It’s taken me a while to put this post together, mostly because I keep forgetting that I haven’t always had this shawl. I’ve worn it almost every day since it came off the blocking wires, and it’s hard to remember how I managed without it.
First up, the stats:
Pattern: Dahlia from Interweave Crochet. You can download it now, but I’m still using my much-creased copy from a couple of years ago.
Yarn: Comiston from The Yarn Yard. More on that below
I first made this pattern in late 2011/early 2012, when I’d only been crocheting for a year or so, and considering how hard I found the edging this time around, I’m amazed I ever finished it then! As I put in my pattern notes then, the chart for the edging is a little confusing, as it only shows the start of even numbered rows, and the end of odd numbered rows – you have to read the other ends from the written instructions. Add in my general carelessness, and I ended up ripping out the edging several times to get it right.
My other memory of making this is that the shawl turned out much, much smaller than the one in the picture, something that’s always rather disappointed me about my otherwise beloved shawl*. So this time, I decided to ignore the instructions that said to stop when it was 20″ wide, and just keep going. In retrospect, it might mean 20″ from centre to corner, but it’s not at all clear. But this time, I had yarn to use up, and I wasn’t going to waste any of it.
The yarn is Comiston, a BFL/Silk mix that is absolutely wonderful to work with. The wool keeps it springy, while the silk gives it a slight sheen. Throughout 2014, Natalie has been dying yarn in ‘sixes’ or ‘sevens’, giving a set of graded shades of the same colour, and when I saw the greys, I knew I had to make something I’d love with them. I think the size and shape of the Dahlia really shows the yarn off beautifully, and I love the effect. Because I was guessing at yardage, I had a few tense moments along the last row, thinking I was going to run out before the end – the idea of ripping everything out to start again was almost too much to take! Fortunately both my nerves and the yarn lasted to the end, although I think I only have about a metre left!
It also blocked beautifully, showing off the lace of the body. Considering how long it took to make all that lace, you don’t want it hidden or lost in the yarn!
Overall, I couldn’t be happier with this shawl. It’s cosy and elegant, wraps around my shoulders just right or covers my back to keep me warm, and I can scrunch it up to wear as a scarf with my coat. It’s the perfect autumn shawl, finished just in time for the change in the weather.