Thursday, 26 August 2010

Crochet V-Cluster Stitch Cardigan Jacket

At the weekend we went to the Brunswick Square Festival. That was lovely with loads of stalls. The crepes looked good. especially with cheese! And Lucianna bought Jemima along and i gave her the little cardigan i had made. And then Deb held her which had been one of her new year's resolutions. She is so lovely and laughs. And then we ate some amazing cakes.

Then it started to rain (which as been a bit of a theme of the week) and we went to the pub where i finished my cardigan! (well, i finished the crochet part there - tying loose ends and sewing on buttons meant last night was the final date of completion!)

My first big crochet project! Here we are then:

headless. you can sort of tell the colour - it is called Banwry.

I was waiting for some daylight to photograph it in, but all the days are dull so it looks like probably i'm on a mission in night vision. (ps. i cut my hair!)

Crochet is like a dream! It is so fast (partly because it is so addictive i think) and satisfying and easy to make grand effects. I saw a lovely book of crochet stitches which is very tempting - maybe for christmas. This stitch I have been calling butterflies in my head, but it is really called cluster v stitch. Here you can find some instructions for it. Very easy indeed. It reminds me of the knitted daisy stitch i used to knit a scarf for Robyn, but much much easier than that to achieve. I really love the weight and texture.

I made this pattern up as i went along, despite my initial reservations about making something in crochet without a pattern. I used the colinette art wool i had started to knit into a lacey cardigan, but decided to unravel. I really love this wool. it is something like a bamboo blend i think and is really soft and nice. And the colours have a sort of tweedish effect. I also used this one for this puff sleeve cardi you can see in this picture of me with the baby. The effect is very different when knitted, and also took a look less wool (the crochet is like a rug!)

Art wool when it is knitted. Baby Lyra thinks it is nice and soft to sit on.

Here i have written out the pattern for my crochet cardigan. It is not really perfect i don't think, but it might be good guidelines if you don't know where to start. One good thing about crochet is that if you have made the wrong shape, it is quite easy to add stitches in.

Crochet V-Cluster Stitch Cardigan Jacket Pattern 

I am a 32" bust, or size 8 and the finished garment measures 16.5" from side seam to side seam when laid flat. The stitch is called cluster v stitch. You can see how it is done here. I used these instructions but decided during my warm up phase that i would just chain one between each cluster rather than two which kept it a bit tighter. To increase the width you can add more stitches - each one measures about 3/4 of an inch, but it is worth doing a tension test.

For my Jacket I used 6 x 100g skeins of Colinette Art (aran wight yarn) and a 4.5mm crochet hook

First make a chain of 97 (to increase add multiples of 4)

Working back into your chain, skip first 3 chains and crochet *1dc cl, 1ch, 1 dc cl* into the 4th loop. This *to* sequence is the cluster v stitch (you can see more instructions following the link above).

Skip the next three stitches in your chain and in the 4th work * to *

Repeat the stitch along the row. if you are following my pattern you should end up with 24. Finish the row with a dc and chain 2

Turn and on the next row work into the chain stitches you created in the middle of the cluster v. At the end of the row again chain 2 and turn. Work back and forth in this way until 16 rows have been completed (or to desired length)

Shape for arms:
On the next row skip the first 2 stitchs and work just 20 across, leaving the last two. Work a further 8 rows on these stitches.

Shape for the neck:
Work 8 stitches, chain 2, turn,
miss one and work seven (to keep the outer edge straight) chain 2
turn and work six, chain 2
turn and work six.

Work the opposite side identically.

FRONTS (make two)
Create a chain of 49, and from this work along to create 12 cluster v stitches. Work identically to the back for the length and arm shaping until 23 rows have been completed.

Shape for neck:
Work so the outer edge is straight, decreasing from the inner edge only:

Next row work 8 stitchs
Next row 8 stitches
Next row 7 stitches
Next row 6 stitches
Next row 6 stitches

SLEEVES (also make two)
Chain 77 and create a 19 cluster v chain
worked six rows
next row, decrease half a stitch at each end (just one cluster)
Work 3 rows.
Next row decrease another half a stitch at each end
Work three more rows
Continue to decrease on every fourth row like this until 13 stitches remain. Work 5 rows to finish (or more for longer sleeves)

i sewed all the pieces together using slip stitch seams. then i crocheted around the edges to create front bands and a collar.

Charted Shapes
(click to enlarge)

I remember a while ago i was looking at some granny squares that Deb and Yumi were making into blankets and just couldn't understand crochet at all. But it's grand when you know how! i am converted.

By hook or by crook,
Emilia. xxx

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