Lion Brand Notebook

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Announcing Our Spring 2010 Crochet-Along!

April 1st, 2010

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Crochet Beach CardiganEach season we host a knit- or crochet-along, a virtual event in which yarncrafters come together here online to work on one pattern together, share their experiences, and to learn together. There’s no need to sign up; simply follow along with the blog posts at your own pace.

We asked you what crochet garment you’d like to make, and you picked our Beach Cover-up/Cardigan! (Click on the photo to view and download the pattern.)

Our CAL host will be Kendra! She works at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio and is a crochet and knitting instructor, so she will have plenty of great insights for you. Click here to learn more about her. Look for her first post on Thursday, April 8. Until then, think about which supplies you’ll need and in which color you’ll be making this versatile cardigan! If you’re in the New York City area, stop by the Lion Brand Yarn Studio to see our version made in Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton in Khaki.

Lion Brand Yarn Studio Cardigan

Have a blog or website? Add this badge to show that you’re participating! Right click or Ctrl+click on Macs to save the image to your computer; then upload it to your blog.

CAL badge

In the meantime, leave a comment and introduce yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? Who are you making this sweater for?

UPDATE: If you’re looking for new blog posts from Kendra, please click on the “Blog” button in the bar at the top of this website or bookmark to see ALL of our blog posts (with the newest post on top). Scroll down to see our various blog posts. To see ONLY blog posts on the crochet-along, see the right-hand bar here on the every page of the blog, then simply click the “crochet-along” link under “Categories” to see crochet-alongs past and present.

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  • Cass

    I’m Cass from Annapolis, MD. First CAL for me too! I too expect to use this for a spring sweater rather than a beach coverup. As a 2x-3x, I’ve never found/made a crocheted garment that looked good on me. Whether fitted or baggy, both make me look huge. As a result, I’m mainly an afghan crocheter. But I’m going to try this, probably make it a bit shorter. I’m glad for the wide sleeves, I need them! I’m using an acrylic Category 4 weight gray heather yarn I caught on sale. I’ve checked the yardage so I know I have enough. Love Lion Brand yarns, especially Homespun, but have to go with a shop-brand affordable yarn this time. Plus I prefer a machine washable yarn. Looking forward to working this with a group and seeing everyone’s comments, questions and tips as it grows!!

  • Sandie

    Hi – Sandie from Dallas, TX. I’ve quilted, knitted, and crocheted for years; but never crocheted a garment….I’ve been thinking about making a sweater, so this sounds great. I like a softer cotton yarn – I’ve recently made a knitted market bag with Serenity Garden Yarn [Deborah Norville for Premier Yarns] in Earth tones. It’s actually Dralon Microfiber; but it has the feel of organic cotton. It’s in #2 fine – but it could be doubled? It has a soft hand, great drape, and easy on the hands. My experience with Lily cotton is that is has no “give”; also looks raggedy after a few washings. That’s too much work & expense to be unhappy with the results! I’ll be following along & am excited to join this, my 1st CAL.

    Kendra says: A #2 fine doubled is more of a spore weight, not quite up to the worsted weight (#4) that the pattern calls for. As far as the Lily cotton, I have heard similar complaints. For those concerns, Lion Brand Cotton Ease might be a good option for you: the acrylic in it adds stretch and sheen and holds up great to washings!

  • Kristen

    Greetings all! This is fun seeing all of these normally solitary crocheters gathering together. I am dodging moose up here in Spokane, WA. Never done a CAL–do we have to all be here at the same time? Or do we check in like we’re doing here now? Also, I won’t be using the cotton yarn for several reasons: too spendy, don’t like the colors, too heavy when wet & never dries, especially when it’s humid. Also projects of cotton yarn may stretch badly out of shape, but it has no ‘give’ so my hands/wrists hurt too much to use it. Vanna’s Choice, or bamboo blends I’ll consider. Heathers tend to be softer for some reason, even the RH superscratchysaver!

    Kendra says: Just check in like you are doing as you work at your own pace. I’ll have a new post every Thursday that you can refer to as you go and participate in the conversation :)

  • Alane Smith

    I like Sandy-in-WI’s suggestion about no hood. I’m a long-time crocheter, now living in the Sacramento CA area. I’m looking forward to my first CAL, too. This will be a nice distraction from the sucky economy! Speaking of the economy, I will be checking my stash for a replacement yarn, also.

  • Kristen

    I forgot to mention I taught myself to crochet when I was 5. Good thing too, since it keeps me outta trouble, except at my favorite yarn stores! As for substituting yarns, tricky business this. We’ll need to stay w/i class 4, note yardage per skein vs. yardage needed for size you plan to make. Bring your calculator to the store if you’re not going to wait for Kendra. I will be looking for a skein of the Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton to compare stretch, ‘weight’, ‘feel’ to yarns I’d like to work with. Some yarns are springier, have more loft, more stretch, even in same label 4 class. Then I will look for 1648 yds of my chosen yarn, however many skeins or balls that turns out to be. Plus one extra, all in the same dye lot. And ALWAYS, especially when altering things, make a 6″x6″ gauge swatch to see how your stitch and row count measures up. Easier to change hook size now, not after sleeves are too big. I don’t know about y’all, but I can’t WAIT to start this! yay!

  • Anne Cox-Espenlaub

    I’m Anne From Cincinnati. I work for the library. I have taught Crochet over the last 3 years. I have been part of a couple of mixed needlework groups and they are very good at helping over the hard parts. If you belong to that sort of group you might suggest this project to your whole group then you could have the best of both worlds: the web group and the live one to compare notes. I’m excited about the project but also share the concerns over the weight and price.

  • Debby

    I’ve never participated in a crochet-a-long but this looks like fun. Would the Amazing yarn work? I’d like more than just a solid color.

    Kendra says: Amazing would be a great option! Just be sure to check your gauge before you start.

  • Denise Royal

    Can’t wait to get started. I get to go buy more yarn…

  • Vicki B

    I found Pound of Love® Yarn is a class 4 yarn and comes in 1020yd skeins at about $9.95 a skein. It wouls take less than 2 of them to do this pattern. How do you think that would work?
    Vicki from Grove, Oklahoma(transplanted from Calhoun, Georgia.

    Kendra says: Being a worsted weight, Pound of Love sounds like a good option. Just be sure to swatch and check your gauge!

  • Jill

    Hi Again, I agree with Kristen. It is very tricky replacing yarns. It is not only about yardage per skein, but also about diameter of the yarn (or weight) for the gauge. I did what Kristen suggested yesterday. I took a skein of the Natures Choice Organic Cotton off the shelf and compared it to other yarns, and I have been comparing with my calculator for the yardage while reading the gauge of yarns from searching on-line. This yarn is very difficult to match. If the yarn is smaller in diameter, it requires more stitches (= more time) to make the project. I have decided to wait for Kendra’s suggestions. I hope she has some suggestions for a lighter weight yarns. The Natures Choice is very nice and soft, but quite heavy.

  • Sherry Williams

    I am from San Marcos, Texas. I have a tendency to start sweater projects and never finish. I finish other projecst such as bags, hats, baby graments, blankets, etc. Not sweaters! I am going to commit to finshing this sweater.

  • Crystal A.

    I am so excited to make this cover-up. It’s the one I voted for. This will be my 1st CAL and my 1st piece of clothing. I am from Fort Worth, Texas, but living in Helena, Montana right now. I travel around the U.S. every few months to a new place for work…who knows where I will be when it’s finished! We are going to Puerto Rico next year, so I will at least be able to wear it there. I will be waiting for the less expensive yarn substitutions as well. Looking forward to “working” with everyone!

  • Heather

    I have made a swatch to check my gauge with an I hook and Vannas Choice…. it was right on. I would recommend this as a reasonable substitute yarn. I am a few rows in and loving it! :)

  • Jen

    I have never tried this “a long” idea. I hope I can keep up!!

  • Sasha T

    Just had a look at the Vannas choice via the website and its not badly priced. Ill have to see if any local stores carry it or if Ill need to order it online.
    Im going to need to make a few mods with the patter which should be fun as I am tall with monkey arms :-) haha, plus Im an in between size. But thats ok! Aaages untill Summer here haha

  • Jill

    Hi Heather, With the Vanna’s Choice, did you use the total number of yards per skein to compute how many skeins you needed? Also, I have never used Vanna’s Choice, does it wash and wear well?

    Kendra says: Yep, just figure out the number of yards for your size and divide that by the 170yds/ball of Vanna’s, which does wash and wear wonderfully!

  • Sara

    Hello everyone, Sara from VA here. I am doing two of these for Mother’s Day presents. I too thought the suggested materials were way too expensive, so I looked at what weight the suggested yarn was and just substituted it with another yarn of the same weight. I picked Pound of Love. It is very economical and the color variety is great! I have started the project and seems very easy so far. :) I did have to change hooks for gauge, I am using a K hook. Hopefully I can have both of these knocked out by Mother’s Day!

    Happy Crocheting!

  • Joan

    I too have never done a crochet along, I have two grand daughters and have made them everything from full length sweater coats to 30 different hats with flowers. Crochet helps me calm down, I work with special ed high school kids, and they can be a challenge. This project will be my first crochet along and my very first item I will make for myself. I am going to use vanna white’s yarn and adjust for guage. I live in Arizona, but up in the mountains and it is still cold here, so I will wear it to work. Joan

  • Kcrystina

    Hi all, my name is Kcrystina and I live up in PEI, Canada. I’m going to be making this for myself as I desperately need a new one of these & will be so cool to tell people that I made it myself :) Not sure which type of yarn I’ll be using for this yet. Do have a Michael’s gift certificate, so I probably will go shopping armed with that for the yarn there. :) This will be my first crochet-along & looking forward to it!

  • Barb

    I’m Barb from Fresno, CA and this will be my first crochet along. I’ve been crocheting off and on since 5th grade. I’m looking forward to having a new sweater soon. :)

  • Jenn L Nilsson

    HI everyone!
    My name is Jenn and I will be HOPEFULLY joining along as much as possible with this awesome project! :)

  • Sue

    Thanks for all the helpful hints so far. I will be interested in seeing what suggestions are made for substituting yarn. I spent about 2 hours in AC Moore on Saturday (lots of yarn on sale plus a 15% off total purchase coupon) and was overwhelmed with trying to figure out what would work. I really want to use an acrylic for ease of washing, drying (I’m notoriously sloppy) so that added another dimension. I also had a hard time finding enough yarn of the same dye lot (I’m doing this in a 2X). This is a great thing being able to compare notes even before we begin. I did pick up some Caron Eco yarn on Saturday and I’m going to do a sample swatch to see how comparable it is. I’m already planning on using the larger hook because the yarn is thinner than the recommended organic cotton. Good luck everyone!

  • Marybeth Mank

    Hi All! I am from Mesquite, Texas. I am so looking forward to this project. This was my fave out of the selections for this time around. I have been crocheting for almost six years. In fact, when I started working for our local community ed program, I sat in on our crochet class because I had always wanted to learn. :-) [FYI: There are community ed programs all over the country; be sure to google for your local program. They have all sorts of great classes!] I have done all sorts of projects for other people and want to do something for myself this time. I have some beautiful chocolate brown/pink yarn that I am thinking I might use. I won it from a fiber/stitching show a couple of years ago. I might also use acylic yarn to make a version to keep at my office; it’s the coldest room in our building. Looking forward to working with everyone. Have a great week!

  • Rozy

    Hello All!

    I am Rozy from Washington, DC and I am so excited to be joining my first CAL. I will get one of my sisters to join as well. I love this cardigan and I am looking forward to completing it. I downloaded this pattern not too long ago…COOL! I am so excited. Good luck all.

  • Becky Kleibrink

    Hi everyone, my name is Becky and I love to crochet. I mostly work with #10 thread but also love the cotton yarns. I’ll be making this beach cardigan for my daughter who loves the beach. We live in San Antonio, Texas. I was taught to crochet at age 9 by my San Antonio Grandma and I’ve loved it ever since. Mary Beth, please let me know if crocheting this in acrylic yarn works. I’d love to make one for myself as well in a lovely pink yarn that I’ve been saving.

  • Klara

    Hi all! This is Klara from Maryland (the Baltimore area). I am 28 and have been crocheting about 20 years believe it or not! I am working projects for myself into my hechtic schedule, so I am excited to try this pattern oout on myself. I think this will be a great alternative to a robe at the gym and a cute cover up for the summer. I just have to decide what color I want to make. going to the craft store at lunch time!

  • Shellie Dunn

    Thanks to everyone with substitute yarn suggestions. The cost of specialty yarns is what keeps me from participating in many of the “_ alongs” whether knit, crochet or quilting. Good to know that my family is not the only one struggling in these times and I don’t have to be embarrassed when I can’t afford to join these great community projects. Thanks again.

  • Christine B.

    Hi! My name is Christine and I just found this today. I didn’t have time to check email over the Easter holiday. I wish I had, then I could have used my 30% off coupon at Michael’s. Oh well. I have 5 children (ages 6-15) and live in Brentwood (northern)CA. I have been crocheting for nearly 30 years and also do counted cross stitch and knit. The project looks interesting, but I need to do some yardage and cost calculations (I just bought some cross stitch fabric so my craft budget is close to nil). I will probably go with Vanna’s or Pound of Love (have worked with and enjoyed both), for many of the reasons already mentioned: cost, weight, dry-time. I love working with cotton and have made several tote bags and dish cloths, but I do find the bags heavy even when empty.

    Hope to join you all on this cal. I’ve never done one before. I’ve yet to figure out how to keep up with online postings and stuff without it cutting into a lot of needlework time!

    BTW, I noticed Betty Hechtman posted earlier. I’ve read her first 3 books (fun reads) and purchased number 4 a few weeks ago. Just trying to find time to read it!

  • Brenda

    Hi, my name is Brenda and I live in Chicago, IL. This will be my first crochet-a-long. I downloaded this pattern a long time ago, but never attempted to make it. My mother taught me how to crochet when I was about 10. I just recently started to crochet again and am loving it. I think this will be a fun thing!

  • Kristin

    My name is Kristin and this will be my first CAL and first sweater. I will working this in Vanna’s Choice Honey for myself. I’m a stay at home mom of two (they are one and two) so nap time is mom’s time. I have a couple of things that I need to finish first but I hope to jump into it soon.

  • Penny from IL

    This is also my first CAL-I’ve wanted to do them before but always have a zillion projects going. Just finished the latest afghan, so I figure I can finally try a garment. I too need the 3x version. I hope Kendra can help with that. Heading to Hobby Lobby this evening to get yarn. I appreciate all the suggestions. Can’t wait to get it going!

    Kendra says: It’s a little out of the scope for me to resize the pattern, but you could try swatching with a larger hook to see how much that increases the size. Alternatively you could try increasing the number of stitches of the back panel by an increment of 2 (to maintain the pattern). Since it is meant to be worn open, you may not even need to adjust the front panels, but could as well by a multiple of 2. Hope this helps!

  • Shannon

    Hello to everyone, my name is Shannon. I live in Boyne City, MI (northern part of the state). I love to crochet and this CAL looks perfect. This is my first CAL although I have made crochet garmets before. I’ve been eyeing this one for a while. Can’t wait to get started. I also enjoy listening to Liz and Zonte’s podcasts!

  • Barbara

    Since several of you are familiar with Hobby Lobby, try their brand, “I Love This Cotton” Regular price is $2.99, however, they run it on sale frequently for $1.99, or use the coupons. It does not fade like some cotton and it is soft but still has body.

  • Aunt Ginny

    Hi fellow crocheters! This will be my first CAL. I’ve been crocheting forever, but have never done a CAL. My sister and I have just finished a KAL, and we plan to do this together too :-).
    I live in Monroe, Oregon (in between Eugene and Corvallis). We have some shetland sheep, but we are still trying to get the hang of spinning before we start spinning our own sheeps wool.
    I am thinking of using the cotton-ease for this project, but would like to see what will be a suggested alternative. I’ve use the cotton-ease before, and really like the feel of it. I’d also like to stick with a cotton yarn.
    Can’t wait to get started :-)….It should be fun…I was wanting to do something with a hood…:-)

  • Joyce T

    Hi I’m joyce from California, yes i felt the earthquake yesterday. I had motion sicks after it was done. no damage where we are at. thank God for that.
    this is my first crochet along. i will be making this for myself, that could change. we will have to wait and see. this is my first clothing item that i will be making.
    ok not sure what yarn i’m going to use. waiting to see what lions brand suggests. talk soon
    happy crocheting to all

  • Barb

    I’ve been experimenting with some yarn from my stash and got the gauge I need using an I hook with both Vanna’s Choice (6 oz print) and Red Heart Super Saver acrylic.

    Christine, I like Betty’s books also and #4 is as good as the first 3. Enjoy!

  • Nekeisha

    I can’t wait to start. I will be susbstituting because my budget currently does not allow for purchasing. Mine will be two toned.

  • Yvonne

    I am going to try this, will be a good summer vacation project. What about substituting Lion Brand Rcycled Cotton? I tryed this for dishclothes and seems to work well. Plus I like the recycled concept.

    Kendra says: Love it! That’s my personal favorite for a substitution for this cardi!

  • Viki

    I’ve never done a CAL either and I’m one of you guys — I learned MANY years ago and now am back at trying it again. This looks like an awesome project and I’m glad to see so many of you being creative in what type of yarn you’re going to use.

    I went to AC Moore last night — had a big 50% coupon — and compared many yarns. I figure I need more than 2 (14 oz) skeins, and I’ve got multiple 50% coupons. I’ll just stop off there every day after work and get another skein!!! Looks like it will cost me less than $15 ! ! ! If nothing else, it WILL be absorbent — LOL …

    I decided to go with 100% cotton something like Handicrafters but it’s a different name — something like Cookies and Creme — LOL . . . I hope that’s suitable. Won’t be “stretchy” so I’ll see how that goes.

  • Vickie

    Hi,I am vickie from Huntsville AL.Have been knitting alot,just started crocheting again recently.Have only done small projects.Hope I can keep up. love this pattern.I bought yarn from hobby lobby called I Love This Yarn.Hope it does OK

  • Susan Roberts

    Hi my name is Susan from Brampton,Ont. Canada and I look forward to my 1st CAL. I too am on a budget with being on disability. So I look forward to the suggestions that Kendra comes up with. I am so excited to finally make something for myself for a change. I usually knit so this is my 1st crochet pattern other than blankets.I hope I can keep up as well.It’s nice to know I’m not alone in budget and self esteem. ha ha

  • Yaa Asantewaa

    Namaste! Everyone
    I live in Bronx, NY.
    This is my very first CAL and like many of you the yarn for this project is cost prohibitive. I am an avid crocheter since age 7y/o, I’m now sixty-something and have tons of yarn; I also know where all the discount yarn stores are in and around New York City that carry, “Lion Brand”!
    I will be on the prowl…meantime I have begun with what I have on hand.

    I so look forward to connecting with many of you.

    Kendra says: If you can come by the studio (34 W 15th St), Vanna’s Choice Baby is 15% off all month, and has some fun bright colors for this cardi!

  • Kit Donner

    I just started crocheting three days ago, and this is listed as an intermediate pattern, so I may be way over my head, but I like the pattern too, and I am an accomplished and fearless knitter, so I think I will give it a try, especially since I already have suitable yarn in my stash, a fushia Lion Brand cotton worsted weight that I got on sale last fall that would make a bright bright bright cardigan!

  • Elizabeth

    Hi, everyone! This is Elizabeth in Milwaukee, WI. This will be my first piece of clothing, did only scarves, afghans, and other small things. I am looking forward to finishing this so I can show off my skills.

  • Joyce T

    question? i have been looking for kendra to post the suggested yarn. i was wondering is there a special day of the week that the new post come out? thanks and happy crocheting

    Zontee says: Hi Joyce, as it says above, Kendra’s first post is next Thursday. All the posts will come out on Thursday each week. If you’re new to our CALs/KALs, please click here to see a guide.

  • Jacqueline

    Hi, Joyce. I am also new to CAL, but I read that Kendra’s first post will be Thursday, April 8 – maybe that’s when the yarn recommendations will be out. I got some Auburn Pounds of Love hoping to keep up – much better knitter than crocheter – so happy to be here!

  • Jacqueline

    Oops! I posted with wrong email, sorry if this is here twice. I am new to CAL, but I think that Kendra’s first post is on Thursday, April 8 – maybe that’s when the yarn recommendations will be out? I will be using Auburn(love red) Pounds of Love hoping to keep up – much better knitter than crocheter – so happy to be here!

  • Lorna

    Hello everyone, this is my first CAL and I’m excited. I too am on a budget and so I’ll be using 100% worsted weight acrylic yarn. The cotton yarn is a little outside of my budget right now. This will be a summer project for a cruise cover up next year. Yay! The best to all.

  • Barbara

    Love, love, love this sweater. I want to make it for me this time. I rarely make things for me-usually some other family member or friend. Of course I could probably be talked into making others later…
    I picked up a crochet hook and yarn at the age of 8 and haven’t stopped since. I have made so many different projects, you name it-I’ve made it, or gave it a good effort at worst. I can’t wait to give this a go!
    I feel I am in good company…we all seem to need more budget friendly yarn choices!
    It’s all good!

  • Joyce T

    thank you jackueline, i have been looking and couldn’t find anything that said when she would be thanks again have a great day

    Zontee says: Hi Joyce, Kendra will be posting here on the Lion Brand Notebook ( on Thursdays.