I have always assumed at some point in the learning process that things get easier… That when you are more skilled, you can do things more easily and they don’t take so much effort. I’m starting to think this is complete folly or I just have a really bad memory for quite how bad every single stitch was when I was a true beginner. Case in point, this week’s lovely crochet shawl!
The yarn is a wonderful creation from Solstice Yarns (I am not responsible for what happens to your wallet if you click on her shop) that I’ve had sat around for longer than I’d like to admit. I can’t remember the name of the colourway, but I think it’s one of the Zoya lace bases, which is pure silk. It probably errs on the side of too lovely, which is why it has been sat, caked, waiting for a project.
I think my hands were feeling a bit itchy to do something after all the machine embroidery lately and I’ve been missing crocheting a lot so I decided to indulge myself with the Crocus Noir pattern from Katya Novikova. It seemed to be a good balance of simple, but beautiful, and something I could potentially take as a semi-mindless project.
However, all projects have a beginning. The wonderful awkward stage where you try and climb into the mind of the designer and get a feel for what the pattern is ‘about’. While it’s exciting to start something new, it does demand a lot of concentration and time, both of which I have been incredibly short of lately.
Then it was following the instructions, make a magic loop, do some stitches, check the abbreviations, skip the pattern chart, rip some things out, go back to the instruction, rip more things out, start again, on repeat for about an hour before I’d got the stage where I had stitches that didn’t look like wobbly limp things. I know my tension runs tight in both knitting and crochet, and I try to relax – this is lace after all – but I hate stitches that are best described by the adjective ‘flaccid’.
It took a bit of ripping and restitching but I think I am finally at a point when I am happy to proceed and have an adorable little scrap of material to see me on my way. It turns out this isn’t a yarn that’s happy to be ripped out – it tends to fluff and snag a bit and it’s not that tightly twisted. I’m not sure durability is a trait prized in shawls but I am not sure, if it ever makes it beyond the length of a finger wrap, that it ever will be. Oh those colours though and that lovely soft drape…
This seems to be a well-written pattern but even better, a well-charted pattern. I think I am prone to overthinking massively when crocheting and come up with all sorts of inventive stitch placements that I am sure would never be obvious to a pattern tester but I think working with charts and seeing not just what stitch I need to make but where it needs to go really helps. I’m finding the combination of the written pattern with the charts really helpful.
Now I just need to get chance to work this one to the stage where I can find some mindless joy in it!