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A Labor of Love: Handmade Crocheted Cardigans for the Special Women in My Life

The Third installment of An epic crochet wedding journey!

When it comes to weddings, emotions tend to run pretty high. Because there simply wasn’t enough to do (insert sarcasm) I figured, “why not take it up a notch and crochet lots of garments for my wedding?” Why stop with my dress, and the bridesmaid dresses? No, I certainly cannot leave it at just that, not the overachiever that I am! That is when the idea came to me…I should make something for the moms that coordinate! Wouldn’t want them to feel left out! So with about 6 months left until the wedding I launched into crocheting matching cardigans for my mom, my fiancé’s mom, and a shawl for a family friend who is like another mother to me.

Why crochet?

Well, if you have been following along you will know exactly why crochet. However if you are new here, welcome! Let me summarize this crazy story for you. I have wanted to crochet my wedding dress since I was a young girl. Now that I’m an adult and completely crochet-obsessed, it seemed like it would be a fun, creative, and wild gesture to crochet more than just my own dress for the wedding. The stopwatch was on and counting down while I tried to crochet as much as possible before the big day!

Photo Credit to Journey Chanel Designs

Finding an impeccible pattern match

It did not take long to find the *perfect* pattern to make for the moms! The Romance Cardi designed by Anastasia of Journey Chanel Designs was the obvious choice. This cardigan is STUNNING! It was the perfect addition to the wedding attire lineup as it is comprised of pineapple stitches. I absolutely love how the pineapples are surrounded by puff stitches to give it a different look than the bridesmaid dresses, while still tying everything together. I have made many-a-patterns by Anastasia, and her writing style is superb! All of her patterns are easy to follow, well written, and thoroughly tested. She has over 100 patterns available on Ravelry! She is quite an accomplished designer. If you haven’t checked out her work yet, you definitely should!

Look how pretty the details are! So full of texture!

The Romance Cardi worked up fairly quickly! It was addicting to see the pineapple stitches forming up. A few more things you should know about this pattern:

  • It is written in 4 sizes: XS /S, M/L/XL, 2X/3X, and 4X/5X/6X.
  • You can choose either DK weight or worsted weight. Instructions are included for both!
  • The designer used Lion Brand Comfy Cotton Blend for her DK, and Lion Brand Color Theory for her worsted.
  • For DK you will need between 1050 – 1800 yards, and for worsted 1300 – 2100 yards
  • J/6.00mm hook is needed for DK weight, and an H/5.00mm hook is needed for the worsted weight
  • Gurage is listed as 17 foundation row stitches by 7 rows = 4″
  • The construction is super simple! Start with the back panel, attach in a different spot to make the fronts panels, block, and then seam down the sides!
  • Anastasia is an excellent designer and very thorough! She includes the written instructions, but also includes detailed photos of every row. This is super helpful as the start and end of the rows look a little different depending on where you are in the pattern repeat.

Yarn selections

If you recall from my last post, I ordered a few different colors of Lion Brand Yarn 24/7 Cotton when trying to decide on colors for the bridesmaids. As it turns out two of the colors corresponded with our other accents beautifully, and I was able to use them for the cardigans! Succulent was the color I chose for my fiancé’s mom, and Dragonfly was perfect for my mom. This is a worsted weight, although Lion Brand does have a DK version if you prefer. I probably would have gone with the DK if I didn’t already have this yarn. It would have made the cardigans a little lighter for our September wedding. Both moms needed the M/L/XL size, and I used about 1300 yards for each cardigan.

ThE Shawl

I made this shawl for a lady who has been a family friend for about 15 years now at least. I wanted her to feel included and special because she is! She is like another mother to me and we have been through a lot together. I lovingly think of her as Mom #3. Her daughter and I were best friends for many years. Due to unfortunate circumstances my friend will never have her own wedding. I wanted her mom to feel like she got to be a part of one and to feel included in the bridal party, so she could have a little bit of a wedding experience. My best friend’s children, Mom #3’s grandkids, were the ring bearer and flower girl.

On a lighter note, fellow crocheters, you know how this one goes. You find some incredible yarn, it comes with a free pattern, you make it once, and then you promptly lose the pattern and the yarn label, never to be seen or heard from again! Unfortunately that is the story of this shawl. I bought this gorgeous yarn from She Sells Yarn. She would probably remember which yarn it was! It came with a pattern for a granny stitch style shawl. I started it and worked it until all the yarn was gone. I would love to give you all the details, but that is all I’ve got for this one! It sure did come out beautifully!

Tips for crocheting for your loved ones

Just do it. Don’t be scared to try something new! If you are still new to the world of crochet and are unfamiliar with sizing and shaping, try something like the Romance Cardi or a shawl, something that has flexibility in the sizes. The recipients of such a gift with be so happy that you put in so much effort and time to make something special just for them. The memories will be priceless, and they can think about your labor of love every time they wear it.

I hope that my story helps encourage you to tackle the project you have in your heart that you think is totally crazy! If you can dream it, you can stitch it! Comment below with your so-called-crazy project ideas so I can encourage you!

All official wedding photos taken by LeyRe Photography. The location was the Historic Venue 1902 in Sanford, Florida.

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