Before we begin with today's blog post, I want to share a video with you. There have been a lot of questions about how to work the clusters, so I decided to make a video demonstrating how to work the clusters sideways by working them into the side of the previous single crochet. In the video, I crochet a dc-cluster, tr-cluster and dtr-cluster.
In the video, the sweater on the dressform beside me is my work-in-progress Mocha Microspun cardigan. My Pearl's Cardigan is coming along nicely! How is yours? I finished the yoke, separated for front, sleeves and back, and crocheted the body down to the point where you split 'right and left fronts' from 'back' to incorporate side vents into the sweater. Here are a few images of the front, side and back of the Mocha Pearl's Cardigan at my current progress level:
If you are making a custom sweater, please note that when we separate for fronts, sleeves and back, the yoke is evenly divided into six parts (1 part for each front, 1 part for each sleeve and 2 parts for the back). Then we add enough underarm chains to add enough circumference for the right side bust of the sweater and keep in mind that the amount of chains worked must equal a multiple of the stitch pattern. Some participants desire a wider armhole opening. There are a couple of ways this can be achieved:
- You can replace the underarm chains with foundation single crochet stitches instead. Foundation Single Crochet (FSC) stitches are much stretchier than chains and this can give you a little more ease.
- You can add more chains (or foundation single crochets) to your underarm stitches. Please keep in mind that you should add them in increments of the stitch pattern (+4, +8, +12, etc...)
Another modification to consider is that you can control the length of the sweater at this point.
- If you desire a cropped cardigan, I think you could stop after the belt-loop row and skip to the edging. Weave a belt or sash though the waist and you are done! I would style this with a fit and flare dress, or with a longer tunic and cute jeans.
- For an empire waist, you could work the belt-loop row a few inches above where the pattern suggests you add it (a few inches below the armhole opening). The beauty of a top-down sweater is you can try it on as you go, and decide where the waist works best on you! I would still work this empire-waist-modified sweater to the original length in the pattern.
- If you prefer to omit the belt-loop row, that is OK, too! Perhaps you would prefer buttons, securing with a shawl pin, or wearing the sweater casually worn open. Simply skip the belt-loop row, but add enough repeats of the body stitch pattern to achieve the desired finished length.
Next week, we will further discuss modifications. If you don't like the side vents, you could add increases at this point to create a fuller hip width. I will crochet mine both ways to show you the difference. I am considering a sleeveless vest modification, adding the hip increases instead of side vents, and increasing the length by a few inches (using up the yarn that should have been used for the sleeves). I will show you the original sweater in close-up and compare it closely with any modifications I end up using.
Happy crocheting! I'll be looking for your questions and comments in the coming week!
- Pearl's Cardigan Crochet-Along, Part 3: Let's Get Started!
- Pearl's Cardigan Crochet-Along, Part 2: Swatch and Gauge
- Pearl's Cardigan Crochet-Along, Part 1: Choosing Yarn & Color
- Join Our Special Guest Crochet-Along (intro blog post)
- Pearl’s Cardigan Pattern on LionBrand.com
- Crochet So Fine
- Pearl’s Cardigan CAL Flickr Group
- Ravelry Group for Pearl’s Cardigan CAL
- Kristin’s website: StyledbyKristin.com