Monday, 1 April 2013

make it (bank holiday) monday : small talk

Shawls ~ for or against?  I love the idea of them, like a blanket that you can wear ~ we're very big on blankets in this house, and I'd like to take this opportunity to let you know my blanket of stars isn't finished yet ~ it took a slightly unplanned detour to the laundry pile after my gorgeous Smiler had a nose bleed while snuggling up in it!  I'll let you know once its back on that ever~growing 'things that I need to finish' pile... But back to the shawls...

I wanted to make something for myself, and really like the idea of a shawl ~ you know, something I could literally wrap around myself over a strappy top (I wear a lot of strappy tops with cardigans ~ I know, Gok Wan wouldn't even know where to start) to walk to get the kids from school.  

Over on Ravelry there are stacks of patterns that I looked the look of ~ their search feature is fantastic ~ and I picked out the small talk shawl.  I was initially planning to use a dk weight yarn, but once I'd done a few rows it was coming up quite chunky and didn't drape the way I had in my head that I wanted it to, so I frogged it.

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I started internet window shopping for something that was more delicate but would not take hundreds and hundreds of hours for me to make, but soon realised that nothing would fit both of these ~ so I decided delicate was the way to go, and put in an order at Go Knit (excellent service, highly recommended) for some rialto lace.  I've struggled to get the colours right in the pictures ~ it is an exceptionally dull grey day today (they have snow north of us, and flooding south of us ~ apparently explaining to the kids why we can't move house so they can build snowmen means 'you just don't want us to ever have any fun').  This is shade 06, claret ~ ignore the purple~y~ness of the pictures, it's actually line of a deep red wine colour... (what's with all the alcohol?)

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Got the pattern, got the yarn...and just three (or maybe four...or five) short weeks later, and hey presto, it's done!  I used four balls, and seem to have guess~timated the same as lots of other people with this pattern, and not left enough to complete the edging!  I used a 5mm hook, and left one whole ball and just under half of another for the light edging, which was enough for six and three~quarters of the eight edging rows, then I frogged back so I had the six completed rows.  And yes, frogging just over two hours worth of work did indeed hurt.  But... moving on...

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 I like the idea of beading the edge somehow, but I'm not a big fan of the beaded tassels look, so I might try some kind of slip stitch thing at some point ~ I'm sure there's a really straightforward way of doing it ~ if anyone knows, pretty please let me know in the comments!

One of the great things about the pattern is that you begin at the top centre, so the piece that will be on the back of your neck, and you work it down and out ~ wards, so you can just keep going for as long as you want ~ yarn allowing of course.  I love the shape too ~ most shawls are a basic triangle shape, but this is split by columns of shells into four kind of pizza slice shapes.  There.  Ever heard the word pizza used to describe a crochet pattern?

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It isn't blocked yet, basically because I've never blocked anything before, so I'm using the time honoured solution of ignoring that fact and hoping that magical pixies come in the night and do it for me.  You're right, that never has worked in the past, which is precisely why I think it is bound to work this time ~ you know, statistics and all that.  While I was still going I was worried it wouldn't be big enough, but now I'm a teeny tiny bit concerned it may be a little...a little generous.  As and when those pixies have visited I'll post a couple more pics (maybe even with me in them) so you can help me work out whether or not I can 'do' shawls.  Petal clearly can,  as you can see in the first photo ~ I have a feeling that there might be a request coming my way fairly soon...

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