Author:
Melanie Depcinski

Melanie Depcinski is an Anthropologist turned crochet and knitwear designer living in Pennsylvania. She has two daughters that keep her running in circles as she tries to untangle both her yarn and her thoughts via her blog, Counting Crafty Sheep. When she isn’t making, Melanie can be found reading, hiking, gaming, and doing her best not to spill her coffee (or wine) as she tumbles through the adventure that is life.

The Kelly Swancho Crochet Pattern

Maker
2/27/2020

When I started my fiber arts business, I was a new stay at home parent. Before my oldest daughter and Counting Crafty Sheep were born, I worked as a museum professional. This was a job that demanded a lot, both physically and mentally, and when I finally transitioned from full time boss mode to full time parent of a newborn mode, I realized something was missing. While being a parent is certainly challenging, there was an element of my former life that I missed, and I came to realize that it was the day to day need to express myself through work that wasn’t tied to the new little human that was my constant companion. It was this need that resulted in the founding of a business that would grow into so much more than that over the next four years.

At the outset, I thought that designing patterns was only for the “truly” creative. I had this misguided notion in my head that I was somehow less than the makers whose blogs I was following and whose patterns I was making. I spent years feeling like I wasn’t a real artist because I had a specific idea about what creativity and art should be. It wasn’t until I was in the Craft Yarn Council “Human’s That Yarn” Series that I came to realize I was limiting myself by trying to define what it meant to be creative.

When I finally freed myself from this restrictive thinking, I found that the fiber arts opened up for me in a whole new way. Since that experience, I have found myself trying to break out of the box when it comes to design and constantly challenge myself in new ways. I am constantly asking myself, “what if.” What if I tried this? What if I approach life this way? What if I freed myself for a moment and let something new come to life? It was this approach that unlocked designing for me, and I was able to find the path that has led me to where I am today as a maker and designer.

Now that I have not one, but two young daughters, my creativity and drive to live unrestricted by conventional thinking have blossomed. Counting Crafty Sheep has become so much more than a side hustle or creative outlet. Now, it is a catalyst for personal growth in every aspect of my life. It pulls me out of my shell, forces me to confront my own self-critical inner thoughts, and constantly examine the way I am shaping the person my girls know as Mommy. Through the medium of yarn, and with the  platform that the internet provides, I now explore ways to share my love of making and my search for clarity in an exceedingly complicated world in the hope that I will continue to grow into the role model I want to be.

Supply List

Craft Yarn Council Category 3 Yarn      

Lion Brand Coboo, Bamboo Cotton Blend

232 yds/100 g/3.5oz

XS (S,M,L) (XL,2XL,3XL) (4XL,5XL)

6 (7, 7, 8) (8, 9, 9) (10, 10) balls

Size G 4mm Crochet Hook

Two Locking Stitch Markers

Darning Needle

Key

st/sts    stitch/stitches

sl st       slip stitch

ch          chain

sc           single crochet

fsc         foundation single crochet

dc          double crochet

FPdc      front post double crochet

JLC         Jacob’s ladder corner

(To work the JLC stitch you will chain 12 at the corner and rejoin to the same space, more instructions in body of pattern)

Alpine   This stitch is worked over a four row repeat that involves alternating dc and Fpdc sts to create a textured fabric.

Pattern

One of the ways I have recently been exploring design is through what I lovingly call the “Friends” series. This is a collection of patterns inspired by the people in my life, past and present. The design I have chosen for this feature is The Kelly Swancho, and is probably one of the most cherished patterns I have designed. The inspiration for the piece, Kelly, is a beautiful individual I met many years ago when I was just starting to figure out that I could choose who I was. Kelly opened my eyes to music, to my own ethnocentrism, and to a freedom of expression I had never experienced before. She is one of those people who always remain an important part of you, even though you may go years and months without seeing one another or having a real conversation. She was such a formative part of my life, from being there for my first kiss, to standing by me at my wedding, that no matter where life takes us, she will be a part of my story.

I designed The Kelly Swancho with her style in mind. For the “Friends” series, I always start with a basic idea and work with the namesake of the pattern to make sure fit, stitches, color, and fiber all reflect their personal style. This oversized swancho (sweater + pancho) is just the piece for strolling down a city street on a traveling adventure or hanging out in the back of the library doing research. Layer it over a dress, wear it with high waisted jeans, or pop it on with knee high boots and leggings to create any look you need to be comfortable but chic. As it goes, most of my pieces have a lot of ease built into them for maximum comfort. I live my mom-life on the go and frequently design clothing that will work well everywhere from the grocery store to the playground and that usually means they need to allow for a wide range of movement. Generous ease paired with the unbeatable drape of Lion Brand’s Coboo yarn make for a garment that is sure to be a staple in any maker’s wardrobe.

While all the stitches used in this project are fairly basic, you may find that more in depth visuals help with placement and clarity. If this is the case, please visit The Kelly Swancho Walkthrough post at www.CountingCraftySheep.com for additional support.

Notes

The swancho is worked from the top down, raglan style, in turned rounds. This means you will join and turn at the end of every round. Unless otherwise noted, always work your first stitch into the join space after turning. This will be the stitch closest to your turning chain. Pay close attention to your dc and FPdc sts, making sure you join in the correct space is key to hiding the seam. More instructions are included below. I recommend using a stitch marker to make sure you don’t forget where your true first stitch is for each round.

Set-Up Round

FDsc 108 (116, 124, 132, 140, 148, 156, 164, 172) Join in the round, careful not to twist your chain. Ch2 and turn. This ch2 will count as your first stitch so skip the first available space, aka the join space.

Round 1: 22 (23,24,25) (26,27,28) (29,30)dc, 3dc in the same st, 9 (11,13,15) (17,19,21) (23,25)dc, 3dc in the same st, 43 (45,47,49) (51,53,55) (57,59)dc, 3dc in the same st, 9 (11,13,15) (17,19,21) (23,25)dc, 3dc in the same st, 21 (22,23,24) (25,26,27) (28,29)dc, join to the starting chain, ch 1 and turn. 116 (124,132,140) (148,156,164) (172,180)

Round 2: 23 (24,25,26) (27,28,29) (30,31)sc, in the next space sc then ch 12, sc in the same space forming a loop (this is the JLC), 11 (13,15,17) (19,21,23) (25,27)sc, JLC, 45 (47,49,51) (53,55,57) (59,61)sc, JLC, 11 (13,15,17) (19,21,23) (25,27)sc, JLC, 22 (23,24,25) (26,27,28) (29,30)sc, join to the first stitch of the round with sl st, ch 2 and turn.

Round 3: In this round, your initial ch 2 DOES NOT count as your first st. Here you will place your first FPdc around the ch 2 from the previous increase round. Place a stitch marker around your post st so that you do not forget that the post, not the ch, counts as your first st. dc in the very next st (imagine that the ch 2 from the previous round is the skipped top of the st you would usually have with an FPdc).

*You should be positioned to wrap the first of the three increase sts from Round 1 with an FPdc st. Move the JLC loop to the front of the work and place 3 dc sts in the same space that the JLC is worked into from the previous rnd. Work an FPdc around the next dc st from the increase in Round 1.** dc in the next, FPdc in the next, resume alternating dc and FPdc sts to the next corner. Repeat the corner increase as outlined above *-**.

Continue around the piece in this way until you reach your stitch marker. Because your ch 2 at the beginning DOES NOT count as your first st, you will end with a dc before you join to the top of the first FPdc st with a sl st. Ch 1 and turn. 132 (140,148,156) (164,172,180) (188,196)

Note: Each side should have increased by two sts. As you work the pattern, every increase round (the FPdc/dc rnd) will increase in the way until you split for the sleeves.

Round 4: Repeat round 2. Be sure to place your first stitch in the join space. Remember that your st counts have all increased, so they will not match those given in the round. You are going to be working a sc in every st with the JLC at the corner spaces. You will not increase this round. 132 (140,148,156) (164,172,180) (188,196)

Round 5: Place a stitch marker around your ch 2, this will count as the first dc of this round. FPdc around the next dc stitch from the previous round, skipping the top of the st you just wrapped here and throughout. dc in the next st. Continue alternating an FPdc and dc until you reach the corner.

*You should be positioned to wrap the first of the three increase sts from Round 1 with an FPdc st. Move the JLC loop to the front of the work and place 3 dc sts in the same space that the JLC is worked into from the previous rnd. Work an FPdc around the next dc st from the increase in Round 1.** dc in the next, FPdc in the next, resume alternating dc and FPdc sts to the next corner. Repeat the corner increase as outlined above *-**.

Continue around the piece in this way until you reach your stitch marker. Because your ch 2 at the beginning counts as your first st, you will end with an FPdc before you join to the ch 2 with a sl st. Ch 1 and turn. 140 (148,156,164) (172,180,188) (196,204)

Round 6: Repeat round 2. Be sure to place your first stitch in the join space. Remember that your st counts have all increased, so they will not match those given in the round. You are going to be working a sc in every st with the JLC at the corner spaces. You will not increase this round. 140 (148,156,164) (172,180,188) (196,204)

Repeat Rounds 2-5 until you have 39 (41,43,45) (47, 49,51) (53,55) rounds and

268 (284,300,316) (332,348,364) (380,396) sts. Ending on an increase round.

Split for Sleeves & Body

Round 1: sc in the join space and in each stitch until you reach the point where you would be working your JLC. We will not be working a JLC this round, rather, when you reach that point, ch 2 (7,11,16) (20,25,29) (34,38) and fold the piece in half with the right side of the work facing out.

Join the chain to the next corner with a sc st. The chain then creates the underarm of your swancho. Continue to sc across to the next corner and repeat for the second sleeve. Sc to the start of the round, join with a sl st, ch 2 and turn. 178 (196,212,230)(246,264,280)(298,314)

At this point, try on the swancho. Make sure you are happy with the length, it should rest just beneath the widest part of your chest. You also want to make sure that the underarm stitches aren’t drooping too much or pulled too tight. If needed, add or subtract an even number of sts until you reach the desired underarm width. Just note, making any adjustments to this section will alter your stitch counts.

Need a visual? Pop over to The Kelly Swancho Walkthrough for step by step photos.

Round 2: Continue in pattern with your next FPdc round. Remember, if your last FPdc round began with a ch 2 as your first st, this round will begin with the first FPdc as your first stitch and vice vera. Since splitting for sleeves, you have eliminated corners and added unworked chains. When you reach the chain stitches that make up the underarm, you won’t have anything to wrap, so you will need to dc across each of these sts.

Whichever type of stitch you end on before working across the chains, either a FPdc or a dc depending on the size you are making, you will resume the pattern with that same stitch at the opposite side of the underarm chain. Continue around to the beginning of the round, join with a slip stitch either to the ch 2 or the top of the first FPdc st, depending on how you began, and ch 1 then turn. Your stitch count should not change for the rest of the body.

Round 3: sc in every stitch around, placing the first sc stitch in the join from your last round.

Round 4: Continue the FPdc, dc pattern as established.

Repeat Rounds 3 and 4 until you have 24 (26,28,30) (32,34,36) (38,40) rounds after the sleeve split or until you reach the desired length. Continue working in joined and turned rounds and add four rounds of sc for the border.

Braiding the Cable

As you work the first round of the sleeves you will need to anchor the cable braid, but first, you need to intertwine the loops.

To do this, you will begin at the top of each line of loops, twist the loop halfway around once and pull the next loop up from underneath and through. Turn that loop the same direction and repeat until the end. The loops should stay together. As you follow the instructions for adding the sleeves, you will want to catch each loop as you work around the corners with one or two sc sts.

Adding the Sleeves – Work on Both Sides

Set-up: Join your yarn to the corner where you ended the chain sts to create the underarm as if the wrong side were facing you and ch 2. Begin working in pattern starting with a FPdc around the next dc st from the previous increase round. Your ch 2 WILL count as your first stitch here.

Continue working in pattern for 49 (58,66,75)(83,92,100)(109,117) sts (or until you go around the entire sleeve if you made an edit to the top half of the swancho,) join to the beginning with sl st and ch 1. Note: It is more important here to stay in pattern than to hit the actual st count. If you need to add or remove a st to make things line up, do so in this round.

Round 1: sc in the join space and in every st around. Join to beginning of the round with sl st, ch 2 and turn.

Round 2: Continue in Fpdc/dc alternating pattern around the sleeve. Sl st to join to the beginning, either the ch 2 or the top of the first FPdc st depending on where you began, ch 1 and turn.

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 four more times each.

Sleeves Continued – Border

Continuing to work in joined and turned rounds, add three more rounds of sc. Finish with a round of sl st. Fasten off and weave in ends. Note: the sl st round will gather in the sleeve, giving it a more rounded look. If you prefer a flatter more open sleeve, omit the round of sl sts.

Neckline Border

Join your yarn at the seam where you began the work with the right side facing you. Ch 1. sc all the way around the swancho, working a sc3tog at the corners in the sts before and after the corner st, as well as the corner st. Join with a sl st when you reach the beginning, fasten off and weave in ends.

If you have any questions about the pattern for The Kelly Swancho please reach out to me on any of my social media platforms or via email: melanie@countingcraftysheep.com

I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed making this pattern as much as I enjoyed designing it. Please be sure to tag @countingcrafty in your photos and look for the full PDF with bonus content on Ravelry March 20, 2020.

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