How to Crochet the Alpine Cardi Wrap: Part I

You know that feeling where you're only part way through a project and you already know it's your favorite thing you've ever made? Daniela Nii's Alpine Cardi Wrap from Interweave Crochet Fall 2014 is giving me that feeling.

 

 

 

I'm normally a process crocheter—I enjoy the act of making a thing more than I enjoy the finished thing itself. But in this case, I want to be wearing this sweater already! Hurry up, hands! But I'm in luck, as the process itself is already very rewarding. I don't know if it's the fun stitch pattern, the delightfully soft Quince & Co. Lark yarn, or the color overlay, but this project is addictive.

 
  When we were assigning a concentration rating to this pattern, we decided to give it our highest level due to the fact that it requires quite a bit of attention to establish the stitch pattern and maintain it through shaping. You'll be counting stitches and hunting down hook placements. You can see on my copy that I might have given this a bit of a higher rating, if allowed. But don't let that put you off. Once you work the first two sections of the body, the rest of it is much easier to establish.
 
  The trickiest thing for me was to make sure I was working the post stitches around the right part of the correct stitch in the rows below. Instead of working around the body of the post, work around the top of the post, just below where the two top loops of the stitch would be, and above the small, horizontal bump at the top of the post. Counting those horizontal bumps is the best way I've found for counting my stitches when working an overlay row. And count your stitches closely, to be sure you're working around the right one. If your fabric puckers at all, this could be a sign that you are working around the wrong stitch (go ahead, ask me how I know). Also, take care when establishing the left zigzag pattern to begin working around the first post of the first true stitch, not the turning chain—or you will discover your error only at the very end of that row (as I did).
 
  Despite the care I took, I still ended up with two extra stitches on the left front edge of the piece. My conscience and I have agreed that we're going to pretend that they're not there—a bit of extra selvedge, that's all. It is having a small effect on the overall stitch pattern, though, as you can see where the stitch pattern is not diminishing off the edge at the same rate as it is in the original. I've come to peace with that. Whether or not I will regret this decision later remains to be seen!
 
 

An added delight—the stripes are worked in two rows of each color, so the alternating colors can be carried up the edge, for fewer ends to weave in after.

 
 

So there are some tips to get you started on your own Alpine Cardi Wrap. Feel free to join me for a crochet-along on this project! Visit the Alpine Cardi project page to get a list of supplies, and the pattern can be found in Interweave Crochet Fall 2014.

Happy Crocheting!

Sarah

PS: Here is me, resigned to the fact that I needed to rip out that entire last row.

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