The Official Cool Wave Shawl Crochet-Along

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Marcy Smith wrote
on Feb 7, 2011 8:36 AM

About 1,600 people voted in this Crochet-Along and 39% of the votes went to the Cool Wave Shawl.

This pattern by Sheryl Means from the Summer 2010 issue of Interweave Crochet is available as an individual pattern in the Interweave Store or in the back issue of the magazine. 

Here are the pattern details:

Finished Size 56" long at neck edge and 26" wide.
Yarn 
Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace (50% silk, 50% wool; 1,250 yd [1,142 m]/4 oz [66 g]; ): #209 Beverly, 1 skein.
Yarn Weight #1 -
Super Fine
Hook 
Sizes G/6 (4 mm) Tunisian crochet hook and G/6 (4 mm) traditional crochet hook. Adjust hook size if necessary to obtain correct gauge. Gauge is not critical for this project.
Gauge 
24 sts and 13 rows = 4" in lace patt.

I'll be using Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace in Aslan. I've had this yarn on ice for a while, waiting for just the right project. And this is it! If you are substituting a laceweight, be sure to check out how tightly plied it is. The tighter the better; if it's loose, the strandiness will drive you mad before you're done. 

You will also need a Tunisian hook. If you don't have one, here are some suggestions:

Tunisian hooks are available as both long straight hooks and shorter hooks with flexible cords. Either will work for this project; even though the shawl is wide at points, the yarn is thin, so it will fit on a straight hook. Note that some hooks will be labeled as afghan hooks. Chaio-Goo has straight hooks and hooks with flexible cords. Susan Bates has "Silvalume" hooks with flexible cords as well as straight hooks. Denise Interchangeable Hooks are shorter-than-usual hooks made of flexible plastic with detachable cords of varying lengths. You can purchase the hooks and cords as a set or as individual hooks.

Working with a Tunisian hook will feel different than working with a regular hook. It will take a bit of practice to decide which hook works best for you.

Gauge is not critical with this project, since it's a shawl. But you want to be in the same ballpark as the gauge given. This may call for going up or down a hook size.

Here's the schedule:

Feb 7-11: Select yarn and do swatches.
Feb 14-28: Crochet away!

March 1-31: Crochet-Along extended! Crochet away!

Tunisian crochet is very addictive! Once you start working in the pattern, you will find yourself stealing away time to work just one more row—well, OK, maybe two. Even though it's laceweight, it's worked on a G hook and should move along pretty quickly.

Come back her to the forum for assistance, especially at the start when we're all getting the hang of Tunisian.

Photos really help in inspiring us all to crochet, so be sure to post pictures as you go along.

Please post your replies and comments to this thread only, so we can all keep track in a single location.

I look forward to going on this Tunisian adventure with you!

Happy crocheting!

Marcy

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Joannelmeier wrote
on Feb 7, 2011 8:45 AM

I'm excited about this project.!  It should look lovely over tank tops, shells or sleeveless blouses for this Spring.

Joanne

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Jeanxo wrote
on Feb 7, 2011 7:40 PM

I can't wait. The Lorna's lace's yarn is expensive...so I can't wait to hear what everyone is using.  I was thinking maybe a silk/cotton blend? 

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JoM wrote
on Feb 7, 2011 10:31 PM

This will be my first time working Tunisian crichet and my first crochet along. I'm very excited!

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NancyB@42 wrote
on Feb 8, 2011 8:43 AM

I've started a swatch of Tunisian simple stitch -- the first Tunisian crochet I've ever done! Now, I'm going to try to figure out the lace pattern stitch. I'm using Milsti Alpaca Lace from my stash (yay). Fun!

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on Feb 8, 2011 8:51 AM

These are both firsts for me, too, and I'm really excited.  I have yet to choose yarn and a Tunisian hook. Can't wait to find that special yarn!

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bmcgilberry wrote
on Feb 9, 2011 6:08 AM

This is my first time to use Tunisian Crochet.  What length on the Tunisian hook should I use.  I contacted a LYS and they will order it for me, but they need to know the length.  Help, I have no idea!

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Marcy Smith wrote
on Feb 9, 2011 8:54 AM

Get the longest possible straight hook or, even better, a hook with a flexible cord. The scarf opens up when blocked, but with the laceweight yarn does not take up a lot of room in the crocheting.

Hope that helps!

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Jeanxo wrote
on Feb 9, 2011 9:55 AM

I ordered mine on Amazon.   They called a "flexible" a circular and it's 32" long. Cost a whole $2.60 and $4.99 for shipping.   What yarn are you using?  I am still looking and trying to keep the cost down.

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Evie T. wrote
on Feb 9, 2011 1:51 PM

I typed in "lace weight yarn" on Google and several different yarn web sites came up as I'm trying to find a quality yarn but not quite as expensive as the brand listed.

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katherine919 wrote
on Feb 9, 2011 3:09 PM

I found some Noro Sekku laceweight yarn on eBay and am waiting for it to arrive. I have done Tunisian crochet for a few years, just a few projects but I love this shawl and look forward to trying it. My challenge is that this is my first time with laceweight yarn(and I have crocheted for over 35 years!). I like simple cotton yarns with a Tunisian hook, to make small blankets and coasters and things. Or a giant size S that I am using to make a big wool blanket for next year.

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Jeanxo wrote
on Feb 10, 2011 7:17 PM

NEWSFLASH!!!   I found Cascade Alpaca Lace last night on sale for 1/2 off!!!!   $4.80 for 437 yards!!!  It has no silk, but for this price I can live without it.   look here:   purlsoho.com. I got it in Carribean Heather, not art dyed but heathered. I think it will look almost the same.   Let me know what you think and what you decide to buy.

 

Jean

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Marcy Smith wrote
on Feb 12, 2011 4:38 PM

Hey all!

I hope you're having luck sleuthing out yarn! The Cascade Alpace Lace is a great choice, I think.

A few more notes on subbing yarn and on what I like about Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace:

If you're using a solid-color yarn, your main concern is the twist. If the yarn is plied loosely, the strands will loosen even more and drive you to distraction with the strandiness. Why is that? Commercial yarns are generally spun with a Z-twist and plied with an S-twist (what the heck does that mean, you ask? You can read more about it here) This twist is knitter-friendly, because the way you wrap the yarn in knitting goes in the same direction as the ply. In crochet, however, you wrap in the opposite direction and are essentially untwisting the ply with every stitch. If a yarn has a tight ply, it's generally not a problem. But you may have already noticed in your crochet that some yarns straighten out as you crochet, losing their twist.

You could solve this by respinning the yarn or spinning from scratch in a crochet-friendly twist (S-spin, Z-ply). This would be akin to starting the process of baking a cake by planting wheat. You know?

So, in dealing with commerically spun yarn, look for a good twist.

If you're using a hand-dyed yarn, you need to consider not only the twist, but also the distribution of the dye. No two hand-dyed skeins are the same. So if you work up one skein to the end, then the next to the end, your project will likely look as if it's divided in half. If your skeins are too short to complete the project, it is best to work with two skeins at a time, switching off every two rows.

And here is where the beauty of Helen's Lace comes in: It has a great twist & ply that does not devolve into strandiness. And it's one, big long 1,250-yard strand of hand-dyed yarn. No issues with evenly distributing the dye. Its startling $56 price tag works out to $4.48 per 100 yards, which is not bad at all for its fine quality.

So, there's my two cents on the matter. We'd love to know how your yarn is working out. Be sure to post back!

Best,

Marcy

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Marcy Smith wrote
on Feb 12, 2011 4:57 PM

I was finally able to sit down and start the shawl today! Here's what it looks like so far:

I love the colorplay in this!
Here are a few notes on getting started:

1. Be sure to work your starting chain VERY LOOSELY. If you have trouble chaining loosely, go up a hook size. A tight chain will result in a tight edge that will not loosen up.

2. You may be wondering: What's that RetP thing all about? RetP stands for Return Pass. It's the second step of the Tunisian row. A row is made up of the FwP (the forward pass) and the RetP (Return Pass). After you do the FwP, you will have a hook full of loops. To do the RetP, yarn over and pull through one loop on the hook. Then yarn over and pull through 2 loops on the hook. Continue to yarn over and pull through two loops until you have just one loop remaining on the hook.

3. The loop remaining on the hook is the first stitch of your next FwP. So you do not pick up a look in the stitch directly below this loop. You begin your next FwP by pulling up a loop in the next stitch. 

4. I find it's easiest to complete Row 2 of the lace pattern before putting down my work. Then I always know which row to start with when I pick it up.

5. The stitch between the yarn-overs in the lace pattern will look exceptionally long. This is OK. This creates the lacy look.

I am LOVING this pattern. I would like to sit down and work on it until it is done. Alas, I have one or two other things to do ... I can't wait to pick it up again!

Love to hear how your shawls are coming along!
Best,

Marcy

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NancyB@42 wrote
on Feb 14, 2011 8:57 AM

Thank you for this yarn information! Very enlightening. I think the Misti Alpaca Lace I have been swatching with is too fuzzy, making it difficult for me as a beginner to see the stitches, plus the H hook I'm using may be making things harder, too. I'm going to look for a G hook today and try swatching with JaggerSpun wool/silk Zephyr from my stash. And maybe make a Tunisian dishcloth with cotton for additional practice!

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