I always talk about the importance of checking gauge before starting a project and today I want to show you one of the cool ways that you can use this information to your advantage. The Granny Lace Crochet Cardigan is a spin off pattern from the Marly’s Granny Square Cardigan. The Marly’s Granny Square Crochet Cardigan was the 2017 Crochet Along using Red Heart Unforgettable. Let me show you how changing out the suggested yarn can make a big difference in your project results.
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If you participated in the 2017 Crochet Along you know all about the Marly’s Granny Square Cardigan pattern. If you didn’t participate it is okay we will walk you though it all. There is still time to start the Crochet Along if you like, all of the information still lives here on my blog. As you may see from other designers, by changing one or two of the variables of the pattern you can create something brand new. No matter what pattern you make it is always important to check your gauge to make sure that you get similar results to what the designer planned for, particularly if it is for a garment.
The Marly’s Granny Square Crochet Cardigan:
In the original pattern I used Red Heart Unforgettable. This gave me a gauge of 1 Motif = 3½ x 3½” (9 x 9 cm). Unforgettable is a weight 4 yarn so many would assume that using any weight 4 yarn would be the same and they wouldn’t need to swatch to make sure that they are on point. You would be taking a big risk in a clothing item if you don’t double check that they way you crochet matches to the gauge that the designer got. If your motif is larger or smaller it will impact the entire size of your finished garment.
Even if your motif is only off by 1/4″ you have to multiply that by the 11 motifs across and you would really be off by 2.75″ overall. Sometimes it can be tricky to find the correct gauge based on the hooks that you have, even when using the same yarn. I always suggest that when you can’t get gauge to match with one hook, after going up or down a size as your first try, you should then try another type of hook. We will talk all about hooks in the new year and I will talk about their differences.
If you can’t get your gauge to match it may be time to look at the yarn that you are using. A weight 4 yarn is not standard across every yarn. It is actually a range of thickness that can be included in that category. Although the range is not large it can make a difference.
The Granny Lace Crochet Cardigan:
I loved the cardigan that I put together so much that I wanted to make a variation of it and I wanted to design with one of the newer yarns from Red Heart, Dreamy. The issue was that Dreamy is a weight 5 yarn and Unforgettable was a weight 4 yarn. This means that it was not a simple substitution of yarns. If I had followed the directions the way that they were written my cardigan would have turned out to be much larger even using the same pattern.
In this case I keep the pattern the same because the Granny Lace Crochet Cardigan is an oversized cardigan. Reading through the pattern you can see that the motif is made the same way and the hook that is suggested is the same. Take a look at the gauge of this new pattern though. Now that same motif measures 4″x4″, growing 1/2″ on both sides by using the larger yarn. Just looking at the photos you can see the drastic change in the way that the cardigan fits the model, even though the samples are made in the same size. You will also notice how much larger the shawl collar is by using a slightly thicker yarn.
- RED HEART® Dreamy™: 3 (5, 6) balls 8358 Lavender
- Susan Bates® Crochet Hook: 4 mm [US G-6]
- Susan Bates® split lock Stitch markers
- Yarn needle
Making a Design Your Own:
This pattern is a great example of how you can start to design your own projects. By making some simple changes to a pattern you can create something that is brand new. If you find a pattern and you can’t get the size to fit you perfectly try changing the hook size or the yarn weight to make a project that fits your needs. Most importantly SWATCH so that you know what should happen in the overall garment, don’t be surprised at the end.