Lately, my TikTok “For You” page mainly features people showing off all the amazing sweaters and cardigans they crocheted in 2020. I sat there staring at my screen and thought “I could do that”, so I scoured the internet for a tutorial for the famous Harry Styles cardigan and ran to the nearest Joann’s to pick up all the yarn I could need. After a week of non-stop crocheting, five shows, and three hand cramps I had finished my very first cardigan!
The first and most important step to starting a project is making sure you have all of the necessary materials. I decided to use a 6mm crochet hook with weight 4 yarn. The youtube video I was following recommended getting 3 red, 2 black, 1 orange, 1 green, 1 yellow, and 1 blue skein of yarn. I ended up having extra, but it’s always better to have too much than too little yarn! I also made sure I got a darning needle for sewing the pieces together and 6 buttons for the button band.
This cardigan is a good beginner’s piece because it only consists of making and attaching a ton of square patches, the trim for the sleeves and bottom, and the button band. I started by making ten red single crochet patches, twelve orange half double crochet patches, fourteen yellow double crochet patches, ten black half double crochet patches, fourteen green single crochet patches, and twelve red and black mixture half double crochet patches. That is a grand total of 72 patches! Once all of those are done, you can focus on crocheting the ribbing which I did in red using a half double crochet stitch.
After you’ve crocheted all of the patches and ribbing, the next step is to put them together. The original creator of the sweater has a tutorial on how to layout the patches that I followed. There is the back piece, two front pieces, and then two sleeves that you must sew together. Admittedly, I did end up sewing some of the rows on backwards, but as long as you don’t double up on colors it won’t be super noticeable in the end. When putting the patches together you can either use the darning needle or you can use a crochet hook by slip stitching, either one works and it comes down to user preference. I found slip stitching to be less time-consuming so that was the primary method I used.
Once you have each panel made following the tutorial, you can finally start attaching the panels together! I found it easiest to attach the back and front panels first and then attaching the sleeves. The main trick here is to not sew shut the hole needed for the sleeves and to leave room for a collar at the top. After you have the skeleton of the cardigan you can finally attach the sleeve and bottom ribbing! This is when you hide any imperfections and the cardigan finally looks more put together. The last steps are the button band and the collar. Once you have those done, you have a completed cardigan!
I ended up completing the entire process within one week over winter break, but it’s completely normal for this to end up taking more time! One of the things that kept me motivated was watching different movies and shows while crocheting. I ended up watching seven movies, two documentaries, and an entire first season of a show while making the cardigan which helped make the process less monotonous. It’s honestly such a rewarding experience, and it still blows my mind that I can wear something that I made with my own hands. I’ve already gotten so many compliments on it, and it’s definitely a great conversation starter.
I hope that anyone who wants to try picking up crochet gives it a chance because it’s honestly addicting and I can’t wait to make more sweaters and cardigans soon.