Sunday, September 25, 2011

Woodland Cardigan

 My latest crochet project was larger than my usual scarf or bracelet but great fun!  I purchased a pattern for this beautiful cardigan, "The Ermeline Cardigan" from the Etsy shop of the very talented SylvChezPlum .  Of course I always like to add my own twist, but I was able to do so because of the clarity and design of this pattern.  Included in a 23-page e-book with beautiful images and 3 other patterns, this tutorial was worth every penny!  I wanted to add an appliqué to give it a "woodland" theme and I found the most gorgeous appliqué patterns at the Etsy shop of ch1306 .  I used slightly larger needles and yarn to make it usable as a pocket.

photo from ch1306's shop
There are tons of free patterns online for various projects, but I have found over the past few years that in most cases it is worth it to purchase a pattern, usually in the form of an e-book tutorial.  I have quite a few unfinished projects that started out as hopeful sweaters or potential dresses, but after struggling with a pattern that was incomplete or just completely vague, they became spare parts.  Of course, there are many patterns out there that are free and wonderful, but if I want to create something that could be tricky or time-consuming I usually look for reputable sources on Etsy or Ravelry.  There is an art to designing and writing a good pattern and I believe in supporting artists!

photo from SylvChezPlum's shop
SylvChezPlum's tutorial made the entire project enjoyable and I like how she created the layout of the cardigan.  As you can see from the image from her shop (right), her design is more polished.  I tend to add some whimsical elements to my work, mostly to pull the focus toward the slightly absurd and hopefully disguise the fact that my work is often a bit amateur and messy!  She also uses gorgeous, high quality yarn.  As I become more comfortable with this project I will probably move up to better quality yarn.  The kids are already asking for this is in several colors and pretty soon they will both have a brown one just like the one I finished.  Fortunately it is still quite warm so they are not fighting over this one yet!

I added a flower to the end of the hood to disguise a frayed end, made the sleeves flared (just because I love the look), and of course, added that lovely appliqué.  As I was stitching the appliqué to the cardigan, I left the top open to use as a little pocket for various treasures.   I also made the cardigan slightly longer and flared at the bottom.

Needless to say, both SylvChezPlum and ch1306 are on my list of favorite Etsy shops and I will be purchasing more from them.  It's so nice to have finished projects!


  1. Oh wow, this looks great ! I love the woodland theme and the stripes on the sleeves... Will you let me show it on my blog ? :-P

    ChezPlum (in english)
    FibreCréative (en français)