How to crochet a jumper without a pattern

I don’t really like reading manuals or following recipes. I prefer to stick my hands in the mud and get dirty without having to follow a cookbook. One of the nice things about crochet is you can make a jumper in rounds and measure it on the body as you go. I recently completed a jumper for Elizabeth and I thought I’d photograph the process for anyone interested. It’s very easy to do once you know how.

Start by making a long chain and joining the last stitch up to the first one to make a circle. The size of this circle will be the size of the bottom of the jumper – the bit that goes around your waist. Work in rounds until you get to the armpits. You can try it on as you go (or get whoever is going to wear it to try it on):






Now you need to make the sleeves. Do the same thing as you did for the body: crochet a chain and join it up to make a circle that fits around the wrist. Continue in rounds for the length of the arm. You’ll need to increase the width of the tube for the sleeves as it nears the elbow. To do this, crochet two stitches into the one in the row below a couple of times for that round and do this every two rounds or so until it fits. Measure it on the subject as you go and remember to record when the increases were made so that you can copy it for the second sleeve.

Now sew the sleeves to the body:




Get your subject to try it on:



Continue in one huge round incorporating the body and two sleeves and start decreasing the round by stitching two stitches together, four times in one row, every second row or so. Add in some colours or patterns at this point if you want them.

Voila! Now you have a warm and woolly bespoke jumper:



30 thoughts on “How to crochet a jumper without a pattern

  1. That is fantastic Rachel! Very clever but ummm don’t ever invite me around for dinner if your main ingredient is mud 😉

  2. Rachel, you are far too talented. The jumper is lovely. So are the photos of Elizabeth. I like the leg placement in the finished photo. Very modelly. 🙂

  3. Rachel … I do love the ‘getting stuck in’ and not RTFM but a cautionary word in my ear is, for example, the visionary chef Elizabeth David who said (I paraphrase), you must learn to make the perfect soufflé before then letting rip with the creative stuff. I sort of agree, although I think my standards are lower than hers. I get to ‘the good enough soufflé’ the. I let rip! … Not sure if this translates to crochet …

  4. I have to ask a boring question: What size of hook did you use??? I love, love, love your ‘pattern.’ I hate to follow directions as well! 😉

  5. Oh my god that little girl is so cute!!! The first picture of her made me smile a lot ^_^ also this was super helpful in making my sweater so thank you so much!!

  6. Hi Rachel, Thank you for this post, I’ve been looking all over the internet for an easy way to make my first crochet jumper! And this is perfect and looks very straightforward! What kind of stitch did you use? It looks lovely!

  7. Thank you so much. I have wasted so much time this evening googling “seamless” “in the round” blah blah blah, and had rubbish results. I want to make a dress, but if I follow your instructions, I can always just join on at the bottom when sleeves and bodice are made and make it the length I want. Fabulous. In response to previous post, you worked in what I would call double crochet, single crochet in American crochet terms.

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