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The Cardigan of Doom

December 31, 2008

Have you ever started making something and felt that it was doomed from the start? Well this was my ill-fated project:


Yes, it looks pretty enough now (if I do say so myself) but making it involved a series of froggings, frustrations and foul language and at times, I thought it would never be finished. The silly thing is, I’ve made it before, albeit in a smaller size, and found it a doddle first time around. I was beginning to think I’d lost my crochet mojo so I let it languish for a while in the bottom of my yarn bag (it deserved no better) and moved onto other projects. Thankfully these proved that I still knew one end of a crochet hook from the other and gave me the confidence to tackle the cardi once again. I’m glad I did. The end result is rather pretty and looks very cute on my daughter – see:



Anyhow, on to the gory details…..

Pattern: Lacy Cardigan from The Big Book of Weekend Crochet by Hilary Mackin and Sue Whiting.

Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly 4-ply in Crimson x 3 balls

Hook: 2.50mm

Size made: To fit chest of 22 inches

Notes: As I may have mentioned, all did not go to plan and I ended up making a fair few modifications. The biggest problem I encountered were the sleeves. I faithfully followed the pattern, made the sleeves, sewed them onto the body of the cardigan, weaved in the ends and then (and only then) discovered that they were too long – way too long. I double checked my gauge and found it was spot on, checked the pattern and found I’d done exactly as it said so I’m guessing some sort of error was made sizing up the pattern (the sleeve lengths were fine with the smaller size). I ended up ripping out a whopping 3 rows of trebles (US dc) plus 2 rows of dc (US sc) and the sleeves are still a little on the long side. Oh well – at least the whole thing is more toddler proportioned rather than monkey-sized now. My other modification was to add in an extra row of shells onto the lower body of the cardigan as I wanted my daughter to be able to wear it with jeans. I probably could have done with an additional extra row but, by that point, I just wanted to be done with the damn thing! 


So, was it worth the hassle? Well, I think actually it was. I love the lacy, slightly vintage style of the cardigan. It’s very versatile – looks great with jeans but could also be worn over a party frock. I imagine I’ll make another when the baby’s outgrown this one but not any time soon. I need time to forgive and forget….. 🙂

Ravelry Link

16 Comments leave one →
  1. dowhatyoulove permalink
    January 1, 2009 12:42 am

    Just reading the title of this post made me laugh. I know the feeling all too well. Can’t say as I have the patience to dive back in though. I have partially finished projects thrown into all kinds of corners and drawers because just looking at them stirs angry feelings. hehe. Good for you for finishing, its very cute, and well worth the effort. Your daughter looks adorable in it.

  2. January 1, 2009 11:10 am

    Thank you and Happy New year!

  3. thegardensmallholder permalink
    January 1, 2009 5:03 pm

    Oh that is gorgeous, and a gorgeous model too! You are so clever, Happy New Year xx

  4. Michelle permalink
    January 1, 2009 5:37 pm

    Well, it’s really lovely now! I love the lacy bottom half. Good job for sticking with it!

  5. January 1, 2009 5:41 pm

    Thank you both! I’ve actually finished all my crochet projects for the moment so am wondering what to start next…..

  6. mountainannie permalink
    January 1, 2009 10:49 pm

    So beautiful! Both the cardigan and your daughter! I especially love that colour you used!

  7. January 2, 2009 2:39 am

    I can’t believe that when you first made one it was a doddle! That looks so intricate! I love the colour of it and it looks just gorgeous on your mini bean. She is so lovely, such beautiful big eyes!

    Happy New year to the three of you!


  8. January 2, 2009 2:49 pm

    Oh, what a total pain to do! But heck it came out adorable. I dream to knit/crochet like that.
    Is crocheting easier, or more therapuetic? lol I remember doing it yeeears ago and loved it. I’m enjoying knitting but it seems more intense.

  9. January 2, 2009 2:56 pm

    Thanks everyone!

    Mon – yes, crochet is infinitely easier than knitting – well, in my opinion anyhow (I’m sure if you asked a non-crocheting knitter they’d have a different opinion!) I can’t really knit but I find crocheting much more straightforward – it requires a lot less dexterity for one thing as you have one hand for the hook and one hand for the yarn! I’ve been following your knitting adventures on your blog and I really admire your ingenuity – I’d have never have thought of using cooking skewers!

  10. January 2, 2009 9:04 pm

    I’m only on knitting simple scarves for cuddly bears so a cardigan as beautiful as that is just a dream for me.

    Shuffles off to add – “Do more knitting” onto New Year’s Resolution list!!

    Happy New Year

    Rosie x

  11. Lisa permalink
    January 2, 2009 11:42 pm

    I’ve been working on this pattern for the last week, and have finally pushed it to the bottom of my basket. I’m trying to make the smallest size for my new granddaughter, and the sleeves are completely ridiculous-I was supposed to do eight more rows, but I knew it would be totally out of whack……so after frogging the entire thing at least three times, it’s now on the back burner.
    I can definitely sympathize with you.

  12. January 4, 2009 4:01 am

    Well, it’s beautiful! 🙂

  13. January 4, 2009 10:09 am

    Thanks very much everyone!

    Lisa – are you using the same pattern? I can email you how I modified the sleeves if you think it might help?

  14. January 4, 2009 3:07 pm

    It looks lovely!
    I’m working on this cardi too. I started it many weeks ago and pick it up in between other projects (I prefer crocheting items that I don’t need to follow a pattern for).
    I’m making the largest size (in the hope that it’ll last into next Autumn/Winter!) I’m on the 2nd sleeve (about 2/3rds through) and am also thinking they’re way too long. My daughter is quite long-limbed but even so, when I lay it all out together the sleeves do look out of proportion. I just thought I would fold back the cuffs but I’d be intrested in knowing the modifications you made then perhaps tweak it at this stage before I go any further.

  15. January 4, 2009 3:27 pm

    Thanks Louise. Before the shaping at the top of sleeves the pattern says to work 5 rows straight – I just did 2 instead and missed off the cuff edgings. The sleeves are still a little on the long side though so, if I make it again, I’d probably just do 1 row – not a perfect solution but easier than trying to adjust all the shaping! Hope your cardigan turns out well.

  16. January 4, 2009 4:47 pm

    Thanks for the advice! I’m just about to start the 5 rows on the 2nd sleeve so I think I’ll just do one row as you suggest and redo the end of the other sleeve. I guess it’s better that I sort it at this stage than end up being disappointed.

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