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Pearl’s Cardigan Crochet-Along, Part 5: Lower Body and Modifications

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Pearl’s Cardigan Crochet-Along, Part 5: Lower Body and Modifications

Have you tried on your sweater yet? I have, and although I have my heart set on a longer vest, I know I would be happy with a shorter cardi if I finished now, too.

I just passed the point where the pattern states to separate for the side vents. The reason I added side vents to this design is because I like extra hip ease in my sweaters. First, I think it is like an optical illusion of having shaping in the waist of the sweater. I personally find it to be more comfortable than something with actual waist shaping. That is why in this design I added the belt-loop holes so you can customize the amount of cinching you desire on any given day you wear the sweater. The hip ease adds to the contrast of your custom waist cinching.

As I was crocheting along this week, I realized that this particular pattern would be really easy to modify for increases, so I chose to make another modification and keep the lower body intact (without side vents) but still keep the hip ease. If you are making the side vents (as the pattern calls for) you will still be working even in the pattern, but working in sections, dividing the body into 4 equal parts (1 each for the right and left front, and 2 for the back). I decided to make increases within the pattern for the hip ease instead of separating for side vents. Today, I will explain how you can, too.

However many repeats of the pattern you have (mine has 38), you need to divide your stitches into 4 equal parts. Because mine has 4 equal sets of 9 repeats plus 2 repeats, I chose to work my increases on both sides of the extra stitch. For example, on the sc, ch5 row when I complete 9 repeats, I work an extra repeat into the same stitch, work the next repeat, then make an extra repeat in the same stitch, and continue evenly across the row. If yours has a perfect multiple of 4, simply work your increases on either side of 2 repeats instead of either side of 1 repeat as in the photo.

Increase row

On the subsequent rows, I work even in the stitch pattern. Here is what it looks like after the next row:

Next row of pattern worked even

And here is what it looks like after you work 2 more rows:

Continuing to work even in pattern

Notice how smooth and barely noticeable the increases are. By working 4 increases in the one row, I added 4″ ease to the hip area of my sweater. I think that is plenty for a relaxed fit sweater. If you wanted more swing in yours, I would work another set of increases in the same position (for a total of 8″ increase in the hip section). I tried my sweater on at this point today, and if I were going to add sleeves, I think I would consider this shorter hip-length for the sweater. But for a sleeveless vest, I want to balance everything out with a longer body. It was tempting, but I’m sticking with my plan. I have been shopping for a sheer silk leopard scarf to use as a belt. No luck yet, but I’m still hopeful. In the meantime, back to my hook!

This week I will be finishing up the last few inches of the sweater and working the edging. Next week, I’ll demonstrate the edging, talk about the sleeves and sleeveless modifications and finish up my sweater. I’ll go through the blocking process, laundering of handmade specialty garments and my tips on styling your new sweater!

Happy Crocheting!

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  • Thanks for the mods. Explaining the process including the photos will stop me worrying I’ve done the wrong thing when I make the same mods on a different size. I feel confident in changing the pattern now!

  • I stopped after the belt-loop row and crocheted a few rows on the sleeves for a cardigan perfect for mild California weather. I am making a belt using dc clusters and the pattern stitch to go with the cardigan. I just need to block it and it will be DONE. My first garment!! I’m so proud of myself.

  • Thank you for the hints & photos! I’m loving this pattern!

  • Hi. I was just wondering why you repeat rows 9 & 10 of the yoke 5 times for the left front but 6 times for the back and right front when you are creating the side splits. Thanks for the fun project!

  • Huh. I never noticed that in the pattern (because I didn’t divide for the fronts), but now I’m confused. Is it supposed to be like that? I’m thinking of making this pattern again, and I would probably make it as written.

  • Thank you, thank you for all of the pics. I am a crocheter who always wonders if what I am working on “looks right”. Your pictures and instructions have really helped me along the way with this project.

  • This is a wonderful pattern, thanks for sharing. I have completed one and will finish a second one this week. I modified the second one and left out the belt loops and used a novelty yarn – changed the look completely. Now my daughter and sister want one. So, off to the yarn store.

  • I have finally finished mine. I just need to block it but I am waiting to learn how to do that. It is something that I have never done before. I think that I am also going to add some buttons on the top because it just doesn’t lay right to me.
    Thanks for an awesome blog and CAL. I have been learning a lot and the pattern is so wonderful I would love to make myself another one.

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