Monday, 17 May 2010

Crochet Cardigans - A Never Ending Saga

Crochet clothing - maybe a step too far? Much as I love my crochet blankets, there are only so many a girl needs: I think I have 8 and one unfinished at the moment, although I may have forgotten one or two, lol.
So, I've been thinking about crochet clothes. I like a holiday project, so last summer in France, I made not one but two crochet cardigans from a free pattern on Ravelry. However, they were a BIG disappointment. The first one, in Debbie Bliss cashmerino, bobbled a lot when I first wore it, and then shrunk in the wash, and the second, even though the same pattern, came out a funny shape. I threw them both into textile recycling in disgust, so don't have any pictures.
Then, last year on my autumn holiday in lovely Alnwick, I started to make this shrug, from some absolutely lovely Rowan DK blackest black wool, but I could not for the life of me figure out how to join the motifs together and a google search revealed that other people might be having the same trouble. So, another disaster.

The, another holiday, another crochet cardigan. Bruges this time, and bored with the summer granny squares blanket, I decided to make it into a cardigan. Hmmm - nice colours, but far too bright to be worn as a garment on my 40 year old body. What was I thinking? I might try to make it into a bag, lol.

For the price of these 4 cardigans worth of wool plus £20 for a crochet book, I could have bought a very nice cashmere cardigan at the droolingly beautiful local shop Brora.

But don't get me started on cashmere. I bought two cashmere cardigans at John Lewis at Christmas time. One lasted 2 weeks before it accidentally got washed in a normal wash and shrunk to doll size (and I'm nowhere near doll size, lol), and the other developed holes in it after 2 months. I suspect that JL cashmere is just chain store rubbish and to get decent quality I would have to go to Brora, but I'm on a spending freeze, and could never justify a week's food shopping on a cardigan anyway.

So, I'm back here again, hacked off with my holey cashmere, and hoping that I can crochet something. I decided to start with a very simple pattern, and to use EXACTLY the right wool. I'm terrible for substituting wool and hoping that it will turn out. The pattern is from the lovely Rowan Summer Crochet which my mum bought for me: Rowan's first dedicated crochet book, and I have high hopes for it.

So I'm making it in the correct wool, even the correct colour, but all the same colour, rather than the highlights of blue etc. Time will tell.


  1. Best of luck with your new project! Its such a disappointment when patterns go wrong, I get very cross with myself and said pattern. If your after good cashmere, you can not beet Johnston's - made in Scotland and very good quality.

  2. Hello Primrose (beautiful name!). You have a lovely blog I only stumbled across you a day or so ago. Your Little House on the Prairie photograph is very inspiring. I was having a nose at the lovely Rowan Summer Crochet book last week and the pattern your working from caught my eye too (very me). I look forward to keeping up with your progress. andie x

  3. Hi! I clicked over here from Attic24. I've been considering a crochet cardigan, too, have even gone so far as to purchase yarn and begin hooking, but after the first two rows I stopped. I am not convinced it would be wearable and seems like a waste of time if I can't wear it, you know?