Have you ever purchased a few skeins of yarn just because you were drawn to the color , color combos and the feel of the fibers? You did not have a particular pattern in mind, but you assured yourself that eventually select the right one and a lovely crocheted piece would emerge. You were drawn to THE CHARM OF THE YARN. Such is the case with my Premier Yarn Sweet Roll GRAPE SWIRL. (Yes, I am still enamored with self-striping yarn.) When I did get started, I decided the piece would be part of a display on a future article focused on the color purple.
Faced with another 4 hour car trip (this time to a baby shower near Boston), I packed up my car trip equipment bag (that included my hooks, measuring tape, scissors,etc), yarn, directions, and the first crocheted rows of my new scarf. I even taught myself to do the bobble stitch to add texture to the scarf. Happily I crocheted along as the scenery swept by. I was confident that this new venture would be another success story. However, when I looked down to examine the work as a whole, I was dismayed. I had to admit that the beginnings of my scarf-to-be looked like a warty, lop-sided banana. My increases were not coming out evenly or all on the same side. The piece could not be salvaged. Still in love with my yarn, I tenderly ripped out the work and began an alternative pattern. I knew I was not supposed to start a new unfamiliar project, on the road, but with 2 hours to go, my fingers still demanded action. Needless to say, this pattern required more attention than I could give in the car, and into the frog pond, I jumped again.
At this point, it was obvious to me that if I was going to have any success at all I needed to return to a tried-and-true design that would be enhanced by my beloved GRAPE SWIRL fiber. Yes, I could forgive myself as once again, I launched a triangle shawl with granny cluster stitches. As I added row upon row, I stroked the granny shawl lovingly and admired the colors and the way the shawl lay on my lap. A few days later on a Thursday morning, I stood in front of the mirror and smiled that I had crocheted just the right number of rows. I was ready for an edging, and decided on a more subtle Picot instead of a Scallop or Shell border.
Picot edgings vary, depending on the yarn, and the nature of the garment. For my shawl I would use a 3SC, ch4, SC in same stitch repeat. Quite by accident, I discovered a strategy that made the Picot edging lay more naturally. Before I crocheted any border, I made a single crochet all around to provide a clean edge as the foundation row. Since I just wanted a plain edging along the neck edge, I would only crochet a picot border on 2 sides. Usually, I just continued around with the picot after this base row. However, I did not like the way the edging looked on most pieces. Therefore, I decided that after the base row, I would finish off and cut the yarn. Then I would reattatch it at the beginning of the first corner and crochet in the opposite direction. In this way, both the SC row and the picot edge would be crocheted with the same side facing me.
I really love my GRAPE SWIRL shawl, as simple as it is. I have enjoyed the CHARM OF THE YARN. I even have enough yarn to execute the directions I wrote out for my mismatched fingerless glove pattern that I am trying to prepare for publication. The shawl will still be part of my purple focused article to be posted in the near future.
What yarn have you enjoyed working with. What was the CHARM OF YOUR YARN? Please share your finished pieces or your WIP's as well as your comments at the end of this article or on Facebook. I look forward to your feedback.