This is a shawl I am making for a friend of mine, Cathy. I have named this project You’ve Got Your Troubles – by The Fortunes – Shawl. Well, I’ve got mine; That’s how the song goes.
Cathy chose the yarn from one of Newton’s Yarn Country’s parking lot sales before showing me the pattern. Her yarn choice is like a rayon, very slippery. Having worked with rayon before, I did not think much about her choice. Of course, this was before she gave me the pattern she liked. The pattern (The Shawl – Collared Shawl from the book Crochet Your Way by Gloria Tracy and Susan Levin) calls for a 70% mohair, 30% silk blend, which might be a lot easier to work with because of the hairs, and crochet hook sizes G, H, I, J & K, beginning with the K.
The first attempt went well from the foundation chain except that using such a large hook with such a fine medium caused the foundation chain stitches to twist on themselves, making stitch identification and consistency difficult. On the third attempt I got the idea to crochet the foundation chain around a length of waste yarn to prevent the stitches from twisting on themselves. This was a very important lesson learned.
I was still struggling with tension, and I think because of that, I kept loosing stitches. I am a counter, but at this point, I am losing patience. I am counting as I crochet, double-checking when I am off. Another lesson I have learned is to count stitches while the project lays flat on a table versus in holding the project in mid-air.
Another problem is the stitch identification. At least three times I have lost stitches on the decrease row. Because the stitching is so loose, it is hard to identify the decrease; add to that the correct replacement of the stitch marker.
Pictured above is the first two rows, crocheted with a K hook. I am about to switch to the J hook and start the first set of decreases. My plan of action is to take my time, perhaps turn off the television and/or the music, so I can concentrate because I already told Cathy if this doesn’t work out, I am going to grab my size 8 steel hook and just improvise something.