Handmade wardrobe in the air! I seem to have decided to go on this journey just at the right time, everyone seems to be talking about a handmade wardrobe lately and it is so exciting. I have a finished object (FO) to share with you but first let me tell you a bit of what has been going on:
- This month is Me Made May 2015, a challenge to encourage people to wear and love their handmade items, how awesome is that? There are a few hashtags going around in social media (#memademay, @memademay15) with people posting pictures of them wearing their handmade garments or accessories and it is so inspiring. I am not officially taking part (not good at taking pictures of me every day) but definitely cheering on and enjoying to see everyone’s posts.
- Joanne Scrace from The Crochet Project has created a Facebook group called “Make it. Wear it”. The group is aimed at people interested in wearable knitted and crochet garments or accessories. The group already has quite a few members so be sure to check it out if you want to join the chat.
- Kate from A Playful Day has a topic for each month as part of her “inspired 2015” theme and this month is all about a handmade wardrobe (I am telling you there is something in the air!). She has a podcast out with this theme which I haven’t listened to yet but I love her podcast so I am sure it will be a good one.
- Finally, Sarah from Crafts from the Cwtch has kicked off her make-along this month, the idea is to make a shawl using a craft, technique or construction you haven’t tried before. There are quite a few knitters making crochet shawls and crocheters trying out their knitting skills which I think is amazing! I am taking part on this make-along with a shawl from The Shawl Project by Joanne Scrace. Check out the Ravelry group if you want to take part!
So now to the reason for this post: I finished my Alyssium cardigan! I am so excited to share this FO with you guys because I am completely and absolutely in love with this cardigan.
The pattern is the Alyssium cardigan by Joanne Scrace and I knew I had to make it since the first time I saw it. It is really hard for me to like a pattern for a crochet garment, mostly because they don’t have any drape and I am in a I-only-want-to-wear-very-loose-clothes phase. But then I saw this cardigan and it looked just perfect: drapey, with a beautiful but simple stitch pattern and that ribbing is such a lovely design detail.
I decided to use the same yarn as the pattern and it was at the top of my shopping list for the EYF since I knew Victoria from Eden Cottage Yarns had a stall at the event. I ended up picking the same colour as the sample, it was the one I liked the most and the one that matched what I have in my wardrobe best.
For this project I really embraced the whole idea of a handmade wardrobe and I am so happy that I did because the result is everything I thought it would be. Here are a few of the things I did differently from my usual way to tackle a project to make sure that this garment was something I would love to wear:
- Swatching: I not only swatted but also blocked it and made a note of my gauge before and after blocking. This allowed me to keep track of my gauge as I was working on the cardigan, it made me realise if I was crocheting too loose or too tight that day and adjust accordingly.
- Length adjustments: This is a top-down cardigan so making adjustments is very easy. I made the body a bit longer to make sure the ribbing finished right where I wanted it.
- Sleeve trial and error: I made a mistake on the body at some point which meant that the pattern for the sleeves short rows wouldn’t work for me. I had to re-think the short rows to match what I had and it took a lot of charting, drawing and counting to get it to work. Once I had the math I had to work the sleeve to make sure it looked good and if not, go back to drawing again. I won’t even tell you how many times I worked those short rows until I was finally happy with the result, and I would’ve never done this if I wasn’t determined to get a cardigan I would love to wear.
- Sleeve length: The length of the sleeves was another story, I changed the length three times on one sleeve before deciding on a long sleeve, and for each time I had to un-do the cuff to change the length but I am so glad I did because now it is perfect.
I have been wearing this cardigan a lot on the past week and have received quite a few compliments about it. First garment made with intention and it is a success! The first of many more to come…