off the hook {tango shawl}

i’m learning that shawls are a labour of love (emphasis on the labour).

i was stoked to start this pattern – another beautiful and unique design (called cassandra) by lilygo.  i joined my first ever CAL (crochet along) on ravelry and worked away, pleased with my progress and buoyed by others’ success until i approached the dreaded row 38, where i foolishly thought i was ‘just about done’…oh how naive was i.  it took forever.  and ever.  and it ate so much yarn.  people, it was a serious struggle – i’m still a little traumatized by all of those chains.  and the result of those countless hours and hours and hours of work?  a beautiful shawl that i just don’t like.  shriek.

i knew from the start that this shawl was a bit on the frilly side for me.  despite my better judgement, cassandra lured me in with its circular shape and its fluid feel.  having learned the lesson (with my last shawl) that solid colours reveal a crocheted design so much better than variegated colours do, and hoping that it would counteract the frilly nature of this pattern, i went with basic black malabrigo sock (side note: malabrigo is definitely on my list of desert island yarns).  i think it does work well here, letting the details of the pattern take the spotlight, as they should.  and the details, well they were lovely and easily worked, except for that nasty row 38, which was not so much complicated as it was painstakingly slow (i really can’t emphasize that enough).

i know i’ve done quite a lot of whinging already, but i must add that this item was a real bother to block, given its shape.  now that i look at the photos, i can see that a few hundred more pins and even more attention to setting the details perfectly would have made the more intricate sections a little more noticeable (and really, what is the point of labouring over work like row 38 if you don’t showcase it properly?  silly me).  one bright note, however, is that the pain of blocking was partially alleviated by the glorious scent left by the flora soak i used when bathing my pre-blocked tango.  flora soak is a product so deliciously soft and floral that i’m seriously considering using it in the shower.

cassandra has received quit a bit of gushing over on ravelry and i’ve seen some brilliant finished projects in the CAL.  everyone is delighted, quite rightly, with their cassandras, which is marvy, but me, i’m just not feeling the love for this shawl.  it is beautiful and flowy and unique and classic, but shucks, i just don’t see myself ever wearing it.  i’ll have to  chalk my tango shawl up to a good crocheting experience (and maybe a needed reminder that my inner voice is never wrong).  i hope that tango finds a good home where it will be loved and appreciated and oft-worn, which is the very least every good (and toilsome) shawl deserves.

•  •  •


Filed under crocheting

51 responses to “off the hook {tango shawl}

  1. Wow, really beautiful! You are very talented!

  2. bmweed

    Stunning work – the detail is very… detailed!

  3. littlepostcards

    Wow! How ambitious and beautiful! I can’t wait to smell flora soak now too, lol.

  4. This looked like a labor of love, indeed! I can’t imagine how long that took you, and then the disappointment when you didn’t even like it! Shame… Forgotten everything I ever knew about crocheting, so shouldn’t even attempt!

  5. That is an impressive piece of work! I hope it indeed does find a lovely home, or with some styling play, worms its way into your wardrobe. It is very pretty. I am flirthing with a lace shawl or stole on ravelry, and have the same fear myself…all the work and what if it isnt for me.

    • thank you. i shouldn’t give up on it yet…we’ll see!
      i find it helpful to look through all of the projects related to the pattern (i think it’s the ‘projects’ tab) – sometimes that helps me decide on a pattern or a colour or a yarn 🙂

  6. Very pretty, wish I could crochet. Just never got into crochet or knitting 😦 even though friends tell me that it is not hard.

  7. amyturnertaylor

    LOL! It’s beautiful. Someday you’ll find the right person to gift it to and they’ll be completely blown away!

  8. mom

    too bad Karen. sure hope it finds a good home after all that work. made me snicker a bit though when you confessed that you just didn’t like it.

  9. It is really lovely! Would love to be able to do that 😀

  10. Rats. It’s so disappointing to put all that work into something you end up not liking. You did a fabulous job, though. And someone will end up loving it!

  11. Wow…. I am in awe.
    Even without reading your notes it is clear that this piece was incredibly labour intensive (and this is coming from someone who doesn’t even crochet; I started knitting a scarf once ~2 years ago…. it’s still only 5″ long. I digress…..)
    Good for you for seeing it through to the end. It really IS beautiful, even if frilly.

  12. The time and workmanship is evident — really pretty! But I understand that about finishing something that is so challenging and then hating it. You might just need a break from it for awhile since you’ve been up close and personal for so long! Then take it out later and see how you feel about it. 🙂

  13. it is fabulous, but I know exactly what you mean about finishing something and then just not liking it – I hope you feel differently in a while! I’m off to look at the pattern now…
    and thanks for visiting my blog, Judy x

  14. Wow! Worth all the labour by the looks of it. Thanks for visiting my blog and liking my pj post

  15. Wow! I really am impressed by how intricately detailed this is! I think I would feel the same as you….it is a bit to frilly for my personal taste as well, but it could make for some serious wall art.

  16. This is absolutely gorgeous. Love the shape! Lovely blog 🙂

  17. wow, beautiful work! i know what you mean about finishing something and then not wanting to wear it. i think that even if this shawl lives on a hook or draped over a chair somewhere in your house, that you will be able to appreciate its beauty even if it doesn’t ever make its way to your shoulders.

  18. i think this is a beautiful design, and really wellmade – have you considered writing up the pattern and selling it? i’d buy it! =D

    • oh, thanks for flattering me, but i cannot pretend that i created this pattern! the genius behind the pattern is ‘lily go’. there is a link to her blog in my post. i think you can buy her patterns through her blog and you can also find them on ravelry. this pattern is called ‘cassandra’ and was $6 – a bargain if you ask me!

  19. Pingback: off the hook {orange crush scarf} | stirandstitch

  20. It’s really detailed and pretty :O I’ve been trying to make a shawl which looks almost like this beauty here, but each time I open my crochet book I just got too intimidated by the pattern to start >_<

    • thank you! it’s a great pattern. i think with those bigger/more complicated projects, you just have to jump in and start working away at it. you can always frog it and start again if you’re not happy with it 🙂

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