Tag Archives: Jaggerspun Zephyr

Dahlia Shawl – Interweave Crochet Spring 2011 Published!

Dahlia Shawl - Interweave Crochet, Spring 2011

Dahlia Shawl (Prototype) - Interweave Crochet, Spring 2011

I am so excited – as I am sure you all know, the Dahlia Shawl has finally made her entrance into the world. These snapshots I took right after blocking, to get the shawl straight into testing. So  while this is the complete blocked shawl, these are not necessarily the final staged photos :)

Unlike the Midsummer, this one does not have a striking definitive border. I wanted the body of the shawl to flow almost seamless into the edging, as if it were a gradient effect. While working on the edging, I think I ripped about 18 times, to redesign. Sometimes things come to me right away, and other times its a wrestle with the design beast within. However, this is mostly due to my insane need for perfection- side effect: the crazy look mad designer.

Each time, I uploaded another photo to my test team. How about this one? Do you like this one? This super need for approval from them thank goodness has not made their excitement wane. They are all still there, giving their opinions as thoughtful as always!

Here is a few snapshots of the edging in progress:

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These, obviously did not make it into the final piece. While designing, I actually take my lace, and pin it out on styrofoam to get an idea of what it most likely will resemble. This closely resembles blocking, so I refer this as a “Quick Dry Block.” I then hold it up, photograph it, and then ask for opinions from the Crochet Garden testing team. You can also do this while working on a lace pattern- just to soothe that dance your mind does when wanting instant gratification.

This prototype was made using Jaggerspun Zephyr which is a 50/50 wool blend. This particular color is Lady Slipper, and I purchased it at Webs. (I love love love that place- I should really take out stock).

The final shawl, as shown in Interweave Crochet, Spring 2011 issue uses Manos del Uruguay Lace distributed by Fairmount Fibers.

For those on Ravelry- Here is the Dahlia Shawl Link On Ravelry!

dahlia_shawl

Dahlia Shawl - Interweave Crochet, Spring 2011

Maybe tomorrow or this weekend, I will post the photos of the blocking process- I actually happened to take photos in each step, as this shawl was originally going to be on the Crochet Garden website, with a blocking tutorial. So keep an eye out on that, and you will see how this shawl and other really come to life.

Also, there are a couple more shawl lace patterns in the works!! :)

Maia Shawl- is now released!

Maia Shawl

The Maia Shawl is now released. I had started this shawl so long ago, and then between surges of other shawl ideas and such, I finally finished this one. The edging took a few tries. The first couple, I would  work out, take a photo and show the testers, and would get yays or nays. Well, the third one was a charm- and it fit. It complements the body so well!

EDIT: I am editing this to let everyone know that Cerdeb of Ravelry has started a CAL for this shawl! Click here for Ravelry Maia CAL!

The yarn I used was called Jaggerspun Zephyr. It is 50% Merino and 50% Tussah Silk. While it has a low plush-factor (which is my term for billowy, stretchy, plushy), which is due to the silk, it lends itself well to this stitchery. It comes on a cone, so if you are thinking of getting it, at least where I got it from – Webs, so you will not need to worry about having to wind it on a ball winder using a swift. The yarn blocks incredibly well. So well, I purchased about 8 more cones of this yarn! (Shhh more shawls are on the loose). In the gallery of photos below, you will see photos before blocking, and then after. You will see, that it is normal for lace yarn to have the *crumpled* look, as I call it. It is bunched up.. and as usual, only has a small resemblance of the final piece.

The magic is in the blocking! I think of blocking like hairspray. Remember the 80s? I am an 80s child. I do not think my hair resembled anything like it did before an evening of hairspray :) And this is also where a little bit of art comes in. I know how lace behaves. So when designing, I will make little peaks and valleys, which will be my points I know I want to emphasize. After a good soak in lukewarm water, for say a couple hours, I gently take my shawl out, wrap it in a towel (never wring or make any friction – you may felt your work)! Unwrap it, and then stretch it out. Weave in wires along each side. That the work of setting the spine for the shawl. Now the detailed part of the work begins- pinning all of the points.

So you look at the before final, and say hey! I do not see the lovely fine points like I do in the final photos. That is because they are blocked out. That’s the hairspray. If you want a certain point to stick out, take a pink, stretch it out to where you want and pin it down. Do this do every single point (the pinning is hairspray)! Allow this to dry at least over night. (Note: Do not use *real* hairspray)! Once you take your pins off, you will see each point is where you pinned it- magic! It may be hard to grasp, until you have actually blocked a piece of lace yourself. If you look at the gallery photos of the shawl being blocked, you will see I first run 2 long wires along each side of the shawl. I then pin out each little peak, because I purposely want those to come to a point. You do not necessarily have to do this, but it sure makes it look gorgeous. Look closely at the before and after photos, and look where I placed my pins. Isn’t blocking amazing?

When I want to create an edging, I usually sketch it. I know what I want it to look like. See the nice fans in the edging? They have a convex shape. Same with the flowers in the innermost part of the body. They too are convex. I could have gone too with a convex like edging, but I wanted something that would stand out. So what I did, was used the little flower *spokes* like the innermost part of the body, placed them too in the edging, but made triangular scallops with them, and then made little sharp points in the trim. And voila, we have a striking ensemble of stitchery. Well, to my eye that is.

I do not yet have a stitch chart available for this pattern. But I will! I switched over programs, and am quickly trying to grasp the ways of the new program. As soon as this is done, there will be a chart available for this. If you purchased this pattern at the Crochet Garden, then all you will need to do is go into your account and download the pattern again. I will make an announcement here, as well as in a newsletter, so be sure you are subscribed!! If you purchased the pattern on Ravelry, you will receive a note saying there is an update available. If you purchased this pattern on Etsy, or through some other venue, be sure you are subscribed to the newsletter at the Crochet Garden. All you will then need to do is drop me a note with your receipt number, or whatever information you have from your purchase, and I will email you the updated pattern.

There is also now a Support Forum for the Maia Shawl, in case anyone runs into trouble, or wants to post their photos!

I really hope everyone enjoys this shawl!! Please let me know what you think. Also, I am on a lace binge – do you have a favorite lace yarn you like to use? Please do let me know about it, and I will see about getting my hands on it and create more designs in lace weight yarn! :) Thank you too, for the fantastic response to this shawl. I really hope it meets your expectations. If you find anything that would make my patterns or designs better, please, please do let me know. I design for all of you!