Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Crochet-Along cardigan is finished!

I took a little break from crocheting while I was getting ready for the Milwaukee Bead Show, but afterward I crocheted furiously so I could finish the cardigan before seeing my mother for her birthday this past Sunday.

If you have no idea what cardigan I'm talking about, please check out my blog posts first: Announcement of the project, first update, second update, third update, mistakes I've made on this and other projects.  The updates are at the bottom of the posts.

You may recall (especially if you just read it), that when I made the swatch with the recommended hook, it was too small.  The swatch with the next bigger hook was too large, so I crocheted the sweater using the bigger hook and the smallest size, calculating that it would fit me.  I moved the pockets down so they wouldn't be up by my ribs.

I had to add to the sleeve caps because the sleeves wouldn't fit where they were supposed to go, but other people had that problem, too, so that wasn't because I messed around with hooks and sizes.

When I tried it on after sewing the sleeves on, I have to admit I was not happy:

One side fell open, and the other side just hung there.  Bringing the fronts together, I found there was quite an overlap:

By the way, my hair looks like that because I was practically tearing it out trying to figure out how to get the sleeves to fit and how to stitch the shoulders so they wouldn't be bumpy.  They're stair-stepped instead of gently curving, so I have little bumps on the inside.  The outside looks fine, which I guess is all that's important.

I finally figured out that the neck decrease looks like that because I stitched a looser version of the cardigan, so the neck shaping as written would hang down a lot lower.  If I had realized this, I would have made adjustments to the front panels so the neck shaping started up closer to my neck.

Also, I should have adjusted the sleeves so they're a little shorter.  I added the surface slip stitch (click here if you don't know what that is) to the sleeve cuffs as recommended, but that made the sleeves a bit too tight for me.  I ended up taking it out and deciding not to add the edging around the bottom which used the same stitch.

What to do with the neck area, though?  I deliberated and deliberated, which made Steve also have to deliberate, of course, and we determined that the side that curled back looked better than the side that just hung there.  We decided to make "lapels" and tack them down with buttons.

I laid the sweater out on the floor to take pictures of it and to see how far to pull things back for the lapels:

That's Pixel.  He insisted on taking over for the sleeve edging.

Seeing it on the floor, I exclaimed, "That's enormous!  Am I really that big?"  Steve very carefully said, "Well... it does fit you."  It actually is a bit loose on me, so the joke is on... well, it's still on me.  I'm going to go eat a stalk of celery now.

I went through my vase of beads and only found two that matched each other and the sweater and were big enough for this project.  Here's one of the lapels after it was tacked down:

And here I am in the finished cardigan:

It's not perfect.  The pockets could have been a touch higher, but they're okay where they are.  It's thicker than I wanted (and very heavy), but it would have been even thicker (and heavier) if I had crocheted with the recommended hook.  At first it was kind of stiff, but I've worn it a few times, and it seems to be softening up a bit.

The $100,000 questions are:  Will I continue to wear it? and Will I make another one?  Yes, I will wear this cardigan.  I don't know about making another one.  I'm a little sick of the FPDC stitches (the ones that make the ribs), so it will have to wait until I'm not sick of them anymore, or I'll modify the cardigan to not use them.  I am glad I made it, but I think the sweater I was hoping this one would be will have to be made from a thinner yarn.  Worsted weight is nice, but the finished product is pretty thick.

Now that I'm done I'll have to go back to that damnable hooded cardigan.  I think I'll make the sleeves and make sure it fits before I keep going with the 100 or more rows of the hood.


  1. I think it looks very pretty, Traci! No need to be so critical. Only YOU know the "bad" parts. Wait til it gets cold out, you'll be glad of that nice, heavy, new sweater! love, kate

  2. Wow! Great job. It looks beautiful and I love that color. Pixel is cute too.