Sunday, 20 July 2008

Inspiration Goes Around.....

A few weeks ago Susan (of the Rainey Sisters) put out a request on behalf of Wrapped in Care for shawls. It seemed a good cause so when I found some lovely pale blue Rowan Cashcotton on sale at John Lewis - I scooped up two bags. Now all I needed was a pattern.

I browsed a few gazillion online shawl patterns, but - nothing sang to me. I flipped through my books and magazines - and still nothing. Then someone somewhere posted a link to a new book by Kristin Omdahl called Wrapped in Crochet - and there it was (you'll have to flip through the preview to Maya). IN amongst many lovely lovely patterns, was the pattern I really wanted to make.

Yippee.

But the book isn't out until autumn.

Bummer.

From the little bit of the book preview I could read, Kristin was inspired by a shawl she seen in Italy, made of a simple double crochet body with and edging of large medallions. Her version is triangular and looks very elegant in a gold-y tone yarn.

I decided not to let a small detail like no book stop me. So I took out my very expensive designing tools and set about making these meticulous blueprints to work with.

Browsing through some old crochet books I found a pattern for coasters in White Lace Crochet (Ondori) (an out of print book from 1990) which crocheted in the dk weight yarn (rather than the teeny tiny cotton the pattern called for) and a few modifications would be perfect for the edging.

I decided on 10 medallions for the edging and these were pretty straightforward once I got going. I was feeling pretty confident at this point. Which as we all know means doom is just around the corner.

I started the body of the shawl with the same hook I'd made the medallions in and after about 10 looooooooonnnnnngggggggg rows (3 full skeins of yarn!) (am I impressing on you how much work I'd done?) it was apparent that the tension was WAY OFF on the body. Despite lots of decrease per row - the body was still bigger than the edging! I couldn't kid myself - no amount of blocking was going to make this work.

So I ripped it all out. Well, not all, just the 10 loooooooonnnnnggggg rows (3 full skeins). I kept the medallions. I started the body over with a much smaller hook and 10 looooooooonnnnnnngggggg rows later I was smiling. I could see the beginning of a semi-circle. Yippee!

As everyone knows, rows and rows of double crochet are very good for watching Jane Austen adaptations. I chose to crochet to Mansfield Park with Billie Piper playing Fanny. And, well, I'm not sure the film makers actually read the book.

Yesterday morning I finished the last double crochets, wove in the ends and then blocked the very large shawl on my bed.

The shawl is 72" across the top with a 36" drop and took 14 50gm skeins of Rowan Cashcotton.

I'd love to make another one with a silk yarn one day, as I think the drape would be amazing. I'm pleased with the finished shawl, and hope it provides some comfort to the recipient.










26 comments:

Agnes said...

This is absolutely stunning! I love the design. Great job!

Gale said...

It's gorgeous. How creative of you.

ColetteS said...

Great job! I love the shawl.

Joan [yarnygirl.com] said...

That shawl is gorgeous and I admire both your ingenuity in improvising the design and your willingness to donate it to a good cause!

I liked that particular JA adaptation, if only for the actor playing Edmund. Loved him.

yarndancer said...

What a wonderful shawl! Great work! I heard about wrapped in care on the lime and violet podcast, it seems like a very worthy cause. I was crying listening to it. I'm sure your shawl is going to provide a lot of comfort to someone who really needs it.

fleegle said...

Just adorable! And I envy your your expensive drafting tools. Wish I had a pencil with that amount of talent :)

Romi said...

Very lovely! A wonderful job. :)

Saralyn said...

charming. what ingenuity! now you've got me thinking about some old books of tablecloth patterns in a new way.

lv2knit said...

It is fantastic, Soo! I absolutely love it and cannot believe how much effort you put into this lovely shawl. I sure wish I could crochet... may have to learn!!

And thank you for the plug about Wrapped in Care -- I am touched and honored that people are responding as they are!

lv2knit said...

PS -- I just finished mine, too, but it is certainly not half as nice!

Rachel said...

The shawl is beautiful and your ingenuity is so inspirational. Amazing job on this!

fleegle said...

Thanks for your good wishes! I shall try to bet better soon!

Kristina said...

Loving your "meticulous blueprints"... :-) The shawl is wonderful. I agree it would be fabulous in silk as well.

Good on your for not letting the "no pattern" bit stop you... now, THERE'S an idea for a knitting book. "Patterns for the Patternless?"

Queen of the froggers said...

Beautiful, I love the edge.

Shirley said...

Wow, I am so jealous! All I can do with a crochet hook is go round and round, I have done a big square, so I can turn a corner but not much more. Your design is lovely!

CraftyCartoons said...

Hi!

Thought you'd get a kick out of my latest cartoon that I just posted on my site - this one's for all you knitters out there :)

http://CraftyCartoons.Blogspot.com

Feel free to link the cartoon on your site to share a few laughs with your readers ;)

Oh, and be sure to submit a caption for the contest...it ends Wednesday morning. Voting for the finalists will start Wednesday night! Enjoy!

-Ryan

Joan K said...

Beautiful! You've inspired me. Doris Chan has a pattern for a shawl called the All Shawl, available at Ravelry, and I think that would be lovely.

I just finished a Seraphina Shawl for Wrapped in Care. I may have to try another one with your lovely idea.

cici said...

gorgeous.. The picture doesn't show off the pretty blue color. I love the pattern.

Jules said...

I think I've finally found a blog I'm willing to keep up with. Awesome work on the shawl. I've been inspired! (I've had the SAME, er...challenge of finding a shawl pattern.) Would be thrilled to see a pattern for this one. Wink, wink.

Opal said...

I am totally awed by your ingenuity. The shawl is just gorgeous. :)

LittleBerry said...

WOW.... talented lady so when you going to give up your day job and start deisgning????

Susie Hewer said...

The shawl is beautiful and so cleverly done. You are so kind to make it for such a worthy cause and I'm sure whoever is wrapped within it will feel the love you crocheted into every stitch.

Batty said...

Oh, wow. I think that shawl is one of the most beautiful shawls I have ever seen in my entire life, and you made it all by yourself. You really are inspired -- and inspirational!

juliet said...

oh my goodness!..I've just discovered your blog, and I have to say I am completely blown away by your work. I thought I was coming along quite nicely with my beginning lace knitting, but I have rather a lot to aspire to now!!
Stunning and inspiring!

cinnamongirl93 said...

Wow! I am so impressed with the shawl and your design. It is stunning. I don't crochet yet. Hmmm, but after seeing your beautiful work I really must learn!

Kay said...

Fabulous! <3

Your hi-tech design tools are as awe-inspiring as mine. =D