A Haunting Halloween Tale

‘Twas Halloween night… We had no candy and our were lights off in our current curmudgeonly way as the drizzle dampened the road outside. I was cozied up working on my first crochet cardigan.

I had previously made multiple crochet pullover t-shirts following a pattern I really enjoy (the Summertime Tee from TL Yarn Crafts). I had crocheted the faux-ribbed bottom, plus about 14 rows when I considered whether I wanted to make another pullover t-shirt, especially since at the time, we were about to enter autumn. I decided I wanted to make some modifications to the pattern I had used in order to make it both a cardigan and long sleeved, so I frogged the body rows, and adjusted the faux-ribbing so it was no longer joined together. From there, I began crocheting the sweater, essentially following the original pattern, sans joining each row, so it was all open on one side.

As I was nearing the point at which I wanted to insert the arms, I decided to take some measurements to determine where to place them and how I wanted to handle adjusting the pattern at this point. Somehow… my sweater (when folded in half) was about double the width that I expected (I had expected about 26-30 inches when doubled over, so 52-60 inches altogether, and instead had over 4 feet even when folded in half).

*GASP* The Halloween horror! How did I not notice this before?! What should I do? Should I keep going with all the work I had done, and turn it into more of a cape or cocoon? Should I frog back over 800 yards of yarn and completely start over?

I agonized for about 30 minutes about how I wanted to handle my crochet conundrum. After thinking out loud with my spouse, and shopping around a bit, I decided to frog all of the work I had done, take some pictures to remind myself how much work I had completed, and start over with a specific cardigan pattern.

a close-up view of semi-folded cardigan fabric showing stripes of extended single crochet stitches in dark golden yellow, speckled pink/white/yellow/blue, and lilac
a close-up view of previous progress on the cardigan that I frogged, with the lovely extended single crochet
a jumble of crochet fabric in stripes of dark yellow, speckled pink/white/yellow/blue, lilac, variegated blue/fuchsia/purple, and black with specks of bright pink/blue/green, all on top of a messy grey comforter blanket
a jumbled pile of the cardigan attempt before frogging — at this point about 8-9 feet wide and 10 inches tall

I picked up the Cozy Coed Cardigan pattern from Heart Hook Home, and actually took the time to swatch (though I did not wash and block the swatch), so hopefully my outcomes will end up closer to what I expect!

an unwashed, unblocked swatch of worsted weight yarn crocheted in half double crochet; colors are black with spots of bright green/blue/pink; there are 4 inch by 4 inch measurements visible, with dark golden yellow and blue/fuchsia/purple cakes of yarn visible in the top left corner, all on a dark red with roses comforter blanket
unwashed and unblocked, but the swatch I made did fit the 4 inch by 4 inch indicated in the pattern

One of the reasons I agonized about what to do with the yarn is the yarn is from the fabulous Hearts on Fiber yarn subscription from this year, and I want a fun and funky, but still wearable way to use the worsted weight yarn I have gotten from them. I don’t want to waste that yarn and/or damage it beyond repair!

Fortunately, the frogging was a pretty straight forward process, and I was able to use my ball winder to re-cake the yarn for easy (re-)use.

a stripe of half double crocheted yarn, variegated blue/fuchsia/purple, below 7 cakes and 1 skein of yarn from Hearts on Fiber (yarn cakes are dark yellow, speckled pink/white/yellow/blue, lilac, variegated blue/fuchsia/purple, and black with specks of bright pink/blue/green, and rose/green/cream; the skein is midnight blue black/dark orange/teal), all on red upholstery; a yellow stitch marker is just visible on the lower edge of the crocheted fabric
current / new cardigan progress: about 26 inches wide and 6 inches tall so far

Overall, a bit of a stressful “spoopy” Halloween experience, but I think I made the right decision for creating something I will hopefully both finish and wear before next summer (and I seem to have at least partially learned my lesson about swatching…)