Monday, May 28, 2012

Adventures in Crocheting (Cardigans)...

I'm again late in updating my crochet blog -- it's been 4 months instead of the usual 3. There is a reason for that! This update will include what I am calling the first and last adult-size cardigan sweaters I will ever make. They did both eventually turn out well, but after a few false starts for both due to faulty patterns! More on that in a moment. First, here is the latest Barbie I completed, back in February. As described last time, she is "Miss January" from Annie's Attic "Turn of the Century Bridal Trousseau" collection. I used my beautiful discontinued Opera #10 thread in red with black trim, and light peach for her blouse. I think she is very elegant!

The next (quickie) project I crocheted was the bib below, for the new baby boy of a gal at my church. I'd gotten the baby a specific hat the mom requested and a cute stuffed blue bear, but wanted to add a little something I made and felt a bib would be perfect. This one is so cute and easy; I will be using this pattern again. I used Knit Picks' "Shine" yarn (one of my favorites) in River and Green Apple. I felt it needed a little applique to finish it off and when I saw the little froggy at JoAnn Fabrics, I knew he would be perfect!

After I finished the bib, I decided to use a discontinued light pink baby yarn called "Universal Bella DK" that I'd bought from Herrschners. I had enough for a post stitch baby jacket with matching bonnet, and a cute little pullover sweater with shell stitches down the sides and sleeves. (The sleeve instructions for the little pullover was poorly written -- I've been running into that a lot! But I improvised and it worked out...)

Next, I decided to implement the brilliant idea I've had for some time of crocheting myself a cardigan sweater -- a decision I soon came to regret. I'd seen a very pretty variegated yarn called "James C. Brett Marble yarn" I'd been longing to try, and lo and behold, Herrschners had a pretty (and free) cable cardigan pattern using that very yarn! I then ordered 8 skeins of the yarn from eBay in a combo called "Heathers" (gray, cream, burgundy and two shades of pink). I went a couple of sizes up on the hook size since I tend to crochet tightly (which is why I don't often make adult clothes). I was maybe 80% done making it when I realized it was going to be small on me -- and again, the sleeve instructions were poorly written. DANG!

I then looked through my many sweater patterns and picked one I loved in a popcorn and post stitch design. I not only went up on the hook size but the alleged completed size of the sweater. I was most of the way done with it when I again realized it was going to be small. I couldn't believe it! At that point, I made a decision that if I was going to have a sweater I crocheted that was going to fit, I was not going to use a pattern. I was going to revert to a stitch pattern I love and use a lot, "Mayfair", and basically make rectangles with shaping for the neck, then add the ribbing. So AGAIN, I made like a frog ('rip it, rip it") and started my sweater for the third time!

I wasn't far into my third try for my sweater when my dear sister-in-law in Arizona asked if I would please crochet her a little lightweight short-sleeved cardigan. You've got to be kidding! But I didn't let on how I was struggling with my own cardigan. I said, send me the pattern and yarn and I'll be glad to do it (feeling in need of divine intervention).....

Believe it or not, the pattern she sent me -- well, I tried to figure it out but it was absolutely screwy. It made NO sense. But thankfully, it was a simple enough design (half-double crochet in vertical rows) that I knew I could create it without a pattern, and so I did! Thankfully, she E-mailed me that she loved it (and I don't think she even realized that I didn't use a pattern...well, she will if she reads this)! The yarn she sent me was Herrschners' "Village Yarn Bahama Cotton" in a now-discontinued color' "Deep Blue Sea". It was very nice to work with, but there are only 85 yards in a skein so I was afraid I would run out. But I just made it! The detail doesn't show well in the pic, but here it is.

Yesterday, I finished MY sweater and even had enough of the yarn left to make a scarf in the same stitch. Here they are! (I'm not posting a pic of myself wearing it till I lose weight -- if I ever do...)

I think I'm starting another Barbie next. Her gown and matching jacket will be in two beautiful shades of green with matching lace, and the Barbie I chose has red hair, so she will be an Irish lass. It will be a relief to start a pretty thread project after the fiasco with the sweaters!

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