I’ve been looking for patterns for simple, “solid” shawls for long. And as much as I love beautiful, delicate, lace designs, I couldn’t find anything simple, that wouldn’t look too much like taken out of grandmother’s wardrobe at the same time. Not that I have anything against grandmother’s wardrobes, in fact, one of my grandmothers was an excellent tailor, another one a good knitter and a very elegant woman 😉
But I digress again. I haven’t found anything I really liked, and what’s more, many patterns are based on triangle which quickly gets too long, before it is wide enough.
And then I bought the Malabrigo sock yarn, and as I added it to my stash on Ravelry, I checked what other people made with it – and here it was: Foliose shawl by Cirsium Crochet. Made exactly with the colour I bought, too. The moment I saw it, I knew that this was the pattern I had been looking for.
Crocheting it was a bit of a challenge at first, i didn’t quite understand where to stitch the cable stitches, and I had no clue what the ghost stitch technique, recommended in the pattern, was. But I found the free tutorial for this technique, made by the same designer, and applying it made a great difference. I also started using the chart rather than written pattern and that made it much easier too. So after a few rounds of frogging, I finally got it. In fact, after finishing one full spine medallion, I didn’t need the pattern anymore, as it is repetitive.
I also knew from the designer’s notes that two skeins of this yarn might not be enough to crochet the bottom plait, so I skipped two final rows and made the braid instead. I don’t regret it, the beauty of this shawl is based on the plaited motifs, and without them it’s just a wide double crochet triangle. With the plaits and cable medallions along the spine, and adding the colour of the yarn, I guess I couldn’t achieve a more “celtic” look with the crochet. As it is, I absolutely love it.
And the yarn is fantastic, too. It’s merino wool, fingering weight, it’s soft and smooth, great to work with, and the colours are beautiful. As usually, much deeper in reality than on my photos, going from the deep blue to even deeper emerald and bright green. It was also easy to block (gently, only by stretching it by hand on the horizontal dryer) which is always important to me.
The shawl made a debut yesterday, in an Irish pub of course, and worn with the black dress it was a perfect accessory for the cool afternoon 🙂
I love that it’s not too long, it’s still a triangle, but much wider than its length. It covers the shoulders and back just as it should. And it can be also worn like a scarf, wrapped around the neck, and doesn’t feel too heavy.
As I’m still in the world of shawls, this topic will definitely return to the blog, sooner or later. And in the meantime my two first finished projects in knitting: baby booties and hat:
These projects were meant to teach me increasing, decreasing and sewing. As you can see, the stitches are uneven, the sizing makes no sense at all, the seams on the booties are terrible. But I am actually happy. I am knitting ! No matter how terrible it looks – it will get better, in time 🙂