i’ve had a serious orange crush lately. fabric, yarn, thread, fruit – if it’s orange, i want it. i find its zesty, warm and fiery vibe so intriguing because it manages to be both comforting and invigorating at the very same time. take that, grey. actually, i can’t get enough grey, either, but today is all about orange.
for me, orange is just far enough outside-the-box (that is to say it’s not black or neutral or boring, like so much of my wardrobe) to feel a little daring, too. i’ve got some goldfish coloured fabric set aside for a schoolhouse tunic, and i’m planning another cheery bag with the remnants from this birdie sling, but my first foray into orangeing up my wardrobe was this glorious tangerine coloured shawl.
this piquant rounds out my trio of lilygo projects (including this and this). for me, this one is the most wearable of the bunch. i predictably hooked it with malabrigo sock – that irresistibly soft and warm-but-not-too-warm 100% merino wool dyed in colours so delicious looking that you really want to taste them.
piquant was a delight to work up. as usual, the instructions were impeccable and the charts were ever so clear. as i have yet to develop a knack for wearing shawls, i made the smaller version (though i added 2 more repeats in section one because i needed the length) which is just the right size for luscious neck-wrappage.
this pattern is worked in 3 separate sections, which kept it interesting and made it feel as though it was a quick make. in fact, this was such a non-traumatic project that i’m working on a second version in a deep bluey-purple, and i foresee a whole clan of intensely colourful piquants in my future (but my tangerine piquant will always be my favourite).
• • •
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.
• • •