Tuesday, January 27, 2009

seraphina shawl

I'm very serious about this 'learning to read a pattern' business... at the moment I'm working on the Seraphina Shawl, and can I just say...

NICE SHAWL - NIGHTMARE PATTERN

I thought the hard part was going to be choosing the yarn. The pattern calls for a 10 ply/worsted weight yarn and a 6.0mm hook. But I didn't want a shawl which would be chunky and bulky and heavy... so I knew I would need to use a lighter weight of yarn...

But what? I'm not a fancy girl, by any means... and I definitely didn't want a fancy shawl. Casual suits me perfectly. In fact, I'll more than likely be teaming the shawl with a pair of jeans!

I ummm-ed and ahhh-ed for the longest time, before finally making my decision...

yarn

I'm combining these two lightweight yarns. The blue is a denim kind of colour, and is made up of two strands... one slightly darker than the other. It's a cotton which I recycled from a men's jumper. The variegated purple is a lightweight wool, which I bought second hand from a charity store. Worked together, they form approximately an 8ply/DK weight cotton/wool blend. Using the 6.0mm hook, it offers a nice drape.

progress 1

Now... listen carefully...

IF you are interested in making this shawl, here is the original pattern

BUT I highly recommend... actually, NO... I INSIST that you click here and go over to Crochetville, before you pick up your hook.

Many crafters have made this shawl before, and many have struggled with the original pattern. The nice people over at Crochetville have re-worded the pattern in a couple of different formats. Scroll down the page when you are over there, and you will see there are a number of different 'versions' of the pattern. The first post is a very wordy (but informative) description of the steps involved. Then in the next post there is a chart for those of you who prefer to work with a diagram. Thirdly, there is a basic description of how the pattern works.

Would I recommend this pattern to others?

Yes... BUT... be prepared... the first 10 rows are a struggle. You are setting up the pattern for the rest of the shawl, but it seems fiddly at this point, and nothing seems to 'flow' or make sense. You need to lock yourself away, with no distractions for this stage. It's stitch-by-stitch work in the beginning, but once you get into the flow... MUCH EASIER!

Over at Ravelry, 485 people have made this shawl... so it is DO-able...

Have you tried it yet?

10 comments:

CT said...

No, I have not tried it yet, but now, thank you, I wanna go make it! arrgh! hahahahah!I love how it turned out!

Sam said...

It does look very wearable. I've stuck to very simple patterns as well, so far, so it would be another challenge.
But the colours of your shawl... *(jealous)sigh*. I need to find some more yarn I actually LIKE before I start something complicated ;-)

I shall be following your progress :-)

LittleMary said...

wow. that is really beautiful. perhaps for a christmas present to start after i finish the 4 projects i have going already.

cats-rockin-crochet said...

I agree with you Purple, the first 10 rows are difficult, but once you have jumped over that hurdle it is a dream. I like what you are doing with your's, nice and light weight.

Leslie said...

Ya knoooooooooooooooooow, I want to make everything you show. UGH! I also think that I started this some time ago and stopped, probably because I couldn't "get" the pattern. Thanks for the tip about Crochetville. Oh, and I love love love the colors. I've been really looking at sweaters since "meeting you" and, someday, I'm going to try to take one apart. I really think you need to fly to Florida and show me in person. I've got a guest room! :) Blessings, Leslie

Jennifer said...

The two yarns look gorgeous together...

TerryD said...

I'm an experienced crocheter and I started this thing 3 times before I got the hang of it. I love Crochetville! Keep going-it looks great!

Alison said...

Well done for sticking with it. I have just finished it as well...mine just needs blocking now.
http://www.ravelry.com/projects/allycoll/seraphinas-shawl

LisaB said...

Oooh, I have never made a shawl, but this makes me want to try one.

laughing purple goldfish said...

ct - go for it :)

sam - I'm on the home stretch now, so it shouldn't be too much longer

littlemary - too many projects, not enough time? I can totally relate

cat - thanks :) you've been very speedy with yours... and having done two already, you're quite the expert

leslie - oh my goodness... a guest room... how fabulous would that be!!!! what a precious offer :)

jennifer - thank you!

terryd - it's a wonderful boost to hear that even experienced crocheters have struggled to get started with this one... thanks for sharing

alison - I left a comment over at rav for you... the greens are gorgeous, and alpaca... what can I say but YUM

lisab - it's intricate, but not fancy...which I like... and I'll be leaving the tassels OFF mine