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Review: CROCHET GRAINNE POCKET CARDIGAN

(I’ll update with the completed FO at a later time. Sorry!)

Grannie Pocket Cardigan by Crochet with Carrie

Size: Small
Tools: US H 5 mm hook.
Yarn: Universal Cotton Supreme in colors Silken, Jade, and Seafoam


These are my personal opinions of the blog topic. I purchased the material with my own money and am not receiving any commission from the seller/maker nor am I affiliated with them.


Where do I even start this story?

Ahem, *cough*, hrmm. OK.

About a month ago my sister told me that she was going to make a crochet cardigan. Being the garment making nerd I am, I asked which one, and then promptly offered to make it with her. So, that’s how that started. I first glanced at Carrie’s blog post and was pleased to see that it had a fairly familiar organizational scheme when it came to the pattern itself.

Free knitting and crochet patterns are notoriously poorly written. IMHO: if it’s free, then try to rely on your own skill to figure it out. Not everyone is a professional technical writer or even use English as their first language, and you most certainly are not owed their every waking moment with petty questions you could figure out by asking your craft groups or even just a basic Google search. In other words: check your privilege before you go mouthing off to the designer about a “poorly” written pattern…that’s a whole other topic though.

Getting back to the point here —

How it went: OK.

Final Outcome: Pretty damn pleased.

Now, why do I feel like it was just “OK”? A few reasons. The main issue I have with the written pattern is that it is incomplete in some places.

In particular the modeled size is not apparent, single crochet across the front edge for the collar instructions are missing, and pocket construction is incorrect. So if you’re a super beginner to crochet, how crochet stacks, and how crochet garments grow, you might be better off looking elsewhere.

BUT tbh, that’s about the extent of my pet-peeves. Otherwise, this is a great beginner project!


–  Carrie’s video tutorial is great! It covers all the pet-peeves listed above regarding missing/incomplete written instructions. I highly recommend watching or even just listening.

–  The pattern itself is free (along with many others on her blog)  and written systematically that makes it easy to follow.

–  The cardigan is open front so it fits a large variety of body shapes and sizes.

–  The construction is familiar territory, so if you’ve made 3 dimensional objects or garments before, this will be cake to you.

–  Her website isn’t stacked with ads (I do run an ad blocker).


My favorite part is the herringbone double crochet stitch.

Herringbone Double Crochet Up Close
Herringbone Double Crochet Up Close

Though I’ve been in fiber arts a long time, crochet is still able to surprise me with the way people have figured out how to make different stylized rows of knots!

And now the juicy meaty bits: my modifications.

Why did I decide to make modifications to Carrie’s pattern even though I just said it was fine the way it is written? Because I hate seaming. Seaming and weaving in ends to finish a project in both crochet and knitting are my least favorite activities.


My Modifications:

–  Working from the bottom up as instructed, but worked the entire piece instead of the back and two front panels separately. I worked rows for my size – 20 rows, at which I then began to work the parts separately for the arm holes.

–  Turn, then chain 1 instead of chain 2 and turn at the end of the rows on the body.

Progress of the main body piece
Progress of the main body piece

–  Sleeves constructed in the round. The herringbone double crochet is a stitch pattern that needs the front and the back of the row to make the stitch pattern show correctly. So what I did for the sleeves was to ch2, work the pattern, then slip into the top of the first herringbone double crochet, then turn and ch2, etc. This created a nice continuous underarm that would otherwise have to be seamed. meh.

Sleeve construction in the round
Sleeve construction in the round

My overall Review rate:

As a Free Pattern: 4/5
Pattern Accuracy (does the pattern actually make the advertised object): 5/5
Supplemental Resources Provided by the Designer: 5/5

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First Impression: Ebony Crochet Hook Size H 5.0mm

HenPeckedHooks - Ebony/H

Ebony wood Hand-turned Ebony Ergonomic Crochet Hook Sz H / 5.00 mm

Price: $34

HenPeckedHooks


These are my personal opinions of the blog topic. I purchased the object with my own money and am not receiving any commission from the seller/maker nor am I affiliated with them.


Do you see this gorgeous bit of hand crafted goodness?!?!!

So, how did I come across the need for a hand turned crochet hook? It started with trying to find my 5.0mm hook, which I believe is permanently lost somewhere in the living room. You know, like how the dryer eats socks, pretty sure my living room furniture is in a pact with each other to eat and hide my craft supplies. But I digress.

A few weeks ago my sister and I decided to do a crochet-a-long of this cardigan. And I had purchased a lot of Universal Yarns Cotton Supreme yarn, intending to making a blanket with it. But like with most projects, plans change. And so, I needed to find my 5.0mm crochet hook!

Most of my crochet hooks are from a set of Clovers that I purchased off of Amazon on a whim one day, but for this, since I couldn’t find the hook, I decided to scour etsy for a hand made one to replace it! And that’s how I found HenPeckedHooks. The maker uses interesting natural wood grain details and I couldn’t resist! The hooks are very reasonably priced and they happened to have the size I was looking for ready to ship!

Upon opening the box, I was happily surprised at how little packaging was used. I appreciate a seller who doesn’t over pack, under pack, and recycles packing supplies. In this case, there was a perfect amount of packing for shipping. No excess! The hook arrived at my door in great shape. Thanks USPS! (I’ve gotten some abused boxes through USPS before, never the sellers fault)

The hook came packaged in a neat little box with the company logo and a nice thank you stamped on the underside of the lid. This is definitely a box work having for storage as I don’t think my other hook and needle cases will be able to store this. That said, I did purchase this hand crafted piece because of the large handle on purpose. I crochet holding the tool in my right hand with my wrist rotated flat on top and yarn tensioned with my left hand. When I use hooks with a very small handle, it hurts. Like I can’t crochet longer than maybe half an hour.

Hook in Hand
Hook in Hand

 

I’m not knowledgeable with wood working, but I did notice a light lacquer chemical scent upon opening the package. I’m not worried about that at all. After a few days sitting out, it has off gassed all the weird smells and is only noticeable if I place the piece directly under my nose. The piece is not sticky feeling and the weight is substantial without feeling heavy. It’s a nice solid piece of wood! The size is placed on the bottom of the hook and appears to be chiseled into the wood and not just painted on. I’ll never loose track of what size it is unlike other wood tools I have purchased in the past where the size is printed on the wood and easily rubs off. Looking at you KnitPicks wood DPNs :glare:

Ebony/H
Ebony/H

 

I have been working on the cardigan with my sister using a metal Susan Bates hook I found in my craft stash while I awaited the arrival of this tool, which brings me to the other point I want to talk about. This hook does have a nice rounded tip at the top, but does not have a pointed tip at the hook end and the hook space itself is small.

Hook Angled View
Hook Angled View

 

When it arrived I tried a few half double crochet on my current work in progress and had a difficult time getting the hook through the loops. Granted I am using cotton yarn. Since there is no tip at the hook end it has been difficult to get all the strands of the ply and I end up splitting the yarn. The space in the hook is definitely smaller than a size 4 / Worsted weight gap. So sadly, I haven’t been using it at all for my current project so that the tension and drape would not suddenly be off.

If I were to work a project with this hook I am slightly concerned at what kind of gauge this will produce. 5.0mm size is already fairly large, so if I have to use finer yarns with it because it can’t mange to work between loops, that might be a problem. I will have to actually gauge swatch crochet. :sad-face:

In the future I will be doing a swatch review with it and various yarn weights at a later time.


My overall First Impression rate:
As a Buyer: 5/5
Shipping/Packaging: 5/5
First Impression: 7/10