Swellant Elegance Short Sleeve Sweater (designed by Peter Franzi)

Posted on June 30, 2010. Filed under: Crochet |

This is a sweater pattern I bought recently, and finally broke down and ordered the fingering weight yarn from Knitpicks.com to start on, Stroll Tonal Sock yarn in Blue Violet.  I had bought some other nice sock yarn, from Bobbins Nest Studios, my “closest” local yarn shop in Santa Clara, CA, but it is sportweight (heavier than the fingering weight the pattern calls for) so is too thick of a yarn to work this pattern with.

Now, some background data may be required for you to “get” what I’m saying about yarn size being a potential “land mine”.  Understand that yarn weight is pretty important when you crochet/knit a wearable project that has to fit a specific person, like a sweater.  For a scarf, maybe it is not so critical if it comes out slightly bigger or smaller, but for a sweater, too large / too small is a disaster waiting to happen.  I often tell less experienced knitters/crocheters that if they choose (at their peril) to ignore gauge/tension, either the item they make will fit King Kong, or fit Mickey Mouse, but probably not their intended recipient:)

Both knitting and crocheting involve a concept known as gauge (or tension), which is a stated number of stitches across should measure a stated number of inches/cm (I call it horizontal gauge), and a stated number of rows/rounds should measure a stated number of inches/cm (I call it vertical gauge).  What size hook/needle the pattern actually states is merely a guideline; YOU have to knit/crochet the listed size swatch (typically 4″ x 4″; that is the most common stated swatch size I see in the patterns I’ve done).

The hook / needle size you use that yields the proper size swatch is the one you need to use to make the pattern, which may or may not be the one the pattern actually recommends.  Anyway, back to the Swellent Elegance Short Sleeve Sweater I am about to start once the sock yarn I mentioned earlier shows up from Knitpicks.

To start off, let me introduce this pattern’s designer.  Peter Franzi is an Oakland, CA based crochet designer who has had his Gatsby sweater pattern published in Debbie Stoller’s book, Son of Stitch-n-Bitch: 45 Projects to Knit and Crochet for Men.  He also teaches crochet at a local yarn shop in Oakland, Piedmont Yarn and Apparel.

Peter (and Cay Litchfield) lead one of the Crochet Guild of America chapters I am a member of, Men Who Crochet, a group Peter started in his home to encourage other male crocheters to gather together and share their love of crochet.  Despite the chapter’s name, women are more than welcome to attend meetings and be chapter members (as I (and Cay Litchfield) are living proof of.  In fact, MOST of our current members are female. (Guy crocheters, consider the “gauntlet thrown”:)

Any crocheter who lives within travel distance of Oakland (located in the East San Francisco Bay area, California), male or female, is encouraged to attend our meetings, held the 3rd Saturday every month from noon to 2pm, usually at Piedmont Yarn and Apparel.  If you email me, I will be more than happy to confirm the details of the current meeting, as the location, time, and itinerary are subject to change.  This Crochet Guild chapter is unique amongst a lot of crochet groups around the world that meet in that it actively puts itself “out there” to promote the love of crochet, by staffing booths at county fairs, fiber festivals, etc.  The other Crochet Guild chapters in the SF Bay Area merely meet, which is not a bad thing (don’t get me wrong), but rarely put in the time and expense to actually PROMOTE crochet the way that the Men Who Crochet chapter does (yet another gauntlet has been thrown…)  Kudos to Peter and Cay for taking on this ambitious “mission”.

Speaking of Cay, who helps Peter run Men Who Crochet, she is a long time crocheter (and a very talented one!) who has entered her crocheted items in various county fairs and won several ribbons on her work over the years.  Below is her Crazy Eights shrug that earned a first place ribbon in the recent San Mateo County Fair in June 2010.

cays crazy eights again

I support male crochet (and knit) designers because I believe they bring a unique perspective to the crafts, which are traditionally viewed as “women’s work”.   There is NO REASON (in my opinion anyway) for either crochet or knitting to be limited to women; and NO REASON for anyone to look down on either gender for practicing either craft.

Unlike most hobbies, crochet and knitting has a practical “end product” that can be worn and/or sold and that most everyone will be able to use.  If you’ve read some of my other posts here, you realize (look at my blog’s title for Pete’s sake LOL) that I am a BIG proponent of knitting and crocheting.  No, it ISN’T just something your grandmother did; I’m not anyone’s mom let alone grandmother and I knit and crochet.  And, as you can see by Cay’s shrug picture, no, crochet isn’t just granny squares, or done 1970s colors (avocado, orange, brown, etc.)

Peter has recently completed a new crochet design (the Swellent Elegance Short Sleeved Sweater).


If you are a member of Ravelry.com, you can purchase his design directly or go ahead and email him.  Also, you can email him for details on upcoming Men Who Crochet chapter meetings, should you be in the Oakland area and want to “drop in” (which we encourage you to do!!)

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2 Responses to “Swellant Elegance Short Sleeve Sweater (designed by Peter Franzi)”

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Anita: Thanks ever so much for your kind words about my work and, more importantly,about our little CGOA Chapter. Indeed all are welcome. But prepared to come out of your crochet closet. We will continue to be “out there” promoting and extolling the virtues of the art of crochet.

Peter, I am more than happy to promote your work, and promote crochet. Knitpicks has emailed me to say they have shipped the fingering weight yarn, I look forward to making your Swellant Elegance pattern.

Anita Badger abtygger@sbcglobal.net San Jose, CA USA (Silicon Valley) see pictures me and my family members have taken: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tygger428 Blog: https://tygger428.wordpress.com/

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