Wednesday 6 July 2011

WOW: Tuscan Crochet Shawl

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
add your own WIP below!

I did say I wasn't going to do any new crochet projects this winter - well, not until I had my WIPs seriously under control. But then I found a crochet WIP (so that's an exception to the rule). I knitted it to be the same size in one hue stronger. When it was finished, just yesterday afternoon, I hung it alongside my favourite shawl in front of my Camellia bush. I simply worked rows of wide shells and narrow shells until I reached my desired length.

I blocked it last night. Now, I have differing thoughts on blocking. Sometimes it can deflate the natural 'loft' in the wool and you can end up with a (still beautiful) but flat work. My last afghan never 'bounced' back after blocking and whilst I still love it, I wouldn't block it again. I thought I might skip the blocking process here, especially because I quite like the 'texture' of natural wool.

Yesterday, I realised that I had to gently block it to stretch the pattern into shape. I simply pinned the shawl straight against a table edge (it was resting on felt, you can use a clean towel or blanket) and pinned the entire 'square' into position. Then I lightly misted with warm water. A blocking trick which has always worked for me, is adding a trusted starch to the warm water - just a little bit. By trusted, I mean a starch that you have used before and know does not flake or stain or chalk your fabric. I always use and can recommend Crisp Spray Starch or the quilter's brand Mary Ellen. What's a little? Well, a very light misting over the warm water misting. I have found that it lightly repels dirt, dust and staining and keeps it's loft and spring better - without feeling or behaving starched at all.

I left it overnight and as the house is warm inside, it set beautifully. This morning I unpinned it carefully and shook it out.  Here it is, folded and ready to wear!


  1. Esther, you are amazing you do great work. I wish I had the time and most of all the knowledge to know how to do such beautiful work. I have not been able to keep up with my WIP since I went back to work it's been 3weeks now. I'm going to do my best to get started this weekend again. Have a great day:)

  2. What a lovely shawl and such a great open lacy pattern

  3. Your shawl is gorgeous. Love the colour too so very pretty.

  4. thanks for the linky just posted mine

  5. Hmmm... not sure why I got a smiley guy instead of the cropped image of my WIP, but I've added a link, too.

    I also linked back to this post from my blog post--I think we could all use more eye-candy and inspiration from others in our creative lives.

    Your shawl makes me wish I could crochet more than the basic stitch--it's lovely.

  6. Oh that is absolutely beautiful Esther!! I made a shawl once and then Carpal Tunnel set in. :( Do you ever have problems??
    ~Monika in Saskatoon

  7. Beautiful shawl. You inspire us . with all that you manage to accomplish. You have even inspired me to create my own blog! My kids will be so impressed with that!

  8. Beautiful work. I don't know how you find all the time. But what you achieve in a short period really inspires me to try harder to find those extra minutes.

  9. WOW loved the shawl!!!
    Is it your pattern? where can I buy it?


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