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!
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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!