A Fall Shawl

Another month, another project for the prayer shawl ministry — this time a shawl (since we somewhat over supplied ourselves with baby blankets) in some pretty fall colours:

It felt like I was making this one forever, probably because I was putting it down for long swaths of time in between bursts of crocheting. It’s harder to want to have a project like this on my lap now that the weather is heating up!

For this shawl, I just did a very simple double crochet all the way across. The yarn was two skeins of Lion Brand Homespun and I think the colourway is Wildfire (I forgot to keep a wrapper… as usual). I used an N (9mm) hook which kept it nice and airy and helped it to work up relatively quickly.

I don’t think I would work with Homespun again. I like the way that it looks when it’s finished but it’s a pain to work with as it splits very easily and frays at the ends. Definitely not my favourite.

I do love the self-striping action, however. This picture (under fluorescent light) isn’t the greatest in terms of showing the actual colours — it’s darker, as you can see in the first picture which was taken beside a window — but it does show the stripes. I’ll award a point to Homespun on that account! (Probably still not enough points to use it again, though.)

Stripey prayer shawl

I (finally) finished my second offering for the prayer shawl ministry at church, which took significantly longer than the last one since I was starting from scratch rather than adapting a mostly-finished project. Here’s a look at the final piece:

It’s not so bright under more natural lighting — this picture was taken under fluorescent lights — so imagine it looking a bit more muted. I didn’t count when I made my initial chain, just went until it seemed like the proper width. I counted later on; it ended up being 99 stitches across (working with a size G/4mm hook and an allegedly worsted-weight yarn). At 72 rows to completion, that comes to 7,128 stitches. And in my trusty triple stitch, that meant nearly 50,000 individual loops of yarn, including the turns at the end of each row. So no wonder it took a few weeks!

The yarn I used was Red Heart Unforgettable in the “Gossamer” colourway, which I both loved and hated. It’s extremely soft for acrylic and felt good on my hands while I was working it. I also love the peacock-y colour scheme, and the self-striping, occasional ombr√© effect that comes from having yards and yards of yarn between the slow changes. What drove me absolutely up the wall, though, was that it is extremely unevenly spun.

You can see that in the photo above; compare the width of the strands in the yellow-orange and the dark purple at the bottom. The yarn would sometimes get as thin as fine-weight, or as thick as bulky, which made things like keeping a consistent gauge and tension a real challenge. Would I use this yarn again? Maybe, but it would depend heavily on the specific project I had in mind. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it to a beginner.¬†

At any rate, the thing is done, and I hope it will go to someone who will love it and use it.