Thursday, 20 November 2014

Oh No!

The seam split at the wrist!
I put my arm into my sleeve and the seam split right open!


It is one of the first garments I ever crocheted for myself way back in 2010. 

It is a wardrobe staple and gets a lot of wear and tear (literally)!

Baby Blue Cardigan
with Lacy Edging

Pattern: Cardigan with Lacy Edging
by Melody Griffiths
This  'Cardigan with Lacy Edging', designed by Melody Griffiths, is another pattern from her book Crochet In No Time (2009).

Anyone would think that this is the only book I own because I have made so many patterns from it but that goes to show how useful it has been. 

I recommend it highly as a great introduction to the variety of useful items one can create with crochet.

You can see in the photo that the sleeves are a little long.* It was the first garment I tackled and, at the time, I didn't have the confidence to consider modifications for a custom fit so I followed the pattern precisely after carefully choosing the size (to fit bust 80–86).

The waist shaping and sleeves fit perfectly except for being a few rows too long at the wrist.  That didn't matter. I would rather a little longer than shorter–extra warmth and room for possible shrinkage. Also, after all the effort in making the picots and stitching the seam, I didn't feel like undoing it all.

The picot edgings suffered a lot of wear due to extra length at the cuffs
putting them right into harm's way.

Over the years, I realised that I really should shorten the sleeves but I didn't want my cardigan unavailable to wear while making the changes. Now, it is necessary to frog a few rows back and rework the cuff edging.

As a matter of fact, I am seriously considering whether to frog the whole thing, or at least one entire sleeve.

On closer examination I discovered a hole in the sleeve.  

Right sleeve showing split seam at the wrist and a hole
further up in the filet crochet stitches.

I am not sure whether this is insect damage or just weakness in the yarn fibre causing a tear.  I suspect the latter because, where the seam had split, the yarn had also split and strands were coming apart. Maybe there was an imperfection in that individual skein of yarn as I haven't found any other damage elsewhere in the cardigan.

Have you ever come across this situation?

Perusal of my Ravelry progress notes reveal that the yarn was 'splitty' in the beginning. Does this mean that loose, splitty yarns are less robust than those more tightly spun?  

This theory would fit with advice I have read somewhere about socks which advises that tighter stitches means less movement and friction between stitches and therefore harder wearing, better lasting socks.

So now one of my favourite cardigans 
is relegated to the 'Mending' pile. [sigh]

*I discovered through Ravelry that I was not the only one who found the sleeves to be too long. It is reassuring to know that it is a peculiarity of this pattern and nothing wrong of my doing.

Project Details

Baby Blue Cardigan with Lacy Edging

Pattern: "Cardigan with Lacy Edging" by Melody Griffiths

Yarn: Bella Baby "Sugar" 
4 ply 100% wool,
made in Turkey, 
50 g / 168 m per skein.

Hooks: 3 mm & 2.5 mm

Project dates
18 Aug–3 Nov 2010

More details on Ravelry:
This page has my progress notes and more photographs of the cardigan and the yarn.


Griffiths, Melody, Crochet In No Time;: 50 scarves, wraps, jumpers & more to make on the move, ISBN-13: 978-1-906525-31-6, first published in 2007, CICO Books,, and imprint of Ryland, Peters & Small Ltd, 20–21 Jockey's Fields, London WC1R 4BW, UK, 2009.

Ravelry projects of Cardigan with Lacy Edging:


  1. That's so disappointing! Hopefully you will soon get it mended and be able to wear it again. It really is very beautiful.

    1. Yes, very disappointing because it is such a pretty pattern but considering the amount of wear it gave me, it was excellent value! Fortunately the weather is warming up so I am not missing it as much as I otherwise would. If I can mend it over the summer months, it will be ready in time for autumn's cardigan weather.
      Thank you for the compliment. Cheers xx

  2. I am sorry to hear about your beloved garment! It was/is a beauty!

    Take care
    P.S. There is lil' nomination for you on our blog!

    1. Thank you very much Anne (and extend thanks to Michelle too) for the nomination. It has kept me very busy! :-)
      Best wishes xx

  3. Hi Jodie! What a shame! You made such a beautiful cardigan! Do you have any leftover yarn to mend the hole? Will you be able to frog the sleeve length? I wouldn't undo the whole cardigan if you really love it, you must have put so much work and time into it. Hope you find a good solution before long!
    Ingrid xx

  4. I am not sure whether I have any leftover yarn for that cardigan. Ravelry will tell me but it seems to be down at the moment. The amount of leftovers, if any, will determine my next move. If I were to redo the entire sleeve, it may be a challenge to achieve correct tension after all these years.

    The pattern is relatively simple and quick to work for a garment and, in the past, I have toyed with the idea of making a second one in a different colour (but with slightly shorter sleeves!). Maybe this is nature's way of encouraging me to make a start on that!

    Thank you for your useful suggestions. Your experience is valued. :-)

    All the best xx

  5. I'm trying to make this cardigan and I must be reading this pattern wrong. I have way too many rows. When I look at your photos on Ravelry, I count 21 repeats by counting the holes. Am I misunderstanding when it says "Patt 3 more rows". To me, that means repeat rows 2-5 three times. Does it instead mean crochet the first three rows of the pattern? I'd appreciate any help.

    1. Hi Jackie,

      I made this cardigan back in 2010 so it's been a while since I've had my head in the pattern. I won't get a chance to investigate this weekend but will endeavour to have a look during the week, if that's ok.

      Don't worry about whether you are reading the pattern wrong. Chances are, you are not because, in my project notes I had written:

      "While the actual crochet is easy and quick to work, the pattern is difficult to follow with lots of cross-referencing, renumbering of rows and slightly ambiguous terminology. Ok for experienced crocheters but will easily confuse a beginner."

      That's why I need to have some time to re-acquaint myself with the intricacies of the pattern to give you a useful answer. In the meantime, you can help me if you can tell me:
      How much of this pattern have you completed? Where are you up to?

      Don't get too stressed just yet. It's very likely that "it's the pattern, not you"! Thanks for your patience,


    2. Hi Jackie,

      Sorry about the delay but I finally got to this pattern! I have also reviewed some other comments about this pattern on Ravelry so you may wish to look up the project notes of other Ravellers, particularly the ones marked with the lifebouy symbol. Common complaints are about the cross-referencing and the length of the sleeves.

      I needed to make comprehensive (offline) notes and diagrams for myself when embarking on this cardigan to navigate it clearly.
      I wonder whether the different size incarnations have different issues. I was making the smallest size listed.

      I marked the 'pattern' repeat as Rows 2 - 5 inclusive as listed on page 62 of the book in the instructions for the 'Back'.

      In answer to your question above, I interpreted the instruction as follows:

      Work three more rows in the pattern sequence continuing on from whichever row in the pattern you are up to; e.g. if you have just finished the 4th row of the 4-row pattern repeat, repeat the first three rows of the pattern repeat and then stop. In this case, the pattern sequence is a 4-row repeat of Rows 2-5 so I would work rows 2, 3 and 4 and stop there. If you were onto the third row of the pattern sequence (row 4 in this case), I would next work row 5, row 2 and row 3 and then stop.

      I would not work the entire pattern repeat 3 times (a total of 12 rows). I hope this was the simple cause of your having too many rows. If you are a Ravelry member, feel free to contact me there too - you can leave a message in my Ravelry inbox or leave a comment on the cardigan's project page. My Ravelry nickname is Jodiebodie.

      Good luck with your cardigan, Jackie. It's a pretty one and worth the effort.


      P.S. One of the ways I overcame the cross-referencing confusion was to relabel the rows from numbers to letters:
      Row 1 = Stitch pattern A
      Row 2 = Stitch pattern B
      Row 3 = Stitch pattern C
      Row 4 = Stitch pattern D
      Row 5 = Stitch pattern E
      Decrease row = Stitch pattern F
      Increase row = Stitch pattern G
      So I rewrote the sequence according to stitch pattern on each row and it was much easier! My working for the 'Back' was as follows (literal pattern instructions in quotations):
      A,B,C,D,E (Rows 1-5, "Rows 2-5 form the patt.") B,C,D, ("Patt 3 more rows") F ("Dec row"), B,C,D,F ("Patt 3 rows then work dec row again.")Then I worked [B,C,D,E] 3 times (12 rows) then B,C,D,G (3 rows in pattern to make up 15 rows "Patt 15 rows" plus "Inc row".) etc.
      I hope this helps and gives you a little technique to use when there are too many numbers.