Now that the coat is almost finished but finishing will have to wait on getting to see my daughter in person, I realised that my mind had to switch to a new project.
Now, I had already earmarked two projects as next in line. One is an ambitious blanket (ambitious in the design not the stitches!) to use up the yarn left over from the one I made for my granddaughter. The other was to finally get to use the cotton yarn I bought at the time I was making my spiderdream top.
The crochet for the blanket would have been easier but it would have also involved lots of colour changes and sewing in ends. Using the cotton yarn was going to mean more challenging crochet but just a quiet continuation of the work. I felt that the second would better suit my present mood, so that is what I chose to pursue.
When making the spiderdream top I had bought two cakes of colour changing yarn.
I hadn’t been sure which yarn to use for the top and decided in the end to use the one on the left. So I still had the yarn on the right to use.
The yarn on the right is Cotton Kings Twirls (Galaxy Opal) from Hobbii and is 100% cotton yarn with several strands that are not twisted together. The advice I read somewhere was to thread the yarn through a bead so it didn’t separate. I am not entirely sure if this is necessary but I have done so.
So what to make with it? At this point I had already decided what I had in mind but I will explain how I reached that point.
When asking myself over the months what I should make with the yarn, I had decided that a shawl might be a possibility, although I have a few shawls and don’t wear them very often as I tend to get a bit impatient with the need to hold them in place. Nonetheless I did investigate shawl patterns. I liked the “Virus Shawl” (nothing to do with the present pandemic but maybe not the one to chose at present.) It was also maybe too simple I felt that I wanted something more ‘interesting’.
Another shawl I really liked was “Lost in Time” and, when I discovered that someone had used the pattern to make a poncho and had shared how she did this, I decided that was what I wanted to do.
I decided that I ought to make a small sample before I committed myself. Both to check that I found the pattern congenial but also to decide the best size of hook to use.
So here it is.
(I just fudged the ends and concentrated on the rows.)
The pattern is a twelve row repeat and each row has multiple short repeats within it, so although the popcorns and front and back post stiches will take a little concentration, it is actually a lot simpler that it looks and will be quite relaxing.
The sample was made with a 4mm hook but I decided that it would work better (for me) with a 4.5mm hook. So that is what I am using.
The poncho version obviously starts with a long chain whereas the shawl started with a loop, so for the first few rows I was following the poncho variant instructions.
After having made the sample and started the actual poncho, I decided that although you would think that only working into every other of the starting chains would be easier, that it would be much more satisfactory to work a dc into each of the chains and then follow the pattern which is what I did.
This is essentially what one repeat of the pattern looks like.
I had a bit of a slow start and kept finding issues, like realising that although I had carefully made sure the chain was not twisted when I joined it together I had nonetheless introduced a twist on the next round and had to undo several rows. Eventually I settled down and things went fairly well.
I had chosen to alter the way of working. from the instructions for the poncho. in that they suggested that you start the rounds on one shoulder. I decided that it would be a lot easier to start the rounds at the centre back in order to simplify the business of how and where the turning point came. (Obviously since the original is a shawl, it is necessary to turn after each round.)
I have tried to calculate how many repeats of the pattern I will be able to achieve with the one cake of yarn and suspect that it may be only three full repeats plus the border. I was a bit disappointed to find that although the cake promises 200g that when weighed (including the band) it only weighs about 190g. I will have to decide what to do when I have completed the third repeat.