Elara Makealong Week 3: Casting on, and working in the round

Elara Makealong Week 3: Casting on, and working in the round

Elara Makealong Week 3: Casting on, and working in the round

Welcome to Week 3 of the Elara Makealong! If you missed the previous week's tutorials, see the How to Swatch for the Elara Pullover tutorial, as this week's tutorials build on the stitches learned in that post.

All of the stitch patterns learned in the makealong so far were taught flat, crocheted back and forth in rows. The Elara Pullover is worked top-down, and in the round, so in this week's tutorial, we'll discuss how crocheting in the round differs from flat crocheting, and how to cast-on for the pullover. We'll also crochet Rnds 1-4 of the Elara yoke this week, putting the stitch patterns learned in previous weeks to good use.

Step 1: Chain Stitch 

For a refresher on the chain stitch, take a look at Week One's tutorial. Each size of the Elara has a different amount of chain stitches to start, so reference the pattern for your size to figure out how many chain stitches you need. We advise making sure your chain stitches are not too tight—if you have to force your hook through with a bit of force, you may be working your chain stitches with too much tension. We mention this, because crochet has slightly less elasticity than knitting, and no one enjoys a pullover they have to force over their head!

Step 2: Slip Stitch to join chain in the round

As with joining knitting in the round, before joining our chain stitch in the round, we need to ensure the chain stitch isn't twisted, so the pullover forms a circle, rather than a möbius. Once the chain stitches are orientated without twisting, insert your crochet hook into the chain, so that two loops are on the hook. 

Yarn over, and then draw the yarn over through the two loops on the hook. This creates a slip stitch, which will be used throughout the Elara to join rounds. The chain should look like the lower picture, ready to work Round 1 of the pullover.

Work Round 1 of the Elara Instructions

The first round of the Elara is basic double crochet. Each chain stitch will get a double crochet stitch, all the way around. For a refresher on the double crochet stitch, see the Week 1 tutorial here

Keep in mind that all basic crochet stitches used in the Elara, and in our swatch, need a certain number of chain stitches to start the row or round. The double crochet stitch requires 3 chain stitches to start. Once you've double crocheted into every stitch, you'll work a slip stitch into the first stitch of the round, exactly how you joined your chain stitches in the round.

 Work Round 2 of the Elara Pullover

This round will look very familiar to the right side row in the swatching tutorial from last week. We will alternate FPTr and double crochet stitches, which create a raised, almost rib-like look. The lower photograph shows the texture a little more clearly.

Once the round is complete, you will join the last stitch in the round to the first stitch in the round with another slip stitch.

 Work Round 3 of the Elara Pullover

This is the trickiest round of the first four rounds of the pullover. As with knitting a round yoke pullover, there are increases throughout, to transition the smaller circumference neckband, to the wider sleeve and bust. This round is the first increase round for the pullover.

The foundation of the round starts by chaining 3 stitches, working a double crochet stitch into the same stitch, then double crocheting into the next stitch. This means you've worked three stitches into two stitches below. The remainder of the round goes as follows: *(FPTr, dc) in next FPTr, dc in next dc; rep from * until end of rnd, sl st in third ch of beg ch3. You can check your progress, ensuring you've done this round correctly, by making sure there are 2 dc stitches between each FPTr stitch. You can see how the end of this round looks in the photo below.

 Work Round 4 of the Elara Pullover

This is where the pullover starts to get exciting. The beginning of the open crochet starts in this round, and compared to the previous round, it's a breeze. 

 

Next round: Ch6 (counts as first FPTr, ch3), skip next two dc, *FPTr in next FPTr, ch3, skip next two dc; rep from * until end of rnd, sl st in third ch of beg ch3. Those instructions may seem complicated, but if you keep in mind that you're chaining three stitches when you skip the 2 dc stitches, and you're always working a FPTr stitch into the FPTr below, the round becomes much easier to track.

This creates an almost doily-like quality to the round, which will visibly look much different next week, once we work Round 5. 

We hope you enjoyed the first four rounds of the Elara Pullover! Join in with us by hashtagging your projects #elaramakealong on Instagram.