Kram Cardi CAL Week 1: Gauge | KT and the Squid

A big thanks to Cascade Yarns for providing the yarn and to Flying Squid Studio for providing the final photos for this Crochet-Along.

Welcome to the Kram Cardi Crochet-Along! If you are just joining us be sure to check out THIS POST first for sizing information supply list.

PDF Purchasing Information

If you’d like to purchase the Kram Cardi PDF for $2 you can do so by clicking HERE. Each week I will update the instructions to correspond to that week’s blog post. This is NOT required as all the information, additional instructions and extra photos will be located on the blog. In other words, the PDF is the pattern ONLY. The PDF may come in handy if you’d like to print off the pattern without all the ads and photos. By the end of the CAL those who have purchased will have the entire pattern. I will leave it up for purchase through September 25, 2015. Please be sure to save it to your Ravelry library before I remove it!

Week 1: Gauge

This week we finally get to play with some yarn! Are you as excited as I am!? Ok, It’s just a gauge swatch but honestly, I really like doing gauge swatches. It’s almost like a test run of things to come.

Let’s start by reading all the pattern information. Please do NOT do anything yet. We just need to read so we know what’s going to happen.


 

Sizes (for more info click HERE)

XS(S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X)
Bust: 28”(32”, 36”, 40”, 44”, 48”, 52”)
Finished bust: 34”(38”, 42”, 46”, 50”, 54”, 58”)
*Garment modeled in size S on a 35”” bust.

Yarn (for more info click HERE)

Cascade 220 Superwash (100% superwash wool; 220 yd/200 m/ 3.5oz/100g; worsted/4 weight)
5(6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9) balls of Ridge Rock (874)

Hook

H/5mm hook (or hook to obtain gauge)

Abbreviations

Ch = chain
St = stitch
Fsc = foundation single crochet
Dc = double crochet
Sc = single crochet
Rs = right side
Ws = wrong side
FLO = front loop only

Notes

This Cardigan is worked in three pieces (2 sleeves and body) that are seamed together.

The body is worked from the bottom up and the sleeves are worked in the round from the cuff up.

Instructions for this top are written for all sizes as XS(S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X).

When instructed to join, join with a slip stitch.

Gauge

16 sts by 9 rows in pattern = 4” square (blocked)

Gauge Pattern

Row 1: Fsc any number.
Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as a st from here on), turn, working in the FLO dc in each st across.
Row 2: Ch 1, turn, working in the FLO sc in each st across.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until desired length.

Special Stitches

Foundation Single Crochet (Fsc): Ch 2, insert hook into the 2nd ch from hook, yarn over, pull up a loop (2 loops on hook), yarn over, pull through 1 loop on hook (this makes the ch), yarn over, pull through 2 loops on hook (completes the sc).
Next Fsc: Insert hook under the 2 loops of the ch of the last st and pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through 1 loop, yarn over pull through 2 loops.


Did you read? If not please go back and do so…NOW!  It might seem boring and some might not make sense right now but trust me, this information may answer many questions you’ll have as we work I can not tell you how many people have asked me a question about a pattern that they could have easily answered by reading all the pattern info before starting.

You ready now? Lets get started! 

What You’ll Need this Week

Kram Cardi CAL Week 1: gauge kt and the squid

 

  • 1 ball of your yarn (Cascade 220 Superwash).
  • Start with an H/5mm crochet hook (you may need to try another size so have more hooks handy just in case)
  • Your blocking supplies
    • Small blocking board
    •  Pins
    • A small bowl with tepid water.
    • Eucalan or Soak. I’ve even heard baby shampoo works well but I’ve never used it.
    • A small towel
  • Ruler/tape measure
  • Scissors

What is gauge? Gauge is the number of stitches and rows in a set measurement. In the case of this pattern it is 16 sts by 9 rows = 4 inches. 

Why is gauge so important? It’s true, for some patterns gauge is not crucial but for garments it is. Without getting into too much detail basically if you get the correct gauge, you’ll end up with a cardigan that is the size it’s suppose to be. I’ve heard people say, “Well, my gauge is off so I’ll just follow the instructions for size small to make a medium.” Wait…what? NO! Don’t do that! It’s so much easier and safer to just take the time to get the right gauge and follow the instructions as is. You can read a little more about it HERE.

How to Check Gauge

Step 1: Make a gauge swatch.

Here’s where our pattern info comes in handy. We’re going to make a small square of fabric following the “Gauge Pattern.”

Row 1: Fsc any number. How many? I did 24. I usually make mine a good 8 stitches larger than what listed in the gauge (which is 16 sts).

I have a video HERE showing a foundation single crochet. When you’re done it will look like this. Don’t worry if it looks like it’s curling. That’s fine.

IMG_3749

Hate Foundation stitches? That’s ok! Feel free to ch any number and work a row of sc in the ch.

Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as a st from here on), turn, working in the FLO dc in each st across.

HERE is a video on how to crochet in the front loop only.

Kram Cardi CAL Week 1: gauge kt and the squid
Row 3: Ch 1, turn, working in the FLO sc in each st across.

IMG_3763

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until desired length.

How long do you make it? Longer than the rows listed in the gauge (9). I usually stop when I feel like I have a square.

Fasten off but don’t worry about weaving in ends.

IMG_3764

Step 2: Block your swatch.

Yes! We are going to block our swatch! We do this for a few reasons. Crochet tends to stretch and grow so we want to try to predict how much stretch will happen so we don’t end up with a cardigan down to our knees after it’s worn a few times. When you wash your swatch it allows your yarn to “bloom” and this will affect your gauge. Blocking your swatch is also a great test run to prepare you for blocking your finished pieces.

There are a few different ways to block. Basically, you want to block your swatch the same way you plan on washing your cardigan. For this project I’ll be wet blocking which will work well for most yarns. According to the yarn label technically we could just throw the swatch in the wash but I tend to try to play it safe and be a bit more gentile with my handmade items. Plus, wool really doesn’t get too dirty so soaking the cardigan and letting it dry should be all it needs to keep clean.IMG_3874For more information about yarn care symbols read THIS post by Petals to Picots.

If you do happen to just throw it in the wash (which is completely fine, especially for acrylics) I recommend letting the swatch hang with a few clothes pins pinned to the bottom of the swatch overnight. This will mimic the weight of a sweater and give you an idea how much it may grow.

How to Wet Block

  1. Fill your bowl with some tepid water and a small amount of your soap. A drop or two should be plenty for this (don’t over do it!).
  2. Put the swatch you just made in the water. Gently squish it around just enough to saturate the yarn completely. Let your swatch soak for about 20 minutes. If you’re like me and forget extra time wont hurt. 
  3. Gently squeeze (do NOT wring) out as much water as you can. If you notice a lot of dye coming out you may want to repeat your soak again.Kram Cardi CAL Week 1: gauge kt and the squid
  4. Place the damp swatch on your towel and roll it up. Press on the towel to get as much water out as you can. You want it slightly damp but not sopping wet.
    Kram Cardi CAL Week 1: gauge kt and the squidKram Cardi CAL Week 1: gauge kt and the squid
  5. Starting at the corners pin the swatch out on your board. The key here it to slightly stretch the stitches out. You don’t want to pull so much that they are completely stretched so be careful not to go overboard. Once you have the corners done fill in the sides with a pin about every inch. Yes, it seems like a lot but all this pinning gives the final fabric an amazing drape. Especially for a worsted weight yarn.Kram Cardi CAL Week 1: gauge kt and the squid
    Kram Cardi CAL Week 1: gauge kt and the squid
  6. Let it dry. This is the hardest part because you have to wait. Blah! I like to set a fan blowing on the swatch to help speed up the process. It could take a few hours, it could take a day. It really depends on your yarn and the humidity. Mine dried overnight.Kram Cardi CAL Week 1: gauge kt and the squid
  7. Unpin the swatch. Doesn’t that look so much better than the swatch straight off the hook? 

Step 3: Measure your swatch.

With your tape measure or ruler (a rigid ruler is really best, I just couldn’t find it for photos) you will measure how many stitches and how many rows you have in 4 inches. There’s a few rules so don’t just measure once and call it good. You need to make sure NOT to measure the edge stitches and you need to measure in a couple places just to make sure your tension was consistent. In my photos I start at 1″ on the ruler and I’ve marked each stitch or row with a red line or dot you can actually count them (click on the photos to make them larger if you need). The hardest part for me sometimes is identifying the rows. This where measuring in a few places comes in helpful.

Edited to add: Make sure you measure your swatch while it is on a FLAT surface.

Kram Cardi CAL Week 1: gauge kt and the squid

At this point if you have the correct number of stitches and rows in 4 inches congrats! You’re good to go. If you’re like me and like to keep really organized, label your swatch with they yarn (brand and color), hook, stitches and gauge to keep for your records. I just tie a card to the swatch. Not really necessary but I like to keep track of these things.

If you are off, I’m so sorry! Unfortunately, you will have to start over with a different hook but trust me, the extra work WILL be worth it!  If you have too many stitches on 4 inches try going up a hook size. If you have too few stitches try going down a hook size.

If you’re still having trouble you can try switching to a different brand hook or a different material hook (aluminum, wood, plastic).

Once you’ve got it, pat yourself on the back, relax and get ready for next week where we’ll get started on the bottom. This will be a lot more work than this week so prepare yourself!

Giveaway Information!

Kram Cardi CAL yarn giveaway

At the end of the crochet-along one lucky person will win 4 balls of Cascade 220 Superwash in Ridge Rock!

I want to see what you made! To enter you simply have to make the Cardigan. At the end of the last post you will be given a week to upload a photo of your cardigan. On September 25th I’ll pick a winner by a random draw.

Good Luck!

Giveaway is void where prohibited.

Kram Cardi CAL Crochet along

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 thoughts on “Kram Cardi CAL Week 1: Gauge | KT and the Squid

  1. OMG! So glad we have a week on swatches. I never thought to block after hooking, but it makes so much sense. This just goes to prove, never too old to learn something new. Thank you for leading this journey.

  2. I’m using acrylic yarn. How do I stem my swatch? Also I want to buy the pattern. Is the whole pattern purchased for a dollar or is the pattern going to be posted for purchase from week to week?

    1. Hi Wanda,
      You can pin out the swatch and either use a steamer or an iron on the steam setting to steam. Just be sure to hold the iron about 1-2 inches above the yarn so you don’t melt it. Let it cool, unpin and measure.
      The pattern is $1 on Ravelry. You just need to purchase once and I will update the PDF as we go. so by the end of the CAL the pattern will be complete.
      Thanks!

  3. I so want to do this sweater. But I cannot afford to purchase this yarn right now….I may have to wait till after the Christmas holidays and all gifts are done.
    I plan on saving the pattern – with all information – and try to work on it after my gifts are made and Christmas gifts taken care of.
    I’m just wondering: if I need some help in the future with this, will I still be able to ask for it? Seems that taking on a cardigan is a big step for me….and one I really, really want to take. I’ve priced out the yarn – at various places – and will, as I said, try to do this after the first of the year — as soon as all gift bills are paid.
    I do want to thank you for doing this CAL – and for sharing this lovely pattern FREE with all of us. I’ve found this crochet community to be one big very sharing, caring community – which in these days of me, me, me is very remarkable!
    Best of luck to all of you who are doing the CAL! I will be watching and saving pattern as you go along…
    I won’t be eligible for the giveaway – since my cardi won’t be done in time, so good luck to all who are hooking along. It’s a great cardi – one that I not only want to get on my hooks – but one I’ll wear a LOT!
    Blessings to you “KT” for your generous sharing!

    1. Hey Carol,
      The pattern will stay up on the blog so you can join in at any time after it’s officially over. If you have a question you can ask on the post. I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can.
      Thanks!

  4. Thank you! I do look forward to doing this…have been wanting to tackle a sweater/cardi for a long time…I’ve also saved another of your patterns – and that’s on my To Do list as well (a hoodie).

  5. Am I the only one that sees your gauge is measuring at 5″ instead of 4″? It reads 9 rows = 4 inches and 16 stiches = 4 inches. But your picture above is measuring in at 5 inches on the tape. Which one is correct?

    1. Okay – I just re-read and you say you are starting on 2″ on the tape. But I’m still not seeing the correct stitch count. Help!

    2. I measure from 2″ to 5″ which makes it 4″. I don’t like starting at 1″ because the end of the tape measure can get stretches/distorted.

  6. Curious if you have any idea how much yarn it would take if using a finer yarn. I have some beautiful Peruvian Pima cotton that I think would be absolutely gorgeous in this pattern.
    I have NO idea how to figure out how much yarn to use. Is there a way to figure this out?

  7. Thank you – that was my next step – I went through the yarn and wound it last night, since it does not come in usable skeins….all have to be wound.
    It is a beautiful, soft yarn with just a bit of sheen….I’m dying to work with it. From Fiesta Yarns…well worth the wait. They dye to order, so it takes a bit longer to get the yarn. But it is certainly well worth it!
    They frequently have excellent sales….worth getting on their mailing list so you know when their yarns are on sale.
    They also have a gorgeous 100% spun silk that is just so wonderful to touch! I’m on the list to be notified when they have it back in stock. It’s called “La Luz” – can’t wait til it’s back in stock!

  8. Hello! I hope you’ll be able to answer my questions. This is my very first crochet item that is not a scarf or a hat. My gouge is 9 rows for 4 inches bit only 15 stitches for 4 inches 🙁 what should I do? Also, I blocked it as described but when I un pinned it, it kept this “stretch” shape whereas in your pictures, your gouge seems less stretched when unpinnedo after blocking than when it is pinned. Is it normal? Did I do something wrong?
    Thanks a lot for all your explanations for this gorgeous cardi.

    1. It could be the yarn or how much you stretched it…It’s hard to know but I’m sure you did nothing wrong 😉 wool will pretty much stay they way you pin it out when wet.
      As far as the gauge you will need to make another swatch with a smaller hook and maybe stretch it a little more vertically than horizontal when you block.

  9. My husband is a hunter so when I was looking for something to pin my work to, he brought up one of his foam target blocks. It worked wonderfully. Now to hurry up and wait for the swatch to dry to see if I have the right gauge!

  10. I saw this cardigan on Ravelry and it was exactly what I was looking for! I have read over all 5 weeks of this CAL and can’t wait to get started. Your instructions are so detailed and clear. I appreciate the time you spent on this and that you offer the pattern for free. I especially dislike the sewing part of crocheted garments, usually because there aren’t instructions – just something like “sew arms to body” – but I am confident I can do a nice job on this one, thanks to your instructions and photos. 🙂 I ordered Lion Brand’s new Shawl In a Ball yarn in Namaste Neutrals for this project and hope the variegated colors will give the cardigan a fun look. Thanks again!

    1. That’s great Renee! If you need a little extra help when it comes to the sewing you can checkout the video for the Leudinghause CAL for that week. The sleeve is a little different shape but you can actually see me sewing a sleeve 🙂

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