Every project I create has a unique process as I take it from idea to finished design.
I thought it would be interesting to explain the “design journey” of the Twilight Shawlette in this blog post.
Wowed by the Yarn!
Every time I stop by Hobby Lobby to pick up a craft supply, I always take a stroll through the yarn aisle. 🙂
Often there is a new color or variety of yarn that I haven’t seen before. One day I noticed the Sugarwheel Cotton in the beautiful “Twirls at Twilight” color – I loved the gradual color changes and that there is an iridescent thread twisted together with the cotton yarn.
In photos it’s difficult to see the shimmer this iridescent thread creates but in-person it is so pretty!
Right away I knew I had to create something with this yarn.
I collect vintage crochet projects that my family members crocheted (grandmothers and great-grandmothers). Many are made with cotton crochet thread and represent hours of stitching with a small steel hook. Tablecloths, napkins, doilies, collars, runners and more make up my collection. I enjoy looking them over for inspiration.
The scallops on this vintage collar caught my eye – I decided I should use it in combination with this yarn. Because the scallop would be large with Size 3 yarn (and not thread like on the vintage piece) I thought it would be best shown off along a rectangular scarf or maybe even a triangular shawl. But I wasn’t sure which type of project yet . . .
I did know that I needed to decide on a stitch pattern that would work for the base of the project – this stitch pattern should be fairly simple and repetitive so as not to distract from the large scallop edging.
Hmmmm. . . . .
As I let this idea ruminate in my mind over several days I spent some time outside around our deck chairs. And one day while I was eating lunch, I noticed how the pattern on the back of the chairs looked like crocheted V-stitches!
As I analyzed how they were worked together, I realized that they were offset and not stacked on top of each other (as V-stitches usually are).
I loved the offset look and discovered that it could be easily replicated by working the V-stitches in the spaces between each V-stitch.
Tada! My base stitch was chosen.
I thought about working up some rectangular test swatches in the V-stitch but just wasn’t content with the shape or making another scarf.
So, I decided to create a small shawl (“shawlette”) in a triangular shape. I realized it was pretty simple to work decreases with the V-stitch to create the shawl shape.
And by making it into a triangle shape it could be worn as a shawl and as a scarf!
So, off I went to stitching with the yarn! I used a hook larger than what the label suggested in hopes to create more drape – it worked!
I also wanted to extend the triangle slightly so there was more length to wrap around your shoulders and use to tie the ends together in front.
I worked the decreases steadily to a certain point and then stopped decreasing so the width stayed the same for several rows. . . .
But . . . after I completed both sides of the shawlette and tried it on again, I realized the ends were just too long – oops!
Then it was time to “frog” several rows and alter the length of the ends by working the non-decreasing rows for much less rows.
Plan out the Edging
Now I was ready to add my favorite part of the project!
But this took some figuring out – I examined the edging on the vintage collar and exercised my brain cells (lol!) to see how I could replicate the look. I did some sketching as you can see in the photo above which helped me figure it out.
As I experimented I realized that the edging needed to be worked in several back-and-forth passes for each scallop. I also realized that it would work best to first create a round of uniform stitches that could serve as a base to the scallops.
It felt great to figure out the edging and that it would work for my shawlette – yay!
My original idea was to work the large scallops along all 3 sides of the triangle and I started to do this but quickly realized it was just too much of a good thing!
So, I frogged some scallops again and decided to do a very simple edging along the top long side of the shawlette triangle. The simpler edging I chose reflects the last piece of the scallop edging and helped bring it all together at the end.
Since the yarn was mostly cotton I knew I would need to wet block it to fully finish it – it took several pins and patience but was well worth it!
The blocking helped the stitches to look crisp and even and helped the shawlette to hang just right around my shoulders.
So, what do you think of this design’s journey from idea to completion? Can you relate to any part of the process? Were you surprised by anything I shared?
Please leave a comment below with your thoughts – I love to hear from you!
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