Tag Archives: Tunisian crochet sweater

Tunisian Cardigan Continued…

I wish I had an interesting post to share with you this week but the truth is that I have been very busy taking my Pattern Grading Class with Kim Guzman and working on my Tunisian Cardigan.  I would like to let you in on the progress that I made this week.  I know it doesn’t seem like much but my yarn is very thin and it takes me a long time just to finish one row!

Below you see how the partially completed back matches up with the back of my prototype.  I’ve laid both my pieces on the bed and pinned one on top of the other.  It appears that the sleeve increases have worked well so far.  I left myself a little room on each edge to add trim.  I just have a few more rows to work before I begin my decreases for the shoulders.


The hem is extremely wavy.  Not only does it curl up, which is what I expected, but it seems much looser than the body of the sweater.  I am hoping that working some traditional single crochet around the hem once the parts are seamed together will solve this problem.

The Next Step

I am now very tempted to begin using the pattern grading information that I learned in Kim’s class.  I think that I will play around with it a bit just for practice but in the meantime, I will continue with my drawings and my high school math.  The measurements in the photo below illustrate the numbers that I must consider when working the shoulders.  I must decrease from 33 inches across the tips of the sleeves to 16 inches at the top of the shoulders. I have to do these decreases on 7 inches for the back to get to the bottom of the neckline which is also shoulder-level.

Tunisian Cardigansch3asm

So my calculations must be as follows:

Gauge: 20 stitches and 20 rows = 4 inches or 5 stitches and 5 rows = 1 inch

First off, I must deduct my trim since I measured from tip of shoulder to tip of shoulder.  My trim accounts for about 1 inch  of total width so I will deduct that from my 33 inches to come up with  32 inches.  I have to decrease the width by 16 inches or 80 stitches.  I have to make these decreases in 7 inches or 35 rows.  I can see already that I am not going to be able to meet my target of 80 decreases in 35 rows. After working 35 rows and decreasing one stitch on each side, I will only have decreased 70 stitches, leaving 10 stitches or 2″.  This means that at a height of 7 inches, my shoulders will be 2 inches wider than the prototype or 1 ” on each side.  If I work the fronts the same way, then my sweater will be 4 inches wider in the shoulders all the way around.

no way1

I am not sure how to resolve this issue.  Since the tops of the sleeves slope upward evenly until the shoulders and then level off sharply, I wonder if I can just simply keep decreasing one stitch on each side until I get to the back neck.  I have examined this top and it appears as if the decreases are done evenly all the way up.  I’m wondering now if the bulge I see as forming the shoulders is actually “hanger bulge”.

Tunisian Cardigan sch4asm

At this point, I have decided to try decreasing evenly all the way from the tip of the top of the sleeve to the edge of the back neck.  This encompasses 9″ of height which will be (9 x 5) or 45 rows.  Then I can decrease 42 times (once on each side) over a course of 45 rows.  Much better! It remains to be seen whether this will end up being the correct shape.  I’ll distribute the increases, work feverishly on my project, and get back to you with the results, good or ill!


Posted by on March 17, 2013 in crochet, Design Lesson, Projects


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Just Quickly…

Tunisian Cardigan

Tunisian Cardigan1

You can see here that I am making progress on my Tunisian project.  The increases have become so numerous now that it is taking me a while to work just a single row.  But the up-side is that I will not have to bother with making individual sleeves.  I am using a lot less yarn than I thought so I will have some left over to perhaps make a matching shell.

Grading Class


I mentioned last time that I am enrolled in a class for pattern grading taught by Kim Guzman.  Kim is an excellent teacher and I am learning so much!  For some reason, I’ve always had a mental block against Excel and spreadsheets.  But this class teaches you how to make up different sizes of a pattern by using a spreadsheet.  It’s very time-consuming but the best part is that I actually get it!  So I am anxious to get started with grading my Tunisian Cardigan pattern.  However, my class runs for a full two weeks so I will restrain myself until I have soaked up all the information I possibly can!

Neat Little Stitch Guide

Stitch guide

I hope that the copyright police don’t get me but I just had to show you my new copy of this handy little stitch manual.  Many of the stitches in this book have never been published.  Indeed, I believe that they are original to Kim Guzman.  The book contains descriptions, graphs, and color close-up photos of each stitch.  What a great tool for anyone who is interested in the ever-expanding field of Tunisian crochet!  I bought my book at Amazon for $6.42.  It seems to be sold out right now but they are expecting more copies to come in in a few days.

Just an addendum:  My friend Patrice has made me aware that Amazon does not expect to have this booklet before the middle of March of next year!  It seems that they sold out so quickly that it must go into a second printing.  But jot down the name and keep checking.  This little book is really worth the money!


Posted by on March 12, 2013 in crochet, Projects, This 'N That


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Poking Along

Tunisian Cardigan

I’m progressing slowly on this project.  Once I finished my increases for the underarm, I saw that I needed 6″ from there to the top of the sleeve point.  Six inches are 30 rows according to my gauge. I also saw that I had  to extend the sleeve outward by 3 1/2 inches.  Doing the calculation, I figured out that I had to increase 17 stitches in 30 rows because 5 stitches and 5 rows were equal to 1″.

So this is where I am now.  I distributed the 17 stitches over 30 rows in an even manner.  I have worked 3 rows of this section so far!  My rows are getting longer and longer so I had to increase my hook extension to the next larger size.

Tunisian Schematic 3a

Snow Day

We had a snow day on Wednesday.  Paul stayed home from work and we teamed up to complete some of our small projects around the house.  After installing the lighting over my sink, we decided to re-face the cabinets that bordered the window.  The previous owners had seen fit to nail various items to these cabinet sides leaving ugly holes as a result.  We had ordered some oak veneer and it needed to be cut and finished.

And while I had the mini-blind down, I also decided to wash it. UGH!  What a job!  I realized very quickly that a lot of the spatters were not going to come off.  Nevertheless, I finished the job and rehung the blind.  Next time–new blind!


The blanket of snow in my rock garden did nothing to deter the daffodils that are determined to poke up out of the ground!  The weather has been frigid most of February so I am surprised that these hardy little fellows are still on schedule.


Goose Eggs

Years ago I had ordered a lot of goose eggs.  My intention was to have the grandchildren decorate the eggs for Easter.  Our first effort failed miserably.  After getting out all manner of paints and decorations, the kids became bored within about 5 minutes!  Since then I have not come up with a good use for these eggs.  Every Easter I get them out, look at them for a few days and then pack them away again.  I need a quick and easy project that will make a minimum of mess!


Water Bottles

Now that I am going to Yoga three days a week, I began to feel very guilty about all the small water bottles that I was using.  I subscribe to Better Homes and Gardens magazine and happened to see an article about some slim little bottles that can be filled at home.  I ordered them and I have to say, I love them!  They are completely safe to use and do not contain any BPA. A small rack is included that allows you to store all your bottles neatly in the fridge.  Not to mention, I’ve received a lot of compliments when I took them to Yoga.  They are just the right size to fit into your purse or tote.  You can buy them here.



Posted by on March 8, 2013 in crochet, Projects, This 'N That


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Making Progress…

Tunisian Cardigan Design Notes

I am  to the point where I will want to begin my underarm shaping.  According to my drawing, I will need to end up with an increase of 3″ on each side in a space of 4″.  This means that I must gradually increase each row over 4″.


My gauge is 20 stitches and 20 rows equal 4″.  That means that I must make my increases over a 20 row span.  If I have to increase 3″, this means that I must end up with an increase of 15 stitches because my gauge says that one inch equals 5 stitches.  So I must increase 15 stitches over the span of 20 rows. I decided to work my increases as shown below:

beg. increases

Since the non-increase rows must be spread out over the 20 rows to the beginning of the sleeve opening, I’ve increased a bit more gradually at first and then more steeply at the end by placing more non-increase rows in the first 10.

This will result in the last underarm row consisting of 137 stitches since I will increasing 15 stitches on each side gradually.  Then, from that point, I can again begin to increase gradually to the point of the upper sleeve.

I’ve drawn the process below so that you can see how the increases must proceed.  This diagram is not to scale but simply represents which rows will be increased and which rows will not.

Increase diagramB

The boxes represent the rows and each X is an increase so you can see that after 20 rows, I have 15 increases.  Since I am working on the back, I must be certain to increase at both underarm edges.  To help me keep track of my increases, I will place a marker at each row that I have worked without an increase. The orange marker represents the last even row before the increases begin.   Luckily Tunisian crochet has very clearly defined rows!

Looking closely at the photo of the sweater, you’ll note  that it seems as if the first few rows do not increase as steeply as the later ones.   I will do my underarm shaping first and then once, I see how that fits in relation to my prototype, I’ll proceed to the sleeve increases.


None of this is rocket science.  It’s actually quite easy to calculate your increases once you have a good handle on your gauge.  And the Tunisian method of crochet seems to be much easier than traditional crochet.  It also seems to use less yarn!

Will it Ever Warm Up?

I was looking forward to some warmer weather now that March has arrived.  It seems like the last two months have been incredibly cold and windy around here.  Now I see on the news this morning that we are expecting a big winter snowstorm on Wednesday!



Posted by on March 4, 2013 in crochet, Projects


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Tunisian Cardigan Design Notes

Tunisian Cardigan

I already had a design in mind when I ordered my yarn from Knitpicks.  I really like the looks of the Tunisian simple stitch. The fabric resembles woven cloth. I also like the geometric nature of the stitches.  I’ve never been too fond of lacy styles but have always preferred clothing with a bit of a modular look. Therefore I will work this cardigan in Tunisian simple stitch.

I chose to make an attempt at copying a very well-fitting sweater that I already own.  The sleeves are short but batwing in style.  This particular sleeve design always looks very flattering on me because it minimizes my large bustline.  It is very slimming and elegant.

T sweater

To begin, I started to work my swatch with a size G Tunisian hook.  My yarn is fingering-weight and I know from experience that Tunisian crochet always calls for a larger hook that what you would normally use.  I expected to have to experiment with the hook size but after working only an inch of my swatch, I could tell that this was the one I wanted to use.  My fabric is coming out slightly airy-looking which is perfect for a spring sweater.  I am using a hook extension that accommodates 14″ of fabric.  Even though my piece will measure 21″ across, this is enough because the stitches squeeze together.  Too much extension on the hook makes it heavier and harder to handle.


Swatch 2

As you can see from my swatch, I have a nice loose fabric here.  The bottom curls up as is usual in Tunisian crochet.  I will have to add trim to the bottom of the sweater to fix that when it is finished.  I wanted to make a quick statement about the Knitpicks yarn that I chose.  This fingering cotton blend is called Comfy and is extremely nice to work with!  The blended fiber is acrylic and this makes the yarn very soft and pliable, much nicer than the usual 100% cotton would be.  There are a lot of positive comments on Ravelry about Comfy and it seems that I chose the right thing!


Then I set about making a rough drawing of my project and adding the measurements of each area.


I edited a photo of my existing sweater to make a better-looking schematic of the measurements for the finished project.

Tunisian Schematic 3a

From the swatch I made, I know that my gauge is 20 stitches and 20 rows in 4″.  This means that I must make a chain to accommodate 107 stitches for the back hem. (21″ divided by 4″ = 5.25 and 5.25 times 21 = 107.25 stitches)  I know I must work for 45 rows before I begin the underarm shaping.  This is enough to get me started!  Progress in Tunisian crochet is always a bit slower than traditional crochet.  I think that it takes concentration to pick up the horizontal loops on the forward pass, especially when working with soft fingering yarn.

Ultimately I would like to make this the first pattern for which I will offer a range of sizes.  I will be taking Kim Guzman’s Pattern Grading class at Crochetville on March 22 and hope that I can add the additional sizes after I finish the class.  This is such a non-structured garment  that I think it will be a good candidate for my first foray into pattern grading.

I was at Goodwill Monday morning.  On Mondays seniors get 15% off!  I am a real pushover for potential yarn totes so I scored this little pocketed make-up basket for $2!  Another great find in a string of great finds!



Posted by on February 27, 2013 in crochet, Design Lesson, Projects


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