I finished a fairly quick crochet cardigan for myself last night.
There are things I like about it and things that are "okay".
My initial intention was to make up a quick and warm around the house cardigan. I confess I'm more of a knitting snob than I like to admit. I have tendency of not wanting to waste "good" yarn on crochet projects. I know part of it is yardage. Crochet projects usually take a lot more yarn than a knitted project.
I had swatched this project in all sorts of yarn. I think I even started in in an acrylic yarn that I love (my most worn around the house sweater is in TLC's Heather. So comfy and I can throw it in the washer AND dryer). Nothing was "right".
Bulky yarn + bulky stitches (like crochet) + bulky girl = not usually a flattering project.
So during this horrid winter, I decided I needed something warm and cozy (and that fits). I remembered this pattern. I had ordered the yarn for a knitted project, so I already had it (and I can order more for the knitted project, right?). Swatched it up and loved it.
The pattern stitch was easy. Huge hook, single ply wool/alpaca yarn in a pretty shade of blue. It went quickly. Then I hit the sleeves. Didn't like the sleeve cap shaping at all. So I spent some time doing a little trial and error and got a nicely fitted sleeve cap.
While working on it, there were times I thought it was going to be great. Then other times I felt it was going to be the type of project that gives crochet a bad name. Now that it's done, it fits the bill. Is it runway wonderful? uh, no. Is it perfect to snuggle up on a cold winter day? yep. and that's what I wanted. Let's do some stats!
Yarn: Valley Yarns Berkshire in light blue
Problems with the pattern: I found the directions to be little on the light side. They are written for experienced crocheters. There is no schematic and the only sizing info is for the finished bust measurement. Not overly helpful. The sample does not fit the model, making it a poor reference for the whole "fit and flatter" thing. The yarn used in the book is equally vague. I had to do a lot of research to find it (ya, googling it by how it's listed only gets you to the distributor, the yarn is named Icelandic Wool and it's by Oasis yarns). It's also listed as a bulky weight yarn, but once I tracked it down, discovered that it is in fact a worsted weight (and no wonder I wasn't liking any of the earlier swatches). The Berkshire is an aran weight (knits at 16 sts to 4", the yarn used in the book sample knits at 20 sts to 4").
Changes to the pattern: I shortened the sleeves and the sleeve cap shaping for a more traditional fitted sleeve cap.
Overall impressions: this is not the best project I've ever made. However, it is exactly what I wanted/needed. It's very warm. It's soft and cozy. The color makes me happy. It was quick and fairly easy (I still hate seaming crochet projects. Knitting is soooo much easier). I will probably make it again, but in a very different, lighter weight yarn with lots of drape to make a little spring cardigan. I love the pattern stitch a lot. So we'll give it a B+...