29 June 2010

Fighting off the boredom.

With crochet! I've decided that, in order to fight off the boredom that inevitably comes with the writing of a 9000+-word thesis, I could crochet a shawl with all the yarn I have. So I fired up Ravelry this weekend and started browsing for shawls. It had to be relatively simple, not too frilly, not too lacey, because it's being made in cotton and will serve as my wrap-up-and-cuddle-up-in shawl this summer and will be brought along to festivals and on holidays. I found truckloads of pretty, frilly, lacey shawls. I tried several.

The first one I found was the Juliana Wrap (ravelry link). It made sense. It looked good. I began crocheting in dark blue cotton. It turned into a trapezium. Not a very attractive shawl-shape! I ripped it out, began again. Once more, a trapezium! What the heck?! I was doing something wrong, I had to be, the pictures in the pattern were all nice somewhat rounded shapes, not trapeziums! I got sick of doing it wrong and really liked the pattern because of the second part of the shawl and figured that, if I made a half-moon shape myself, I could just add the mesh afterwards. Right?

Yeah.. With an entire ball of yarn, I made a somewhat rounded triangle about the size of the backside of a pair of knickers. That was depressing... And I realised that I would in no way have enough yarn to make an entire shawl out of that blue yarn. Also, it would be so thick and heavy! Not suited for a summer shawl!

So I switched to plan #2. I had about 6 skeins of yarn in a cotton/linen mix that I wanted to use as a scarf or shawl because the colour was pretty. So I went out and looked for another pattern that better suited what I wanted and decided to try the Seraphina Shawl. It was a fail. Never try to learn lace-like patterns with a thick, stiff yarn...

I figured, it may be the pattern that doesn't suit this yarn. It wouldn't work in a shawl because it's so stiff that you might as well be wearing a sheet of bricks around your neck or shoulders. Next plan. The Magnificent Mantle. Simpler, straightforward pattern. Begins with making a large triangle and adds the details later. Okay, I can do that. After about 8 rows of crochet, I got sick of it. It's the darned yarn. It's too stiff. Forget it, I thought, and threw it aside.

I decided to give it one last go with a skein of bright blue cotton yarn I had bought together with the dark blue and which I have used to make some hexagons earlier this month. It's thin, it's flexible, it's cotton... And it works! Finally! I'm 15 rows in now, and I'm probably going to have to add a few extra rows in at the end because the yarn really is quite thin, but it's looking promising.

Here's a groupshot of the two failed attempts and the WIP (all reminding me a lot of underwear, sorry.)

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