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Is this normal? First time crocheting a sweater and it’s quite stiff!


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Hello,

I’m a beginner crocheter but wanted to try my hand at making a cardigan. I just finished making my first sleeve, however it is pretty stiff, such that it maintains its shape after putting my arm through (as shown in attached photo). It’s a bulkier yarn (size 6) but even so, it seems to me that it shouldn’t be this way. Also the stiffness makes it a bit awkward to bend my arm with it on. Is this normal? Or how can I make it less stiff? I am wondering if it could be my tension or hook size (using N - 10mm), or if this is normal for the kind of yarn I’m using. It’s size 6, 100% acrylic, and I am using the waistcoat stitch. On a related note, I’m following a tutorial and ended up needing to do several more stitches than the guide to get the same measurements (same yarn type & hook size), and therefore am leaning toward thinking it’s more of a “me” issue…

Any tips would be much appreciated! :)

DCB3ABEA-DE3D-493A-ABEA-894FED67FC51.jpeg

Edited by CTG
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Waistcoat stitch makes a very dense fabric. If you are having to use more stitches than the pattern recommends then you crochet tighter than the designer. Tight stitches make a dense stiff fabric.  Using a lighter weight yarn and or a larger hook drastically changes the drape of crocheted fabric. 

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^ what she said. I wouldn't consider using the waistcoat stitch for a garment.  It looks nice, but it has limitations.  Besides being dense, I believe it only works in the round (I've tried it but never made a project with it; since I knit and don't like the waistcoat stitch's texture, it wasn't for me).  I'm surprised a wearable would call for that stitch; I suggest you find another pattern that calls for SC, HDC or DC.

The very first stitch you should make on any project that has to fit, is in a gauge swatch, using the hook and yarn weight and stitch that the pattern calls for.  Always.  I've been crocheting for decades and I'm dead serious.  You want to find out you're not hitting gauge on a little square, not after working several rows all the way across a sweater.  You may have to go up to a bigger hook, and make another swatch, and keep doing it until you hit the designers' gauge - or find another pattern that fits your yarn. 

Once in a while I find a designer whose gauge is WAY off from mine when I make a swatch.  We're all human and different, so it may be 'you' not in the sense that you are doing something wrong, just that your crochet tension doesn't jibe exactly with the tension of that particular designer. 

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