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I recently purchased the book Positively Crochet, mainly because I fell in love with the sweater on the cover. I started it last night and am having an interesting problem.

I made a swatch and may gauge is spot on.

The instructions start... with g hook loosely chain (my number is 110) Single crochet back, = 109 sc. Then it states... This row should measure approx 231/2 inches. Mine measures 26 hmmm The next row is a shell dc, ch1, dc, ch1, dc etc... There are supposed to be 18 shells... I have 19!

So what am I doing wrong??? This is maddening since for this sweater gauge is supposed to be real important.

The only thing that I can think of is that I am using a different yarn?? It calls for Berroco Softwist, Carron Simply Soft or Red Heart Soft. Pattern states that if you use Red Heart or Simply Soft you need to use a larger hook to get correct gauge (K). The yarn I chose to use is closer to a DK I think... it is called accord by Sierra Pacific Crafts.

O.K. so here is a side by side comparison of the yarns...

Berroco Softwist



59% Rayon, 41% Wool


1.75 oz / 50 g


100 yds / 92 m


5 sts = 1"

20 sts & 28 rows = 4" (10cm)


8 (US) / 5 mm


100 % Acrylic


100 g


348 yds / 320 m


21 sts & 29 rows = 4" (10cm)


6 (US) / 4 mm

So what the heck am I doing wrong? (I am off to remeasure my swatch).


Mary Jane said...

I just wanted to ask if you got my reply from the email you sent me about the problem with the sweater? I reworked the first 2 rows to see if there was an error and I came up with 18 shells, the correct number, so the pattern isn't off. I also came up with the correct measurement after working the second row. As far as the yarn substitute, the acrylic probably won't be as stretchable, even though the shell stitch produces a stretchable fabric. I would say, just don't give up and keep trying because I have had other people tell me they used an acrylic yarn and the sweater came out fine. If I had your yarn in my hand, I'd be more than happy to help! So sorry for the problem. I know how frustrating that can be. It happens to everyone :) Please let me know if you have any more questions. I want to help.
Mary Jane
Author of Positively Crochet

VintageModern said...

Hi Mary Jane, I did get your note. I made a larger swatch thinking that might give me a clue. Nada. Everything was spot on there. Initially I thought I might be stretching things when I worked it, but If that were the case, my measurements wold be off. I have decided to just go ahead and keep my extra width. I may have to adjust things later, but I will work that out then. Thanks for your help.

Sharon said...

Hi, Lori. Just wanted to say hello, and I look forward to seeing your Christmas stocking!

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