I kept telling myself, “I need a new white sweater!” If you’ve ever worked in an office then you know that in the summer most offices could easily store gallons of ice cream as a side business. Although, they might get too cold and be hard to scoop when you actually need them. Needless to say, I always take a sweater to work with me so that I don’t freeze. Except, I had given the two white sweaters I had to Goodwill because they were annoying me. They didn’t fit very well and the one would constantly fall off my shoulders no matter what I tried.
Then one day it hit me, “Hey Dummy! You crochet. You have some cotton acrylic yarn waiting to be used, not to mention an entire stack of crochet magazines. Make your own sweater!”
After pouring over my magazines I settled on the Two-Lace Cardi designed by Margret Willson. I couldn’t find a link to just the pattern, but it was in the April 2020 issue of Crochet World magazine.
I settled on this pattern because it was dressy enough for the office without looking like a nice bag lady, and it called for yarn that was very close to what I had in my stash.
I had purchased some Alara yarn from Ice Yarns last year.
The pattern called for Premier Yarn’s Cotton Fair. When I did my comparison to see if they would be close enough, it looked good to me.
Cotton Fair (#2, 317yds per 3.5oz) – .0110 oz/yd
Alara (#3, 153yds per 1.76oz) – .0115 oz/yd
I did a gauge swatch and no matter what I did, I couldn’t get gauge. I could get it height-wise, but not width wise. I kept getting too many stitches in the gauge. I was tired of looking at it and trying to fix it, so I decided that since the height was fine I wouldn’t have to worry about that because the cardi would end up being long enough. My problem was making sure it would go around me. I decided that I would make the biggest size because then if it was a bit smaller, it would be okay. Also, keep in mind that you’re supposed to block this sweater when you’re done, but let’s be real… after I wear it and wash it I’m not going to block it each time. I want a sweater that I can toss in the washer and then hang to dry (at the most).
For the most part the pattern wasn’t difficult to follow. It was marked as ‘Intermediate’, so I figured I could easily handle it. The only problem I really had was when it came time to make the sleeves. Essentially she says to use the stitch pattern that you’ve been using in the body of the cardi, but increase so many stitches over x number of rows. This is lacey so there are lots of chains and spaces and such, and I didn’t know how that would end up working to increase a row on a space. I ended up spending a few hours literally writing the pattern out using symbols and figuring out where my increases would go and how I would do them. Then I figured out the repeat and followed that for the sleeves. I must not have done it right because I feel like my sleeves are huge as compared to how they look in the picture.
Anyway, here is my final result:
Yes, it’s way bigger than I needed, but on the plus side it fits around my chest perfectly!
Also, please note that I haven’t washed it yet so that might tighten it up a bit. Like I said, I’m not blocking this. I just needed a white sweater to keep me warm in the summer.
The pattern has you make a button band and they want you to put buttons on this. I said no and just did a solid border. If I want to clasp it closed I can sew on some hooks or snaps or something. I’m not too worried about it.
Cotton tends to grow as you wear it, too, and it doesn’t shrink back into place. Cotton yarn doesn’t keep it’s “memory” if you know what I mean. Think about a cotton washcloth and how stretched out it gets after you use it for dishes. After you wash and dry it it pulls itself back. In fact, I might dry this in the dryer the first time I wash it to see if it shrinks it up a bit. Then after that I will hang it to dry.
I don’t think it turned out too bad. With every sweater I’ll get better.
I kept all the ball bands so that I would know how much yarn I used. I used 13 full balls and one partial. Not too bad. This yarn was great to work with and I can only think of one knot I came across while crocheting. Not once did I want to put the project down because the yarn was annoying me. It was also nice to work with and didn’t tire my hands out at all. I love Premier yarn, but at almost half the price I would definitely use Alara again for a cotton top.
“Bob, Mama is busy! I’ll feed you in a minute!”