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Announcing Our Summer 2011 Crochet-Along Featuring the Mesh Raglan Pullover

June 30th, 2011

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Each season we host a knit- or crochet-along, a virtual event in which yarncrafters come together here online to work on one pattern together, share their experiences, and to learn together. There’s no need to sign up; simply follow along with the blog posts at your own pace as you crochet your sweater.

We asked you what crochet garment you’d like to make, and you picked our Mesh Raglan Pullover!

My name is Kendra and I’ll be your CAL host! I work at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, Lion Brand’s unique retail & education center in New York City, where I am both a crochet and knitting instructor and I can’t wait to work through this project with you. Click here to learn more about me. Each week I’ll have a post here about my progress through the sweater full of information I’ve found helpful and hope you will as well. This is meant to be an interactive process so please ask questions here and in our Ravelry group so I–and the other crocheters involved–can help! Click here to join our Ravelry group, and add your photos to our Flickr group here.

CAL BadgeTo start, this week is just about getting your yarn and other materials together. The pattern is made in our Recycled Cotton, which is a fabulous worsted-weight, cotton-acrylic blend that is made from the discarded fabric from tee-shirt production. It comes in beautiful tweed shades and has a great drape making it perfect for a summery top.

Cotton-Ease and Lion Cotton are other great summer yarns, which are both worsted weight and come in a wide variety of colors. Cotton-Ease is another cotton-acrylic blend where the addition of acrylic lends a stretch and drape to the cotton, making it a wonderful choice for garments. Lion Cotton is 100% cotton, which gives it great strength and structure, but it can also make it a little heavy for use in a sweater. Given the open fabric of this top, however, it could also make for a good choice.

As with any yarn substitution, you’ll need to figure out how many balls of your chosen yarn the top will take. The top is written for five sizes, and here are the number of balls for each of our recommended yarns:

Size S M L 1X 2X
Recycled Cotton 3 3 4 4 5
Cotton-Ease 3 3 4 4 5
Lion Cotton (Solids) 3 3 4 4 4
Lion Cotton (Multis) 3 3 4 4 5
Approx. yardage
550 550 750 750 925

Editor’s note: If you’re planning on modifying the pullover in terms of length or planning on keeping your gauge swatch, you may want to purchase an extra ball, just in case.

Now which size should you make? This top is meant to have a slightly loose fit, meaning it has some positive ease, so you want to select a size which measures a little larger than your bust measurement. When in doubt, it’s useful to measure a top you own, whose fit you like, and pick the size closest to that garment’s measurements.

Starting next week I’ll be sharing my progress through the top, starting with the all-important gauge swatch! I’ll also give you an overview of the construction of the garment so you’ll know how it’s going to come together. The following posts will work through the top starting with creating the yoke, moving on to the underarms and body, then the sleeves, and lastly the finishing work and blocking to make your garment perfect! So pick out your yarn, gather your hooks and stitch markers, and check back next week as this CAL really gets going!

Say hello! Leave a comment and tell us who you are, where you’re from, and who you’re making this top for!

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  • Weezzie02

    hello my name is louise in michigan i have never made a sweater no confidence only scarfs and afghans i will try this with some help i may be able to make it thanks

  • Janice Eagan

    Hi, My name is Jan, I’m a SAHM and I live just outside Providence, R.I. I’ve been crocheting for several years now and give most of my works away as gifts to friends and family. I have even sold a few on etsy. I’ve never made a garment before and I’m excited to try this pullover. I’m making this one for myself.

  • Olivia

    Has anyone finished the Yoke and started the portion where it says mark the sleeves /underarms.  I am stumped.  I know I am starting earlier than our start date but I was excited to get rolling.   Can someone help with the instructions where it says Notes:  Join with sl st to mark the sleeves…..  

    • Lorraine

      I’m almost done with the yoke.  I had trouble with the neck being too large and started over with a smaller size.  I’ll look at that part and see what it means.  I have done baby sweaters made top down like this pattern and I think I know what to do.  I’ll let you know.  Have 2 more rows to go.

  • Tina

    I’ve got my yarn wound up and ready to go! can’t wait to get started!

  • Asiverson

    I’ve just ordered my yarn from LB and downloaded and printed out the pattern. I’m usually a knitter, but do some crochet and this top looks spectacular. I ordered the recycled cotton yarn, which I also just used to knit up a tote bag. And I want to say that I enjoyed working with this yarn so very much; I’m looking forward to crocheting with it now.What is the start date for the CAL? July 7th?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, July 7th will be the next post about creating your gauge swatch. Check back then!

  • BQ

    I bought the Recycled Cotton today on Clearance (hooray!) at Joanns so I am ready to go.  I started to read thru the directions and the update/corrections at the top of the pattern (some in black, some in red) were very confusing.  Will that be explained next week when we start?

    • Anonymous

      Don’t worry about the corrections – they are updated in the pattern already if you downloaded it in the past couple of days. They are just listed at the top of the page for people who have an older version to see that changes have been made.

  • ljd

    My first CAL. I now have courage to give a pattern like this a try.  Will probably use Cotton Ease from my new, but growing stash.  Will make it longer than picture.  Need explanation of how to do the sample for sizing…not sure I understand what the pattern stitch is?  

    • Anonymous

      Hi ljd, the “pattern stitch” for the body is the mesh pattern (dc, ch1), which is what you should be swatching. Keep in mind that Kendra will be going over gauge swatching this week (this past week has been for everyone to gather materials and read over the pattern), so feel free to wait for her more detailed explanation before swatching.

  • Robin_s_berg

    I am excited about this project. It’s going to be fun choosing the yaen color for this top.

  • Enngee2

    I’m having trouble figuring out how to count stitches for the gauge swatch I’m making. Do I work the swatch in the V stitch? Do I count how many Vs fit in 4″?

    • Helene Montini

      I am having the same problem and I don’t consider myself a beginner. Hopefully we will get more information with the next post.

  • Helene

    I can’t wait to start but I have to admit i am already having trouble figuring out how to do the gauge swatch. Any advice?

    • Anonymous

      Hi Helene, the “pattern stitch” for the body is the mesh pattern (dc, ch1), which is what you should be swatching. Keep in mind that Kendra will be going over gauge swatching this week (this past week has been for everyone to gather materials and read over the pattern), so feel free to wait for her more detailed explanation before swatching.

  • Sckingsbury

    This looks fun with just enough challenge to keep me interested. I’ll be using Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in boogie blue for my daughter, size M. Do you think it would be too stiff?

  • gwoods

    Hi!  This is the one I voted for so I’m excited to do this.  This will be my first CAL and my first fitted project.  Have to go get the yarn this week-end.  Looking forward to the experience and what I will learn.  I’m from Ohio and will be making this for myself.

  • Linda

    I’m LInda from NJ.  I’m an experienced crocheter but I am also having trouble with the yarn swatch.  I’ve been doing it in the V-stitch and it’s entirely too large.  I’m down to a size E hook and it’s still too wide.  I may try just swatching 18 dc and see if it matches.  Already figured I would make the small even though measurement-wise I’m a medium.  I’ve worked with cotton yarn before and it stretches alot.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Linda, the “pattern stitch” for the body is the mesh pattern (dc, ch1), which is what you should be swatching. Keep in mind that Kendra will be going over gauge swatching this week (this past week has been for everyone to gather materials and read over the pattern), so feel free to wait for her more detailed explanation before swatching.

  • Mimi

    Reading the pattern I note there isn’t a good explanation of the appropriate stitch pattern for the gauge swatch. I’m pretty sure the V st. is only for increasing and decreasing…. and a mesh stitch is used for the body of the sweater. 

    I want to make a swatch before starting. Help please. 

    • Anonymous

      Hi Mimi, the mesh stitch is correct (the dc, ch 1) for the swatching. Don’t forget that Kendra will be specifically going over gauge swatching this week, since this last week has been for you to gather your materials. Hope that helps!

  • Linda – San Diego, CA

    I read the pattern and the V-stitch is only being used for the increase.  Based on that, I think the 18 sts would be the dc, ch 1 that is used throughout the pattern (9 dc and 9 ch).  I measured and it comes out with the 4 in gauge swatch using these stitches.  Describing the top as “This airy lace top is created with a V-stitch pattern.” is very deceptive since the V-stitch is only used for increases. Hope this helps.

    I’m making mine with a strip pattern changing color every 5th row using the left over cotton ease yarn from another project.  Colors are taupe and mushroom stripes with paprika trim.

    • Asiverson

      Linda – thank you for this explanation. It does make sense and when I start on mine (I’m simply waiting for my yarn to arrive) this is how I will do my swatch. TFS!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for saving me some time!  I am also just waiting for my yarn, then I’m ready to start! 

  • Linda – Las Vegas

    I plan to make this project for my 13 year old granddaughter.  Have not selected yarn yet, but will do that this week.   Looking forward to making something a little different than my usual baby blankets.

  • Linda Lee

    My neighbor gave me a lot of beautiful tape yarn.  Could I use it for this project?

  • Donna Drury Smith

    i’m doing mine in handicrafter also…i am hoping it will be softer after washing…

    did my guage swatch and was almost dead on the first try…am making an XL since the measurements for the L would be just fitting, and i would like it to be loose to go over a tight fitting tank…but, am going to try it on after i get the first couple of rows to make sure it’s not too big…the tie around the top row should be able to take up any slack if its just barely too big…

  • Diane Hunt

    Hi everyone, greetings from New Brunswick, Canada. Have just completed a move and as soon as I find my boxes of yarn I will begin. I’m sure I have something on hand I can use. If not, Michael’s is just down the road. I’m so glad this pattern was chosen. I voted for it because I figured I would get the most use out of this garment, and if it turned out as beautiful as it looks I’ll make a couple more for gifts. Can’t wait to get started.

  • Tnconrad12

    i am making this top already.  i had decide before I see the blog.  i am making it in acrylic and am wondering why garments aren’t usually made with acrylic.  

    • Anonymous

      Hi Tnconrad12, garments can be made with just about any fiber, but keep in mind that since different fibers have different properties, they’re best for different projects. Acrylics and animal fibers like wool tend to trap heat, but have more “memory” (keep their shape better). Cottons tend to be cooler, but heavier in weight and have less memory. That’s why two of the recommended yarns in the blog post above suggest cotton-acrylic blends, which have the memory of acrylic, but the cool, summer-friendly feel of cotton. However, as with all crochet-alongs, you’re welcome to use whatever yarn you choose.

      • Tnconrad12

        thanks, Zontee.   I’ve never crochet a garment, and was just wondering. i have limited selection in my area, most yarn is acrylic.  

  • Scharfey4

    In making the guage swatch it says 18 stitches = 4 inches. Is that 18 V- stitches? So how many do you chain?

    • Anonymous

      Hi Scharfey4, I think Linda from San Diego describes it best above as:

      I read the pattern and the V-stitch is only being used for the increase.
       Based on that, I think the 18 sts would be the dc, ch 1 that is used
      throughout the pattern (9 dc and 9 ch).  I measured and it comes out
      with the 4 in gauge swatch using these stitches.

      • Mimi

        I believe you’re right Zontee, but unfortunately, the pattern instructions aren’t at all clear about which stitches to use in the gauge swatch. I’ll make mine in the mesh pattern for now and see how it comes out. 

        Also, the pattern calls a 39″ circumference “large” and says there should be some positive ease to the garment when worn. Since most crochet and knit patterns call 40 to 42 inches a large, I’m guessing I’ll need to make mine XL to fit my 39″ bust measurement, but even then it won’t have positive ease according the numbers. Maybe the mesh pattern stretches. I hope we get some guidance on sizing and fitting. 

        I want to wear this sweater, not give it away. 

        • Anonymous

          Hi! It’s up to you with sizing – the sweater doesn’t seem to need a lot of ease, just not meant to be tight-fitting, so you could probably make the XL even if it’s only a little bit of ease. Hope this helps!

  • Joasho123

    This will be my first project as a group! I’m very excited and can’t wait to share. I haven’t decided on my color yet.

  • Lmc Johnson09

    Sad that his sweater’s dimensions are not large enough for my fluffiness.  Very cute top!

  • Cara343

    I’m so glad this was the selection for the CAL.  I’ve had this on my to do list, downloaded the instructions and even had the the yarn bought already.  So … trying to get a jump start, I’m stuck already. :-(   The instructions after the 1st round say to turn.  If you’re working in the round, why would you turn your work?  I’m already confused, and so glad to have the CAL for clarification!!!

    • Kochk

      Me too. I did the chain and first round, but have about ten chains left over. I’m doing the large size.

    • Lynn

      The instructions you are using are for the optional start for those who prefer not to join the first round.  That is, the 1 and 2 under YOKE Notes:

      After that is Round 1 of the actual instructions.  Note that the starting chain is different for each of these options.   That may be why Kochk has chains left over.  Hope this helps. 

  • Heather Miller Cover

    So excited! This will be my first CAL and my first top (or, more accurately, first finished top). :) Now I just have to decide what color to use…

  • sweet47

    I just ordered my recycled cotton yarn in the seagrass color.  I can’t wait to start.  This is my first crochet-along.  Looks like fun.

  • Jennifer S. Williams

    I can’t wait to start tomorrow!  I chose a yarn from my stash:  a competitor’s (whoopsie!) version that is 75% recycled cotton and 25% polyester.  I hope I don’t get burned….should be ok if I actually do the swatch, which will be NOVEL for me!  

  • Jody Widner

    Good morning from Southwest Georgia! I was so excited to find out about the crochet-a-long and anxious to get started that I went out on Monday morning and got my yarn.  With the limited options at our local stores I wound up choosing some Vanna’s Choice in Seaspray.  The yoke flew by and I had joined the bottom of the sleeves before I went to bed that night.  Last night I finished it and I am so proud!  It will be a gift for a friend of mine that is moving away.  I just wanted to say that even though I have completed my own pullover that I will be watching the blog in order to learn things that I could do differently or better.  I love this pattern and will definitely be making it again!

    • Asiverson

      Jody Your project came out great! What a wonderful gift for your friend. I’m still waiting for my yarn to arrive before I begin. I should be getting it soon though. I can only hope my project comes out half as good as yours! TFS! Annette

    • Debbie

      Looks Great.  What yarn did you use.  Love the color

  • Ajpav

    Great job–I love the color.  

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  • Hemcover

    Started today using Cotton Ease in Lake. I like the idea of doing this pattern in a tunic length, too- it would make a great beach cover-up!

  • Jeanette McGlothin

    Tomorrow is my birthday!!!  My yarn (my gift from my wonderful grandmother from whom I inherited my love of crochet) just got here!  For buck bang, I purchased from a discount house.  I am using a soysilk/wool/hemp mix.  It was supposed to be worsted weight… but it is DK-LIGHT which I learned is a weight class of 3, not 4.Can I still use it?  And if so, how does this change what I do? Your help is greatly appreciated.

    • Jody Widner


      I made a second pullover this weekend in a yarn with a weight class of 3 (a Bamboo blend).  Due to this I also downsized my hook one size.  The finished product came out a little smaller than the one I made below in the 4 weight.  I had the first one to compare it to so that helped me.  One change I did make was to do complete 2 additional rounds on the yoke to make sure I had enough arm room.  I think you’ll find that if you’re gauge swatch is on point, you will be fine.

      Happy crocheting!


      • Jeanette McGlothin

        Thank you, I have never done gauge swatches before so I am doing it now.  I messed up the first one and am trying again, thank you for your encouragment.

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  • Vickiepatt

    Love  this top and the CAL .Last thing I did with you was the beach cardi. Great fun.I .am in Huntsville Al. CAL reminded me how much I like to crochet!

  • marty

    what happens next? I joined, but haven’t heard anything about the next step. I can’t find anything on the website. how does this work?  Do you communicate with us, or do we have to go somewhere to find out what to do. I have never done one before so I am clueless..

  • Heather Miller Cover

    Finished! I’ll post my pic on Flickr, but I think it turned out well.

  • Heather Miller Cover

    Finished! I think it turned out well. I did end up adding a few rows to the bottom so that I can comfortably wear it with low-rise jeans, though.

  • Jean Michael

    I am 2/5 of the way through because I just started my 3rd ball of yarn. This is fun. I can’t wait to finish.

  • Cheeria3

    Zontee, hi there I started my row 1 and when I got to row 2,  I ended up with the same number of dc (80) for size 1X which I had in row 1,  instead of the 84 stitches I should have ended up with for  row 2.   I kind of got lost after making my V stitch do I then dc into the last leg of the V stitch from the previous row.  I hope you understand what I have done.I’m hopeful that your next blog post on thursday will address how to make the increase.

  • marigoldgirl

    Thank you for doing this crotchet-along. It gave me the confidence to participate and make a project this is more challenging than what I usually make. Once I got going it became easier to follow and understand the directions – with the help of the blog!

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