooooorever to get this pattern done. I have more lined up before the end of the year and things have settled down for me so keep an eye out for more original crochet patterns in the next few months!

Please note this blog post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of my links and make a purchase from it, I receive a portion of the sale. This incurs no extra cost to you.

I also have an ad-free, printer-friendly PDF version of this pattern available on my Ravelry page!

MVP Sweater Crochet Pattern

Difficulty: Intermediate

Materials:
Yarn: Lion Brand Comfy Cotton Blend in Mochaccino, 392 yds/658 m per cake 
3(3, 4, 4, 4)(5, 5, 6, 7) skeins – see size chart for yardage
Note on yarn: Comfy Cotton Blend is labeled as a weight-3 yarn but feels heavier, more like a worsted weight yarn. If you sub yarn, I would use worsted; if your gauge swatch comes out too large, go down a hook size.

Hook: 5 & 5.5 mm (I used a Furls Streamline Swirl in Cafe)

Notions
Tapestry Needle
Scissors
Stitch Markers
Tape Measure

Sizing Chart: 
Throughout the pattern the stitch counts/row counts are formatted as – XS(S, M, L, 1X)(2X, 3X, 4X, 5X)

(inches)XSSML1X2X3X4X5X
Bust28-3032-3436-3840-4244-4648-5052-5456-5860-62
Width21-21.521.5-2222.5-2323.5-2424.5-2525.5-2626.5-2727.5-2828.5-29
Length19.52020.2520.520.752121.52222.5
Arm Length16.5171717.517.5181818.518.5
Armhole77.588.599.51010.511
Yardage95210581175130614841686196922302564

Gauge:
13 stitches in whdc by 15 rows = 4” square

Special Stitches:
Whdc – wide half double crochet
Yarn over, insert your hook under all loops of the stitch (space between stitches),pull up a loop, yarn over, pull a loop through all three loops on hook. (See insertion point in photo below)

Notes

  • Ch-1 does not count as a stitch
  • This piece is constructed as two panels, seamed together, and then the sleeves are picked up around the armholes and worked in turned rounds.
  • The ribbing is worked as a separate strip for the first two panels, but is constructed directly onto the sleeves.
  • There is no designated right/wrong side before you seam the two panels together. After you seam, the seam should be on the *new* wrong side.

Front Panel: Ribbing (use 5mm hook)

Setup Row: Stitch 9(9, 9, 10, 10)(10, 10, 11, 11) foundation hdc, or chain 11(11, 11, 12, 12)(12, 12, 13, 13) and working into the 3rd ch from the hook, hdc to the end of the row. Ch 1, turn. 9(9, 9, 10, 10)(10, 10, 11, 11) st

Ribbing: Stitch 8(8, 8, 9, 9)(9, 9, 10, 10) hdc-blo, hdc in last st. Ch 1, turn. 9(9, 9, 10, 10)(10, 10, 11, 11) st

Repeat Ribbing row until you reach row 45(47, 49, 51, 53)(55, 57, 59, 61).

Switch to 5.5mm hook.

Front Panel: Body

Turn ribbing lengthwise and work across the top.

Row 1: Using regular hdc’s pick up 68(70, 74, 76, 80)(82, 86, 88, 92) st. Ch 1, turn.

68(70, 74, 76, 80)(82, 86, 88, 92) st

Row 2: Whdc each st until end of row. Ch 1, turn.

Repeat Row 2 until you reach 48(49, 49, 50, 50)(50, 51, 52, 53) total rows. Do not fasten off.

Front Panel: Neckline
This section starts a new row count.

Row 1: Whdc 32(33, 35, 36, 38)(40, 41, 42, 44). Ch 1, turn.

Row 2: Hdc2tog the first 2 st. Whdc each st until end of row. Ch 1, turn.  31(32, 34, 35, 37)(39, 40, 41, 43) st

Row 3: Whdc each st until end of row. Ch 1, turn.

Repeat rows 2-3 until you reach row 20(21, 21, 22, 22)(22, 23, 24, 25) rows.

You will have 24(24, 26, 25, 28)(30, 30, 30, 31) st total. Fasten off.

With the just-worked section on the right side of your work, skip the 2 stitches in the very middle of the panel. Pick up an hdc in the next st.

Row 1: Whdc each st until end of row. Ch 1, turn.

32(33, 35, 36, 38)(40, 41, 42, 44) st

Row 2: Whdc each st until 2 st remain. Hdc2tog the last 2st. Ch 1, turn.

31(33, 35, 36, 38)(39, 40, 41, 43) st

Repeat rows 1-2 until you reach row 20(21, 21,  22, 22)(22, 23, 24, 25) rows.

You will have 24(24, 26, 25, 28)(30, 30, 30, 31) st total. Fasten off.

Back Panel: Ribbing
Repeat instructions for Front Panel: Ribbing. Make sure to switch hooks to 5.0 mm!

Back Panel: Body
Turn ribbing lengthwise and work across the top – make sure to switch back to your 5.5mm hook!.

Row 1: Using regular hdc’s pick up 68(70, 74, 76, 80)(82, 86, 88, 92) st. Ch 1, turn. 68(70, 74, 76, 80)(82, 86, 88, 92) st

Row 2: Whdc each st until end of row. Ch 1, turn.

Repeat Row 2 until you reach 68(70, 70, 72, 72)(72, 74, 76, 78) rows. Fasten off.

The number of rows in your back panel should equal the total body+neckline rows in your front panel.

Seaming Back Panel + Front Panel
Lay your front and back panels on top of each other.

On the sides, from the top shoulder, measure 7(7 ½, 8, 8 ½, 9)(9 ½, 10, 10 ½, 11) inches down and place a stitch marker at the top and bottom of this measurement. Repeat on the other side. This will be your armhole.

Using your preferred seaming method, seam the top shoulders together, and then seam the sides together from the bottom up until the bottom stitch marker. See figure below.

Sleeves
After seaming, when you pick up your piece you will have an armhole on each side. You will work into these in turned (not continuous) rounds.
Row 1: Starting at the armpit, pick up 60(62, 64,  66,  68)(70, 72, 74, 76) hdc. Sl st to your first st. Ch 1, turn. 60(62, 64, 66, 68)(70, 72, 74, 76) st

Row 2: Whdc in each st until end of the round. Sl st to your first st. Ch 1, turn.

Repeat row 2 until you reach row 41(43, 43, 45, 45)(47, 47, 49, 49) rows.

Next Row: *Whdc, hdc2tog*, repeat from * to * until end of row. Sl st to your first st. Ch 1, turn.

Repeat this row once.

Next Row: *Whdc, hdc2tog twice*, repeat from * to * until end of row. Sl st to your first st. Ch 1, turn.

You will have 44(46, 46, 48, 48)(50, 50, 52, 52) rows total in the sleeves. Do not fasten off.

Sleeves: Cuff
Make sure the wrong side of the sleeve is facing you.

Setup Row: Ch 14. In 3rd ch from hook, hdc the next 12 st. Sl st to corresponding row of sleeve. Do not chain, turn.

All sizes: 12 st

Row 2: Sl st to the next row of sleeve. Hdc-blo until one st remains. Hdc in last st. Ch 1, turn.
Row 3: Hdc-blo in each st to end of row. Sl st to corresponding row in sleeve. Do not chain, turn.

Repeat rows 2-3 until no rows in the sleeve remain. Fasten off, leaving a long tail.
With the inside of the sleeve facing you, seam the last row of the cuff to the first row using your preferred seaming method.

Fasten off, weave in ends.

Repeat Sleeves and Sleeves: Cuff instructions on other armhole.

Neckline Finishing
Lay piece flat on the ground with the front panel on top.

Using tape measure, measure 4 inches and 6 inches down from the top of the neckline and place a stitch marker at these points on both sides of the neckline. Feel free to adjust these points as needed, just make sure they’re the same on each side of the neckline.

The top-left is referred to as A, the top-right as B, the bottom-left as C and the bottom-right as D.

With right side facing you, pick up an sc at A. Sc around to B; chain 18(18, 18, 20, 20)(20, 20, 22, 22), attach with an sc at C, sc up to A, ch the same number as the first cord, attach at D. Before fastening off, ensure you’re satisfied with the cord length. It should form a visible “x” without being too loose or pulling at the neckline. If you want to change the cord length, frog this, redo the cord as desired, and repeat instructions until you attach at D again. Fasten off. Again with right side facing you, pick up an sc at B and sc around to C. Fasten off, weave in ends.

The neckline is stitched in this order to have minimal ends while still having all the stitches facing the right side properly.

Please refer to below schematic for stitching the neckline.

Weave in all ends and YOU’RE DONE!

I Finally Tried Blocking!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted – to be perfectly honest I was just kind of stuck what to write on. But for the first time in my crochet career I finally got around to trying blocking my pieces! I’ve blocked three pieces now and I’m a little mad at myself for not doing this in the past, especially with all of the triangle shawls I make!

Blocking is the process of shaping a finished piece using water, hot steam, some foam boards and some pins. In the past I always thought it was kind of unnecessary because I never had any issues with the edges of my pieces lying straight or anything being crooked. However, as I wrote in my last post I’ve been doing a lot of Tunisian crochet recently and with that came the necessity of blocking. Tunisian crochet by nature of its structure just has a mind of its own and wants to curl up on the edges, but blocking is the easiest way to get it to lay flat.

The first thing I blocked was the Tunisian simple stitch cowl I made, which was real curly on the bottom edge because I was using too small of a hook and had my tension much too tight.

One thing I learned Tunisian can’t fix is a major tension issue like the one I had on the bottom of this piece! Blocking can certainly fix edges curling from tight tension but it can’t shrink loose tension. It did end up fixing the curling completely. This piece was made using a wool/nylon blend, so I decided to do a full wet block. So I filled my kitchen sink with slightly warm water and a splash of fabric softener, and completely submerged the piece and let it sit in there for just a few minutes because it didn’t need to be softer, just completely soaked. Then i squeezed some of the water out of it (NOT WRINGING IT) and rolled it in a big beach towel to get as much water out as possible, then pinned it down to my blocking mats and let it dry. The result was that the curling had been completely fixed and I was able to seam the square into a cowl much easier than I would have if I hadn’t blocked it because the edged were perfectly straight (except for where my tension problem was!).

The next thing I blocked was a big Tunisian triangle shawl I made with Hobbii Twister in Light Elegance. The pattern I used is the Loveland Lite shawl by Toni of TLYarnCrafts. It was a large project and the last row I bound off a little too tightly, so the center tip really wanted to curl up. I wanted to block it anyway to practice so I decided to see if I could fix that corner with some aggressive pins.

I used the same method with this piece with a full wet block – except I had to get a little creative with finding a spot in my house I could lay this huge piece out flat where the cats couldn’t reach it! The edges as a whole were already pretty dead straight so I pinned those down pretty gently but on that center corner I made sure to give it a good stretch to lay it out flat and pin it down with some very close-together pins. And that did the trick, as you can see in the photo above the center corner is laying and draping perfectly!

The last piece I tried blocking on was a baby blanket. The pattern is also by Toni – the Bias Tunisian Baby Blanket. Now, this one was made using an acrylic yarn, which doesn’t respond well to wet blocking, so I tried out steam blocking for this. This piece was laying pretty well except for two of the corners that were wanting to pop up so I pinned it down on my mats and applied hot steam using the steam function on my iron. If you ever try this with acrylic yarn make sure to not actually touch the yarn with the iron because it will definitely melt it!

You can see the corners in the first picture curling up quite a bit, the middle is while it was drying on the mats and the last picture is after I removed the pins. You can see it didn’t fix the curling 100%- next time I would make sure to steam the problem corners a little more aggressively. I also don’t recommend using the steam function on a regular clothes iron for this type of blocking. Invest in a separate steamer that functions at any angle – I definitely had issues getting enough steam to come out when I moved the iron horizontally and I think that contributed to the slightly subpar result. You live and you learn!

I’m definitely going to continue blocking all of my pieces from now on. I have my wedding shawl and another triangle shawl I’ll be gifting soon that have been sitting in my closet that I never bothered to block, and they both have really intricate patterns that I think will shine through infinitely more with some love and blocking!

Happy making!

Falling in Love with Tunisian Crochet

When my grandmother passed away two years ago and I inherited her craft suppies, along with them were some very long crochet hooks. At first I thought they were knitting needles because they were long, straight, aluminum and had a stopper on the end – but the other end was a crochet hook?

They were Tunisian hooks, otherwise known as afghan hooks, and they’re used for Tunisian crochet – the bastard child of knitting and crochet. When working Tunisian projects, you use the hook end to pick up stitches by pulling up loops, just like crochet – but you keep the stitches open on the long part, just like knitting. Then, when you get to the end of the row (or “forward pass”), you essentially crochet a chain through the open stitches on your needle (the “return pass”). Every row has these two elements, the forward and return passes, and with them one can create really unique netted-looking stitches, knit-looking stitches, that form a dense fabric that also drapes really well.

Weird Sisters Wool on Carroll base in color Rowena

My first actual Tunisian project started when I bought some gorgeous, hand-dyed yarn from Weird Sisters Wool (go check them out – they do lots of nerdy-inspired colorways!) to make a cowl. My original plan was to just moss-stitch a tube but I had a really tough time getting a good gauge and stretch, so I decided to give Tunisian a shot. And boy, was that a good idea! I just made a Tunisian simple stitch rectangle (still needs to be blocked and seamed) and it really shows off the unique color of my specialty yarn. The yarn had two main colors and it gave a perfect mix of color pooling and pulling one color through another.

Then I decided I wanted a bigger gauge hook so I could work with worsted weight yarns. One of the main things about Tunisian is that it presents unique tension issues – because you don’t turn your work, the stitch tends to give tension to only the front or back of the work, causing your fabric to curl. The best solution is to use a hook 2-3 sizes bigger than you usually would, and since worsted weight typically calls for a 5mm hook I decided to get a 6.5mm straight hook from Furls – which my fiance purchased for me for Valentine’s Day!

Image from furlscrochet.com

I decided to get some cotton yarn and try out a dishcloth. I made one in about an hour and thought…. well….. now I need to make a million. Tunisian is perfect for dishcloths. There’s so many unique stitches that give a texture that would be perfect for scrubbing dishes or for skincare!

I learned three stitches in a weekend using tutorials from TLYarnCrafts – the queen of Tunisian. When COVID is over I plan on doing markets, so I figured a good small-ish thing for the market table would be cloth sets. I’m stocking sets of three, half with loops for hanging, half without, in three-color sets. I’m using Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton Yarn for them and pairing colors like so – ecru (cream white), fuchsia and jade green, and gold, taupe and lilac. Within the three colors, I’m also using a different stitch for each – honeycomb stitch, lattice stitch and smock stitch.

My other current endeavor in Tunisian is a triangle shawl, again by TLYarnCrafts, called the Loveland Shawl. I got myself a set of corded hooks and grabbed a cake of Hobbii Twister from my stash and got it going and that’s what’s really feeding my addiction to Tunisian because it really feels like I’m knitting – but I’m not! Side note – I will write a separate post about my shawl progress as well as corded hook reviews.

Loveland Lite Shawl

If you see Tunisian projects popping up everywhere on Instagram and Ravelry, it’s definitely becoming more and more popular. I definitely recommend giving it a try as it fulfills my need to have different things going on to break the monotony. And I can’t knit to save my life, so having a craft that can produce projects like this is game-changing for me.

Hope everyone is staying safe and warm!

Yarn Review – Mighty Stitch from WeCrochet

I recently began writing my first original blanket pattern (stay tuned!) and ended up trying a new-to-me yarn. I had purchased a sweater quantity of Mighty Stitch from wecrochet.com with the intention of making myself a cardigan for when I eventually get to go back to my job in person. And then, the combination of suddenly being inspired to write a blanket pattern and my office return date getting pushed back to September (and rightfully so) I decided to shanghai my Mighty Stitch hoard to use for the blanket instead.

Let me tell you, this is going to be my go-to for worsted weight blankets, probably forever. It is so soft. It is a blend of 80% acrylic and 20% superwash wool and just from feeling it, you would not be able to guess there was any acrylic in there whatsoever. It feels very luxurious for the fiber content and price point. Plus it’s a superwash yarn, which is a must for me – I personally tend to avoid yarns that I can’t wash with the rest of my laundry. Ain’t nobody got time to hand wash and dry flat!

When it comes to this yarn’s use in the blanket I’m making, it’s absolutely perfect. It’s a corner-to-corner pattern and I’m using a 5 mm hook which is standard for worsted weight yarns. The hook and stitch combo is producing such a plush, yet somehow very drapey blanket which is pretty much the Holy Grail for blankets. The acrylic content makes it durable and the wool adds an extra element of warmth that blankets crave.

As far as how this yarn works up, the sheen that this yarn has makes the stitch definition really impressive. The texture that the c2c stitch I’m using is really optimal for this yarn as well as it allows the softness of this yarn to take center stage. (See the photo to the right!)

Overall, if I were to give this yarn a rating out of 10 with 10 being the best, I would give it an 8.5 out of 10. I have two very small issues with this yarn. Number one, I always wind my yarn into cakes with a yarn winder and the fiber content makes the yarn static-y when I’m winding. I love using it it but when it comes time to wind another skein I get a few shocks along the way! Nothing that a few dryer sheets can’t fix when the blanket is done, but something to keep in mind if you wind your yarn as well before use. Number two, this yarn has just a scootch of a halo, most likely due to the wool content, and if you use this yarn for something like a garment that will get washed more frequently, it might get a iittle fuzzy over time.

All in all I’m completely obsessed with this yarn, and for good reason. With its color palette and expensive-feeling softness, I’ll definitely be turning to it in the future for a wide variety of projects. It runs $4.99 for 208 yards which I think is perfectly fair and reasonable for what you get.

Happy stitching!

Starting Small, Growing Tall

I’ve always loved yarn. My mother and grandmother both taught me how to knit when I was young, and it’s something I turned to in times of stress, procrastination or boredom throughout my entire life. Then, a few years ago, I was working a reception job at a brand-new, slow, physical therapy clinic and needed something to pass the time, so I took it up again. I knit a few hats and started a blanket and then thought to myself, “maybe I should try crocheting instead – seems more versatile and faster.” A few Youtube videos later, I was absolutely hooked.

I crocheted a few things at first, and slowly but surely ended up crocheting daily for at least a few hours a day. All my friends and family started getting handmade crocheted items for their birthdays and Christmas. I started setting deadlines in my head for project due dates and continued to learn new techniques, perfect old ones, and try new things – like sweaters! I also really bonded with my grandmother during this time, a lifelong crocheter and crafter, while her health was declining, and when she passed, she gave me all of her knitting needles, crochet hooks and yarn. I really do feel like I inherited the crafting bug from her.

Now, I’m at the point where I literally think about crocheting all the time. While I’m sitting plugging away at spreadsheets in my day job, while I fall asleep at night, while I’m eating my breakfast, what’s going through my head is what projects I’m doing and just thinking about how much I’d rather be crocheting.

One of my goals last year was to start selling at craft fairs and start up an Etsy store – then COVID hit and that obviously didn’t happen. However, my job sent me home to work remotely and it ended up giving me more time to crochet and learn.

Then, in August of last year, my worst nightmare came true – my fiance had an accident on his minibike and ended up with a severe traumatic brain injury – I’m talking a massive subdural hematoma, shattered skull and multiple spinal and skull fractures, fifty percent chance of living through the night severity. During the last half of 2020 crochet became my haven. It was the only thing that would let me focus on something else besides morbidity and keep my hands and thoughts occupied while I took care of him.

Now, my fiance is much better, I have more time on my hands and an even larger passion for crochet, and screw it, I’m going to do this. I want to crochet and design full time. It’s the thing I’m best at and love the most in this entire world. Hence, this website.

With this blog, I plan to:

  • Chronicle whatever projects I’m currently working on
  • Write down my experience trying new crochet techniques and post what I learn from them to assist other makers
  • Publish free versions of my original crochet patterns and post Etsy shop updates
  • Post yarn, hook, and any other crochet-related tool reviews
  • Describe what music, podcasts, audio-books, movies or TV shows I’m consuming as I crochet
  • Collaborate with other makers, designers, and indie or big-name yarn brands and dyers

So if you’re also a maker or designer, a fellow start-up, music lover or are simply interested in this – I invite you to follow me on my journey to fiber bliss!

#crochet #crochetdesigner #crochetpatterns #zerotohero #crocheteveryday #yarnpunk #makersgonnamake #dowhatyoulove #happiness #mindfulness #cozy #crafts #yarn