I have been working on a lovely tunic from last year's Vogue Crochet magazine, #32 . This project is one of several Tunisian crochet projects in the magazine I liked and especially I like #37 besides #32. By the way, this is my first time taking up Tunisian crochet. So, how have I been doing? Well, so far so good, although with a lot of trial and error. For example, I am currently working on my third sleeve and I will need to make a fourth one: i.e. my first two were not good at all.
First of all, the yarn used. I have had seven balls of Jojoland Melody, a light fingering weight yarn, in navy blue/burgundy mix for several years. I thought they were perfect for the tunic. The original design was crocheted with Koigu KPPPM using 5 mm hook. Melody is thinner and less meaty than Koigu and I decided to start with 4 mm hook.
Before taking a plunge, I did some practice with 4 mm hook and obtained the gauge of 21 stitches and 10 rows for 4” by 4” square. I thought I was ready. Since I was not certain about the yarn amount, I did some crude calculation and concluded that I had to be able to complete one sleeve with a ball of Melody.
As usual, I started with a sleeve when not certain about the gauge or the design. With my gauge, 16.5” meant 87 stitches. I think the pattern instruction has the cast on numbers for sleeves wrong. It should be 78 stitches with the gauge and the intended length. When I was
almost done with the first ball of yarn, I had still some inches to complete one
sleeve. Not good at all! I had to make the garment smaller (not a good
idea), or go up on the hook size to make the fabric less dense. I took the latter option and restarted with 5
mm hook. Assuming I was not too far off from the gauge in the instructions, I started with 78 stitches.
When I completed the second sleeve I noticed that the fabric was too stretchy at the lower half than the upper half (see the photo above). Also, I noticed a severe biasing of the
fabric towards right. Apparently, this biasing is typical for Tunisian crochet. I was not happy with the completed sleeve at all. Looks like I was still learning how to
maintain the tension with the first half of the sleeve. What do I do? I contemplated for a few days and decided to start again. I hate to regret too late. So, here I am, working on the first good
sleeve. I am crossing my fingers!