The story so far goes that my Grandmother (father’s mother) taught me to crochet. Whenever we would visit I would make chains or swatches with the yarn that was always in her living room. But my Aunt C (mother’s sister) also plays a special role in my crafty adventures.
Aunt C and I had special shopping weekends together when I was in high school (and beyond). I would stay at her house, we would go to the mall, and talk. Aunt C and I are very close, and I attribute that in part to these special weekends, and because Aunt C is such a great listener. She has been my confidant as long as I can remember. Every girl should have an aunt they can go to when they need an adult besides their parents; Aunt C is the best out there.
One weekend we were feeling crafty and I bought a crochet book. My Grandmother never used patterns, so Aunt C helped me decipher how to read the patterns, choose a pattern, and pick some yarn. I can’t remember how we picked the book, but although it has a silly theme, it’s a gem:
Vanna White, yes the one from Wheel of Fortune, has several crochet books, and even her own line of yarn from Lion Brand. Her Vanna’s Afghan’s A to Z: 52 Crochet Favorites has many styles of crochet, and over the years I’ve tried almost all the different stitches (though I think I only ever completed my first afghan from this book). I’ve now had this book over 20 years – it is well-loved and surprisingly useful. It sits on a special shelf in my living room with Sophie’s Universe by Dedri Uys, my Scheepjes Yarn book-a-zines, and Kassia St. Clair’s The Secret Lives of Color, which were all gifts from Aunt C.
Aunt C and I chose the “Vanna’s Choice” pattern and some blue-gray yarn. The Vanna’s Choice blanket I made is long gone, but Aunt C made me one:
I wanted to make Aunt C a special shawl, but neither my mother nor I knew her favorite colors. Her husband, though, was very specific: cranberry, lavender, and purple. Scheepjes Whirl fans will recognize that this perfectly describes a popular Whirl colorway: Tasty Nom Nom.
The making of
Whirl use: Most shawls I’ve seen work from the inside on Tasty Nom Nom since Grappa Whirlette perfectly matches the outside, allowing use of patterns that use over 1000m of yarn. I really wanted to work in reverse, starting with purple, but since the pattern I chose uses a bit more yarn than a single Whirl, and there is no Whirlette matching the cranberry inside, I also worked from the inside out.
Pattern: Daisy Chain Shawl by Kirsten Bishop
While looking for patterns for this shawl, I was drawn to one that featured a wave stitch, and one that featured daisies. Then I stumbled upon Kirsten Bishop’s Daisy Chain Shawl, which combines both. Kirsten expertly combines stitches for a truly innovative pattern. The pattern describes both a top-down V-shaped shawl and a rectangular wrap. I chose the V-shape shawl, and was impressed by the logic of the pattern. The pattern is nicely laid out and includes charts for each line, which are faster to read than stitch descriptions. The variety of stitches keeps the project interesting. The lacy stitches result in a large, beautiful shawl. Kirsten has a number of creative, beautiful patterns; I’m particularly drawn to the Meranda Shawl.
Customization: I chose to finish with a solid wave stitch on the edge.
Final size: 78 inches on the long edge; 36 inches long edge to point
I hope to eventually design my own patterns for the special people in my life, but for now I think this cranberry, lavender, purple Daisy Chain shawl is perfect for my Aunt C.