Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sleeves and buttons

Well the Green Chai Cardi is officially more or less finished. What this means is, I've done the sleeves and the buttons, and now I can't do any more until Mum next comes to visit me.When Mum visits, I'll pin the thing on her and make sure it fits - if it does, I'll put the button band on. If it doesn't, I'll adjust it to suit.

Things I've learned:
  • If this pattern is any guide, American women have no biceps. Mum's a farmer: she does. I am not sure that the sleeve would go over her bare arm, let alone over a jumper as intended. Hint to crocheting body builders and to anyone else who can lift a 10kg sack of horse feed: you will probably need to adjust the armholes and sleeves if you attempt to crochet this garment. I will do another post about this once I find out just how tight the sleeves actually are!
  • Covering buttons is fun! This button method would also create a fabric button if you crocheted tightly enough. To make these buttons, I took three wooden buttons from our stock which were damaged (the finish was all scarred and scratched). You could also use a self cover button or maybe some old buttons that you've got that don't match.
Green Chai Cardi - buttons and sleeve

Covering buttons

To make a button cover or a fabric button:
  1. Crochet a small centre ring (@ 3 ch), plus chain to start your round.
    These buttons were quite small, so I crocheted a single chain plus two chain as my first half-treble. For a larger button, you might want 3ch + 2ch as your first treble. The goal is to have a fairly tight centre ring, so that the button can't be seen through the gap.
  2. Work one round into the centre ring.
    For these buttons, I crocheted a round of half-trebles: for larger buttons, crochet a round of trebles or double trebles. The goal is to create a circle of stitches that is about the same size as your button.
  3. Working in the back loop only, work a round of double crochet. This creates a rim which fits neatly over your button.
  4. A. To cover a button, fasten off (leaving a long tail) and place the button into the cover. Thread the yarn through the double crochets and pull tight.

    B. For a freestanding button, work a second round into the back loops of the double crochet round (creating a flat disc). Fasten off, leaving a long tail to attach the button.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Green Chai Cardi - body all done!!

Well, it looks like I might get this one over the bar yet - Mum's birthday is this weekend, and the body of the Green Chai Cardi is already finished.

As I'd hoped, once I'd worked through the pattern a couple of times, it got into my hands and I could work without having to constantly refer back to find out what a shell was, how to form a cluster, etc etc etc. After I'd joined the fronts and back together and done the A-line increase, I was even comfortable stopping halfway through a row and picking the work back up again - which was good, because even in the smallest size, there's near enough to two hundred stitches from one side of the garment to the other!

Even though I've mastered it, the pattern has enough variation to maintain interest and keep me going for just one more row (or round, in the case of the sleeves). I'm loving the way it's come up in the Aran Tweed too. The fabric is fairly firm, and should be nice and snug as an extra autumn layer. If I find someone else who wants one, I'd be interested to have a go with a DK tweed (or with hooks a quarter size larger) to see if I could get something a bit more drapey, and where the lace pattern in the body is more evident. Although I suspect that the lace pattern is being concealed more by the tweed effect in the yarn than by the fabric density - maybe if I try again, I'll use the Jo Sharp Classic DK or maybe some Merino Magic, instead of a tweed yarn.

Off to finish the sleeves now! Just to be on the safe side, I'll get Mum to try it on before I do anything that might make ripping difficult - like sewing the sleeves in, running in the ends or putting on the button band. Looking forward to putting up a photo of the finished product!

Green Chai Cardi - body