How to Crochet a Rainbow Sweater

A simple crochet pattern to make a sweater for the first time.

| January/February 1984

  • Winter Craft Projects Clothes
    The Rainbow Crocheted Sweater is a great project for beginners.
  • Rainbow Sweater
    A simple crochet pattern for a rainbow sweater.

  • Winter Craft Projects Clothes
  • Rainbow Sweater

The Rainbow Crocheted Sweater is an easy garment to make-even though I found out that it's a bit difficult to ex­plain-since the bulk of the work requires only one stitch, the double crochet. (You will have to chain, single crochet, single crochet 2 stitches together, and make a slip stitch in a few places.) Adding to its simplicity are the facts that there are only two seams-running across the shoulders and down the sleeves-to be sewn togeth­er and no mind-numbing increasing or decreasing of stitches is required to shape the cardigan. Altogether, then, it's an excellent project for someone making a sweater for the first time.

In constructing the model shown here, I used a variety of yarns-including such different weights and textures as worsteds, mohairs, orlon, doubled sport-weight, and even quadrupled cotton crochet thread-and arranged the multicolored bands in such a way that the warm colors at the bottom gradually shade into the cooler hues at the top. You can vary the width of the stripes if you like. . . and, of course, the color choice is entirely up to you. I made my color changes randomly on the front and back of the sweater, but you can change them when you start a new band if you prefer. Just be sure, whenever you add a new color, that the knot where you join the new and old yarn is on the wrong side of your work, so you can weave the thread unobtrusively into the fabric when you're finished.

One of the things I like most about this pattern is that it can be easily modified. You can make the sweater coat length, three-quarters length, or waist length. . . and change the sleeve measurement with­out much fuss, as well. One easy finishing touch you might want to add is a puffed or ruffled sleeve. To make this, merely chain a 15" strand, thread it through one of the double crocheted rows near the end of the sleeve to achieve the effect you desire, and then tie the chain in a bow. You can even weave a piece of color-co­ordinated elastic through the sleeves to fasten them more tightly.

Getting Going

Materials: Twenty ounces of worsted­-weight yarn (or an assortment such as I mentioned previously) for a small or me­dium sweater or 24 ounces for a large one, a size K crochet hook, and a tape measure.

Sizing: Small = 32"-34", medium = 36"-38", and large = 40"-42". Since there is no shaping in the bust area, there's no reason why this sweater can't be made for a man or a child . . . so I'll tell you at the end of the article how you can modify these instructions for making sweaters that are even smaller or larger than the one specified. The directions I'll give now are for a woman's small gar­ment, with the changes for a medium or a large sweater written in parentheses.

To start: Begin at the bottom-Section 1 in the accompanying drawings-by ch 105 (117, 129). Turn and dc in the fourth stitch from the hook all the way across. This will yield 102 (114, 126) sts, includ­ing the ch 3 at the beginning of the row, which will always count as the first dc of the row. Repeat the double crochet rows until the section equals the distance from the lower "end" you choose-waist, hip, or whatever-to 2" below your armpit. The hip-length sweater illustrated re­quired a 13" first section for a person five feet tall.

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