April 13, 2015

Pineapple Doily Shawl

I mentioned last week that I ripped out my tunisian cowl that I had been working on. I did this for several reasons, but the main reason was that with such a compact fabric I was losing a lot of the beautiful variegated colors of the Mandala Tosh DK to the inside of the stitches or where it would not be seen.

I wanted to do something pretty, and the pattern could not be a subtle one, or it would not show through the color changes. I really like the look of intricate leaf pattern knit shawls, but crochet seems to have no patterns for things like that.

The closest I could think to come up with would be a doily type lace shawl so I set about finding a pattern for it. I've worked a pineapple doily before so when I saw the Pineapple Doily Shawl by Laura Garsten on Ravelry, I knew I could make it with no problems. When I saw how it looked on a person I loved that the large pineapples made it look kind of like large hanging feathers. Pretty. Bonus: The pattern is free!

I knew though that I would most likely need a third skein of this yarn to complete the pattern... but that's ok. I figured I could get as far as I could and if I liked it, then I could get the third skein and complete it. If not, well I could rip out another project... Fancy yarn = I better love it.

I got to row 6 which I knew from reading other project notes had a small error in it. You need to have the repeat include the skipping 2 stitches or the foundation for your pineapples wont be spaced out properly. The row is also a bit confusing to read and I feel like this could be achieved easier if she had used the "sh" and "SH" terms she defined at the beginning of the pattern to write the instructions out.
Row 6 is the outside edge. Points are at the SH, sh is the center between to points.
We know sh is a small shell, or V stitch as I've seen in the past: a dc, chain 1, dc in the same stitch.
The SH is a large shell, or bulked up V stitch: two dc in one, chain 2, two dc in the next.
In between each shell you do a chain one and skip two dc.
So, our rewritten Row 6: ch 3 (counts as first dc) dc in first dc, ch 2, 2dc in next
dc (making a starting large shell SH), ch1, sk 2dc, sh, ch1, *sk2, SH, ch 1, sk 2dc, sh, ch1* 
repeat from * to * across ending on a SH. This will make the foundations for your next row of shells.
That seems less confusing to me anyway.

Moving on. By Row 11 I was out of my first ball of yarn. In the picture below, you can also see something weird happening on the edges of my shawl. They are getting little nobbies at the end of each row. That's because I was doing something wrong; namely that instead of slip stitching into the first dc in each row, I went into the second and then into the first space. I did that wrong without knowing for the first couple of rows, then decided I liked the way it looked and kept doing it rather than going back and ripping it out.
Through row 11.
Happy accidents in crochet aside... I got all the way to row 17 and was out of my second skein of yarn. Bummer since I only had the two, so I went down to MadTosh Crafts in the hope that they would still have the yarn in stock. Unfortunately they did not have the ToshDK in my color, but they did have the color in ToshDK Twist... since there was very little difference visibly that I could tell I got two skeins so that I could complete this project.

I got back home and back into the groove when I realized something... One pineapple was smaller than the rest. Turns out way back on row 10, instead of 13 treble crochets, I had done 11, and just on this one pineapple. I knew it would make the whole thing hang oddly and bother me to no end, so I had to rip it all out down to that base. So note to people: Make sure you count obsessively on row 10 to make sure you don't mess up like I did. Restarting from row 10 back up to about row 15 took somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 hours. So you can see that this piece can be made pretty fast, if you do it right the first time.

On Row 22 I decided to make a change. By this row you have finished the small pineapples and the pattern creates a large chain space hole at the tip of the pineapple. I didn't like that so instead of chaining three over the top of it, I chained one, treble crocheted into that tip chain space, chained one again and then moved on with the pattern. That meant that I added another bar from the tip and I think it helped to pull the pineapple into shape as well as prevent a large hole space.
Changed Row 22: slst in first dc, slst into ch2 sp, ch3. (dc, ch2, 2dc) in ch2 space. *ch3, sc in each ch1 sp across 12 times, ch3, Sh in next Sh, ch1, tr crochet into chain 3 space of tip of pineapple, ch 1, Sh in next Sh* repeat from * to * across. Turn.
I circled the added treble crochet, without it this is a large hole here.

Once that last row is done, you work each larger pineapple individually. You can do the first one without cutting your yarn though. It's pretty easy to work and you get all the way to the end tip of the pineapple with the notation for rows 23-32 and I did not bother to count my rows since you are done when you have no more chain 3 sc decreases to make. The last rows 33-35 make the end look nice. 
Large Pineapple
I got two of the large pineapples done with my third skein and still had 8 large pineapples to go with the last skein, which I figured would be more than enough. The pattern calls for about 840 yards to make this. Total yardage I used: 2 skeins Tosh DK at 255 yards and 2 skeins Tosh DK Twist at 250 yards for a total of 1,010, so of course I had about 125 yards left over.
Finished but not blocked.

Love the petal like pattern shapes.

Close up of one of those fantastic pineapples.
I think this came out super pretty. I love that you can see all the colors and that the shape of the cowl is lovely and just adds to it. This is going to be a great little shawl for over black dresses in the spring/summer/fall season in Texas. It is plenty long enough to act like a scarf in the winter, too. This yarn looks different in every light, but it all coordinates with my hair. :)

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time to complete: 12 hours without mess ups, for me more like 16 hours.