Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ballad of the Seemingly Endless Shawl

Crochet is a new obsession for me.  I've been an on-again, off-again (mostly off-again) knitter for years, but I confess that I've  looked down my nose a bit at crochet, the poor stepsister of the fiber world.  No longer.  I'm hooked (pun intended).

So I decided it's time to do a big crochet project.  I spent about 48 solid hours poring over patterns on Ravelry and finally purchased a wonderful pattern for a shawl.  A shawl.  How lovely, how summery.  The word conjures for me a cool lake breeze, rustling leaves, a willowy maiden draped in delicate lace.  Now, I will never ever be a willowy maiden, but I can certainly drape myself in delicate lace.  Or perhaps heartier lace, in a silky Pima cotton, with a repeating pattern of leaves.  Perfect.  So I bought some silky shiny Pima cotton, and I crocheted.  And crocheted.  And crocheted.

This is what it looked like after the first day:  

This is what it looked like after the sixth day:

I was delighted.  As the leafy lace flowed from my fingers, I could feel summer billowing around me.  The sunshine, the green grass, the breezy, shaded porch.  I was the queen of shawls, the mistress of crochet.  I couldn't put the thing down, and so it grew.  And grew.

I had to go buy yarn because I'd used far more than I had thought I would need.  I bought not one but two extra skeins, just to be safe.  The Seemingly Endless Shawl sucked them in and just kept growing.  I  kept crocheting.  My fingers flew.  The pattern flowed.  It was glorious.

And then it was done.  I hefted it in my arms (nearly two pounds of silky shiny Pima cotton), went to the mirror, slung it stylishly around my none-too-willowy frame.  It hung there like so much tangled string, nearly dragging on the floor, folds and layers obscuring my beautiful leafy lace.  I am five feet tall; I looked like I was wearing a bedspread.  The summer breeze stopped blowing.  The sun slipped behind the clouds.  The willowy maiden vanished; it was just me on a chilly April afternoon, rain turning to snow turning to rain.

So I did what I had to do.  I ripped it out.  Row upon row upon row, unraveled.  The yarn--all squiggly now-- wound back into balls.  I ripped out seven and a half of the eight skeins I had used.  The Seemingly Endless Shawl, once the approximate size of a city block, was reduced to a sad little triangular dishcloth.  I went all the way back to row 20.  Row 20 is the row where the directions said to skip ahead to row 40 if one were using heavier yarn.  I was using heavier yarn, but I had chosen to overlook that suggestion; I wanted to include every lacy leaf.  How could twenty rows make a difference?  I wanted it to be big, as big as the summer sky!  But that was the problem.  It was as big as the summer sky.  I set aside my queenly excess and began my shawl again.

I'm still working on it.  The weather is still miserable.  The yarn, though squiggly, is still silky and shiny.  The pattern is still leafy, lacy and beautiful.  I'm a loyal person; I am still in love.

I will post photos when the new, improved Seemingly Endless Shawl finally comes to an end.

It will be divine.

All content ©2011 Kimberly Denise. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.


  1. Sounds like you are having fun! Wish I could crochet.

    I knitted a jacket recently for winter (it's autumn down here) and I had to give it to my mother as it looked awful on me! Oh well, that is knitting/crochet for you - you really don't know what you've got until it's finished. But I still love knitting.

    Your shawl looks beautiful. I look forward to seeing the finished article.

  2. Love your narrative, Kim, made me smile. Look forward to your finished shawl and it is a lovely pattern.

  3. You just never know with these things. Size and gauge are a mystery to me....but every time I mess it up (again!), I learn a little bit more.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  4. ...and once it is finished, again , it will be perfection....the sun will come out from behind the clouds and shine upon you wrapped in your perfect shawl of lacy leaves.....congrats on not giving it up ....

    jadedrachen from Ravelry

  5. Hi Kim, I couldn't help laughing. At least you are committed to finish what you started. Very nice pattern BTW.

  6. Hi Pat, Adriana, Jade (wow, from Ravelry, a new visitor)! Thanks for stopping by! Glad I could give you a grin.


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