A big thanks to Cascade Yarns for providing the yarn and to Flying Squid Studio for providing the final photos for this Crochet-Along.
Welcome to the Kram Cardi Crochet-Along! If you are just joining us be sure to check out THIS POST first for sizing information supply list.
PDF Purchasing Information
If you’d like to purchase the Kram Cardi PDF you can do so by clicking HERE. This is NOT required as all the information, additional instructions and extra photos will be located on the blog. In other words, the PDF is the pattern ONLY. The PDF may come in handy if you’d like to print off the pattern without all the ads and photos. By the end of the CAL those who have purchased will have the entire pattern. I will leave it up for purchase through September 25, 2015. Please be sure to save it to your Ravelry library before I remove it!
Week 5 (Part 2): Sewing
Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post to enter the yarn giveaway!
I’ll admit it, sewing is my LEAST favorite part of the sweater making process. It’s probably why so many of us have so many unfinished projects. The reason? Because we like to crochet and sewing is not crocheting. I’m going to ask you to suck it up and get it done! It will be so worth it when you’re finished. I tried to make the seams of this sweater pretty easy so I hope that motivates you all to actually do it 🙂
Let’s do this!!
What You’ll Need this Week
- Your beautifully blocked pieces
- A small amount of your yarn
- Note: For the photos below I am using a contrasting color yarn for demonstration purposes.
- Your crochet hook
- Yarn needle
- I like to use a metal one.
- Knit Klips (6 should be plenty)
- You can also use safety pins or just plain sewing pins.
One last time, here is our schematic. If you were wondering what the colored lines were for, they are for lining up the seams.
If you haven’t already done so, weave in all your ends. It’s nice to get those out of the way so you can see what you’re doing.
We’ll start with the easiest seam which is the shoulder seam. For this we’ll use a slip stitch. Slip stitch seams are perfect for shoulder seams because they are really strong and can handle the weight of the sweater.
First you’ll need to line it up. The shoulder seam is represented by the red lines on the schematic. With the wrong side facing fold the cardigan body so the shoulders line up. You can place a few Knit Klips if you’d like.
Next we need to fold the trim over and line the sides of the trim (where it extends above the shoulders) to the middle of the shoulders. Place a couple more Knit Klips.
Pick up your hook and yarn. Join with a slip stitch to the stitch furthest to the right (left, for you lefties).
Slip stitch across the entire shoulder seam picking up a stitch from both sides of the fabric. Remove the Knit Klips as you go.
There are the same number of stitches on the front as there are on the back so if your stitch counts are correct it should all line up. If you happen to be off by a stitch or 2 it’s easy to pick up an extra stitch from one side or skip a stitch to make it line up correctly. Fasten off.
Here is a photo of the right side of the shoulder seam. You can see why you need to use the same color yarn.
Have you ever done a mattress stitch? No? Perfect! This little bit of trim that we need to sew up is the perfect piece to practice on before moving on to the sleeves. Nice how that worked out, right? Moogly has a video HERE if you’d like to check it out.
With the WRONG side facing line up the trim (represented by the blue lines of the schematic). OK, if you have ever done a mattress stitch you might be asking, “Katy, why the wrong side!?” Usually with the mattress stitch you have the right sides facing you BUT if you think about it we want to do this seam backwards. This seam will be right behind your neck and when your wearing the sweater the trim folds over so that the wrong side is facing out. Thus, we want the wrong side to look nice. Make sense? No? Just do it 😉
You can tell this is my wrong side because the shoulder seam is facing out.
Cut a length of yarn about 3 times the length of the trim and thread you needle. Insert the needle on one side of the seam starting at the bottom (which side you start on doesn’t matter) from back to front.
Insert the needle on the other side from back to front.
The key is to mirror what you do on each side. Pull the yarn tight and the seam will virtually disappear.
Note: I just did about half of the trim in this photo to show how the seam disappears. Be sure to sew up the entire piece of trim.
This will be the trickiest bit. Hopefully you kind of got the hang of the mattress stitch on the trim. Here we are matching up the green lines on the schematic.
With the RIGHT side facing out we’ll need to pin the sleeves in.
Here is our armscye (our arm opening). You can tell this is the right side because the shoulder seam is in the inside
This part is a bit fiddly so I’m hoping you can see what I’ve done in the photos. You will need to open up the last 2 rows of the sleeve (where we didn’t join) and pin that with 2 Knit Klips to the stitches we skipped during week 3.
Basically, this is the armpit.
Next Place a Knit Klip lining up the shoulder seam with the top of the sleeve. This Knit Klip will act as you guide as you sew. If you feel you need 1 or 2 more feel free to add them.
Starting at the bottom of the sleeve work the mattress stitch as you did for the trim seam. Here’s the armpit. I’ve removed the Knit Klips.
As you’re working remember to mirror your stitches on each side. Periodically pull the yarn to close the seam and check to make sure each side is lining up. Here I’ve pulled the seam closed.
Now I’m starting to work up the rest of the arm.
Here I’ve pulled the seam closed and I’m checking to see that everything is lining up correctly.
This stitch can take some practice so if you find it’s not quite lining up right and need to start over, all you have to do is pull the yarn straight up and the seam will come right out. Don’t feel bad if it takes a few tries to get it right (especially the first couple inches). It gets easier as you get the rhythm of the stitch.
Once all your seams are sewn weave in the rest of the ends.
Last tip: If you feel your seams look a tad messy spray them with a little water, reshape a bit (you can even use some pins) and let dry. I like to do this for slip stitch seam (the shoulders). It flattens it out nicely. Also, if you have some creases (like the sleeves from blocking) again, just spray with some water, reshape and let dry.
Voila! You have an awesome cardigan that YOU made! Congrats! Put it on and enjoy!
Caring for your sweater
If you used wool it shouldn’t get too dirty but if you need to wash it just soak it in your wool wash (as you did to block) and lay flat to dry. You wont need to pin everything out again but some gentile reshaping may be needed.
Even the nicest yarns will pill so one of THESE defuzzers will come in handy to keep your sweater looking new.
To store your sweater (maybe during the summer months) be sure to first wash it. Then store in a sealed container if you can to keep bugs out. I keep mine in a cotton pillow case. I’ve read bugs stay away from cotton and have never had a problem. Lavender sachets or cedar disks deter bugs as well (and smell good). If you think pests my have got to your sweater place it in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer for 2 days. This will kill the bugs and prevent further damage.
Enough about bugs who wants to win some yarn!?
I decided to keep the yarn giveaway simple. All you need to enter is an email. You can earn an extra 5 entries by making a project in Ravelry with a photo of your finished cardigan. This giveaway is open worldwide, you must be 18 years or older. Giveaway is void where prohibited. Good luck!