Lion Brand Notebook

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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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  • Montanameanjean

    Love this pattern! And I can’t wait to get started! This is my first crochet along.

  • Montanameanjean

    Love this pattern! And I can’t wait to get started! This is my first crochet along.

  • Pat

    HI everyone.  I am so excited that this is the pattern that I voted for too.  I just started learning how to read patterns.  There is a group in  my area that meets 3 times weekly, so I have alot of help with my new projects.  Can’t wait to start. Got to get the yarn now so see ya later.  Pat

  • Pat

    HI everyone.  I am so excited that this is the pattern that I voted for too.  I just started learning how to read patterns.  There is a group in  my area that meets 3 times weekly, so I have alot of help with my new projects.  Can’t wait to start. Got to get the yarn now so see ya later.  Pat

  • Webswan

    Forgot to vote but this is the one I wanted! Will go out to LYS for yarn tomorrow! I learned to crochet a couple of years ago on an LB CAL.

  • Laura Cahall

    I really like this one. I voted for it. can’t wait to get start. I am going to pick my yarn out this week end. 

  • Maggie Roll

    First tiime for me I an anxious to get started.

  • Cham741

    Some things can’t be kitted or crocheted, but some can like sweaters, hats, socks ect.  But is just doesent look right to were (exept on babys and little kid) tanktops and shortsleves. I does not attractive at all.

  • Sue

     Some things can’t be kitted or crocheted, but some can, like sweaters, hats, socks ect.  But is just doesen’t look right to where (exept on babys and little kids) tanktops and shortsleves. It does not attractive at all ;(

  • PamperdPoodle

    Wow… you guys don’t know how to spell and stuff……

    Some things can’t be kitted or crocheted, but some can, like sweaters, hats, socks ect.  But is just doesen’t look right to where (exept on babys and little kids) tanktops and shortsleves. It does not look attractive at all ;(  


    • Gaduval1

      may as well contribute to your spelling lesson…. not that this is what the blog is about.

      exept is spelled except
      babys is pluralized as babies

      but nobody is perfect sooooo let’s try to stick to the topic of crocheting

    • Nanamagyk

      … and some people are brave enough to post even if English isn’t their first language or they have disabilities that interfere with spelling … but they try.  Thanks for trying.

      • Rebender

        I agree.  They may not have the best spelling or grasp of the english languaage but atleast they are involved and posting comments.

  • Jmcconnellsoho

    Hey I don’t know if anyone mentioned this but sizing is not important for this project. This project is top down which means you can try it on as you go and if it’s not large enough, keep working the raglan increases until it is.  So don’t pass it up if you don’t see your size.  For newbies this also means that your gage is not super important because you can try it on as you go- stop making increases if your gage is too big but it fits or add more increase rows if your gage is too small.

    • Purpleraine1

      I started this pattern (which I really like on the small girl).  Got the yoke done and the neck area was just too big.   So I’m starting over with smaller size or smaller needle.

      • Pat

        Could you fill in the neck with an extra row or two of the trim?  I’m not sure if that would work, but it’s an alternative to starting over.


        • Lorraine

          Yes, you could add extra at the neck line.  I think this pattern might run a little big and then you have the stretch factor.  I started over with the large instead of 1x. I’ll see wht happens.  It does seem like a very easy pattern.  I have made baby sweaters in this fashion. 

  • Anonymous

    I really like this project but will need to incorporate a slit or v-neck in the front because of a comfort issue. I am experienced with crochet. Any suggestions?

    • Anonymous

      I’ll do some thinking on that, but given the construction of the top (in the round from the top down) an easy modification to achieve that isn’t coming to mind. I’ll keep it in mind though!

      • OLEF641

        It looks to me that if the Yoke is worked in rows instead of rounds, then joined at the end of the last one, that would create a slit in the center front that would be as deep as the underarm placement.  If that is too long a slit, the piece could be joined in an earlier ‘row’.

        • Anonymous

          That was my initial thought too, but the join isn’t at the center of the front, it’s along the back of the shoulder :( Moving it would require moving all of the increases to still form the shaping correctly, and then the seam would be down the front of the sweater. Although the joins are fairly subtle, the joining of each round looks slightly different, hence it’s placement along the back shoulder. Good thought though!

  • Blabrant1

    I wanted to do the last CAL but never had time to. I am so excited to do this one!

  • Ullery

    There are lots of questions that were not answered – when do you answer the questions, or do you just leave us hanging?

    • Purperaine1

      That’s funny, I was just thinking the same thing!

    • Bethany

      My guess is that issues will be addressed in the next blog post, although I haven’t done this before :)

    • Anonymous

      Yep! Myself and everyone else participating are here to answer questions and help each other, but much of what is being asked will be addressed in upcoming posts. Stay tuned!

  • Jean F

    All my crochet supplies are in storage since I am between homes right now.  I guess I will just have to go buy new stuff so I don’t fall behind in my first CAL!

  • Tinisha C

    Not what I voted for but, excited about the adventure never the less Thaanks for the help.


  • dinak

    I used to crochet for my grandpa years ago but haven’t done a large item in quite a while.  This will be the perfect project to get started again – I’m thinking blues!

  • Anonymous

     This top was a maybe in my pile of items to make.  But the new picture sold me.  I will try to fit it in with the piles of baby items that I am am making.  All three of my children are expecting at the same time.  So far there are two girls coming.  I will find out soon what the last one is going to be.   I know, TMI, but I am excited.  I haven’t purchased my yarn yet. I will this weekend. I am excited to start this CAL. It will be nice to make something for myself.

    • Bethany

      New babies are never TMI (at least IMO)!!!  I was expecting at the same time as my sis and sis-in-law, so I’m rejoicing with you!

      • Lynn

        You’re right, Bethany.  Just found out my 8th great grand baby is going to be a girl.  Already have a “unisex” blanket ready, now I can do something for a girl, too.  Excited!  Still doing this CAL though.

  • Geneva Lowery

    I am so excited..this was the pattern that I chose. I have just ordered my yarn and am looking forward to getting started. This is the first CAL/KAL in which  I have participated.

  • Barbara Bee

    Hi there, will be my first CAL also and my first something to wear.  Am a knitter, always having trouble having the right amount of stitches left at the end of a crochet row but will just count every row end, I guess. 

    A couple of people mentioned different endings i.e. longer length to top and elbow length of sleeve, which I would also like.  Will there be someone to guide us for style changes?  Looking forward to this new horizon :-) Barbara Bee

    • Anonymous

      Check back for the weekly blog posts for that kind of information, as well as tips from your fellow crocheters. Enjoy!

  • Jennie

    This is a really cute top, but I’m not sure if the sizing will work
    for me. In order to have enough positive ease, I’ll need a bigger size
    than what is listed on the pattern size. Since this is a top-down
    construction, will it be enough to simply start with more stitches? Or
    are there more involved shaping considerations?



    • Anonymous

      We’ll be addressing things like that in the posts to come. Stay tuned!

  • Ajpav

    Hi–This is my first crochet along and this is the pattern I voted for so I am very happy.  I’m from Central Jersey and is happy that Kendra is just a 50 minute ride away.  I’ve been wanting to take a visit to the studio so maybe this will give me a push I needed to visit.  I’ve been crocheting since I was 5 years old so crocheting has been a love of mine for 50 years.  I am looking forward to our weekly blogs–have a great 4th.

  • Mcgigi

    I am excited about this CAL. This pattern is my choice

  • Noraida

    This will also be my first crochet-along!  I am very excited and looking forward to learning how to put a crochet garment together!  I did not choose this project but now I really love the look.  I was at a project standstill and now I am ready to jump right in!  I visit the studio now and then.  It is a wonderful place to shop, browse and meet others that share your passion for knitting and crochet!  Thanks so much! 

  • Jennifer Hagy Toothman

    I am going to make this (my first garment) in the yellow recycled cotton. 

  • mimi

    I have enough Cotton Ease in a nice shade of green I think I’ll use. I lost 25 pounds over the past few months and need new summer tops that don’t hang off me, so I’m not sure what size to make, but I’m sure I can figure it out. I also wonder if I can make the sleeves a bit longer? This very short length isn’t flattering to women over 40. I may try to make it them about 3 or 4 inches longer if I can do it without the sleeves looking like wings. I like the length of the body. 

    • Lorraine in VA.

      I agree with you mimi, about making sleeves and total length longer.  shouldn’t be a problem.  I wish I could lose some weight.   I’m using cotton eas also, in a very pretty shade of purple.  I wonder why recylced cotton cost so much!! 

    • Jan >^..^<

      Wow!  Congrats on the 25 pound weight loss!  That’s the same weight as 5 bags of sugar!  You go, girl!!

      I’m trying.  Lost 3.  Have a bunch more to go!  After 50, it isn’t easy!

  • Natalie Valente

    So glad this one was picked for the project.   I am making mine in Lion Brand acrylic knitting worsted in black. After the project is done.  This will make a great pullover for  a cotton top.

    • CatalpaKay

      Oh, I like the idea of doing in black.  Mine will be in lime green cotton ease, which I love.  But now I’m thinking I may need a second one in black.  Would be a whole other look.  We’ll see how it goes.  I like it!

  • Ashley

    What other kinds of yarn do you think would work for this project besides cotton?  I love this pattern-very excited about working with it!

    • Anonymous

      Any worsted-weight (category 4) yarn can be used for this pattern, such as Wool-Ease or Vanna’s Choice. Enjoy!

  • Susan Knight Dunn

    This is my first time joining the crochet a long.  I’m going to try doing this in the cotton.  I make a lot of home decorator stuff in all cotton, so I always have plenty at hand.  This way I don’t have to go out of my way to buy yarn for something for me!  I only do that for the grandchildren;)

  • CarolH

    YIKES!  I am so excited to start this project…I have never done a CAL before, and have only tried a couple of very simple garments…for my daughter.  I’m nervous, but excited!

  • Basingleton623

    Is the cotton yarn pre-shrunk? I’d hate to make it, then wash it and have it turn out too smal..

    • Anonymous

      That’s what gauge swatches are for! But as long as you follow the care instructions on the yarn label (also listed on the website), the yarn shouldn’t shrink. Check back next week for gauge swatch tips.

  • Gaduval1

    I voted for this project, and hope to jump in as the CAL progresses. I’m considering the LB organic cotton, or some other yarn from my stash. I’ll be working on a couple of aran knit sweaters and trying to keep up with my Associate’s classes at the same time, so if I fall away, know that I remain with you all in spirit.

    Happy Stitching!

  • MaryS

    This sounds great!  I’ve made lots of hats, scarfs, shawls, etc, but wanted to make a gament and have been hesitant.  Looking forward to learning more as I work through this garment.

  • Nancy

    Darn, I had some Bamboo/acrylic microfiber that I’m looking for a use for–it doesn’t have a weight number on it, but it looks an awful lot like a 1 or 2 weight.  (I hate it when it’s not marked!)  So, I guess that goes back into the closet and I dig a little deeper…Something that won’t be too hot in an Arkansas summer…

    My name is Nancy, and I’ll be making it for myself (as soon as I find the yarn)

  • Rae

    This will be my first “A Long” of any kind, so I’m rather excited and just a little nervous.  I won’t be able to start unil next weekend.  I have to wiat for payday to get the yarn.  I just don’t have enough in my stash of any one color to do it.  It’s too small for me, so I’ll be making it for my sister. Can’t wait to go choosing colors!

  • geeta

    I had not voted for this but now to learn how to crochet sleeves would love to join CAL
    please bear with me, Thanks

  • Create2free

    Hello Pat here from OKC. I will buy my yarn this weekend. I’m too am excited to try this CAL. Like many others, I too like a longer length somewhere between where it is and a tunic length. This will be my first garment.

  • SophieMops

    I have a bamboo yarn in my stash I think I will try for this one. I have never been in a CAL before nor crocheted many clothes, but I hope I will be OK.

  • Anonymous

    I participated in the awesome afghan CAL over the winter and cant wait to try this top.  As a seasoned crocheter, I have done many afghans, scarves and the like, but have never done a top.  Im off to get yarn today!

  • Anonymous

    I participated in the awesome afghan CAL over the winter and cant wait to try this top.  As a seasoned crocheter, I have done many afghans, scarves and the like, but have never done a top.  Im off to get yarn today!

  • Anonymous

    For all you “nervous nellies”,  if this CAL is anything like the winter afghan CAL they had, instructions will be precise, pictures will be included for the stitches and directions, and not only will the moderator help you, but so will the whole blog network.  Relax, enjoy, and, if you cant get to the current weeks instructions, they remain posted so do it on your own pace.  I finished the afghan about a month after the end of the tutorials! Caryn in NJ

  • SheaShea

    I am finishing a dress in bamboo, so I know that this top will work real fast.  I have plenty of cotton so I will use what I have.  I crochet fast so I will try to slow it down.  Will see you on Thursday.

  • Beth R

    I love raglan shaping- it’s amazing how you create shoulders and sleeves from one piece. I’ve only done it in knitting, and I’m excited to try it with crochet. I have a bunch of “I Love this Cotton” in buttery yellow from Hobby Lobby, so I’ll probably use that. I can’t wait to wear this and show it off!

  • Scharfey4

    Do you have measurements for the different sizes?

    • Anonymous

      They are listed in the pattern, below the sizes. Enjoy!

  • Cheryll

    In reading over the pattern and trying to select some yarn (I’m on a yarn diet and want to use up stash) I realized I have an issue with gauge swatch instructions:
    Gauge is given as 18 sts + 7 rows = 4″
    Does that mean in pattern stitch? What stitches and what kind of rows?

    • Anonymous

      Hi! From the pattern it says: “18 sts + 7 rows = 4 in (10 cm) in pattern,” meaning in the mesh stitch of the pattern. This will be covered in detail next week so check back then!

  • yoonjae LEE

    I’m from South korea and i’m looking forward to use a acrylic and cotton based beige cone yarn for me

  • Anonymous

    Hi! For all of you asking questions about sizing and pattern modifications, the future blog posts will cover those issues so check back each week! Looking forward to working on this with all of you :)

  • M2hall

    This will be my first CAL and my first clothing item. Already made my gauge piece with DC. Did IUsethecorrectstitch?

    • Anonymous

      The next blog post is all about swatching so check back next week!

  • Lmcnully

    Hi, I’m from Texas, and I’ll be making this for my daughter. I’m really glad the next blog is going to cover the gauge swatch, because I can’t figure out how to make it “in pattern”! I’ll be watching.

  • Cathee

    Hi. I’m Cathee from Wisconsin! I just ordered my Recycled Cotton today in the lovely green as shown. Am so anxious to get it and start! Looks like a fun project.