Stop Me Before I Crochet Another Seafoam Shawl!

I may need an intervention.

Here are my three versions of the Seafoam Shawl by Kimberly K. McAlindin from Crochet Accessories 2011.

I can't promise there won't be another.

The lacy edge reminds me of the seafoam at the edge of the shore, right after a wave has receded, leaving behind sand, pebbles, sea glass, like the textured body of the shawl. And addictive to make? Check. You work the lacy edge first, then pick up along the foundation row and work short rows to complete the body of the shawl. Most of these shawls were completed in meetings, because the stitching is that easy.

Here's a closer look at each.

Yarn: Neota Designs Chinook (sport), 275 yards color Mountain Jewels, hand-painted

Hook: I-9 / 5.5 mm (Tulip)

Another very lovely thing about this shawl is that it requires only 250-350 yards of yarn. You could probably find that in your couch cushions, right? (The variance in the amount depends on your hook size and yarn weight. I had yarn left over from this 275-yard skein). So, I rummaged around in my stash for a skein of loveliness that could become a Seafoam Shawl. And, unlike many things in my stash, I can tell you exactly when and where I got this skein of yarn. It's hand-painted with brushes and embodies the earth and sky of Colorado. It's very nice to wear in North Carolina, when I'm far from Colorado. Looking at it, I can almost feel the sharp cold of Estes Park—makes me snuggle into it a little more.

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock;100% superwash merino wool; 395 yards; color: ivy

Hook: H-8/ 5 mm (Boye)

This is a bandit-sized version in a shade of Tosh Sock that I love, love, love. I had yarn left over from this skein, too, but not a ton. The bouncy sock yarn fights the blocking efforts a bit, but it's still nice and cozy about the neck. I may make another in Tosh DK in a similar green. Sadly, there was An Incident whilst blocking this shawl and it may find a new home (see Making Mistakes So You Don't Have To below for details).

Yarn: Classic Elite Chesapeake; 50% organic cotton, 50% merino wool; 103 yards; 5979 Catawba Grape

Hook: J-10 / 6 mm (I used my very first crochet hook, the one I used when I was 8 years old. It's blue and it doesn't have a name on it, but judging from the inline head, I think it's a Bates)

Love this shawl! It came out larger than the others, because of the larger hook and slightly heavier yarn (sorry to say, I can't remember how many balls I started with, so I'm not sure how much I used). This yarn is crisp and warm at the same time. It has lots of body and likes to be crocheted. It would be pretty happy being crocheted into a sweater.

And a view from the back, so you can see how big it is. And how lovely it is.

Now we come to our next installment of Making Mistakes So You Don't Have To.

I used the string method to block the shawls. You can read the details on this method.

One detail I left out there is about the actual string. You weave scrap string through holes along the straight edges. And this is very important: USE UNDYED STRING. Something truly innocuous, like butcher's twine, also called spago da cucina, which sounds very lovely, doesn't it? Much lovelier than great gobs of green goo.

Great gobs of green are what I found on my lovely shawl when I pulled it out of its  pre-blocking bath. The long ends of the string wrapped randomly around the shawl, so the blotches are not just at the strung edges. The light-green cotton I used to string along the edges gave up its dye in a most unsightly way. And really a lot darker than you might expect from a pretty light green yarn.

So, to reiterate: If you use string with a dye in it, even if it looks like a pretty innocuous color, like one that will hold and not bleed, it may just bleed on the garment. And you will be sad. Use undyed string.

I know you can't see anything from this high up, so here's a closer look.

Ghastly globs of green. All random over the shawl.

My friend Amy Clarke Moore over at Spin-Off tells me I might be able to remove that dye with synthrapol. I haven't yet scored this substance yet, but when I do, I'll give it a whirl. Amy is concerned that maybe that darker green has found a new home and won't want to leave. Another option is to over-dye the whole thing another color. That thought makes me sad, because the Tosh color is so, so nice.

So this shawl may find a new home with Sarah Read, project editor for Interweave Crochet and fellow CrochetMe blogger.  Sarah loves all things green. She has seen this shawl and kind of likes the random dark green touches.

But we're all kind of curious about whether the synthrapol will work. We'll report back.

Meanwhile, repeat after me: Butcher's twine good.



Here's hoping all your crochet adventures are without Incident.


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