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Colorfully Modern Cardigan Crochet-Along #4: Blocking, Seaming, and Surface Stitches

September 11th, 2013

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Colorfully Modern Cardigan Crochet-Along #4: Blocking, Seaming, and Surface StitchesHi guys! I see a lot of you have finished your cardigans already. Looking good! Don’t forget to post pictures.

[Editor’s Note: Click here to see photos in our Ravelry group, and if you’d like to leave a photo here on the blog, click in the commenting box and you’ll see a little “mountain range” icon. Click it to browse to your photo on your computer and upload it to your comment.]

I considered making the sleeves a little longer, but in the end, I decided in the end to make them the same length as in the pattern. However, if you’d like to lengthen your sleeves, it should be pretty easy to do.

Lengthening the Sleeves

The easiest way to lengthen the design is to just work the number of chains for your size and work even until your sleeve has however much longer that you’d like than the one in the pattern, then follow the pattern as set.

The pattern schematic tells us that the sleeve-to-armpit measurement is 9 inches for all sizes. Let’s say that I want my sleeve to be 16.5 inches (16 to 17 inches is a standard length for women’s sleeves). That’s 7.5 more inches. Our pattern gauge tells us that each row is 0.31 inches (4 inches ÷ 13 rows = 0.31 inches per row).

7.5 inches ÷ 0.31 inches per row = 24.19 rows

Our color repeat is ABCDED and each color is used for 2 rows, so 24 rows is two full sets of all of the colors. Therefore, I’d do 24 rows straight, before following the pattern as set. (If you want to make your sleeves longer or shorter, you may need to do a partial repeat of the color pattern, so be sure to plan for that.)

Tips on Blocking

After the sleeves,  I had all the pieces finished, so it was time to block. Don’t skip this step! It can make your garment look much more professionally-made and neaten up any uneven stitches. While you can block after your entire garment is done, many people find it helpful to block your garment before sewing it together, as this way you can correct the measurements of any part where your tension may have changed a little.

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Colorfully Modern Cardigan Crochet-Along #3: The Fronts and Pockets

September 4th, 2013

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Colorfully Modern Cardigan Crochet-Along #3: The Fronts and Pockets | Lion Brand NotebookHi everyone! I hope you guys had a great holiday weekend and those sweaters are coming along nicely! This week I was busy making the fronts of my cardigan. I know a few of you wondering about how the pockets join to the body, so we’ll start with that.

Making the Pockets

I had a little trouble joining the pockets, as I just assumed I knew what to do, so I didn’t read the pattern carefully, and kept wondering why I didn’t have enough stitches left at the end! Learn from my mistake! To join the pocket-lining, work the number of stitches required for your size, on the body of the cardigan as normal (this is a wrong side row, so it’s all in single crochet), then skip the first stitch of the pocket lining (this is where I kept going wrong!) and work across the top of the lining, skip the last stitch and skipping 17 body stitches from the first join, single crochet in the next body stitch and work to the end.

Colorfully Modern Cardigan Crochet-Along #3: The Fronts and Pockets | Lion Brand Notebook
 Click the photo to enlarge.

Colorfully Modern Cardigan Crochet-Along #3: The Fronts and Pockets | Lion Brand Notebook
 Click the photo to enlarge.

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Colorfully Modern Cardigan Crochet-Along #2: Making the Back & Changing Colors

August 28th, 2013

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CALbadgeHi everyone! I’ve been very impressed by all the pictures I’ve seen of your projects so far and so many great color combinations!

[Editor’s Note: Click here to see photos in our Ravelry group, and if you’d like to leave a photo here on the blog, click in the commenting box and you’ll see a little “mountain range” icon. Click it to browse to your photo on your computer and upload it to your comment.]

Making the Back & Changing Colors

This week I worked on the back of my cardigan. To avoid having to weave in all those ends, I had planned to carry the colors up the side and hide them in the seaming process, but I found that having 5 balls of yarn attached to my project at all times drove me a little crazy! So instead I decided to weave the ends in as I crocheted, hiding them by holding the ends of the new and old colors together on the WS of the work and crocheting over them as I made the stitches. Now all I’ll need to do is snip off the ends when I’m finished. This is my favorite method of hiding ends for crochet, especially for color-work.

Colorfully Modern Cardigan Crochet-Along #2: Making the Back & Changing Colors | Lion Brand Notebook

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Colorfully Modern Cardigan Crochet-Along #1: Size & Gauge Swatching

August 21st, 2013

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Colorfully Modern Cardigan Crochet-Along #1: Size & Gauge SwatchingHi everyone! My name is Lauren, and I’m very excited to be your Crochet-Along host for the Colorfully Modern Cardigan. I work at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City as a knitting and crochet instructor, a great job if you’re as yarn-obsessed as I am.

I was very pleased when you guys voted for this project, as it would have ended up on my “must make” list anyway. Also, I needed an excuse to work with our newest yarn Unique. I love any kind of color-work, especially when the yarn is doing all the hard work for you!

Please don’t be intimidated by the complicated look of the cardigan; it’s really only 2 pattern rows repeated over and over. Even if you are new to garment making, I would encourage you to have a go with this project, as we can all help each other, each step of the way! Please feel free to ask me questions here and visit our Ravelry group. I’d love to see your projects progressing.

Selecting a Size

The first thing you’ll want to do is accurately measure yourself, so you can choose a size. With a flexible tape measure, measure yourself around the fullest part of your bust, wearing whatever clothes you plan to wear underneath your cardigan. I measured myself wearing a t-shirt and sweater, because I plan for this project to be my fall jacket.

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Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along, Week 6: Embellishing and Blocking Your Finished Sweater

March 29th, 2012

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Knit-Along BadgeHi, everyone. Today I’m going to be talking about the final stages of making your sweater, and how you can keep on adding design elements even after all the knitting is complete! Once you’ve picked up the bands and sewn the sleeve seams and woven in all those ends, there’s still things you can do to change the look of your sweater.

Adding Embellishments

One of my favorite ways to add some interest to a plain stockinette sweater is embroidery. I enjoy doing a method called duplicate stitch, with which you can put pictures on your garment, similar in look to intarsia, but much less fiddly! If you find an intarsia chart you like the look of, you can actually use this method to embroider it on to your sweater. It’s also a great way to use up random scraps of yarn!

With duplicate stitch, you are actually mimicking the look of stockinette stitch. You use a darning needle threaded with yarn in a different color to your base fabric, drawing over the chosen stitches so that they are covered with the different colored strand of yarn. This is a very easy method to add little motifs to your work. Be wary of covering large areas of fabric with this method, however, as it does make the fabric doubly thick in the covered areas.

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Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along, Week 5: Working the Front Bands

March 22nd, 2012

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Knit-Along badgeToday I’m going to be talking about adding the front bands to your cardi and optional closures. The cardigan in the pattern is designed to be slightly open at the front, but I decided I’d like to have a closed front, which gives me an excuse to spend hours choosing just the right buttons! There are other ways as well to close your cardi — you could use a shawl pin, or if you have some basic sewing skills, sew in a zipper.

First of all, you’ll need to pick up the stitches down the edge of your left front. I decided to do the left front first, as the right front is where the buttonholes traditionally are on women’s garments. To pick up stitches for the left front, start at the neck of the garment and work down towards the hem. When you come to pick up stitches for the right front, you will start at the hem and work to the neck. With the right side facing, put your needle between the first two stitches at the edge of your cardi, so your needle goes through the fabric from front to back. Wind your yarn around the needle, the same way you would to knit a stitch. Now you can pull the loop that you just wound around the needle back through the fabric to the front. If you find it difficult to hook the loop through with a knitting needle, try using a crochet hook. Carry on in this manner until you have the required number of stitches on the needle.

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Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along, Week 4: All About Sleeves

March 15th, 2012

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Knit-Along BadgeHi everyone! This week is going to be all about sleeves. In this pattern, the sleeves are put on hold until the body is completed. Then, the sleeve stitches are slipped back on the needle, and the ribbed border is started for short, t-shirt-length sleeves.

Lengthening the Sleeves

I decided that I’d like to do full-length sleeves. Lengthening your sleeves is pretty easy, especially if you’d like a casual looking sleeve with no shaping–just keep working until the sleeve is as long as you’d like it to be. However, I wanted more fitted looking sleeves, so I measured around my upper arm, just below my elbow and then around my wrist. Next I took vertical measurements to get the distance between those 3 points. Then, to work out how many and where my decreases should fall, I just used the same formula from my last post that I used for decreasing for the waist. For the sleeves, you’ll only be decreasing twice in each decrease row, once at each edge, rather than the four decreases across a row for the body. I placed my decreases two stitches in from the edge, to leave the edges nice and neat for seaming later on.

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Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along, Week 3: Adjusting Body Length & Adding Waist Shaping

March 8th, 2012

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KAL BadgeHi, everyone! This week we’re going to talk about adding length to your sweater and adding optional waist-shaping. But first we come to dividing for the body, which is one of the most exciting parts of a top-down raglan garment because within a few rows your piece will start to look like a wearable cardigan! I like to slip the sleeve stitches onto some waste yarn rather than regular stitch holders (which are just like big safety pins), as this will make your cardi much easier to try on. I also place a stitch marker between the two bind off sections — the bind off stitches will become the underarm seam of your sweater. This marks what would be the side seam in a regular sweater and will come in handy when I’m adding waist shaping.

Make It Longer

If you’d like your sweater to be longer, you can just keep working in your pattern, trying on as you go, until it is as long as you’d like. I wanted my sweater to be at least hip-length, but I also wanted it to be a little more fitted. Since I’m not 35 inches all the way down, I decided to add some waist-shaping. This is not in the pattern, but can be nice for some of us making the garment longer. However, if you’re new to sweaters and prefer to keep it simple, just follow the directions as written! Feel free to adjust the length straight; the classic shape of this cardigan means that it will look great even without extra shaping.

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Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along, Week 2: Knitting the Yoke

March 1st, 2012

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Hi everyone, I hope you all had a good week swatching and choosing the perfect yarn! This week we’re going to get started knitting the yoke, and I’m going to talk a little bit about how a top-down raglan garment is constructed and why it’s one of my absolute favorite methods of knitting a sweater — with minimal finishing, the ability to try on as you go, and no fiddling with pesky sleeve caps to get them to fit into armholes!

This type of sweater starts with the stitches cast-on for the neckline, and then all parts of the sweater (both fronts, back and sleeves) grow out from these stitches. If you’ve ever had issues with sleeves not fitting correctly into armholes, a raglan is for you! The top of the sleeves form part of the neck, which is why it isn’t really possible to make a sleeveless raglan garment. Usually the sweater grows outwards at four points around the body (these will be the points that you place your markers), so every two rounds you will increase 8 stitches, one either side of each marker. In this pattern, a yarn over increase is used. I decided I wanted a less lacy look, so I chose to do a make 1 increase instead. You could also do a knit front-and-back increase if you prefer.

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Welcome to the Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along! Let’s Get Started!

February 23rd, 2012

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Each 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 as you knit your sweater.

Hi, my name is Lauren, I work at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, the Lion Brand flagship store and education center, in New York City. In addition to working on the sales floor, I teach knitting classes, and for the next several weeks, I’m going to be your knit-along host!

For this knit-along, the project we’ll be working on together is the Simple Raglan Cardi. However, we won’t just be making the pattern as-is, as we’ve done for previous knit-alongs. Instead, I’m going to be giving you ideas on how you can use the basic pattern as a starting point for your own design! We’re going to customize this project just for you! This is particularly exciting for me, as I don’t think I’ve ever knit a sweater without making at least a couple of changes to the written pattern.

Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along BadgeThe first thing we’ll need to do is choose a size. You’ll notice that underneath where the pattern says “Size”, it says “Finished Chest.” This is the actual measurement of the garment, which is a much more accurate way to pick a size than just choosing based on the small, medium, large tags. After all, when shopping at clothing stores, I’m sure we’ve all been one size in one store and a completely different size in the next! If you’re not sure of your measurements, get a flexible tape measure and measure around the fullest part of the bust. You should also measure yourself wearing whatever you plan to where under your cardi as this can also affect the size that you will make.

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