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I’ve always loved to make things by hand, ever since I was a little girl. And as the years go by, I’ve added new techniques to my repertoire. One of the handmade techniques that I’ve learned most recently is crochet, and I’ve fallen in love with its versatility. I love how you can work all sorts of materials and also work off of other totally different materials (such as my crochet carry bags from upcycled fruit nets). But it’s also fun to make more traditional items.
Last June, one of the knit cafès that I participate in, Tricò al Bistrò, decided to do a CAL (crochet along) together for a summer shawl and we decided upon this lovely summer wrap pattern by Drops called Evening Breath.
(I finished this last October, which is why my hair is still short-ish in these pictures. I didn’t publish this review until now because it didn’t seen very seasonal-appropriate to write about summer accessories in autumn!)
All Drops patterns are designed for a specific Drops yarn, in this case a lovely self-striping wool/nylon blend. I can’t even imagine wearing anything in wool OR nylon in the summer, never mind both together. So instead I decided to make my own stripes with a more summery yarn.
I decided on an ombre effect with various shades of the same color. My local yarn shop had the most color variety of DMC’s Natura Just Cotton yarn, but not enough shades of any one color. So in the end I decided to go for a gray-scale effect with black, dark gray, light gray and white.
The shawl is a classic triangle shape with a fan motif that is repeated ad nauseam. In order to create different colored stripes, I worked four rows in each color until reaching the final size.
The stripes really accentuate the triangle effect, especially in the back.
This was actually my very first “big” crochet project, even before my Saturn Sweater, which I already posted about a few months ago. It actually ended up being a good beginner’s project for me because, once I figured out the motif, it was pretty easy to work up. Also, it was a great project to take on the go with my because I didn’t have to count rows or stitches, so I could just pick it up and put it down as necessary. I worked on it in planes and trains, in waiting rooms and on the beach, and pretty much any and everywhere in between!
Let me tell you more now about this summer shawl crochet pattern!
The hardest part about this pattern is figuring out how to start it. Almost everyone in our knit cafè participating in this CAL had some issues understanding the beginning, but after the first six rows or so, the point at which you can see it above, the motif pattern started to make sense.
Another thing that everyone in our group noticed is that, the further you go along, and the longer each row gets as the triangle is made bigger, the longer it takes to finish each row. The last rows seemed to take forever!
The border is worked up in a slightly different fan shape to finish off the edges nicely.
I needed to buy more of each color yarn and didn’t realize until taking this picture that I’d accidentally gotten a different shade of white! While working on it in regular, non-bright light, I couldn’t even tell that they were different. At that point, those longest rows took so much time to work up and I just wanted to finish the project and be done with it, so I just left it. The difference drives me crazy, but probably nobody else even notices.
This was the first shawl I’d ever made, and I was surprised at how big it was in the end! (And how difficult it was to photograph, even with my unwilling helpers.)
I liked working on this crochet pattern, even if it did get a bit monotonous after a while. I wasn’t really that happy with the Natura Just Cotton yarn, though. It’s not the softest cotton in the world, and the strands tend to separate, making it sometimes difficult to crochet properly.
I do suggest this summer shawl crochet pattern, though, for adventurous beginners. This is a perfect wrap for cooler summer evenings, when you want to protect your shoulders from the damp chill in the air.
This shawl can also be used as a nice thick scarf. And, as you can see from this picture taken at one of the Tricò al Bistrò meetups, it’s also quite interesting aesthetically when crumpled up in a pile!
(Incidentally, check out what I’m wearing in this photo– I had just gotten my pictures taken for my no-sew T-shirt bracelets tutorial!)
Do you like crocheting summer accessories? Then download my FREE crochet pattern for the Ball & Chain necklace!