I’ve just learnt a new skill over the summer, lacework crochet,  which is seriously infuriating and addictive in equal measure. It was on my vague ‘must try’ list at the start of new year, but, with work and everything I never got round to trying it!

Fast forward to Summer holidays and I was desperate for something to distract me (escape with) when we went away. I had a copy of Cecile Balladino’s pattern for the above circular shawl… it suggested using Fyberspates Yarn for its lovely sumptuousity, (made up term) however this had a price tag that was a little out of range with rapidly growing children who both required the full works for secondary school and entertaining for the next seven weeks….img_12821600397

This is where Stylecraft and the locally renowned Boyes –  wool – and – everything -in – the known – world – shop came in handy because in there I found this wonderful end of line substitute: Stylecraft Senses, a mohair acrylic blend which fitted the bill. The only problem with the substitution (as I found when using it ) was that it snagged if I needed to do any unpicking and involved some gentle yanking to release, which doesn’t sound too bad but when you need to unpick multiple trebles, and every little loop snags it can send you batty. On the plus side it has a lovely soft ‘bounce’ and the dyeing process achieves some truly beautiful golden colour variations and overall the crochet item has a beautiful soft sheen making it look amazing and quite plush.

So what have I learned from my lacework crochet ?

1 – You can do it, if you take your time and concentrate on every hooky loop… at some points you will think ‘ah,  I have got it’, and get on a bit of a crochet roll, and then realise there was actually a space three rows back you missed. Basically don’t take your mind off the ball/pattern for a minute.img_12821600397

2.Work off a chart as well as a written pattern, it certainly helps.

3. Find somewhere quiet to do this. a nice stone cottage looking out at the sea certainly helps, as will getting up alone at 6 am. After about five days of doing this the vague buzzing in your ears will subside and you will feel strangely at peace with everything. It will start up again though when you return home.

4. When you have worked for some time with laceweight yarn the ordinary DK feels like wrestling snakes..and don’t get me started on aran…

so after the 50th row was completed, the finished article looked like this…


sorry for the picture quality but you get the idea of the pattern

And there you have it, lots of swishy lovely shawl for you when the temperature drops below the mid 20’s. And it will. So now I have to decide whether to go for another lace project with this stuff or to wrestle snakes for a bit and complete an Aran ripple blanket..

Senses Stylecraft in lavender