I love short weeks, it is so amazing that it is Wednesday already! Wednesdays will be the day when Laura from Made in Oxford and I have planned to keep you updated on our progress on the Freyja shawl by Aoibhe Ni, you can check the first post here where I talked a bit about the pattern and the yarn I am using.
I am halfway through Row 1 of the pattern after working on it over the long weekend. As I have mentioned before, Aoibhe Ni uses a special construction in some of her designs that takes some time to get used to. You basically start with a VERY long chain (we are talking hundreds here) after which you work perpendicular rows and attach the end of each row to the initial chain until you run out of chains. Since the foundation chain consisted of hundreds of chains, that means hundreds of rows that need to be worked up and it takes a while… I am a bit past the middle of the first row and can’t wait to see the end of it!
It is looking quite nice already though, and this yarn.. I LOVE IT. It is Rooster Delightful Lace and it is SO soft and creates such a nice fabric that I think this is going to be shawl that will be around my neck quite a lot once it is finished.
In case anyone of you is working on Freyja or thinking about trying it in the future I thought I should give you some tips from my experience with this pattern so far:
- I don’t usually swatch for shawls but when I started working on this pattern I wished I had because I realised after a few perpendicular rows that I didn’t really like how the fabric looked. Tunisian crochet with lace-weight yarn can look too loose for me sometimes which I think makes the stitches look uneven. I ended up starting again with a smaller hook size and I am really liking the way the stitches look now.
- The pattern says to begin with a long foundation chain, however I chose to work foundation double crochets instead. There is a tutorial for this stitch in my Tutorials page if you are not familiar with this stitch. I think it gives it a nicer and sturdier edge than if I were just doing a chain.
- There are many lines to the instructions of Row 1 and the only way I could keep track of where I was in the pattern was to use one stitch marker per line, which is a lot of stitch markers! I am actually running out and will have to turn to using safety pins but it is the only way I will ever find a mistake if necessary.
- With this method of construction there is always the chance that you will work through the lines of instruction in Row 1 and realise that you still have more lines to work but have run out of chains in your foundation or the other way around. I already know I am off by one or two chains if my counting is right and as long it is not much more than that I am not even going to try and find what I did wrong. You can always work two perpendicular rows into just one chain, or even skip the last one and no one will know 🙂
That is all I can share so far with this shawl, hopefully by this time next week I will have survived this first row and will be tackling another challenge. I have to say it feels great to work a difficult pattern again, I hadn’t done this in a while and I am really enjoying the satisfaction I get from every milestone I achieve. I am always looking for simplicity when designing patterns, mostly because of my inexperience in design but I truly hope one day I can create a challenge as beautiful as this pattern.
Hope you have a nice end of the week!