A Designer's Perspective: Shawl Vigne

May 23, 2014

On of the most popular patterns in It Girl Crochet, the Shawl Vigne by Natasha Robarge is a gorgeous example of crochet lace. A beautiful geometric repeat creates the fabric of this gorgeous shawl. And edging of flowers adds the final touch. Here is designer Natasha Robarge to share you inspiration for this stunning shawl.

 
  Shawl Vigne by Natasha Robarge

Shawl Vigne: Inspiration

A few years ago I was at a book store and saw a publication on Art Nouveau floral ornaments. I was smitten by the lush stylized leaves, vines, and flowers framed by more vines and flowers. At that time I was particularly interested in contemporary interpretations of Irish crochet and could vividly see the images in the book represented in crochet.

 
   

In fact I made a doily (at left) in cord crochet right away based on the picture of a gourd vine.

The floral ornaments continued to "haunt' me. They were too busy for literal implementation: contemporary designs are more uncluttered, and I began to form an idea for a simpler crochet canvas framed by an ornate floral frame which is separated by some geometric lines. Interweave's call for Art Nouveau designs resonated strongly with this idea and that's how the shawl was born.

Taking It Further

The idea of matching geometric and floral motifs can be taken further. Imagine a gazebo: square or diamond shaped wooden lattice framed by free flowing grape or morning glory vines. Orderly and predictable mesh or filet crochet taken over by the irregular and natural Irish crochet flowers and leaves or a combination of soft shells. You can change the border of the shawl or experiment with a scarf or a stole, where the shape is simple and the entire design focus is on "nature vs. nurture".

 
   

A Few Words on Technique

When working with thread, I produce tight snappy stitches to show off the crispness of the yarn. When working with soft yarns, such as Malabrigo lace used for this shawl, you want to show off the fluffiness of the yarn, especially in flower clusters. Work reasonably loose stitches and pull up loops fully to their desired position (for a double crochet: yarn over, insert hook in stitch, yarn over, pull up the loop until you can fully see it just above the stitch, keeping the hook at about 45 degrees downward, yarn over and pull through two loops without tightening the loops and still keeping the hook at an angle downward, yarn over and pull through the last two loops bringing the yarn to the full height of the double crochet). Do not jerk the hook, but rather enjoy the smooth flow of crochet, and those petals will come out of your hands plump and fluffy.

- Natasha Robarge

 
Natasha Robarge  

My website is www.aperfectloop.com. I teach crochet on Saturdays in a local Hobby Lobby, and the site was primarily designed with that in mind. I live with my husband and two cavalier king charles spaniels in Houston. I have a grown daughter and a grandson now. I have a full time day job, but crochet design is my passion and not a day goes by when I don't think about a new crochet idea. I love Interweave, and with the limited time I have, this is my publication of choice where I submit my designs for your enjoyment.


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Comments

mcrochets wrote
on Jul 21, 2014 8:35 PM

This shawl reminds me of a shawl I made years ago, inspired by a shawl I saw in Vogue magazine.  Like this, it had 3 different textures.  It was a square fabric shawl, with a center in one design, a significant second design around it, and a third design around the outside.  The combination of three different textures made it rich and magical.  The simplicity of that structure also made it iconic  - precisely what it needed to be.  I realized that kind of structured simplicity is useful in design in general.