"Pullovers never go out of style, and some of the designs are truly beautiful, even today. The stitches are all basic, which makes the work go quickly. In the end, you are only limited by your own imagination. Highly recommended." — Any Good Book
Crocheting has never been faster and easier ― and the design possibilities have never been more exciting. This simple but innovative technique makes creating sophisticated-looking pullovers as easy as crocheting a scarf. All modular crochet garments are worked in the same basic shape, which consists of eight modules, or rectangles. You can make an infinite number of styles by varying the size of the rectangles, the type and color of yarn, and the stitches. What's more, you can customize each garment while it's being made for perfect-fit pullovers in any size, silhouette, and style ― and you'll never have to follow traditional written instructions again.
Nearly four decades after its initial publication, this guide remains among the most revolutionary and revered books on freeform and improvisational crochet. Even beginners can use its innovative method to make pullovers, turtlenecks, vests, ponchos, caftans, and other items. Easy-to-follow diagrams accompany each original design, in addition to 40 large full-color photos.
"One of my favorite craft books of all time! Teaches you the basic building blocks of crocheted apparel and shows you how easy it is to create your own patterns." — Tehanu's Books
About the Author
New York City–based designer Judith Copeland, the former owner of Manhattan's "Quickit" yarn shop, has published articles in Ladies Home Journal, Needle and Craft, American Home Crafts, and Family Circle.
Read an Excerpt
The Revolutionary Method for Creating Custom-Designed Pullovers
By Judith Copeland
Dover Publications, Inc.Copyright © 1978 Judith Copeland
All rights reserved.
Lesson 1 How to Make the Modular Pullover
In Modular Crochet all pullovers are made from six or eight rectangles (six if they are sleeveless, eight if they have sleeves), and, for all styles, the procedure for putting them together is exactly the same. This lesson shows how the rectangles are joined together. All garments made following this method are worked in the ridge stitch. The main instructions are for the double crochet ridge stitch (dcr) and the half double crochet ridge stitch (hdcr); and the procedure is the same for both stitches. When working in the single crochet ridge stitch (scr), the number in the parentheses (x) tells you what to do. If you have any questions about abbreviations, stitches, detailing, consult the section About Stitches and Detailing. In our instructions you will note that there are no measurements or numbers of stitches given. This is because in Modular Crochet we have done away with gauge and measuring in the usual sense and teach you through photographs and diagrams how to work directly on your body. In this lesson the photographs will be your primary guide. To work from them, note in each step where and how the beginning chain and the rectangles of the garment fall on the body. Then work your beginning center chain and all subsequent rectangles so that they fall on the same places on your body. The text tells how many chains to turn and how to join the rectangles. That is all that you have to keep in mind, aside from being sure that the fabric is worked at the right tension. It is best to work each set of rectangles simultaneously (rectangles 1 through 4 — center front and back, rectangles 5 and 6 — sides, rectangles 7 and 8 — sleeves). To do this, work rectangle 1 close to the width you think you want, then work rectangle 2 to the same width. Hold the piece up to your body. If you need more width, add a row at a time on each side until you get the desired width. Then work rectangles 3 and 4 to the same size. Crochet the other two sets (sides and sleeves) in the same way. Working in this way you can easily see how the fabric hangs and behaves, and you can get a good fit. This lesson is the key to the modular approach. Once you finish it, you will be able to make all of the styles shown in this book in all of the stitches by following the exact same procedures. You will also be prepared to work and design on your own.
Materials: Paternayan Worsted or any good knitting worsted (4 oz skns): 6 in the color of your choice. Total Yardage: 1600. Hook: Size G or size to obtain gauge. Gauge: 4 dcr = 1". Stitch: Dcr. Size: 5'6", 34-24-34. The basic pullover is made with a square neck and medium width rectangles. We have used a plain knitting worsted, a medium weight yarn, because it is easy to work with; but you can use any yarn you like. Directions are for the half double crochet and double crochet ridge stitches. Changes for the single crochet ridge stitch are in parentheses. Because you are guided by step-by-step photographs in this lesson, the diagram is not necessary. But if you would like to refer to it as you work along and want to know how to read and use it, Lesson 3 tells you how. The person making the pullover in our photographs is 5'6", and her measurements are 34-24-34. As explained in Lesson 3, if you are the same size as the model, you can follow the diagram sizes as they are given. If not, the diagram shows how the rectangles have to be proportioned in order to get the effect shown in the photograph.
Starting at the center front, work a chain to the desired length from the hem to the bottom of the neck opening edge.
NOTE: The working of row 1, the next step, will alter the length of the chained piece; it will usually stretch as the stitches are worked in. To make allowances for this, work the chain a little longer (about 2 inches) than you think you will need. Then, after row 1 is worked in and the true length is reached, any extra chains can be removed by inserting a crochet hook into the last loop of the chain and pulling the loops out one by one. See page 178. To keep the true length of your piece as the rows are worked, read about maintaining tension in About Stitches and Detailing.
Work one dc in the 3rd (2nd) chain from the hook and in each chain across. Toward the end of the row, hold the crocheted strip up to your body to see how you feel about the length. Add a few stitches at a time and check the length as you work along. When it matches the length in the photograph or when it is the length that you want, chain 2 (1), turn.
Working under only the back loop (the loop further from you) of each stitch to make the ridge stitch, work one stitch in the 3rd (2nd) loop from hook and in each stitch across. At the end of each row chain 2 (1) to turn. As the rows are worked, hold the piece up to your body to check on the width. Use the photograph as a guide. Consulting the diagram on page 10, you will see that our rectangle is 21/2 inches wide in order to get the right fit. When the desired width is reached, cut the yarn and fasten it.
Return to row 1 of rectangle 1. At the end, with the tail of the beginning chain protruding, pull a loop through the loop at the bottom of the first stitch. Chain 3 (2). Work one stitch in each loop across. Do not work into the chain at the end of the row. Chain 2 (1), turn.
NOTE: The loops you are working into are actually the loops left over from the beginning chain when you worked row 1.
Working under only the back loop of each stitch, make one stitch in each stitch across, working the last stitch in the top loop of the chain 3 (2) at the end of the row.
Work the same as rectangle 1.
When the last stitch in rectangle 2 is complete work a chain to the top of the shoulder until the desired neck opening depth is reached. Consulting the diagram on page 10, you will see that we have chained for 3 inches. To end the chain, cut the yarn and pull the end thread out.
Count the number of stitches in the last row of rectangle 2 and the number of chains for the neck opening. Chain this total amount for the center back chain. For example, our pullover has 94 stitches in the last row of rectangle 2 plus 12 chains for the neck opening. The sum of the two is 106. Therefore, we chained 106 for the center back chain.
Work the same amount of rows as in rectangle 2. Then cut the yarn and fasten it.
Return to row 1 of rectangle 3. At the end, with the tail of the beginning chain protruding, pull a loop through the loop at the bottom of the first stitch. Chain 3 (2). Work the same as rectangle 3. When the last row is complete, chain the same amount of stitches for the neck opening as you did for rectangle 2. To end the chain, cut the yarn and pull the end thread out.
Join Front to Back
With a crochet hook, and being careful not to twist the chain, join the neck chain of rectangle 2 to the neck edge corner stitch on the last row of rectangle 3. Join the neck chain of rectangle 4 to the neck edge corner stitch on the last row of rectangle 1.
NOTE: The section About Stitches and Detailing tells how to join the neck chain to the crocheted piece with a loop. At this point the width of the rectangles can still be changed. If you feel the neck opening should be a little wider or smaller, just take the chains for the neck opening out and add or subtract the necessary amount of rows until you get the fit you want. Then replace the chains and join the front to the back.
Starting where you left off on rectangle 1 — with the wrong side of the stitch facing you — pull a loop through the back loop of the first stitch in the row. Chain 3 (2). Do not count this chain as a stitch. Work one stitch into the same opening as the chain. Working under only the back loop of each stitch, work along the edge of rectangle 1, work into the chains for the neck opening, work along the edge of rectangle 4. Chain 2 (1), turn.
NOTE: The section About Stitches and Detailing tells how to read the right and wrong side of the stitches.
Work in the ridge stitch. Try the garment on as you work along to see how it fits. Compare it with the photograph. When the desired width is reached, cut the yarn and fasten it. Consulting the diagram on page 10, you will see that in order to get the right fit, we made our rectangle 61/2 inches wide.
Starting where you left off on rectangle 3 — with the wrong side of the stitch facing you — pull a loop through the back loop of the first stitch in the row. Chain 3 (2). Do not count this chain as a stitch. Work one stitch into the same opening as the chain, then work in the same way as rectangle 5. cut the yarn and fasten it.
NOTE: At this point you can still make adjustments. To check the fit, baste the seams loosely and try the garment on. If you want to change the width, add or subtract the necessary amount of rows until you get the fit you want.
Fold the garment in half at the shoulders. On right side of fabric, starting at the bottom edge whipstitch the side seams (See About Stitches and Detailing) until the armhole opening is the size that you want the sleeve to be. Consulting the diagram you will see that our sleeve and therefore our sleeve opening is 6 inches wide.
NOTE: Either side of the garment can be made the right side. If the right side of row 1 is used as the right side, you will get a slight indentation at the center of the garment. If the wrong side of row 1 is used as the right side, you will get a raised ridge. Compare the two sides of your garment to see what we mean. We have made the right side the side with the indentation.
Sleeve in the Round — Round 1: Starting at the armhole bottom, with the wrong side of the stitch facing you, pull a loop through the back loop of the first stitch. Chain 3 (2).
NOTE: The sleeves (rectangles 7 and 8) can be worked in two ways, flat or in the round. If you do not know how to work in the round as we have done, do make an effort to learn how. In the long run, working in the round with all types of yarns is easier and quicker. And, more importantly, the seam formed is far superior to one that is sewn or woven; it looks good both inside and out. This is especially desirable when the garment has a fold-up cuff. The section About Stitches and Detailing has comprehensive drawings (pages 182-3) that show how to work in the round. However, some beginners at first prefer to work flat, especially when working with textured yarns where the stitches are harder to read. If you would rather work flat, see the next "note" section for the steps to follow.
Round 1 (continued)
Working in the ridge stitch, work one stitch in each stitch around. When the last stitch of the round is complete, insert the hook into the top of the beginning chain 3 (2). Then join with a slip stitch by placing the yarn over and drawing the yarn through the chain and the loop on the hook.
NOTE: To work the sleeve flat do not join with a slip stitch. Instead, at the end of row 1, chain 2(1) and then work the next rows in the usual manner for flat pieces. When the sleeve is complete, fold it in half and slip stitch or sew the seam.
Chain 2(1). Turn the work to the other side so that the wrong side of the stitch is facing you. Work the first stitch under only the back loop of the first stitch in the round — the 4th (3rd) loop from hook. Work one stitch in each stitch around, making the last stitch in the top of the last stitch of the previous round. Do not work into the chain or you will add a stitch. Join with a slip stitch into the top of the beginning chain.
Repeat the steps in round 2 until the desired sleeve length is reached.
For the hdcr and dcr work one row of the scr on right side of fabric. Then cut the yarn and join with a loop. The section About Stitches and Detailing tells you how.
Work the same as the first sleeve. Before starting, count the stitches to make sure there are the same number as on the first sleeve. If there is a difference, add or remove some of the whip stitches in the seam. Since you are working from the shoulder down, it is easy to adjust the length of the sleeve. If it stretches, take some rows out. If it needs to be longer or you decide you want a cuff, add some rows.
On right side of fabric work 1 scr in each stitch along side edges, work 2 (1) scr around the end stitch of each row along the front and back edges.CHAPTER 2
Lesson 2 How to Make the Different Neck Styles
All the classic neck treatments are possible with the modular method. Lesson 1 showed you how to make the basic pullover which has a square neck. The following step-by-step diagrams show you how to make four variations of this basic neckline: round, boat, V necks, and turtlenecks or hoods. These neck style variations are achieved by altering rectangles 1 through 4 in some way. To follow the step-by-step diagrams, make the beginning center front chain to suit the style and to fit your body or the body of the person for whom you are making the garment. Then join the rectangles as shown in each drawing. If you need more specific information on a particular aspect of a step — how many chains to turn, how the rectangles are joined, or other details — refer back to the photographs in Lesson 1. For the round neck, you increase at the neck edge every few rows. Usually you have to increase three or four times for the front (rectangles 1 and 2) and only once, on the last row, for the back (rectangles 3 and 4). Then you add the rest of the rectangles (5 through 8) in the usual way. The boat neck is the easiest variation to make. Make the beginning center chain the length of the garment from hem to neck edge and the same size for both the front (rectangles 1 and 2) and the back (rectangles 3 and 4). When they are complete you join them at the neck. Add rectangles 5 and 6 by crocheting into all of the stitches along the edges of rectangles 1 and 4, then 2 and 3. Add rectangles 7 and 8 if sleeves are desired. Make the V neck by working rectangles 1 through 4 only one row wide (except for halter-type garments for reasons explained in Lesson 4). The neck chain is worked 2 inches longer than usual to make a deeper opening in the back so the garment will hang properly. Add rectangles 5 and 6 and rectangles 7 and 8 in the usual way. Make turtlenecks and hoods by working rectangles 1 through 4 extra long and working each set (1 and 2, 3 and 4) to the same size. Then sew the upper parts together down to the shoulder to make a tube. Crochet rectangle 5 into the unworked stitches of rectangles 1 and 4. Crochet rectangle 6 into the unworked stitches of rectangles 2 and 3. Whipstitch the side seams and add rectangles 7 and 8 if desired. The following step-by-step diagrams explain in detail what to do.
How to Make a Round Neck
1. Work center front chain from hem to bottom of neck opening edge.
2. Work rectangle 1 to desired width increasing at neck edge on last rows to round the neck.
3. Add rectangle 2. At neck edge, increase same as for rectangle 1.
4. Work chain for neck opening. Cut yarn. Count stitches and chains of last row.
5. Chain same number of stitches just counted for the center back chain.
6. Work rectangle 3. On last row, at neck make an increase of 1 stitch.
7. Add rectangle 4. On last row, at neck make an increase of 1 stitch.
8. Work chain for neck opening same as for rectangle 2. Cut yarn.
9. Join front to back.
10. Work rectangles 5 and 6 to desired width. Cut yarn.
11. Fold garment in half. Whipstitch side seams to desired width for armhole.
12. For a garment with sleeves add rectangles 7 and 8 (sleeves in the round).
Excerpted from Modular Crochet by Judith Copeland. Copyright © 1978 Judith Copeland. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Lesson 1 How to Make the Modular Pullover,
Lesson 2 How to Make the Different Neck Styles,
Lesson 3 How to Read and Use the Diagrams,
Lesson 4 How to Work from Photographs and Diagrams,
Lesson 5 How to Work on Your Own,
About Stitches and Detailing,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Inspirational - design your own pullovers! I admit I enjoy knitting and, although I did crochet when a teenager, I’ve never used crocheting to make any garments. With this book, however, that could easily change! It gives step by step guidance on crocheting and doesn’t give the usual ‘patterns’ to follow but teaches readers how to do the different components to enable them to create their own designs and garments. The photographs throughout are superb and demonstrate the variety of different possibilities brilliantly. A superb book for anyone interested in designing and making pullovers for anyone - young/old, male/female, long/short - the choice is yours by following the modular designs to help guide you. Superb for the total beginner and the expert alike, what a great book - no wonder it is being reprinted! Congratulations to the publisher for re-releasing this dateless inspiring book. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley too, for letting me read an ARC in exchange for an honest review.