Forest Dweller Chunky Crochet Cardi

Autumn is my favorite season–partially because Fall fashion is amazing! The color schemes, the styles, and the layering–I love it all.

Deep forest green has been my favorite color for a few years now, but is still severely lacking in my closet. I decided it was time to fix this by adding a new piece. I stumbled upon the perfect shade of yarn at Walmart while I was yarn shopping for a different project. I was pleasantly surprised when I found this large Bernat Premium skein in “Evergreen”, which is almost equivalent in yardage to the Red Heart Super Saver skeins. It was not only softer, but $1 cheaper! I found out later on that this particular yarn is sold exclusively at Walmart, and has now been discontinued (…so I went back to pick up a few more).

I’ve taken a greater interest in crochet over knitting recently, and since I have not been super happy with my knitted sweaters in the past, I thought I would give crochet a try. Finding a good looking free pattern was not easy, so after browsing a few different styles and concepts, I decided to go ahead and combine aspects to create my own. All the stitches and elements are basic, but I usually find that these simpler pieces turn out more functional anyway. My end result was a chunky yet cuddly cardigan I’m calling the “Forest Dweller Cardi”.

Pattern:

This sweater is made with 5 pieces seamed together and finished with a stockinette hem around the base, front pieces, sleeves, and collar. The design on the back is optional and could be anything. It is done with topstitching using a crochet hook or darning needle.

Back:

Make one 49cm wide x 57 cm tall rectangle in hdc (or dimensions based on shoulder width and desired length).

Front:

Make two pieces in hdc that are the same height as back piece (57cm), 16cm wide at top (about 1/3 of total width) with increases until 20cm wide at bottom.

Seam front pieces to back piece at shoulders.

Sides:

Attach yarn at bottom corner of outer edge of front piece and work hdc until desired base of arm hole. Continue for about 3 more rows (5cm), decreasing one stitch per row at arm hole edge. Repeat for other front piece, and on either side of the back piece (4 total).

Sleeves:

Attach yarn at top corner of side piece and work hdc along edge to other side around the arm hole, forming the sleeve. Calculate the number of stitches needed to obtain desired cuff circumference at wrist bone (or length before cuff) and spread decreases evenly throughout the length of the sleeve. Repeat for other side.

Cuffs/Hems/Finishing:

With knitting needles one size smaller, pick up stitches along the edge of the sleeve and knit the stockinette hem to the desired length. Repeat for other sleeve. Seam the sides of the sweater together from sleeve cuff to base on each side.

Pick up stitches along the base of the sweater and knit the stockinette hem to desired length. Repeat for the inside edge of the front pieces and around collar.

*Note: Do these steps very loosely! I always find I stitch pieces together too tightly, which doesn’t allow the final product to stretch consistently when wearing.

Final notes:

I don’t have the specific details for this project as I made it up on the go, but it’s quite basic so you could easily create your own. The design on the back was something I chose to add at the very end once the cardigan was complete, giving it its name. I wanted to add a creative touch to it (I guess I was going for an…ugly yet so hipster it’s kind of cool look?). Pockets are also something I may want to add in the future, though I would recommend making pocket pieces and stitching them in at the side seams rather than making patch pockets, unless you like the look of visible pockets in the front.

Crochet is faster than knitting in my opinion, however the final result tends to be bulkier. This is the perfect chunky, warm, cuddle sweater, though it isn’t as refined as if I had done it with knitting. I do really enjoy the shape of it though, which I describe as a varsity/sports meets oversized denim jacket. I want to attempt a knitting replica, possibly in a smaller gauge to make something more cardigan-esque for springtime. In the mean time, this sweater is keeping me warm on these chilly autumn days

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