Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Taking Liberties

Well. That was a change.

I have the good fortune to know how to crochet as well as knit. Back when I was learning that "purling" meant you had to rip out your stitches, I had no difficulty learning how to wield a hook. When the miters decided to repeatedly bite the hand that knits them, I decided to re-connect with one of my other fiber skills.

The "that" that I chose is the "Boteh Scarf" from the Spring Issue of Interweave Press Crochet.

I didn't exactly follow directions. For one thing, while the designer and I speak crochet, we speak in different dialects. Mine, I assume, is less refined, more colloquial. She doesn't consider turning chains stitches. I do. In fact, she would ignore them once they'd been made. (Which made no sense to me, because the way the pattern works is based on how you use the turning chains. At the end of the even rows you make a hdc into them, at the end of the odd rows, you skip them. That's how the triangle gets formed. Skipping the turning chain means you're decreasing up one side.) She would write about 15 dtr's, I would keep getting 16. We finally compromised. I would count "15 dtr's plus a turning chain equals 16 stitches". And I never did figure out how she meant me to end a triangle. I finally just made something up.

We also had some basic differences in yarn choice. I looked at Boteh and saw a very frivolous scarf. It's all flowy and ruffly and hole-y. The reason for it's existence is decoration. The designer chose a very restrained yarn, 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Sock in Chino. I suppose, artistically speaking, you could argue it made for interesting contrast. It probably was easier to work with than what I chose. The stitches are certainly easier to see. I found it, well, not inspired. Not to put too fine a point on it, I thought it a mismatch not made in heaven. Besides, I don't own any sock yarn, much less any Shepherd's Sock. I substituted Handmaiden Sea Silk.

While we're here, perhaps you would like specifics/details/applications?

Yarn: 1 skein of Handmaiden Sea Silk in Autumn (although anything less autumnal I think you'd be hard-pressed to find). As an added benefit, one skein means two less ends to weave in. I figure I'll be doing plenty of weaving in in the near future.

Hook: Size US G/UK 7/4.5MM. The pattern calls for an F/8/4 but mine had all gone on walkabout. I didn't feel like hunting. Or waiting.

This led to another change: 14 triangles instead of the 16 the pattern calls for because a bigger hook meant bigger triangles.

Time - A couple of days, on and off, as the spirit moved me.

A further heads up: there is a mistake in the written directions, although the chart is right. Make sure you go to Interweave Crochet Corrections before you start. Unless, of course, you think you'd like to crochet one less row per triangle and have them swoop in the opposite direction. You could call it a design element. In that case, be very careful to not follow the pattern diagram.

Interestingly, it seems that while I am a product knitter, I am a process crocheter. My gauge is all over the block. The second triangle, where I internalized the pattern, is so far beyond wonky it's crossed over into wopperjawed. Yet I feel no need to go back and fix it.

Different yarn, different hook size, different number of motifs. If I'm going to frivol, I'm going to frivol big time. I haven't a clue what I'll do with Boteh, but bending all those rules to get here sure was fun.


Luni said...

Pretty frivoltry. I completely agree about crochet terminology. When I first checked into internet crochet sites, I was appalled at the inconsistencies. Also appalled that there is no standard for pattern writing.
Thank goodness crochet is easy to wing.

Bobbi said...

It looks great! congrats on a break from the miters.