The cover! My first I am so exhilarated my Midsummer Night’s Shawl made the cover of the Summer issue of Interweave! I had no idea, no clue. I was also wondering when I sent it in, how it would fair. It would be up against the Dragonfly shawl. Not in the sense each one competing with one another.. But I always compare my work- what do I like about this one, and how is this compared to that one. What would I do differently… etc. When choosing what pattern to make, the decision is almost always from comparisons. In a sense, this shawl had a lot to live up to! How would it do?
Since the move, I kind of went into hibernation. However, during that time, I began an affair with lace weight yarn. I blame the Dragonfly It was as if it came to life, flew into my window, and sat upon my shoulder and commanded nothing but lace! My checkbook got a workout from lace orders I wanted to try every fiber, every brand…
This affair revealed something else though –I have always had a fondness for lace, and this brought that love back to the surface. Here is one result of this path I am exploring- The Midsummer Night’s Shawl!
Pattern Body: This is shawl simpler than the Dragonfly. It consists of a 4-row repeat. The stitch pattern is remarkably simple.
If you can make clusters, sc, and chains, you will have little, if any problem with this shawl. In fact, if you are an expert at crochet and have always wanted to try lace, this is a great way to start Once you have the pattern down, it is a nice project to work in front of the TV. No counting.
Construction: The construction works like the dragonfly. You begin with a miniature triangle smaller than the palm of your hand. You then work across in rows, from corner, to center tip, to next corner. Then turn, and work present corner, to center to tip next corner, and so on. So working as long / wide as you wish is doable.
Yarn: The model (the shawl in the magazine) for this pattern uses Malabrigo Yarn Lace (100% baby merino) The color is #98 Taureg.
The prototype (the project sent in for consideration) I used Knit Picks Shadow Kettle Dyed yarn (100% merino wool), in color Altitude Kettle. Unfortunately, this is being discontinued, as I really love this color!
Marcy Smith, the editor of Interweave, found the Malabrigo Yarn. Both are a lovely deep blue, and both have a very, very subtle changes in color depth – not enough to take away from the lace pattern, but just enough to enhance it.
For the past 6 months or so, I have been playing around with so many lace weight yarns, and getting a feel for the properties of each brand, each fiber. This has really helped cultivate my process when designing in lace, to really achieve what I want a design to become.
The Malabrigo yarn is very soft – definitely not an itchy wool. I have super sonic sensitive skin, and had no issues working with this lace. For example, some lace I have worked with it almost feels like I have a continuous feed of splinters infiltrating my skin when crocheting. With the Malabrigo – no problems of this kind whatsoever.
I would say the Malabrigo is a “sticky” yarn. Yes, I have my own little language and terms I associate in my mind to properties of lace. Sitcky, meaning, you have to be careful if you have to rip. It likes to stick to itself.
I would not say it is a nightmare if you need to rip out – perhaps somewhere in the middle ground. Some yarns, especially many those with fuzz and halos are hazardous to my mental well-being if I have to rip. Those yarns I just cut, and attach anew – and save insanity for those midnight hours of designing when I talk to the moon Some lace weight yarns, no problem ripping out.
With this, I would advise to rip slowly. Kind of like the sheep over the fence, the more you think about the more they all come over at once? Well, this, the more you pull, the more stitckies, and then, the ultimate stubborn knot. So just go slow, pull gently, and stop at the first indication of any struggle.
Blocking was beautiful. Thirty minute soak in a water bath and I began to pin. It kept its shape well, and did not relax anymore than any other lace yarn I have blocked with. Blocking is essential, as that is truly the magical part of lace shawls. I only wish I still have the model in my arms. Luckily, I still have the prototype!
I hope you enjoy making this shawl. And for those who were afraid of the Dragonfly, please give this one a try You are all on an adventure with me! Please do let me know if you make this, what you like, what you do not like. The more feedback I get, the better my designs will become for you!
If you have a favorite lace yarn you like to work with – let me know! I am hungry for more lace I want to design in every lace weight yarn there is available. Drop me a line too of your favorite colors in lace!
Thank you for sharing this magical time with me!
Also, want to make a note, another lady, Nicole, at Superior Creations, interviewed me. She posted my answers to her questions, and is having a Giveaway on her blog- a $25 gift certificate to the Crochet Garden! You can find it here: Superior Creations Blog. The Giveaway only goes until midnight Tuesday, so hurry!