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Resizing a Cardigan Pattern, Part 2: Sleeve, Meet Reality

Resizing a Cardigan Pattern, Part 2: Sleeve, Meet Reality

Posted by on Jul 28, 2013 in Crafting | 2 comments

I’m making very good progress on crocheting the cardigan I’m resizing for my big and tall man. The body fits perfectly to the point I’ve reached, which is just before splitting for the back and both fronts. The one sleeve I’ve finished fits perfectly, too – but not because my initial math was perfect. Here’s something I should have realized from the very beginning: bodies rarely match the math you work out for them perfectly, and that’s just as true for men as women. I won’t completely rehash the math here; you can check the first post on this topic for my coverage of the sleeve math. Fortunately, I believe in repeatedly rechecking the fit of anything you’re making, so I only had to rip out 19 rows near the beginning. My original plan called for increasing the sleeve from the wrist about every third row, at least initially. As it turned out, that didn’t get the sleeve big enough, fast enough. When I tried it on my dearest at the 20-row mark, it was clearly too tight. That meant I’d need to do an increase row every other row. A quick try-on at the 20-row mark THIS time succeeded. Who would have figured my beloved had Popeye-like forearms? I certainly didn’t. But front-loading my increases worked, and I could work even for about 10 rows at the end before starting to decrease for the sleeve cap. That was…fun. For each increase row, I added one stitch at the beginning and one more at the end. But because of my gauge issue and how rapidly I’d have to decrease for the sleeve cap – to say nothing of the size of my beloved’s arms – I would have to decrease FOUR stitches for every row, over about 20 rows. Doing this caused the sleeve cap to cup, turning it into, well, a real cap. Though I felt a little concerned, this turned out not to be an issue. Or, for any programmers reading this, it became a feature, not a bug. When I tried the finished sleeve on my dearest, it fit perfectly. I used closely-placed safety pins along...

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Crocheted Light-up Key Chain Light Saber

Crocheted Light-up Key Chain Light Saber

Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Crafting, Making | 0 comments

Now even fiber artists can get in touch with their inner padawan by making a small light saber that actually lights up. I got inspired to create this, appropriately enough, from a light-up key chain shaped like a light bulb. You’ll need just a few other things to make this lovely light source for a more civilized age. Aside from the light-up key chain, you will need: A clear bendable plastic, such as the kind you’ll find used for sheet protectors at office supply stores. Two colors of lightweight yarn or crochet cotton, one for the hilt of your lightsaber and one for the blade. A crochet hook sized appropriately to use with the yarn or cotton. A small amount of craft paint to match the color of your lightsaber blade. A small paint brush.   A container for water. A pair of scissors. A pen, or something with which to mark on the plastic. Clear tape. Newspaper to protect the surface on which you’re working. A ruler is optional; I kind of winged it, but if you want your light saber blade to be an exact length, and your lines to be perfectly straight, you’ll want one. First, cut the rings off the side of your sheet protector, and the sealed pocket off the bottom. Fold it out so that you’re working with a single, flat sheet. Roll your key chain up in the plastic so that you have a little more than one complete thickness around it. Mark how far you rolled on the plastic, and how long you want your blade to be. Connect these marks to make a rectangle. Spread out your newspaper, fill your water container, and open your paint. Take your paint brush and fill in that rectangle with your paint. You don’t have to cover it too thickly; in fact, you shouldn’t, if you want your light to shine through. Let the paint dry completely before continuing to the next step. When the paint is dry, cut out the rectangle. Attach it with tape to your key chain, and roll it up. Make sure the painted side is on the inside of...

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Resizing a Cardigan Pattern for a Big and Tall Man

Resizing a Cardigan Pattern for a Big and Tall Man

Posted by on Jun 18, 2013 in Crafting | 0 comments

Say you love to crochet. And say that the man you love is big and tall. If you can’t find a good sweater pattern in his size, you might sigh with relief at the thought that your relationship is safe from the Boyfriend Sweater curse. If you’re like me, though, you’ll simply start calling it a “cardigan,” roll up your sleeves, take out your tape measure and calculator, and get into some serious math. To be fair, I’m going to tell you now that this is the first part of a series, and I don’t know how long it will be. I haven’t completed all the math for this project yet, but I did enough of it to make a start; I know what I need to do about the ribbing, the body up to the armpits, the sleeves, and the armscye. The rest will come, and when I get that far I’ll write another post. Right now, I’m going to walk you through what I’ve done so far, one step at a time. The first step, of course, is to choose the pattern and get the approval of your victim, er, recipient. In my case, I fell in love with Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby’s “The Varsity Sweater” in the September/October 2011 issue of the “Crochet Today!” magazine. This pattern goes up to size 2x; my beloved, however, is a 3x. In this case, that’s not a bad thing; I’m going up only one size. As you’ll see in a moment, however, I’m not going up one size evenly. The second step, even before you buy yarn, is to measure your cardigan recipient. Start with whatever measurement the pattern uses for sizing. In this case, it’s the chest measurement. The pattern’s largest chest measurement is 51 inches; my dearest’s chest measurement is a mighty 55 inches. If you work out the percentages, you’ll find that this is right around eight percent larger than the largest size. Need a little help? Here’s a percentage calculator I found online. I used the second line to find out that 55 is nearly 108 percent of 51. This means that I’ll need to buy eight...

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