Fall in Love with the Five Peaks Shawl (and Tunisian Crochet!)

A note from Kathleen—True confessions: The only shawl I've ever knit was for a shop sample. I've always wanted to knit one of those beautiful lace shawls out there, but I really have no place to wear something like that, so I have stuck with scarves and neckwarmers. One of my friends knits the most beautiful lace shawls and when I asked her where she wore them, she said, "Oh, I don't know. Albertson's, I guess!" I cracked up. Anyway, When I received my Spring issue of Interweave Crochet, I was intrigued by the Five Peaks Shawl, which is a lovely meeting of casual and elegant, and it's the perfect Spring wrap for my climate.

Interweave Crochet editor Marcy Smith is here to delve into this shawl for us. Take it away, Marcy!

Spring into Crocheted Shawls

The Five Peaks Shawl by Vashti Braha

I know some of you were taken with the Tunisian crochet Sunset Ruana in the Winter 2009 issue of Interweave Crochet. Tunisian, a fusion of knit and crochet techniques, has been gaining favor among many fiber enthusiasts. In our Spring 2010 issue, we have a project you'll love: The Five Peaks Shawl by Vashti Braha.

This simple and elegant wrap will be your go-to spring cover-up for both casual and formal occasions. Worked in sumptuous amethyst Road to China Light—a blend of alpaca, silk, cashmere and camel—this wrap is super-soft and drapey. The magic of the drape comes in part from working this DK-weight yarn on a large (size L) hook.

The shawl is worked in one piece using methods borrowed from the basic eyelet-edged garter stitch washcloth. As with all Tunisian projects, you pick up stitches all the way across a row using a longer-than-normal crochet hook, then work them off two at a time. You increase at the beginning of the row, yarn-over, then work to the end, yarn-over and decrease.

Now, you could simply work a triangle this way and it would be a shawl. But the genius of Vashti's design is that she created five peaks in the shawl so that it doesn't slip. You can let the front sections dangle, or you can wrap one or both front pieces across. You might wear it with the longer peak across one arm, instead of in the back, for dramatic flair.

We've rated this pattern a level 1 for easy-peasy. You can work this and watch the latest episode of Ice Road Truckers (or Knitting Daily TV!) at the same time.

You'll need a special Tunisian hook with a long cord for this project, because you'll need to fit 125 loops on it at one point (I know —only 125 loops! Not like the hundreds and hundreds of stitches you might need for a knitted shawl. Just saying.)

For more dedicated stitchers, we have the Forest Petals Shawl by Karla McCalmont. We've rated this a level 3 (of 4), but don't let that put you off.

The Forest Petals Shawl
by Karla McCalmont

The pattern stitch is well within range for a beginning Tunisian crocheter, but working with the laceweight yarn requires a higher level of concentration. (You could maybe watch a rerun of Seinfeld while working this, but a Buffy marathon might be too distracting.)

You can work this project with a regular crochet hook, so long as it has a straight shaft without the thumb indentation (we love the Lantern Moon hooks—read all about them in Yarn Spotlight).

And to help you get going with the whole Tunisian crochet thing, we've uploaded a batch of Tunisian technique videos at CrochetMe.com. Check them out and get started!

Of course, we have a lovely batch of non-Tunisian crochet patterns as well in the Spring issue of Interweave Crochet. Take a peek and let us know what intrigues you!

And while you're at it, why not subscribe to Interweave Crochet? You won't want to miss out on any of our wonderful designs!


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