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First ever crocheted shawl!

A little while ago I bought and downloaded The Shawl Project, the brainchild of Kat Goldin and Joanne Scrace who have teamed up in the guise of The Crochet Project.
I’m not really a big shawl wear-er. In fact, I don’t own a shawl, so I’m not sure why I felt the need to start crochet-ing them.

Maybe it was the gorgeous photos:

Shawl Project Collage

Photos all from The Shawl Project © Kat Goldin

Or the promise that all the projects could be made with just 2 50g balls of 4-ply yarn.

Whatever the reason, I bought the e-book version, and promptly set out rummaging in my stash for 4-ply yarn.
I had very little, but did unearth a few balls of some gorgeous yellow crepe-y 4 ply that has been sat there for a good couple of years awaiting inspiration. It’s 4 ply, which is why I haven’t used it up until now (I am too impatient a crafter to usually use finer stuff!). I had about 3 whole balls, which were 2oz (I think about 28g) each, and about half a ball.
So I grabbed my hook and jumped right in to the Cherry-pi!

Cherry Pi

Picture from The Shawl Project © Kat Goldin

I’ve been crocheting for  a while now, but haven’t been very adventurous with my projects, sticking mostly to my beloved Granny Squares, and branching out into the baby blanket I made a while ago.
This was my 1st attempt at a more complicated pattern, and my first attempt at lace work.

It took a little while, grabbing an hour here and there in the evenings, but it was quite addictive, and worked up pretty quickly once I got going.
It was touch and go with the yarn for a while. I had three rows left and just had the half ball left, which when I started unravelling it turned out to be double thickness (I do remember working a border on a Granny Square cushion with a double thickness of this yarn, so I guess it was the leftovers from that). Oh my goodness, unravelling that took another whole evening, and an extra pair of hands in the form of the ever patient hubby. I was worried there wouldn’t be enough, but there was. Just.

So now I had finished the project, but it looked tiny and nothing like the gorgeous picture in the book.

It was way too short and all scrumpled up!

It was way too short and all scrumpled up!

And then I read that I needed to ‘block’ the shawl.

I’ve read about blocking before, but kind of blocked it out of my mind and filed it in the “I’ll never need to know how to do that, it sounds too tricky” part of my brain.
But there was no getting away from it this time. I would have to block….

I’m in Joanne’s Make It Wear It Facebook group, so I posted in there for some advice, and was pointed to Joanne’s very own post on Not So Granny, all about blocking-check it out if you are a blocking virgin!
You are supposed to use a proper blocking mat, and special blocking pins and wires. Needless to say I had none of these things, and was keen to improvise in true Make Do and Mend style.
Hubby found this large mat in the garage that I think was leftover from when he made the tortoise house, and used it for the flooring:

So I gave that a good scrub out in the garden to clean it off, and it turned out to be perfect!
Then I just made do with my normal sewing pins, but used lots of them.
(I’ve just written a post over on Make Do and Mend-able, all about alternative tools to use for blocking!)

I had to soak my shawl in warm water, which felt very very wrong:



And then pin it out:



What do you reckon?

I’m chuffed to bits with this, and thinking it will go perfectly with my May #mmaw2015 Shift Dress:

Make Me A Wardrobe May Make

AND I’m planning on wearing them both tomorrow, when I go an interview for some Social Enterprise funding for Make Do and Mend-able. Wish me luck!

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