Sunrise/Sunset Shawl

I enjoy all sorts of crochet projects, both practical and decorative, but there’s no question that some projects really highlight the beauties of the craft. This is one of them. I recently completed a shawl for a friend of mine who is going through one of those life-altering transitions that hit us from time to time—and I was also thinking about the transitional times of day, sunrise and sunset, when I chose my materials. I wanted something that would look like a dark sky over a lightening horizon, and I wanted to make something fine and lacy. So I picked a beautiful colourway from YarnArt’s “Rosegarden” line (colour #326), and over a few weeks, effected the transition from this:

… to this:

Rosegarden is a 100% cotton yarn, which comes in a 250g/1,000m self-striping cake. With long gradient cakes like this one sometimes I’ll just let the colour changes flow, but for this project I wanted them to be at least semi-controlled. When the colour changes were simply different proportions of the same colours in the strand (like moving from 1:3 to a 2:2 ratio of orange:yellow, for example) I let the changes fall where they would. But when the change involved adding a new colour, I cut the yarn to make sure it came in right at the edge instead somewhere in the middle. This meant sacrificing a bit of length—I had 16g left over, so about 64m—but I think it was worth it… even with the mini heart attack I gave myself when I made the first cut. No turning back after that!

It had been quite a while since I’ve worked with a 1-weight yarn, so it took a few rows to get my sea legs back. But things went well after that, especially since this pattern was a joy to work with. It’s the “Klaziena Shawl” by designer Kirsten Bishop, and she has put together one of the most well-written patterns I’ve ever encountered. Seriously, it’s amazing: clear written instructions, sharp photographs, and charts. After two foundation rows, the pattern repeats rows 3-20, which became satisfyingly mindless after my first time through. I had enough yarn to go to row 52, falling just four rows short of three complete repeats. It still ended in a logical place, though, so I don’t mind. The shawl was completed with a 4mm hook; the pattern calls for 3.5mm but I wanted it to be a little more open. I’m curious to try it with the smaller hook next time; this is definitely a pattern that I will make again!

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