The Best crochet stitches for sweaters

You should probably know that I love making my own crochet sweaters and garments! Choosing the best crochet stitches for your sweater and other garments is crucial to making the best sweater.

Easy beginner crochet sweater pattern

These stitches can either be a totally new stitch to you or an already-known crochet stitch. The basic crochet stitches for a sweater or any other garments are double crochet (dc), half double crochet (hdc), and single crochet and these stitches can be combined or used alone!

Over the years, I have received so many messages asking me what is the best croche stitch for sweaters, cardigans, and other crochet garments. So, this post is dedicated to shedding some light and helping you in making a decision when next you are making your crochet sweaters and garments.

Chunky crochet sweater free pattern

Once you know how to pick the best yarn for your next sweater, the next thing to do is learn how to crochet a sweater. After which you pick the best croche stitch for your sweater.

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Top 5 crochet stitches for sweaters and garments

Crochet stitches can be combined together to create a beautiful and amazing texture! The ability to combine these stitches gives rise to a unique and one-of-a-kind crochet sweater and garment.

There are many crochet stitches that can be used to create beautiful sweaters and garments, but some of the most popular and versatile stitches that I have personally used and tested over the years are:

  1. Double crochet (dc): This is one of the most basic and versatile crochet stitches, and it creates a sturdy fabric that works well for sweaters and other garments.
  2. Half double crochet (hdc): This stitch is slightly shorter than double crochet, but still creates a dense fabric that is perfect for sweaters and other garments.
  3. Single crochet (sc): This stitch is even shorter than hdc and creates a dense, tight fabric that is ideal for sweaters and other garments that need to be warm and cozy.
  4. Shell stitch: This decorative stitch creates a lacy, open fabric that is perfect for lighter-weight sweaters and garments.
  5. Combination of crochet stitches: Using a combination of basic crochet stitches is gaining popularity and is one of the ways to add personal touches to your sweaters.

When using these stitches – double crochet, half double crochet, or single crochet you can use any number of stitches.

Granny square crochet sweater free pattern

Crochet sweaters that use Double crochet (dc) stitch

Skill level – Beginner

Stitches – Double crochet, chain.

How to make the double crochet stitch –

  1. Begin with a foundation chain.
  2. Yarn over (YO), and Insert the hook into the third chain from the hook, yarn over again. Pull through a loop. Use the hook to pull a loop of yarn through the chain stitch.
  3. Yarn over again, and pull through two loops, yarn over again, pull through two more loops.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3. Continue making double crochet stitches in each chain stitch across the row until you reach the end.

Once you’ve mastered the double crochet stitch, you would discover that It’s a versatile and essential stitch in the world of crochet!

Examples of crochet sweaters made using double crochet stitch include the Granny sweater, Any yarn would do crochet cocoon cardigan, and Real bobble crochet sweater

More crochet sweaters that use dc stitch – Easy peasy Reglan Sweater and the color-blocking sweater

Crochet sweaters made using Half double crochet (hdc) stitch

Skill level – Beginner

Required stitches – Half Double crochet, chain

How to crochet the half double crochet

  1. Start with a foundation chain.
  2. Yarn over (YO). Insert the hook. Insert the hook into the third chain from the hook, and yarn over again. Pull through a loop. Use the hook to pull a loop of yarn through the chain stitch.
  3. Yarn over again. Pull through three loops.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3. Continue making half-double crochet stitches in each chain stitch across the row until you reach the end.

Once you’ve mastered the half-double crochet stitch, you can use it to create a variety of different crochet sweaters and other garments with this stitch. It’s a versatile stitch that is a little taller than a single crochet and a little shorter than a double crochet, and it can create a nice texture in your crochet projects.

Examples of croche sweaters made using the half double crochet stitch include The Seun crochet knee-length jacket, the beginner-friendly crochet sweater, the Serenity sweater

The half-double crochet stitch creates a beautiful ribbing effect on croche sweaters and garments! If you are looking into adding some degrees of elasticity to your garment, you could either use hdc by crocheting into the back loops or post stitches (front and back post stitches)

Using single crochet for your sweaters

The single crochet stitch is another fabulous crochet stitch perfect for sweaters. Although, it takes a lot more time to complete a project using just a single crochet stitch.

How to crochet the single crochet stitch

A single crochet stitch is one of the most basic and fundamental stitches in crochet. Here’s how to do it:

  1. First, make your foundation chain.
  2. Next, insert the hook into the second chain from the hook, yarn over the hook, and draw the yarn through the chain/stitch. You should now have two loops on your hook.
  3. Yarn over the hook again, and draw it through both loops on the hook.
  4. There you have it, your first single crochet stitch.
  5. Repeat steps 2-3 in each stitch across the row until you reach the end of the row/round.

The perfect shrug, uses a combination of stitch but also has single crochet stitch.

Perfect shrug - Light weight crochet sweater

Usign Shell stitch for your crochet sweater

The shell stitch also know as arcade stitch creates a beautiful texture! It is perfect for warmer weather as it lacey. The real bobble top and the arcade sweater both uses a combination of the shell stitch with the addition of bobbles to create a unique textutre.

Crochet sweaters that uses a combination of stitches

After practising and making a few crochet sweaters and garments, yo umight want to try the combinations of crochet stitches!

The any yarn would do cocoon cardigan – uses a combination of double crochet, half double crochet and chain stitches to create a beautiful look.

crochet cocoon cardigan free pattern

Other important things to take note of when selecting the best crochet stitches for your sweater includes things like the yarn, the drape of the sweater, intended use for hte sweater.

Picking astitch with the perfect drape

In crochet, drape refers to how a fabric hangs or falls when worn or draped over an object. When it comes to crocheting a sweater, achieving the right amount of drape is essential to create a comfortable, well-fitting garment.

Drape is affected by several factors, such as the weight and best yarn used, the stitch pattern, and the hook size. A sweater with too little drape may be stiff and uncomfortable, while a garment with too much drape may be too loose and droopy.

crochet tunic for summer

Generally, lighter weight yarns with a more fluid drape work well for sweaters with a looser, more flowing fit, while heavier weight yarns with less drape are better suited for sweaters with a more structured or fitted silhouette.

By adjusting the hook size and stitch pattern, you can also control the amount of drape in your fabric. Looser stitch patterns tend to have more drape, while tighter stitches tend to have less drape.

What to think about when choosing crochet stitches for garments

Choosing the right crochet stitches for garments is an essential part of the design process. Here are a few things to consider when making your selection:

  1. Comfort and drape: Garments should be comfortable to wear and move in. When selecting stitches, consider their drape and how they will affect the fit of the garment. Looser stitch patterns tend to have more drape, while tighter stitches provide more structure.
  2. Gauge: Make sure you achieve the correct gauge for your chosen pattern. If your stitches are too loose or too tight, the garment may not fit correctly.
  3. Yarn weight: Choose a yarn that is appropriate for the garment you are making. A lighter weight yarn will work well for a more delicate garment, while a heavier weight yarn will create a more substantial and structured piece.
  4. Stitch pattern: Consider the overall look you want to achieve with your garment. Some stitch patterns, such as cables or lace, can add texture and interest to the design, while others, such as basic single crochet or double crochet, are more straightforward and classic.
  5. Season and climate: Think about the season and climate in which the garment will be worn. A heavier, warmer garment may be appropriate for colder weather, while a lighter, breathable fabric may be better suited for warmer weather.
  6. Functionality: Consider the purpose of the garment and the activities it will be worn for. For example, a sweater for hiking may require a more durable yarn and stitch pattern than a dressy cardigan.

The ease to increase and decrease your crochet stitches

For a perfect fit, your crochet sweater might require some increases or decreases around the body’s curves to create a perfect look. The kids waffles sweater has some decreases across the shoulder and the sleeves to create a fitted look!

crochet vest pattern

When picking a design that requires soem decreases and increases, you would need to check your qauge and mentain your tension through out the project for uniformity.

Does the stitch pattern stretch?

Using crochet stitich or stitches with some degree of elasticity can make a lot of difference. Crocheting into the back loop, 3rd loop, using front post and back post double crochet, front post and back post half double crochet creates good stretch.

The strecth would create an illusion and is mostly needed at the cuffs. Most projects with negative else would only fit when they have stretch in them!

What is the best yarn weight for crochet clothes?

Picking the best yarn weight for your project is crucial. There is no right or wrong answer. For light weight summery sweaters and garments I ususally go for sport weight or DK weight yarn.

For a sweater designed for winter, a worsted weight to chunky yarn is desired. For more tips with picking your yarn, this post has more details

What is the best hook size to use for crochet garments?

Hook size is mainly determined by the weight of the yarn and how much drape you want! The smaller the hook and yarn, the more tight the finished garment. While if using a bigger hook with a light weight yarn, you rproject would have a good drape and lace effect.

I ususally use 4 – 5 mm croche thooks when working with sport and DK weight yarn!

With worsted weight yarn, a 5.5 – 6 mm hook! Overall, go for a hook size you are most comfortable with.

How is it going to wash and wear?

Washing your finished crochet sweater is essential. Make sure to read the instructions on the yarn label! Generally, for wool, hand washing is called for.

While for acrylic yarns you can mashine wash the finished project. When picking your yarn for sweaters and othe rgarments, make sure to be comfortable with what the yarn manufactural calls for in terms of care instructions.

Whatever the crochet stitch you pick for your sweater, remember to keep your tension consistent and try to keep your stitches the same size to make your work look neat and tidy. And do not forget to block your sweater!

Ultimately, the best stitch for your sweater or garment will depend on the pattern, the yarn, and your personal preference. It’s always a good idea to swatch different stitches before starting your project to see which one works best for your needs.

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