My First Cardigan Sweater Achieved, With Room For Improvement

Accomplishing goals, I crocheted a sweater. The next sound you hear is that of bells chiming, cheers of the crowd clapping frantically. Yes she did it. To no surprise, it took some effort on my part, a few tweaks to the pattern, many hours of measuring and remeasuring.

I purchased the yarn from a fellow knitting guild member, not knowing what I would make with it. Bright royal blue yarn caught my eye immediately. I decided to wind the yarn from the cones to cakes to get a better visual.

Scanning through emails, I found a sweater pattern to crochet. I read it, looked at the difficulty, and decided to give it a try. Remember, I have no idea how much yarn I have to work with. Called Summer’s End Crochet Cardigan by Crystal Marin. Find it on her website, christacodesign.com or if you prefer Ravelry, it’s a paid pattern there.

The sweater pattern calls for 2 rectangle panels. That works great for me, as I have 2 cakes of yarn. I began by crocheting one panel, measuring the length as I went. The second panel crocheted quickly. In little time, both panels were done.

sweater panels stitched together

Memorizing the pattern was easy, and I was crocheting the sweater in no time. I had a goal for the sweater to be finished, our nephew graduating high school.

A few bumps along the way, the length works, but it needs to be wider, for example, I decided to add a row of double crochet along the length of the panels. That made the panel wider by a couple inches.

sweater back

As I am stitched the panels together, the seam was quite visible, as a result, the next sweater I crochet, more detail will be put into assembly. I single crocheted several rounds to create sleeves. The sweater almost done, something was missing. With the leftover yarn, I added a row of double crochet along the front panels and finished off with picot edging.

close up of picot edge

I finished my first sweater within a week of our nephew’s high school graduation. To go with the sweater, I sewed a maxi skirt with fabric I purchased at Hobby Lobby. Little did I know, the royal blue matched perfectly in the skirt to the sweater.

Sweater, and sewed skirt

Final note: this was an easy pattern to follow.. I did not add hem to base of sweater and I added a picot edge. The sweater accented for the skirt, the sleeves covered enough of my arms and it hung nicely against my body.

Why are these 2 cats posing alike?

Baggy cat, 13 yrs old

Gizmo kitty, 2 years old

Summer’s Ready Cotton Crossbody Bag

My original crossbody bag

Have you ever flipped through a magazine, walked into a store, found an article of interest and said to yourself, “I can do that”? Well, that happened to me recently and I had to do something about it. 

While walking through the local mall, I came across a purse on a mannequin that caught my eye. It had fringe on it, with a long strap and it was crocheted! My thought was, “I could make that.”

I couldn’t get it out of my head, I just had to crochet that bag or one similar. Maybe make one with fringe, a long strap to be worn crossbody, big enough to put wallet and sunglasses in it, but not too big.

On Saturday morning, with a cup of hot tea in my hand, I sat down in my “cave” (aka the office) to begin the process of crocheting a bag. First I had to determine a few things. Such as, how big would the bag be? What yarn would be used? What size crochet hook? And, so on.

Yarn.

Originally, I grabbed my stash of Lily Sugar & Cream Cotton yarn, in the colorway Sonoma Print for the bag. The skein is large, 12 ounces, approximately 600 yards, but I need both ends to crochet the bag with 2 strands held together, so my husband wound off half the large skein onto the yarn winder. It’s great to have a yarn winder, much easier than rolling into balls.

Choosing the crochet hook.
Cotton yarn will stretch a bit, so a larger hook, like P, will make the bag airy and will stretch whatever you put in it. A J hook will make the bag stiff, which is good but you do want some give in the bag. My choice for the bag is N-9mm. It will make the bag flow, while still hold its shape.

Let’s crochet.
If you do not want to follow this with all the photos, commentary and instructions, you can pick up the pattern from the patterns link above. For 1 week, you can get the pattern for FREE, afterwards it will be priced at $4.00.

There will be abbreviations in the pattern here:
ch  chain
st-stitch
ss  slip stitch
sc  single crochet

hdc  half double crochet

Round 1 of bag

 

For the sample shown the directions I am using Lily Sugar & Cream yarn-Americana Ombre colorway. With 2 strands of yarn held together, make a slip knot and chain 22. SC in 2nd ch from hook, across to last chain, 2sc in last chain, turn work to underside and 2sc in same stitch, sc across chain, 2sc in last stitch.

10 Rounds SC

 

Place a removable stitch marker, SC in each stitch around for 10 rounds. As you can see from the photo here, this is what it will look like. After the 10 rounds, which forms the base of the bag, you will now hdc around for 12 rounds.

13 Rounds HDC

Do not bind off, its time to add the shoulder strap. HDC in the next 4 sts, turn, sc in each st, continue to make the strap… it will be at least 100 rows. But don’t worry about counting the rows. Just crochet as long as you want the strap. When you have the strap length, lay bag flat, lay the strap on top of the bag, and sc the 4 stitches to the bag.

Attaching strap to bag

DO NOT BIND OFF. You will now make the closure flap. SC in same stitch as the strap edge, sc the next 19 sts, ending with sc in strap edge. Turn and continue to sc across this for 10 rows. Decrease first 2 stitches, and last 2 sts of each row, until there are 2 sts remain. Chain 5, slip stitch in 2nd chain from hook. Add a cute button to close and you are done.

Envelope Decreasing

 

If you do not want to make the envelope closure as in the Americana sample, and just want the flap to be a straight edge, as in the tricolor purse, all you have to do is single crochet 15 rows. Cut fringe to a length that will meet the bottom edge of the purse. And there you go.

Summer’s Ready Crossbody Bag

 

Let me know what you think about the bags. They are fun to make and can be made in less than 8 hours.