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Pearl’s Cardigan Crochet-Along, Part 1: Choosing Yarn and Color

September 22nd, 2010

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Hi everyone!


My name is Kristin Omdahl and I am very excited to introduce the Pearl’s Cardigan Crochet Along! Pearl’s Cardigan is from my latest collection of crochet designs, published this summer in my second book, Crochet So Fine (Interweave). Over the next few weeks, together we will cover the entire process of making this sweater: from choosing colors to determining gauge with our swatches; determining the correct size sweater to make; crocheting from the line-by-line instructions and charts; making modifications; and blocking and finishing your sweater!

Please participate! Ask me questions! Let me know what YOU want to know from me! This is an interactive crochet-along and I’m so excited to hear from you. You can help me decide what else we need to discuss in further detail.

Pearl’s Cardigan is named after my great grandmother Pearl who was a beautiful Norwegian immigrant to the United States with a dream of becoming an actress in the 1920s. I imagine her wearing this cardigan with a silk scarf threaded through the belt holes and cinching her waist to fit.


So let’s get started! For the sample in “Crochet So Fine” I crocheted with Microspun‘s Blush colorway. It is a really pretty light dusty pink. Currently, I am inspired by the animal print trend on fashion runways. For the sweater I will be making in the coming weeks, I wanted to choose a color that would work with a leopard print fabric belt. I was torn between Coffee (below left) and Mocha (below right):
MicrospunCoffee MicrospunMocha

I really liked the way the leopard print would pop against Mocha, but realized I will be wearing this with sleeveless tops and wanted a better contrast against my skin. So, Coffee it is!

What color are you going to choose? Here are some of my favorites:

MicrospunFuschia Fuchsia – an intense hot pink. I think every girl can use a little hot pink in her wardrobe! A dark brown leather belt and dark denim jeans would look great with this hot color!
MicrospunBlush Blush – wear this sophisticated color over a crisp white blouse. Use your favorite floral silk scarf threaded through for a belt and wear over camel gabardine trousers at the office.
MicrospunLilac Lilac – one of my favorite colors to wear. Close this sweater with your favorite shawl pin or brooch. This would be pretty worn over a fit and flare dress (any Mad Men fans out there?)
MicrospunTurquoise Turquoise – if you have a tropical trip planned this winter, I think this color would be incredible over a pair of linen pants and matching camisole.

Think about how you will wear your Pearl Cardigan. It can be worn loose and open, cinched with a belt through the waist, or pinned with your favorite shawl pin or brooch. Will you wear it to your office, on a trip, casually or dressy — or all of the above?

Next week, I will talk about gauge and measuring, we will make our gauge swatches and get started! This pattern has an unusual structure and in the coming weeks I will explain how I came up with the design. Through the explanation, it will become clear how to customize the pattern just for you! I will explain how to change the sleeve, body length, and even how to alter the patter to fit you beyond the sizes listed in the pattern.

Leave a comment and let us know what color you’ve chosen! Have a wonderful week, everyone!

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  • Jill H

    Michele Hoover- were do you live? I’ve thinking the same thing. the other yarn store in my Area only carry the high end stuff. It’s nice but cant’t alway afford it. the yarn I’m using is a bamboo yarn i did find at Micheals. It is very soft I hope works out ok. should be wonderful to ware. my other thought is to learn how to spin and make my own yarn.

  • Dana

    I am going with Vanna’s glamour, which I love in a bright red! Thinking about Christmas time, and I have really been wanting to make a bright red sweater for a long time. Only problem is I got mine at Hancock and they only had 4 skeins, which is only about 800 yards. I am a larger size, so will just be making mine a little shorter – I will be swatching tonight!

  • Caroline

    I have stopped after the 1st row of the body, when I chained 11 for the underarm and tried it on the sleeve seemed very tight. I went up 2 sizes of crochet hook to chain the 11 chains but still tight. I am waiting to see if there is a solution to this, as I see a couple other people have the same issue. I also am not sure if I am getting row gauge, it is hard to count but if it’s a little less than 4 inches I hope it will block longer as is silky wool. I am also on the ravelry CAL.

  • Nora

    Hello to all! I almost missed this CAL. This would be my seoond and I really enjoyed the Beach Cardi, so I’m really excited to start the Pearl Cardigan! I’m still thinking about the color.

  • Veronica Carmichael

    Couldn’t get yarn in Canada, tried New York no luck at Michael’s or Johannes. Bought bamboo silk yarn, beautiful soft. Not sure to make swatch. I picked out a silver blue. Never did a CAL before, what a great idea.Skinny model with large size?I am not sure what size to make. I am 130 pounds, 5ft 2.

  • Patty

    Love this pattern but am having problem with the armhole, they are too small. Rest of gauge seems fine, so I’d hate to rip out and start over in fear that the sweater will be too big. Any thoughts?

    Kristin says: Thank you for participating in the CAL! I will be addressing the sizing, modifications and more in the weeks to come! But to answer your question now, I would suggest making the armhole openings with foundation single crochet instead of chains. It will give you a tremendous amount of stretch (or give) in the openings. Let me know if that works for you.

  • Meg P

    Just wanted to verify the wash- and dry-ability of Microspun! I made myself a neck-pillow case out of a spare skein, and I’ve washed and dried it with my sheets at least 8 to 10 times with wonderful results. I was surprised that it could take this much abuse, but it has stood up. If I’m convinced I can make a large enough size, I will make a black version. I’m waiting to see what Kristin has to say about size adjustments.

  • Michele Hoover

    Hi Jill H – I live just outside of Elizabethtown PA – while my home is fairly country – I am really close to both Harrisburg and Lancaster and can’t believe I couldn’t find the yarn I needed :( I did get word just today my yarn has shipped, but will take 7-10 days to get here. I have a few skeins of lily white microspun to practice swatches with until then.

  • Jill H

    Michele Hoover- Don’t feel bad i live just outside of Chicago IL and still couldn’t find it. I couldn’t wait to start so I decided to use another yarn. at lest you have some so you can swatch while you are wait for your yarn to arrive.

  • Kristin Omdahl

    Hi everyone! Thank you for the great comments! I am blogging from the studio of Knitting Daily TV today because I am taping the next season of the show this week. I’ll be checking in here and on Ravelry to answer any questions. I hope you enjoy the next week’s blog (coming out today) about swatching! Have a great day!

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  • Sharon

    This is my first CAL altho I’ve been crocheting for years and years. I decided to use the Microspun in Lilac from my yarn stash. Because I only have five balls I am making my own version of the sweater, a short sleeved cropped cardigan. I just finished the first sleeve and really like the way the garment is turning out. I love the feel of this yarn before and after crocheting but am disappointed in the way the threads separate, this makes the clusters especially difficult to make as I’m always pulling one thread away from the strand it belongs with. Since I crochet loosely I am using a D size hook which is almost too small for the yarn. I am anxious to try making this sweater with a different yarn in a lighter weight.

  • syd harper

    i have decided to use cotton bamboo which I purchased for another project and never finished. I have the hot pink,4 unstarted and three balls that I ripped out. I think I have enough.

  • Sharon from Sydney

    Love this cardigan, will be shopping for yarn ASAP. Not sure if able to get Microspun in Australia, may have to use something else. This will be my first CAL

    Zontee says: Hi Sharon, you should be able to get Microspun from our Australian distributor, The Knitting Loft.

  • helen

    I have been looking for the pattern will one be posted

  • Nancy

    Sorry I am a little late to the party! This is my first CAL and my first crochet/knit sweater! Wish me luck!
    When I saw the pattern, I thougth a wide ribbon in the waistband would be a pretty touch. Then I looked at the colors and thought Coffee would be a nice warm, but not black, color. Finally, I read this first blog posting. Glad to see so many great minds think alike!

    Kristin says: Hi Nancy. Thank you for joining us! We have a group on Ravelry, too if you care to join us. There are lots of photos to see there.

  • Allison Mason

    I am using a Patons yarn called Silk Bamboo made out of, you guessed it, silk and bamboo! It is a rich cranberry color, and incredibly soft. My local Joanns didn’t have the LionBrand microspun suggested. Hope it works well! This is my first project for a human being, rather than a doll, aside from hats and scarves.

  • Jamie

    i want to use Vanna’s Choice worsted instead of Microspun. How can I adjust the pattern?

  • Joyce Chew

    this is my first CAL and hopefully will be a F.O. I started yesterday and am working to the point where you divide for the sleeves. I am using Pound of Love (yes, I swatched) because it is a lighter worsted weight yarn. I skipped the increases and will omit the belt loop row (I’m not a belt person). I probably will not divide for the fronts either.

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  • sablejenn

    I know that this post was a long time ago, but I just stumbled across the pattern on the internet and started to make it, it will be my first crocheted sweater. I had finished the yoke and thought that I had done something wrong and was going to pull it all out. Now I will read through your blog and see if I have made a mistake or if it will all work out. So glad I came across this site!

    • anicepl

      I bought the book a couple of months ago, and just started making this last weekend. I finished the yoke, and thought I did something wrong as well. I found this website today. I was just about to take it all apart and start over and I saw your comment. Did you ever finish it? I hope this blog will help me, because I wasn’t sure about the directions after the yoke part.