Summer Fun – Crochet Sweater

I was going to do my usual monthly wrap up today but decided to squeeze in one last make for July! My Summer Fun Sweater was so quick and easy I think I’ll make a few more before the summer is done – and why not, the summer fun is going to continue for at least another month! I might as well fill my closet with cute tops to wear and maybe sometimes they’ll match the cocktail I’m drinking!

summer fun sweater 3

Look how nice this top matches with my Margarita!!

To begin with, I’m calling this the Summer Fun Sweater because that’s what I thought of when I was making it. I’m not going to call it an original design or my own pattern because I find it hard to believe that among the thousands of crochet patterns available that I’m the first one to come up with this design. I can tell you that I did not follow any pattern. I used a method for making sweaters that I already know and let my hook do whatever it felt like doing.

For this sweater my hook felt like alternating rows of treble and double crochet stitches. I used the same sweater design concept that I used for the Spring Sweater that I made for my mother in law months ago. It is an incredibly, ridiculously easy concept to make a top down sweater that automatically places arm holes exactly where you need them. It is based on your measurements so it is completely customizable.

summer fun sweater

Why yes that is my lovely crochet table cover in the background!!!

For the Summer Fun Sweater I started the same as I did for the spring cardigan but then connected it back together in the front to create a deep V neck. You can adjust the V to be as low and daring as you like or don’t make it a V neck at all and go with a crew neck style. That’s why I call it Summer Fun. Following my own imagination = fun. Searching for hours for the perfect sweater pattern then hoping I am following it right = not fun.

summer fun sweater 1

I decided to make this sweater because I had picked up three skeins of Caron Cotton Cakes with a gift card that I had and wanted to try it out. The yarn color is called “Calico Flowers” and had some fantastic, happy, fun summer day colors that I thought would be great for this project.

summer fun sweater 2

Added some colorful beads for even more fun!!

They were great colors and probably why I came up with the name Summer Fun. I also probably thought of naming it that because it was honestly fun to make. I love a project that you can finish in less than three days and have it be an (almost) fool proof pattern makes it even more fun!

There was however one thing about this sweater that was NOT fun at all. I’m sad to say it was the Caron Cotton Cakes. There was the usual issue with the “cake” dilemma of stripes not lining up correctly. I didn’t really mind that though because if I wanted them to line up perfectly then I would have just used solid colors and changed them every row. I think for this fun sweater the staggering color changes add to the fun element of it. You may disagree if you want, but that’s my spin on it. I will not ever cut a self striping yarn to force it into the perfect length. That just seems like a silly thing to do.

What I specifically didn’t like about the Caron Cotton is the quality of the yarn. Not the texture or the way it was spun – those two elements were fine. It’s a very tightly wound yarn that is nice and light with a fairly soft feel. I used three full skeins of this yarn and had a total of six – yes 6 – knots within the skeins. The first one had 2 knots. The second one had 3 knots and the third had 1 knot. Of course they all seemed to end up being in the front of the sweater so I needed to do some very tricky tension maneuvers to hide them. I don’t think I’m being too picky to be upset about the knots. I have used hundreds and hundreds of skeins of yarn in my life and finding a knot happens – I know that – but never in 3 out of 3 skeins!!

caron cotton yarn 1

Okay so the knots were bad enough but then there were a LOT of weird and not pretty color spots in every skein also. Most of them I just crocheted right passed them hoping that they weren’t that noticeable and writing it off as “natural variations” as part of the dyeing process. But these were some very UGLY spots that looked like every color was mixed together and splashed onto the skeins. These grayish/brownish spots were showing up right in the middle of a single color. One instance of this ended up with me needing to cut out about 10 feet of yarn – it fell right in the front of the sweater and would have looked like there was a minor bleach accident or some other chemical stain on the sweater.

It was very disappointing. I had high hopes for this yarn. I usually use inexpensive yarn and I’m sorry but almost $6.00 for a skein is not what I consider cheap. I expected better quality. I expected better from Caron. Their Simply Soft line of yarn is one of my very favorite yarns to use. The self striping Cakes are no longer a new thing for Caron so the learning curve is long over. The Cotton Cakes are fairly new but still they should have worked out whatever issues they have with yarn breaking long before now. I’m not an expert so I guess I can’t say that there is something wrong with their process or with their quality control department (or lack thereof) but I DO KNOW for a fact that somebody had to tie the yarn together on at least 3 occasions in that one skein of yarn. In my mind that means that somebody knew that there was an inferior skein out there.

In the spirit of fairness I will go as far to say that maybe, just maybe I had a super unlucky day choosing my skeins. Maybe, just maybe every other skein of Caron Cotton in the store was pristine and perfect. However, according to some Instagram comments I’ve read, I’m sad to say that mine was not a unique experience.

It is really pretty yarn and not counting the flaws, it was nice to work with. But unless there is a HUGE sale on it, or if I find it on the clearance rack, I will not be buying Caron Cotton again.

I really really hate saying those words. I LOVE yarn – all yarns, every yarn and I feel bad that it has come to this. If anyone has some good positive things to say about Caron Cotton – please please please let me know!! I want to give it another chance but my yarn budget will not be wasted on knotty weird color spotted yarn.

Thanks for reading! I will be doing my Goodbye July month in review post tomorrow!

~ Tami

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55 responses to “Summer Fun – Crochet Sweater

  1. Tami, your top is indeed fun with a capital F!!! You may want to try Knitpicks yarn. I started using them to get wool yarn (no one carries it in town) and have discovered they are a great source, reasonably priced too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kathy! And thanks for the tip about the yarn. I usually just go with whatever is in stock in Michael’s or at Walmart. I’ll have to check Knitpicks out – I like reasonable prices!!!! šŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the sweater, can’t believe you finished it in less than 3 days.. I’m so sorry about the yarn problems you went through.. I haven’t used this yarn but when I come across knots in my threads, I get upset and I don’t think it’s as good as Caron..so I can imagine what you felt. The piece is lovely though! I have experienced the dye issues in a variegated thread I used, but I just crocheted with it anyways. (it was a sweater I made, but I’ve never used it-too warm for our climate). The yarn is beautiful though, and from the pics, the grey doesn’t really show.. I wouldn’t have noticed if you didn’t do a close up shot.
    PS. if you have or know any patterns for a thread cardigan, I’d love a link šŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kelley!! It was really so disappointing that there were problems with the yarn because the colors are so pretty. You can use the same method that I used for this pattern. It may take a little longer because the thread will need you to make more rows but after you’ve done the first row to establish where the arm holes will be you can continue with any kind of stitches you want. I’m thinking of converting the pattern that I used for the Dancing Butterflies Wrap into a cap sleeve sweater kind of like this one with the deep V neck. I’m going to use the same method as this sweater but then use the fan stitches that were in the wrap. I have NO doubt that you could design an incredible amazing thread cardi!!!!! šŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • Awwww..Tami!! you are soo sweet to boost up my ego like that. lol… I’ll start working on it soon.. I just hope i’m able to form the armholes right. And I think that pattern will look great! I can’t wait to see how it turns out if you try it šŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll probably have it on my hook this weekend – I’m really excited to start. And I’m even more excited to see what magic you make with your thread!! šŸ˜€

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  3. That’s a lovely top! And thanks for the yarn review, really useful. As soon as I saw Caron Cotton Cakes in your post I was like oooo! I did not know of such thing!! But now I will research further before buying any in. We are heading to spring here so thoughts turning to cotton šŸ™‚

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    • Thanks Pam! It was really disappointing because it is gorgeous yarn. It’s a 60/40 cotton/acrylic blend which gives it a very nice feel. I usually love Caron yarns with SuperSoft being one of my favorites. I might do some research and see if I can find any other reviews on it before I decide whether or not I’ll buy it again. šŸ™‚

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  4. Tami,
    Cute, cute sweater!!! I really like it and the stripes do make it fun! But I see what you mean about the problems with the yarn. And while it’s a pain, you can finagle the knots, but that grayish-purpleish blob is really not attractive. Did you go to the Caron website and tell them? You should send them a link to this post. Maybe they’ll send you some coupons and you can get something else.
    I am going to have to make a sweater. By the time I finish it, the weather should be a few degrees cooler and just about right for it. I certainly won’t get it done in three days, and I want it to be a cotton or cotton blend so (rats!) I’ll have to buy some more yarn. But not Caron Cotton Cakes. Thanks for the heads up.
    Once again, great job.
    Jan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jan! That’s a really good idea about commenting on Caron’s site. I don’t like to not like a yarn. Especially from a brand that I trust and use a lot. The weight of this was yarn was perfect for a light short sleeve sweater. I love this base method of top down design because it’s all done in one piece – I really don’t like to have to assemble panels. This worked up lickety split because of the tall treble rows. I want to make another one using one solid color but I can’t decide if I want to use any colors that I have in my current stash. Rats I might need to get more yarn too!!! šŸ˜€

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  5. Look at you! An original design just stitched up lickity split! Great job:)! I’m sorry about the knots in the yarn. I hate that too. I usually cut them off and then attach my yarn as usual and weave the ends in later. It is such a pain! Well, no caron cakes for me!

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    • Thank you Tracy!!! It probably would have been easier to cut it and leave a nice long tail to weave in rather than try to tuck the knot behind a stitch. D’oh!! I didn’t even think of doing that. šŸ˜€ The top down method works up so quick and using the tall treble stitches made it go even faster. It was the Caron Cotton Cakes that I used for this that had so many issues in it. I still like the wool blend Caron Cakes. I’m not crazy about the self striping yarn in general because it really limits what you can make with it but of course I’ve already started work on another sweater using the Caron Funfetti wool cakes I’ve had in my stash for months!! šŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  6. First, pretty and fun sweater. Came out very nice. Second, I hate when I come across yarn knots in the middle of a skien. I just cut the yarn and weave in the ends but for some yarns that change color, it can make for an abrupt color change. It bugs me, a lot! I had forgotten about how some yarns have spots of weird color sometimes. That’s very frustrating. First time that happened to me, I kept trying to rub the offending color off! I thought it was something on it or something I stained it with. So I feel your pain. Especially for a yarn that costs more. Hopefully it was just a bad batch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Yolanda!! If it was just one knot in one skein and just one weird spot in one skein I wouldn’t have even commented on it. But it was 3 out of 3!! I know that for plenty of people spending $6 on one ball of yarn might not seem expensive but for me it is! The only time I spend more than that is for a 1 pound skein. This was only 3.5 oz!!! I didn’t even think about cutting and weaving in around the knot – that would have been easier. But I was outside and my scissors were in the house so I probably wouldn’t have gone all the way inside to get them anyways even if I did think to do that LOL. šŸ˜€

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      • You know we’re twins. I think that’s expensive for that amount of yarn too. The Caron one pound yarn has a knot or two often enough to make me mad. I can’t imagine finding three in such a small skien. I wonder if you could write a letter (email) to the company to complain. Might give you a little satisfaction and maybe they’ll give you a coupon or something.

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      • I should. If nobody ever says anything to them then they won’t realize that they might have a production problem that should be looked at. I think that I would only give this yarn another chance if I had a coupon for it or if someone gave me some for free. My yarn dollars are way way too limited to be wasted on yarn that makes me mad.

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  7. Lovely top Tammi , but I agree with the yarn issues, not acceptable! Glad you got a positive result with the lovely garment though. I contacted another yarn supplier recently as had 6 large knots in a 50g ball , they said their quality control allowed for up to 6, :O and it was unusual to get 6 knots but would not replace the item. I won’t be buying that brand of yarn again! Funny how we don’t get those issues normally with inexpensive yarn?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! It’s so true – I never have problems with my cheaper brands of yarn. I think that’s what made it even more upsetting because I splurged for this yarn. That’s ridiculous that they said up to 6 knots is acceptable! I bet that the person that buys the ball with 6 knots in it would say it was NOT acceptable. LOL. So in the end, even with the yarn issues I did like the way that the sweater came out and I liked the weight, texture and colors in the yarn. Well except for those weird ugly spots. But I’m going to be sticking with my cheap yarn from now on. šŸ˜€

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  8. The top is Awesome…did you notice the capital A? šŸ˜‹ I like the idea of matching your tops to drinks šŸ¹ It can be your ‘Cocktail Collection’ šŸ˜
    Tha yarn knots…hate ‘me šŸ˜£ I’ve had them a lot in Caron Simply Soft. The Caron Cake that’s sitting here is still undisturbed – I’ll let you know. šŸ˜Š What would upset me more is the color change…send them an e-mail and photo. Maybe you’ll get a coupon out of it šŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooooo Tina I think we’re onto something here with the Cocktail Collection. I think a fun twist would be that instead of making things that go with our drinks we should drink while we are making things!! Imagine what awesome designs we could come up with!! Well until we wake up the next day and the cat has a new sweater LOL!! šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€

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      • šŸ˜† You know, I like the way you think! šŸ™ƒ
        It’s potentially like ‘Kaffe’ on steroids…but you know it’ll be awesome! šŸ˜
        I once put an outfit together for the next day -while I was slightly tipsy šŸ¹ – and actually wore it out šŸ˜³…and got a lot of compliments šŸ˜‚ But it was definitely a combination that, under sober circumstances, I would have never put together šŸ˜‰
        So it’s definitely worth a shot ā¬…ļøšŸ¤£ Cheers my dear!

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  9. If you think $6 is pricey you should check out what the “original” acrylic-wool Caron Cakes cost in Europe. ā‚¬12 or sometimes ā‚¬14. I couldn’t believe it. The cotton ones haven’t made their way over here yet to my knowledge but as far as I’m concerned they can stay over on your side of the ocean. I bought some on sale at Michael’s when I visited home for Christmas and I loved working with them. However, that was when I spent $5 on each one.

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    • Yikes!! I would need to get some sheep and grow my own yarn!!! I probably won’t buy the Cotton Cakes again and I only ever buy the regular wool blend Caron Cakes when they are on sale – even then I don’t buy them very often. šŸ˜€

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      • I found them to be limiting because of their long stripes. I did make a Tunisian scarf with one but I crocheted it from side to side instead of from top to bottom. I wrote a post about it with an explanation on how to do it. That way the stripes are narrower and run the length of the scarf.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t remember if I read that one ore not, I’ll have to check it out. I haven’t done a tunisian project in a long time. I was toying with the idea of using some self striping on a hairpin lace project. The long stripes might be interesting depending on how long the strips I make are and the kind of join I do.

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  10. Hi Tami!
    Love the top! It seems I will need to follow your steps again and try to copy this. It seems just the perfect top. I may have even purchased something similar at some point.
    I was looking at the Cotton Cakes last week, and after analyzing the amount of money versus the amount of yarn, I passed. Glad I did so now. I have had the same problem of knots in the Caron Cakes, so I would cut them out and make knots with ends so I could weave them in. Annoying, but doable. I’ve used quite a few of the Cakes, but I still don’t see why everyone is gaga over them. Unless I am absolutely in love with the color scheme, I won’t buy them again.
    -CJ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks CJ!! I have the same opinion on Caron Cakes – it’s nice yarn but the knot issues and the limited amount of projects you can use it on makes me wonder why everyone is so crazy over it. Give me a big bag of Red Heart Super Saver and I would be way more excited than one ball of Caron Cakes. You SHOULD make a sweater too!! This is a great method for working the yoke to get the sleeve holes in place and you can so easily modify it to go crazy with all the style variations!! For this one I alternated rows of double and treble stitches but you could do chain space rows or shell rows or whatever you want. I just started working on what is going to be a long sleeved, hooded tunic using this exact same method. It’s also going to be in Caron Cakes but only because I bought 3 balls of the wool blend about 6 months ago and my daughter asked me if I could make her something with it. I also have a wip using this same method that is going to be a duster style sweater for my oldest daughter. Very very easy and versatile. I’m going to make another one exactly like this using a solid color yarn. The only thing you need to be careful of is the joining seam ends up running right down the middle of the front so either do an invisible join or continuous rounds. Unless you don’t mind the joining seam. I found that if I don’t slip stitch but do a single stitch to join it was a little less noticeable. Can’t wait to see what you make!!! šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€

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    • Thanks Meghan!! It was super easy to make – and crazy quick too! I might contact them – I was really surprised and disappointed by the flaws in the Cotton Cakes. I’ve never really had problems with their other lines of yarn. šŸ™‚

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  11. Pingback: Goodbye July | Tanglewood Knots·

  12. This sweater is so cute I need to make something like this but longer to throw over my tanks when I wear leggins – also totally get your bad yarn experience! When you love a brand and it comes out with shit it’s not good enough. Especially when your paying good money out, like you said it’s not cheap yarn. The quality control clearly has been missed. If you want free yarn complain to them with a email and explain hahah most companies will give you refund etc I know you don’t want that but maybe just letting them know and they can give you come kind of confirmation that it’s been dealt with so you don’t make the same mistake in buying it again when it’s dog shit. When Caron cakes came over to the UK you wouldn’t believe how many issues people had massive fat knots in the yarn etc it was crazy! I still have mine sitting here. Sometimes yarn companies change up the way they do things I noticed a brand I used from day one used to be dk but some were so think due to the dye/shade – but i think cotton is always a tricky one! Caron you need to sort it out love!

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    • Thanks Rebecca!! I’m making another one similar to this for my daughter but using all double crochet so it will be heavier. She wants it to be longer to wear with leggings too. And she wants a hood. You really should make one – it is so awesome to wear something that you made yourself and when everyone says “love that sweater wherever did you get it” you can say “in your face bitches I made it!” Okay maybe you shouldn’t say that because you probably want to make a sale. Which is another reason why you should make one so that you will be advertising your shop whenever you wear it!! šŸ˜€

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      • I think i really will make one I have that whirl yarn to get rid of but then I want a really chunky one because I like to be comfy and have a some aran. Lmao not afraid to say it to bitches muhahaha gotta stay real!!! Stay posted with your progress looking forward to it

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  13. Wow, that was some fast sweater making! I’m sorry to hear about the yarn quality, but it doesn’t surprise me one bit. If I had a lot of money, I would buy yarn only in quality yarn shops, not hobby supermarket stuff like the Caron or Lion Brand or Red Heart – I think you get my point. The thing is, they know they’re cheap (6 dollars is still cheaper than high quality yarn skeins) and they know they can afford mistakes and lose a customer or two.

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    • Thank you!! The sweater went so quick because of the tall treble stitches I think. If I was rich I would totally open a yarn boutique and hire a team of the best spinners to make fabulous yarn!!!! šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€

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  14. That is gorgeous. Sorry about the yarn troubles! I havent used the cotton cakes but I have used the standard cakes and whilst knotting hast really been an issue for me, I certainly agree on the weird blotches of brown horribleness. I find its not as bad in the more matchy ones (like the bluey grey one and the purpley one) but on the rainbowy ones it is a big problem. Here in the uk they are Ā£10 or 3 for 2 a ball in our equivalent of michaels which would make them around Ā£6.60 which to you is almost $9. Too much for all the rave!

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    • Thank you Bethany! I’m not sure why people are still so crazy over it. The colors are nice but the other problems with it really make it not worth it. There’s also very few things that you can use it on. If it was about half the price that it is I would think it was worth it. šŸ˜€

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  15. I love the sweater, but I’m sorry to hear about your issues with the cotton cakes. Apparently they aren’t bringing them to Canada, at least the last I heard, so I won’t have to try to avoid them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kate!! I was so disappointed with the yarn. The color combinations on the cakes are so pretty and I was excited to try it. At least now I know what to expect so unless there’s a really big sale on it I won’t be buying it again. šŸ˜€

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    • You know I really expected more from Caron too! It was disappointing because I was really excited to try it! I might give it one more try before writing it off completely. The color combinations are really really nice. I’m waiting for a sale though because I won’t pay full price for it again. I’ll be sure to let you know if I have better luck with it the next time. šŸ˜€

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