Last year, my sister made me a shawl.
I wear it all the time, and every time I go out someone says ‘ooh, I love your shawl!’ Which is exactly what my mum said when my sister gave it to me – swiftly followed by ‘can you make me one?’
My sister (wisely, as it turned out) said ‘no! I’m never making another one, I’ve had enough!’ Did I listen? Did I say ‘ah well mum, you’ll have to make your own shawl, I’ll buy you a box of chocolates for Christmas’?
And so, with a couple of weeks left before Christmas, I found myself crocheting, and crocheting, and crocheting some more. I crocheted on trains, in cafes, and at friends’ houses. I counted the squares in my own shawl (90) and decided that, as my mum is slightly shorter, her shawl probably didn’t need quite so many squares as mine (sorry mum)…
The day before Christmas eve, a friend asked if I was crocheting a bar chart.
Some time late on Christmas Day (cutting it fine, as usual) I finally finished attaching the squares together.
In an uncharacteristic fit of finishing-off-ness, I pinned the whole thing to the floor of the attic and sprayed it with water. I’m not entirely sure why, but Lucy at Attic 24 does that, and she knows a thing or two about crochet. I admit it did look flatter and less scrumpled the next day.
Needless to say, I hadn’t sewn the ends in as I’d gone along, so spent another couple of hours on Boxing Day morning with a needle and thread. Then, when I took it downstairs to wrap it, I realised there were even more ends dangling from the back…
I’m not known for leaving early, so naturally we were already running late. I’m afraid mum got left to sew the rest of the ends in herself (again, sorry mum). In all the kerfuffle of Boxing Day I didn’t even see it being tried on let alone get a photograph.
Would I make another one? Maybe, as long as I had more time. The repetition of all those squares is rather soothing. The pattern we used was actually for a skirt (!) and both me and my sister just used the instructions to make the squares. I’m not going to write the pattern out because it took me forever to work it out, and I confess I ignored some of it, and now I couldn’t even tell you which bits I changed, and it’s making my head boggle just considering explaining it to someone else! You could use any old crochet pattern I imagine and join them to look like, er, a kind of upside down bar chart.There are some free patterns here and here. If you’ve got the patience you could make a fabulously multi-coloured one – I’d love to see it if you do!
Both mine and mum’s are made with acryllic yarn rather than actual wool – I often wear mine in the rain and the water tends to bounce off rather than soak in. Mum’s wool is rather fluffy – it feels gorgeously soft but didn’t crochet smoothly at all, and kept tying itself in knots (nothing to do with me being in a rush, I’m sure…). For some reason I bought seven balls, and it took less than two.
This was the only present I made this year – bit of a change from 2010 when I made all of my presents (see here and here and in the posts near to those if you’re interested). I’d like to make a few more next year, and might try to scatter them through the year to avoid the usual last minute rush.
Did you make any of your Christmas presents this year?
(Incidentally, I’d been laughing at the thought of a crochet skirt, but look at this one! It’s so fab I’m really rather tempted…)
I was itching to know what the shawl ended up like! And I seem to recall the first thing I said when I saw yours was indeed “ooh I love your shawl!”
Did you use the same pattern? Your shawl didn’t look at all like that when I was making it!
Kind of! Used the same instructions for the squares. Started at one end joining them as I went along – but then got bored and found it too difficult to join 2 sides of each square, so joined them in strips instead, then kind of botched the rows together with chain stitches at the end… What did you do??
I joined them as I went along, and I think I hooked the threads in as I went along because I’ve made that mistake before! They looked quite similar in the end though.
And very snuggly it is too 🙂 xx
Love it! What a gorgeous present 🙂