Mohair yarn is the candy floss of the wool world. Its popularity has been on the rise for a few years and it is now everywhere you turn. It’s hard to avoid it and it seems that repeated exposure to colourful, fluffy yarn online means that I have joined the floof party.
Working with mohair in other recent crochet projects has provided me with the material to write a future blog post all about it. But that is being saved for another day because what this post is about is the Perfect Mohair Cardigan. A crochet cardigan that ticks all the right boxes for a fun, bright and cosy garment.
Perfect Crochet Cardigan
A few months ago I released the Perfect Cardigan, a crochet cardigan pattern that is perfect for anyone who has mastered the basics of crochet and wants to try and make a proper wearable garment. Using that pattern I made this mohair version. However, because the yarn is chunky kid silk mohair (I bought it from MYPZ) the gauge is ever so slightly different. For those wishing to make one like this, I thought it would be helpful to provide you with some useful tips and info on the adjustments I made.
For the tldr crowd, the easiest way to get yourself a cardi that looks something like mine, is to use the original pattern but make a size smaller than you would ordinarily choose. It might end up longer than the original so watch out for that (it’s what the rest of this blog post is about). Being someone who enjoys making life difficult, I did lots more faffing than just dropping down a size…
Adjusting handmade garments
Generally speaking there will be no “one pattern suits all” when it comes to making your own clothes. That’s a given. Whilst I have done my best to design a garment that will universally suit all, we all have different tastes and preferences. With a bit of jiggery pokery, you can make a few adjustments to tweak it into becoming perfect for you.
Adjusting patterns is usually a case of having a play around, frogging and trying again (on repeat). Lengthen the depth of cuffs, waist or button bands with additional stitches, widen them with more rows. Add or subtract rows of the main body to crop or lengthen the body. Begin sleeves with additional stitches to create more volume. There are lots of variations to experiment with. However, this is problematic with mohair. You run into the risk of frogging! You definitely want to avoid frogging your work because mohair never wants to let go once it’s snuggled comfortably into a row of stitches. It’s better to have a good idea of what you want before you travel down that path.
Let’s be honest, mohair might not be the best yarn to start learning how to make garment adjustments. It would be beneficial to have already made a few crochet clothes beforehand. If you’re interested in the ultimate guide to making crochet clothes that fit, I recommend this ebook from Dora Does. Michelle, an amazing designer and tech editor, gifted me a copy, she provides an absolute wealth of information on the subject.
Aaaanyway, here are some tips to consider when you make a Perfect Mohair cardi. Please bear them in mind when you embark on making your own version!
Tip number one
When turning this into a chunky mohair cardi is, take your sweet time! It’s a quick make anyway so there’s no reason to jump the gun.
Tip Number Two
Make sure you have enough yarn! The yarn is different but not massively so, which is why it’s OK to substitute it. My mohair cardigan (a sort of mash up of sizes 2 & 3) weighs 575g (the MYPZ chunky is 100m/50g). The original (size 3) weighs 656g (the Paintbox Worsted wool I used is 200m/100g, so the numbers kind of suggest it’s match). The light and fluffy fibres of the mohair means it comes a bigger size though. The chances are, the body and sleeves will be longer and wider (see Tip 4).
I used 11 colours. 13x 50g balls of mohair. 2x Dark grey, 2x Taupe, 1 of each in: RAW Dark Blue, Peach, Bright Purple, Neon Pink, Neon Yellow, Turquoise, Warm Purple, Orange, Mint.
By the way, 2 balls of the Dark Grey were required but I only purchased one. A deep stash dive came up with a grey Drops Melody, which is the yarn used for the button band.
There’s some yarn left but the striping has an effect on the amount of each used. I have not calculated the yarn needed for the other sizes in the mohair version but sizes larger than a 2 will need additional balls. It might be a case of the fewer colours, the better. You’ll use more of what you’ve got without fannying around with individual stripes of all the different shades. Look at my leftovers below, not quite enough of some but plenty of others. No Mint shade left at all. Collectively, there is probably enough yarn left to make the next size up without running out but that is quite the game of yarn chicken!
Tip Number Three
Go up a hook size. Perhaps get a swatch or two on the go to decide which you prefer. I started with the recommended hook size but couldn’t see the stitches! My poor eyes! I like loose stitches with mohair, you can see them better and the drape is good.
Tip Number Four
Try it on as you go. The way the pattern is worked, you can hold it up against you to see if you like what’s going on. I did this and decided to start the decreases and sleeve splits a couple of rows early as it was looking a bit long. At this stage you could brave frogging back a row or two, just do it sloooowwly.
Post split, I followed the decrease pattern for the size 3. I paid zero attention to stitch counts as they would have been different. If I dropped or gained a stitch or two, so what?! It’s not going to be noticeable in amongst all the fluff.
If I remember correctly I also binned off the last couple of rows near the shoulders too. Knocking off an extra few of rows overall meant that the length was almost the same as the original.
Mohair Measurements compared to the original:
Length: 54cm (about the same).
Width: 59cm (5cm wider)
Sleeves (including cuff): 49cm (6cm longer than the original but still not overlong as I made the cuff ribbing smaller, which helped balloon and gather them).
Speaking of sleeves, I held these up to my arm as I began nearing the top. They should be, at the very least, 40cm in length and then you can adjust the depth of the cuff to suit you. Remember that they are drop sleeves so they start below your shoulder rather than on it.
Tip Number Five
Break the rules! The tips above are an attempt to show the difference a few small tweaks made but ultimately, you can do what you want!
For example, I wanted a balloonier sleeve at the cuff so I added an extra 6? 8? stitches to start of my sleeves but followed the size 3 increases in the pattern (again, I ignored stitch counts). I stopped about six rows early so they would still fit the gap in the main body. They were also long enough at this point. You could afford to stop even earlier (I have long arms).
I haven’t even bothered counting the waist band rows, just made it four inches shorter than the main body. It is probably several rows less than the written pattern. Button holes are gone too, I didn’t want buttons. It’s fine. Whatever.
And I have absolutely no intention of blocking it! Ugh, just no.
Everything comes together
I did a couple more tinkerings and typed up notes on my Raverly Project page, which has the adjustments I made there in a shorter format. If I have left out something and you have a burning desire to ask a question about the cardigans, please do so. I will help where I can, if the pattern and/or the info here doesn’t cover it.
You can buy a copy of the Perfect cardigan from Ravelry, Etsy and Lovecrafts.
Hope you like it! Cheers.
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